So, yeah – I spent maybe 7 hours yesterday trying to install Windows 7 Ultimate (retail version). This, after spending the last two days before that trying to debug and hopefully fix my previous installation of Windows 7 (trial version of release candidate), to no avail.
It happened late on Sunday just as I was about to go to bed; suddenly, completely out of the blue, I was hit with a blue-screen which then started dumping physical memory to disk, before it promptly restarted my computer. During the reboot, and during all subsequent reboots, the computer would reach a certain point in the startup of Windows where it would simply throw its bits and bytes in the air, give up, and reboot. In other words, a never-ending cycle of reboots.
Disconnected everything, reconnected only the essentials. Still rebooted. Tried various repair-tools, both rescue discs from Microsoft and third-party ones. Still rebooted. Tried with selective RAM-chips. Still rebooted. Eventually I started up the computer again using an older hard-drive with Vista installed, and ran every disk-checking and anti-virus/malware tool known to mankind on the crashed drive (an Intel X-25M SSD), every test confirming that the disk was in tip-top shape and clean of any infections. In short, I couldn’t find any faults with the drive itself, nor with the windows installation.
So I backed up whatever files I needed without any trouble, then bought a full-version of Windows 7 Ultimate (no point in re-installing trial which runs out in… March?), downloaded it and started re-installing the OS from scratch. At which point I ran into yet another issue…
Just as the installation-process reached the “Completing installation”-part, it would freeze and never move on to finalizing the setup. Tried numerous tricks and tweaks and changes and prayers that random people on the Net swore had fixed the issue for them, but without luck – until I switched the monitor from my 24″ wide-screen display to an older 19″ screen, connected using a VGA-adapter (GFX card only has DVI-support), as well as switched out the old wireless keyboard I’d had for years with a wired one. – