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Lessons In Hardware / OS Troubleshooting

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the feels-so-good-when-i-stop dept.

Windows 236

Esther Schindler writes "We like to imagine that every Microsoft OS installation will work just as well as the company promises. When things don't work out, identifying and remedying the case of failure can be time-consuming and frustrating. This lesson in how to determine why Windows 7 didn't install may help you troubleshoot a problem of your own, and save you from a Lost Weekend. Maybe you'll find this account useful all on its own. But the real key here is that the author is Ed Tittel — who's written over 100 books. If this hardware geek spends days solving a CPU-meets-Windows 7 problem, what chance do mere mortals have?"

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Jews for Nerds! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31824974)

Jews, also known as kikes, hebes, hymies, yids, gold niggers, oven magnets, hook noses, sheenies, swindlers, criminals, "firewood", and Arabs in denial are a subhuman species of reptilian extra-terrestrials and adherents to one of the world's oldest major religions, called "Judaism", otherwise known as "The Worship of Money" or "Eating Arab Babies".

Judaism was the world's first master race theory. The Jew religion teaches that Jews are the Chosen People of God and that there is a sacred mystical quality to Jew DNA. In olden times, Jew prophets would, under the command of YHWH, frequently lead the Jews on genocidal rampages against neighboring populations, and even today Jew leaders often cite Jewish religious ideals to justify their ongoing genocide of sandniggers. Judaism ironically found its mirror-image inversion in the anti-Jew Aryan racialism of the Nazis.
Despite only being 0.22% of the world's population, Jews control 99% of the world's money. Not only do the Jews control the world, but also the media, the banks, the space program, and LiveJournal's porn communities and Gay communities. All Jews possess the following features: an extremely large nose, fake boobs, curly hair that reeks of faggotry, one of those gay hats, a love of coke, a law practice, a roll of money, a small cock, or shitty taste in dental hygiene.

Jews invented both Communism and Capitalism. Karl Marx, of course, was a Jew, which was why he understood money so well, and in fact he was converted to Communism by another Jew, Moses Hess, the actual founder of Zionism, who ghost-wrote Marx's The German Ideology. Capitalism was created when Christian Europeans threw away their morals and decided to embrace Jewish practices like usury (see: John Calvin). Jews were the first group to create a sophisticated banking system, which they used to fund the Crusades in order to pit Christians and Muslims (both adhering to religions derived from and controlled by Jews) against each other to kill as many people as possible in a macabre human sacrifice to YHWH.

The Jew banking system was based on fraud and lies, so when it inevitably collapsed, the Jews just pwned as many people as possible by unleashing the Black Plague on them. Later, Jews economically controlled medieval Venice (the first modern maritime trade empire), and then crypto-Jewish merchants economically controlled the Spanish Empire, including the slave trade. Openly Jewish bankers orchestrated the Dutch Empire and founded Jew Amsterdam (later Jew York). Later the Dutch Jews moved to London because they thought it would be a better base for a global empire, and actually brought a Dutch nobleman, William III, with them, who they installed in a coup d'état (more like Jew d'état, amirite?) as new King of the British Empire. For hundreds of years, Jewish bankers controlled global trade through their bases in Jew York City and London. European colonialism was, through its history, essentially a plot whereby Jews could gain control of gold and diamond mines in poor countries and increase their stranglehold over the global economy.

Jews also enjoy slicing up baby penises for fun, some even enjoy sucking them. See below.

Jews also created Jew search engine Google, so now they can find all Jew information on Internets.

Some suggest that we should use Jews instead of dogs to sniff out large amounts of concealed cash or anything else worth smuggling at airports due to their sensitive Jew noses. Obviously, this is a horrible idea, because the pay is bad, and the dirty Kikes would probably form a union and demand moar money, thus increasing the burden on taxpayers everywhere.

Re:Jews for Nerds! (-1, Offtopic)

xwizbt (513040) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825104)

Oh. People like you actually exist! Um... has anyone mentioned the words 'off', 'fuck' and 'troll' in your presence recently?

do not feed the trolls (-1, Offtopic)

djdavetrouble (442175) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825240)

dude, you are feeding a troll. stop.

Re:do not feed the trolls (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31825568)

Pro tip: If you have positive karma, please communicate your "dude, stop feeding a troll" comments with an email or an anonymous post. This will make it much easier for the mods to bury the entire thread and preserve the illusion of civil discourse. (For the love of god *don't* mod this up!)

Re:do not feed the trolls (-1, Offtopic)

poena.dare (306891) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825574)

Ah, if we could only stop "Troll Stories" from being submitted to ./

I CAN DREAM

MOD PARENT UP (0, Flamebait)

JismTroll (588456) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825808)

LOL!! Jews Did WTC LOL

About Jews

Jews are a pungent smelling form of rat, which through evolution over many years have obtained the ability to speak. These disgusting creatures now wander around our great societies, stealing and lying as much as they can.

Sooooo (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31825016)

He has issues with an "unsupported and unwarranted engineering sample CPU from Intel" with Windows 7... and Windows 7 is of course to blame according to the OP.... *roll eyes*

Re:Sooooo (5, Insightful)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825046)

This is Slashdot. Windows is always to blame.

Re:Sooooo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31825498)

it's great to hold ones hands over warmed up prejudices, isn't it?

cb

GNAA Confirms Link Between Wal-Mart and The Bilder (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31825520)

Monday, March 22, 2010

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Copyright (c) 2003-2010 Gay Nigger Association of America [www.gnaa.eu]

Re:Sooooo (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31825220)

"unsupported and unwarranted engineering sample CPU from Intel"

Is he using an IA-32 or x86-64 processor? Yes. So it is a supported CPU.

Re:Sooooo (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31825430)

It is an ENGINEERING SAMPLE. These are NOT supported in a commercial sense, if you rang MS for support they would reject your call as using unsupported hardware.

Re:Sooooo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31826060)

The comment was taken directly from the site linked. Likely the comment refers to unsupported from Intels point of view.

Re:Sooooo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31826094)

Pahlease.. you're saying Intel couldn't make a faulty chip with IA-32 written on it?

Re:Sooooo (3, Informative)

Ralish (775196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825394)

I also found it bizarre that at no point did he seem to think of checking the setup logs [microsoft.com] . Admittedly, it probably wouldn't have helped him in this case, as logs often don't reveal anything in the case of intermittent hardware failure, but really, if I have a problem with setup, the first thing I'd think to check would be the log files in case they turn up something interesting. That's, you know, kind of why they're there...

Re:Sooooo (2, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 4 years ago | (#31826548)

The logs aren't very useful, even when they trap things. Unsupported CPUs may also have unsupported or doctored chipsets. Bitching about it, 100 books or no, seems a bit silly. With fast CPUs and weird cache setups, FSB speeds approaching C, you're just going to have problems unless something's vetted.

Moaning about an engineering sample seems nihilistic to me, Windows 7 or no.

Assigning blame doesn't alway help (1, Insightful)

iYk6 (1425255) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825504)

I didn't read the article, but judging by the summary, I think it is more about troubleshooting than assigning blame.

Re:Assigning blame doesn't alway help (5, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825570)

I didn't read the article or the summary. The title was plenty.

Re:Assigning blame doesn't alway help (1)

PNutts (199112) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825678)

I didn't read the article or the summary. The title was plenty.

I didn't read the article, the summary, or the title and you're both wrong.

Re:Assigning blame doesn't alway help (3, Funny)

EricX2 (670266) | more than 4 years ago | (#31826198)

I haven't read the title, summary, article or any posts, and I think it's time to get new glasses... I can't read a damn thing!

Re:Sooooo (4, Insightful)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825666)

Actually, let's recap the action and the missteps:
Inconsistent failure point during the initial installs. Yes, it could've been a problem with the ISO or the media. He correctly tried re-applying the image and also tested on another machine.

At that point, you don't replace the motherboard. You might as well replace everything else first... Start with slapping the HD into the machine that worked and try the install again. When that worked, that would've reduced the potential culprits to the memory, CPU, and then lastly the mainboard. Memtest would've found no memory issue (which would also indicate that the mainboard is also less likely a problem), so that's when the CPU switch should've happened... Especially since it was "an engineering sample."

Writing 100 books does not an expert make. Of course, I'll grant the guy some slack. Even the best of us have an experience where we throw our better judgment out the window. We make mistakes, or just totally forget how this is supposed to work, get into a panic, and goodness knows what else.

The difference, and where I think this guy made the big mistake? When he decided to post this experience. Would've been much better just writing it like this:

"I tried to go from x86 to x64, and it failed. I troubleshot it like a noob. I'll do better next time."

Re:Sooooo (1)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825672)

Sorry to reply to self, but there's another problem I have with his execution:

If you're replacing the mainboard... You might as well go whole hog. Get yourself something nice...

actually (5, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825026)

We like to imagine that every Microsoft OS installation will work just as well as the company promises.

Actually around here people like to imagine that every MS OS installation will miserably crash, because then they strut around feeling good about using Linux.

Re:actually (1)

socceroos (1374367) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825172)

But for the generalisation, what you say is true. The more I delve into operating systems the less I like any of the current ones out there - Linux included.

Having said all that, when I need to protect highly sensitive information or critical systems then I won't be using Windows. Not because it is specifically 'teh 5U>0|2Z' but because I don't have the fine grained control I need.

Re:actually (-1, Redundant)

socceroos (1374367) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825188)

Hmmm, it stripped out some of my 1337 speak. 'teh suxorz' is what I was going for.

Top 7 problems with Windows 7 (2, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825214)

We like to imagine that every Microsoft OS installation will work just as well as the company promises.

Actually around here people like to imagine that every MS OS installation will miserably crash, because then they strut around feeling good about using Linux.

[X] Psst ... it's not your imagination, honey :-)
[X] I use BSD, you insensitive clod!
[X] In Soviet Russia, Windows crashes YOU! ... oh, wait a sec ...
[X] CowboyNeal is my runtime environment (Ewww!)
[X] ... but at least it blends ...
[X] If someone says "There's an app for that" one more time I'll throw a chair at them!
[X] Steve Ballmer posts on slashdot!!!

Re:Top 7 problems with Windows 7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31826056)

[X] CowboyNeal is my runtime environment (Ewww!)

From the pictures we've seen in the past, it seems unlikely that CowboyNeil does any running.

Re:Top 7 problems with Windows 7 (2, Interesting)

caspper69 (548511) | more than 4 years ago | (#31826188)

He was my professor a couple of semesters ago. I can vouch for that!

Hell of a nice guy, and pretty talented to boot though.

Re:actually (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825322)

I've installed Windows 7 on my home PC. Played some games on it. I'm impressed. It's at least as stable as XP, and not noticeably slower.

I still strut around feeling good about using Linux. You don't have to hate one to like the other you know. I wouldn't use Windows every day by choice, only because the command line utilities on Linux are so much more convenient. I like the GUI better too, real virtual desktops, windowshading, the selection buffer, all great. And the repositories are great too.

So yeah, not everyone who likes linux is prejudiced against Microsoft.

Re:actually (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825846)

Sarcastic? Always been the opposite. Many of us stuck with Windows because it just worked. The .iso version of ubuntustudio still fails almost every step of the install, so ya gotta install vanilla ubuntu then apt-get ubuntustudio.

Re:actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31826506)

That's strange, I just installed Ubuntu Studio 64 bit on my brother's computer a couple of weeks ago and according to him, it's the most flawlessly working version of Linux he's ever used. And this is a guy that is die hard ProTools, Reason, you name it. Now he's having a ball with Ardour, Qtractor, and Hydrogen. And with jack and the real time kernel, when a not is hit on the guitar, no matter how many effects are in the chain, the note is immediately heard in the headphones.

But I guess, YMMV, right?

You're Kidding (5, Informative)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825054)

This is front-page news for Slashdot now? Here's the sum total of TFA:

  • Guy tries to install 64-bit Windows 7 on a machine previously running 32-bit Windows 7
  • Install fails over and over again
  • He replaces hardware components with no luck until he swaps out the CPU
  • Windows installs but is unstable
  • Worthless ASUS BIOS automatic "optimizers" cause stability problems (surprise!)
  • With BIOS settings changed to sane values Windows is stable

Wow, color me impressed!

How are "mortals" supposed to figure it out? I guess they buy a PC from Dell because everything in that article qualifies as "no duh" for system builders.

Re:You're Kidding (2, Informative)

wes mantooth (1761262) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825174)

Also, let's not forget that the CPU he used was an engineering sample: "In fact, of the 30-plus Intel processors I’ve installed Windows 7 on, this one is not only the single solitary item I’ve had any problems with at all, it’s also the only freebie engineering sample I used."

Re:You're Kidding (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31825190)

This is the reason I will not buy a "Enthusiast" or a "Entry-Level" piece of hardware. With the former it's always the overpriced overclocking features that are wonky, and with the latter, it's the cheap hardware. Second-generation midrange stuff (with FreeBSD-compatible hardware (i.e. open source drivers available), even if it will only run Windows) has always been the best.

Re:You're Kidding (4, Insightful)

lalena (1221394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825198)

Exactly. He swapped every piece of hardware - saving the engineering sample CPU as the last thing he swapped. The system ran fine under Win 7 32 bit. You have to assume that hardware still works fine and that the problem was 64bit specific - which points to the CPU. Granted Intel said it should support 64bit, but it was an engineering sample.
He replaced the case, power supply, the video card, the mother board, the hard drives, and the cables first??

Re:You're Kidding (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31826236)

I could be wrong, but all production CPUs will load updated microcode at POST (stored in BIOS ROM) if available. In short, microcode is like a patch to correct CPU errata. Engineering samples are like beta CPUs though, right? It would stand to reason that no such microcode is available for them from a consumer (non testing board) Motherboard.

Re:You're Kidding (5, Funny)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825234)

You should be impressed. No mere mortal would ever look at computer and think "let's replace random parts until it starts working!" This guy is clearly some sort of magical god of electronic troubleshooting. Quite possibly with a unicorn for a sidekick.

Re:You're Kidding (2, Informative)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825376)

The truly sad part is for a supposed techie his troubleshooting skills sucked balls. If the device worked fine with 32 bit and failed with 64 bit, it isn't gonna be the god damn cables or power supply that needs replacing.

Re:You're Kidding (5, Funny)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825540)

Maybe if he had switched to a 128 bit power supply. That's twice what you need for a 64 bit processor, right?

Re:You're Kidding (4, Funny)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 4 years ago | (#31826384)

I always use gold plugged audiophile cables from my power supplies, they supply robust pure energy for perfect rendering of 64 bit flash multimedia

Re:You're Kidding (0, Redundant)

drfreak (303147) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825590)

WTF do the power supply and cables have to do with 32 vs. 64-bit? I call shenanigans!

Re:You're Kidding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31825802)

If your PSU isn't supplying enough current to the board, all kinds of wonderful crap can happen. I've also had cables give random problems too (though it shouldn't have worked with 32bit then in most cases)

Re:You're Kidding (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31825252)

More evidence he's a "script-kiddy": He uses Microsoft's "excellent" Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool, instead of simply using diskpart to create a partition on the stick and copying the files over from the ISO. (In case there are more people reading this who don't know how to make a bootable USB flash drive with stuff that's already in Windows: diskpart is the command line disk partitioning tool in more recent versions of Windows. When it creates a partition on a clean drive/stick, it automatically writes a boot sector that will load "bootmgr", which will then proceed to boot from the device. That's all there is to it.)

Re:You're Kidding (5, Insightful)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825450)

More evidence he's a "script-kiddy": He uses Microsoft's "excellent" Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool, instead of simply using diskpart to create a partition on the stick and copying the files over from the ISO.

Yeah, right. He writes books on Windows 7, but he shouldn't try the official way of installing from USB. Because that would mean that he had used the tools that he wanted to write about. Shame on him!

Re:You're Kidding (1)

paulej72 (1177113) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825946)

My first thought is why did he not try using a DVD to install as that is the supported method for the install. I would have thought that for anything other than a netbook this would be the next step, not replacing the motherboard.

Re:You're Kidding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31825260)

How are "mortals" supposed to figure it out? I guess they buy a PC from Dell

I see what you did there.

Re:You're Kidding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31825500)

windows being fussy? dont start at basic defaults and work your way up, toss 4 computers worth of new hardware at it!

this guy is a nugget, and toms hardware is quickly following

No kidding (3, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825572)

Dear self important guy who isn't near as good at computers as he thinks he is:

This may surprise you to learn, but all those defaults out these, all those specified values, all that kind of stuff, that isn't just arbitrary. See many smart engineers and other folks worked on designing and creating all the hardware for your computer. A lot of extremely complex stuff went in to it, modern computers are quite a marvel of engineering. As such, they discovered that certain tolerances, certain ranges work well. Outside of that, there can be problems. Thus the defaults because, well, default. They set them so that things are very likely to work in all cases.

As with most things, they aren't absolutes. They aren't things you can never exceed. In various circumstances you can go outside those normal ranges, sometimes by a little, sometimes by a lot. However, problems can potentially result. What problems those are and when they happen is not predictable. A system can appear stable but only crash on one app, or it can be stable for awhile then develop an instability.

Regardless, the first step to troubleshooting should be to USE THE FUCKING DEFAULTS, you idiot!

Seriously, I'm supposed to take someone seriously who is running overclocked settings of some sort or another (RAM timings, FSB, etc) and an engineering sample CPU and has problems? Ummm, duh. That right there is asking for problems. When you OC, you go in to it knowing you may have some difficulties. You understand this is the tradeoff for something that runs faster than spec. If you start having problems, the first step is to back off the OCing and see if that fixes it.

This is true even of OC'd systems that were fine but aren't now. I had a Celeron 300 that I OC'd to 450 back in the day and it worked well for about a year, then started to burn out. System started crashing randomly, and so on.

To me, it sounds like he's being whiny because he didn't bother to troubleshoot his setup properly. Come talk to me when you've got a retail CPU running at stock spec and FSB, RAM running per it's JEDEC spec at standard voltage and so on. Oh, what's that? You did that and it stopped having problems? Well there you go then. Don't bitch that your i7 920 "should" run at 3.8GHz. I don't care if others have done it, doesn't mean it'll work in your case. If it does, wonderful. It if doesn't well tough shit. Don't get mad at the software. It has pretty much no way to know if the CPU is going crazy as it runs on the CPU. About the only way software can indicate a CPU problem is by inducing a problem and thus a crash.

Re:You're Kidding (1)

drfreak (303147) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825584)

You forgot: Profit!

I can totally understand why the CPU was last on his checklist. In times past (pre-2003ish), CPU type and frequency were set by jumpers or dip switches on the motherboard; similar the the ISA days where we had to do the same for add-on cards. Most (if not all, I don't build computers anymore) motherboards after then gave an "Auto" option and people stopped paying attention to the CPU except to make sure the motherboard supported it before installing.

Now that we are in the 2010+ era, I'd imagine most motherboards can figure out what CPU you put in. My guess is that in this fringe case, it could not.

What I love here is the part where he (2, Interesting)

jra (5600) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825062)

just rolls right on past the fact that, if what he was installing was -- oh, say -- a Linux distribution, he wouldn't have an opaque "I'm uncompressing files" thermometer, he'd have real progress status messages, with, y'know, *parameters* and stuff, and -- unlike me this morning with my boss's iPhone -- a hope of actually figuring out what's broken.

But he's apparently completely blind to the fact that that's the *real* problem here.

"We'll just make fault-tolerant users", indeed

Re:What I love here is the part where he (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31825088)

And which consumers actually install an OS on their machine? Most probably not.

Re:What I love here is the part where he (2, Insightful)

jra (5600) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825160)

Even more reason why they should provide useful status messages: the odds are *much* higher than might be intuitively obvious that the person doing the install can make use of them.

I'm likewise unimpressed with the *order* in which he swapped components; you generally do it in descending order of "likely to be causing this problem".

Shame his installer didn't have a copy of Memtest+ on it, too, ain't it?

Re:What I love here is the part where he (4, Interesting)

Jezza (39441) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825580)

I temper this approach with the "this is easy as hell and very quick". So even if I think it is something, if there is something else it could be that's really quick to try I'll ignore my "brilliance" and try that. What is amazing is how often there isn't actually one problem, but two. Also helps if you have a similar working system that you can take the components from (so you know that this or that doodah actually works).

Re:What I love here is the part where he (5, Insightful)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825118)

just rolls right on past the fact that, if what he was installing was -- oh, say -- a Linux distribution, he wouldn't have an opaque "I'm uncompressing files" thermometer, he'd have real progress status messages, with, y'know, *parameters* and stuff, and -- unlike me this morning with my boss's iPhone -- a hope of actually figuring out what's broken.

And what specific parameter in any Linux installation error message is likely to point towards the CPU being defective? Most of them would be generic hardware-has-shit-itself errors (DMA failures, null pointer exceptions, hash failures) that could mean any of the cpu/motherboard/ram/psu/hdd are defective. It's impossible, even in principle, for any installer to be able to pinpoint with specificity what hardware is fucked.

Just for lols, I wish you would get modded up (me too, of course :-P) so that the OP can install $DISTRO on that original setup and see what error we get and whether it exactly pinpoints the cpu or whether it spits out a generic hardware error.

Re:What I love here is the part where he (3, Informative)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825354)

And what specific parameter in any Linux installation error message is likely to point towards the CPU being defective? Most of them would be generic hardware-has-shit-itself errors (DMA failures, null pointer exceptions, hash failures) that could mean any of the cpu/motherboard/ram/psu/hdd are defective.

That would be the P.O.S.T. [wikipedia.org] which your BIOS should be checking.

Re:What I love here is the part where he (1)

yossarianuk (1402187) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825452)

Actually its very easy to identify if you have a HDD issue from running a Linux live CD. The other components you mention yes would be hard to diagnose, although we have identified memory bank issues also.

Re:What I love here is the part where he (1)

TheRealSlimShady (253441) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825988)

SHIFT+F10 will give you access to a command prompt during setup, which you can then use to vew status messages and parameters and stuff...

Not the OS (1)

NoCleverName (701924) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825092)

Sounds like this system would have crashed unzipping ANY large file under ANY OS because it was the application that the CPU couldn't properly execute.

100 books? (4, Interesting)

cranesan (526741) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825094)

I'm a little suspicious; how much of an expert can you be writing 100 books on a variety of subjects.

Reminds me of a tech instructor I had who proudly informed the class he teaches oracle classes, mysql classes, sql server classes, cisco classes, juniper classes, .net development classes, php, etc..... Yeah he couldn't answer any basic questions that strayed from the text book in front of us.

Re:100 books? (1)

NitroWolf (72977) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825168)

I'm a little suspicious; how much of an expert can you be writing 100 books on a variety of subjects.

Reminds me of a tech instructor I had who proudly informed the class he teaches oracle classes, mysql classes, sql server classes, cisco classes, juniper classes, .net development classes, php, etc..... Yeah he couldn't answer any basic questions that strayed from the text book in front of us.

Haha no kidding. I had an instructor once that taught the A+ certification class as well as bunch of other computer classes, but when I asked a question about Big Endian vs Little Endian in regards to one of the test questions on significant bits, he had no idea what I was talking about and had never even heard of Endian-ness. It was at that point I discounted just about every authoritative thing he tried to say in class.

Re:100 books? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31826578)

Haha no kidding. I had an instructor once that taught the A+ certification class as well as bunch of other computer classes, but when I asked a question about Big Endian vs Little Endian in regards to one of the test questions on significant bits, he had no idea what I was talking about and had never even heard of Endian-ness. It was at that point I discounted just about every authoritative thing he tried to say in class.

Mighty nice of you if you remained for the rest of the class/semester. That'd be the point where I'd laugh, inform him I would be dropping his class, say something dismissive and insulting, and walk out. I actually did that in a programming class there the teacher totally flipped out when I had to hard reset a computer that had an ejected floppy disk sticking out of the drive. I have no idea what sort of bad thing he thought was going to occur as a result of that ejected floppy that wasn't completely removed from the drive but berating me in front of the class was uncalled for.

Re:100 books? (2, Insightful)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825788)

Different tasks, different skills. If you can write good guides and enjoy doing it, why should you want any more? Having in-depth knowledge doesn't make you a good teacher.

No need for the lesson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31825096)

We know perfectly well that when we boot from a Ubuntu CD that we will end up with Ubuntu and don't think a second of why Windows 7 didn't install.

Simpler Solution (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31825108)

If crapware won't install on your computer, don't install the crapware. I'm sure there's plenty [ubuntu.com] of [opensuse.org] other [mandriva.com] choices [slackware.com] out [debian.org] there [hexxeh.net] .

Re:Simpler Solution (2, Insightful)

keeboo (724305) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825720)

I'm all for FOSS, Linux etc.
But this approach of yours won't convince any Windows user to switch. Instead, it's likely more people will get convinced that FOSS users are assholes.

ES CPU (5, Insightful)

tftp (111690) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825150)

If this hardware geek spends days solving a CPU-meets-Windows 7 problem, what chance do mere mortals have?"

You need first to show me a "mere mortal" who has, and uses, an engineering sample CPU. There is a very good reason why -ES parts are marked as such - because they have bugs. And those bugs will be a problem sooner or later.

So the whole sob story can be reduced to this. The guy runs software on a prototype hardware, and the software crashes. In other breaking news, dog bites man.

Re:ES CPU (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 4 years ago | (#31826090)

Well I thought it was CPU bites man. Everyone knows that unless the CPU Blood God gets his fill when you're doing an upgrade, you're going to have problems.

Hardware issue with unoffical hardware. (1)

bv728 (943505) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825162)

Also, he was using an unsupported engineering sample CPU which was, in fact, the culprit for his issues. In other words, he ran into a Hardware Issue NO end user will, or most power users.

Harware issue? Welcome to Linux (4, Interesting)

ben_kelley (234423) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825222)

If you have never had a hardware issue when installing Linux on a machine you must be very lucky.

"Most things work fine" people tell me, which is true. The trouble is that the chances of you owning something that doesn't work is relatively high. (There's probably something from my statistics course that explains why that is, but I have so far managed to suppress that memory.)

After having rebuilt a Mac with OS X, and rebuilt a laptop with Ubuntu 9.04, I was surprised at how smooth and the Ubuntu install was. Of course that was until I wanted to use my webcam with Ubuntu. These kinds of problems get very difficult very fast in Linux. When 9.04 first came out there was a dependency problem that meant that you couldn't easily get some webcams working.

To be fair, that problem is most likely sorted out now, and a non-Apple webcam would have needed a (very easy to install) driver on OS X as well. The point is, Windows and hardware generally work very well.

Re:Harware issue? Welcome to Linux (4, Interesting)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825460)

There was another fellow that mentioned the idea of staying away from the top and the bottom.

Avoid the dregs and the bleeding edge.

That middle will probably me much more reliable under Windows and more likely to be supported on Linux (or even MacOS).

No one cares enough about the dregs to support them under Linux or MacOS and the bleeding edge stuff is just too new.

That approach does pretty well regardless of OS today and did pretty well 16 years ago too.

The problem with "statistics" is that any give PC isn't really random. It's a reflection of it's owner. It may be a dreg, a poster boy for bleeding edge gamer conspicuous consumption or something that's more moderate.

"When 9.04 first came out" is covered by this rule actually.

Re:Harware issue? Welcome to Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31825674)

TFA's about defective engineering sample hardware and windows, whose arse did you pull linux hardware issues out of?
just a case of pre-release hardware bites man, slow news day i guess.

Re:Harware issue? Welcome to Linux (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31826482)

If you have never had a hardware issue when installing Linux on a machine you must be very lucky. "Most things work fine" people tell me, which is true. The trouble is that the chances of you owning something that doesn't work is relatively high. (There's probably something from my statistics course that explains why that is, but I have so far managed to suppress that memory.) After having rebuilt a Mac with OS X, and rebuilt a laptop with Ubuntu 9.04, I was surprised at how smooth and the Ubuntu install was. Of course that was until I wanted to use my webcam with Ubuntu. These kinds of problems get very difficult very fast in Linux. When 9.04 first came out there was a dependency problem that meant that you couldn't easily get some webcams working. To be fair, that problem is most likely sorted out now, and a non-Apple webcam would have needed a (very easy to install) driver on OS X as well. The point is, Windows and hardware generally work very well.

Linux works very well with PC hardware too. Apple's hardware isn't an exact copy of normal PC hardware if I recall correctly (thats why you need to buy Mac versions of things like graphic cads). This means that you will need slightly different drivers (and your comment of a non-apple webcam tells me its a MacBook you installed Linux on). And while many (though not all) pc hardware vendors release Linux drivers, Apple on that other hand doesn't which makes it that much more harder.

Re:Harware issue? Welcome to Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31826600)

If you have never had a hardware issue when installing Linux on a machine you must be very lucky.

And yet, I never win the lottery.

Simple Answer really. (1)

MrShaggy (683273) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825248)

"If this hardware geek spends days solving a CPU-meets-Windows 7 problem, what chance do mere mortals have?"

Simple really. WE ARE SPARTANS!

400 installs w/o a problem (1)

Bryan-10021 (223345) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825294)

I probably installed Windows 7 over 200 times [..]. Since then, I’ve installed the OS at least another 200 times [...]Until a couple of weeks ago, I never encountered a single problem that stopped me from installing Windows 7 itself.

400 installs w/o a problem and then a problem that has nothing to do with Windows 7. Now read the summary of the article, 'If this hardware geek spends days solving a CPU-meets-Windows 7 problem, what chance do mere mortals have?'

Really? That summary blurb is what you got from the article.

Gotta love /. people.

'Mere Mortals' use OEM (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825304)

And those work because they have the drivers built in without the need to swap hardware or anything.

Summary. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31825416)

Man installs Windows 400 times on 30 different processors without a hitch. On the 401st time, it fails when trying to install on a machine with an old engineering sample CPU. What on Earth is a mortal to do?

Re:Summary. (3, Funny)

socceroos (1374367) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825470)

I think it was the 404th time actually.

Summary: successful install on new system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31825438)

So, after swapping out every component of his PC for a new one, the installation was successful. Did he not notice that it was no longer his old PC? That it was a now new PC in the old case?

This is not unlike the story of the guy with an axe that he claimed used to belong to Abraham Lincoln. The handle had been replaced three times and the head replaced twice, but it was still Abe's old axe.

Hardly worthy of slashdot (0, Troll)

zorog (856212) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825472)

Ultimately this is in Microsofts best interestes to ensure people can install Windows SHINYNEW(tm). There scattered offerings are the cause of this problem, they should offer one OS install disk with maybe a few kernels. Disclaimer I've never installed windows 7, its on mums cheap laptop and works fine for her much improved on previous offerings and for once MS makes XP look like the dated and cumbersome giant it is.

Re:Hardly worthy of slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31825658)

WTF?? This has nothing to do with MS's scattered offerings, This article is about faulty Engineering sample hardware that was not performing to spec and hence causing the OS to crash and be generally unstable. Whether MS had one 64 bit version or 343535345 versions is completely irrelevant.

bass-ackwards (1)

spywhere (824072) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825552)

He had a running PC, but he couldn't figure out how to install a different OS on it (using the barely-supported bootable flash drive method)... so he threw parts at it until it worked, essentially installing Windows on a completely different PC than the one he started with.
I fix computers for a living, and I often reinstall Windows for my customers... the difference is that if I fail, I don't get paid.

He should have tried installing Windows from the DVD, or from the hard drive (using WIndows PE to kick off the installation).
I am unimpressed. I award him no points, and may Dog have mercy on his credit card bills.

Re:bass-ackwards (1)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 4 years ago | (#31826098)

The flash drive method is very much supported and works great in my experience. I do about 10 installs a week and I use a USB flash drive for all of them. I have yet to run into a single instance where installing from flash hasn't worked. Its not only faster, its a heck of a lot quieter too.

When I return the machine to the customer their Windows disc is all nice and intact and I never had to touch it.

This happened to me in a production CPU. (3, Interesting)

UnifiedTechs (100743) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825554)

Actually I had the exact same problem a few months ago upgrading a Dell server from Win2003 x86 to Win2008 x64, I suspected the CPU from the beginning, but I spent a few hours before the Dell Tech agreed with me. They sent a replacement and it worked like a champ.

This proves it has happened to a production Intel Core2Duo CPU at least once, I can't believe I was the only one.

Quite useful infact (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31825582)

I found this very useful. I have been having the exact same problem, Asus Mobo w/ AI Tweaker enabled. Swapped out some parts, came to the conclusion it must be the mobo and decided to install ubuntu instead.

In all fairness (1, Troll)

tpstigers (1075021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825610)

Not all Windows 7 installs are painless. When I installed mine, I found out the hard way just how dependent a Win7 installation is on a network connection. My network connection wasn't supported so the install failed miserably (seriously - I haven't seen a desktop like that since Windows 95). I eventually worked my way around it by installing a wireless card and connecting through it. Great fun.

Re:In all fairness (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31826538)

windows 7 is not dependent on a network connection at all. I do standalone installs all the time.

So, a 0.5% faillure rate.... (3, Insightful)

rueger (210566) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825620)

The guy does 400+ successful installs, then runs into a decidedly obscure hardware problem, and people flame him? And Windows 7?

Yee Gods. Get a life folks. I read this as a success story, both for the author and for Microsoft.

Re:So, a 0.5% faillure rate.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31826062)

obscure? he was running an engineering sample of a CPU.

That being said, it scares me to think someone who does benchmarks for Toms Hardware switched the case before the CPU...

Lost weekend (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31825650)

may help you troubleshoot a problem of your own, and save you from a Lost Weekend

I thought people really liked that show. What's wrong with watching the episodes on friday night, saturday, and sunday?

It's interesting... (4, Insightful)

The Spoonman (634311) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825710)

Nowhere in the original article did I get the sense that the author was blaming Windows for his issues. In fact, he starts out by stating that he's installed Windows 7 hundreds of times without a single incident, but this was a "problem PC". So, how did this turn into an anti-Windows rant? Oh, right, it's Slashdot...

who's written over 100 books

Michael Behe's written dozens of books trying to debunk evolution. It does not make him an expert in evolution. He installs Windows, copies down what he sees on the screen and writes it down. That does NOT translate into "he knows what he's doing". I'm not saying he's not an expert, just that it's not a valid qualification.

If this hardware geek spends days solving a CPU-meets-Windows 7 problem, what chance do mere mortals have?"

They wouldn't be installing an OS. Very few non-geeks do so. They buy a computer from a vendor like Dell, it comes with an OS. When it's time to upgrade, they buy a new PC and give the old one to their kids or grandparents. They also, as has been stated numerous times in the comments, wouldn't be installing on machines that had an engineering sample for a CPU. Actually, this debunks the claim that because he's written books, he's an expert. He knew he had a machine with an unsupported processor in it and still replaced everything in the machine first. Um....duh!

All I have to say is . . . . (1)

bogidu (300637) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825756)

60 to 90 minutes to replace a motherboard?

Ed Tittel... (1)

actionbastard (1206160) | more than 4 years ago | (#31825860)

The Gregory House M.D. of OS installation.

Re:Ed Tittel... (1)

HBI (604924) | more than 4 years ago | (#31826426)

You have to admit, it wasn't lupus...

Has his geek card been taken yet? (1)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 4 years ago | (#31826000)

Standard approach for solving installation issues:

  • Check installation media.
  • Check cables.
  • Remove components; add one at a time.
  • Swap memory/move to empty bays.
  • Change RAM completely. (Or test it with MemTest86+ et al, i.e. the REALLY FUCKING LONG way)
  • Change hard disk (or test it with manufacturer-provided tools et al)
  • Test with different CPU, if available
  • THEN test motherboard.
  • Replace power supply.
  • At this point, it's a complicated problem.

This isn't even geeky; it's rote procedure for anyone that's been in the tech support business long enough to see enough weird crap happen. Glad he learned, though; you need to start somewhere!

For those that didn't read the article, he apparently fiddled with BIOS settings and replaced the mobo before even looking at the components.

(Obligatory nostalgic moment: I remember when Windows was much younger and error messages were oh-so-much crueler. Those were the times. Then again, blue screens nowadays are still pretty cruel, though way more informative. [STOP codes, memdumps, and even culprit FILES sometimes are great] Remember the completely useless VxD blue screen errors from W9x?)

new lesson; any trouble, just start shooting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31826042)

that's how the corepirate nazis do it. just fire randomly/blindly into the 'audience', then demand applause. anything to keep your eye off the 'ball'.

as bs is not usually a fatally effective weapon, there's lots of repeat (daily) performances.

Buggy CPU, clueless dude (1)

Hells Ranger (305981) | more than 4 years ago | (#31826092)

I did read the article. The buggy part he found after swapping everything is the CPU... An engineering sample. The kind of part that should be the first on the potentially defective part.

Most component called engineering sample are called that for a reason. Usually it really mean : Wow I can't believe it kinda work!

If he's supposed to be good debugger, I fear for everyone who need is PC fixed.

My lesson. (4, Interesting)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#31826156)

Just last night I fixed my parents computer in one of those long fixes that turns out to be the most fundamentally trivial things. This is why this is not my main occupation.

Basicly they had a reccently built custom Windows 7 + Ubuntu PC that had begun randomly shutting down, often minutes after it had been powered up.

Ok first thing, any obvious errors or cicumstances? No, it would just randomly power off. Windows event logs showed kernel power events, no specific driver, service or app crashing anywhere. Linux was the same. Not a thermal issue cpu + gpu temps nominal and stress test din't immediatley cause a crash.

Suspecting a power or a motherboard issue, first checked and re-seated things internally. It still occured.

Removed extraneous cards, connectors and drives. No result. It would even happen sitting in BIOS setup. Have ruled out a number of problems.

Checked for electrical shorts, poor voltage etc.

Dying power supply? Overloading or shorting? Nope, all voltages nominal, and it was brand new.

I was about to try a spare power supply and a thought occured to me..

It's almost as if the reset switch was being hit, but it wasn't even close to being knocked at any point and the switch otherwise worked fine. Then I knocked the case and the system reset. Yep, the reset switch was faulty, jolting it even slightly would reset. Who needs a reset switch since Vista anyway? Unplugged it from mainboard. Solved.

I decided not to even joke about charging my Dad for two hours of my time.

Chances are if he paid someone to do it they wouldn't necessarily have found the fault that quickly, and he'd be hundreds of dollars out of pocket.

The lesson in troubleshooting? Um... I'm not sure.

Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31826302)

...

Chaos Manor? (4, Insightful)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 4 years ago | (#31826360)

How many people had the same impression I had: "Why, this sounds exactly like one of the 'Chaos Manor' columns Jerry Pournelle used to write in BYTE!"

All it needs is a few of Jerry Pournelle's favorite stock phrases. "The disk trundled for a while..." "I tried swapping out the hard disk, but no joy..." "I called up Bill Godbout..."

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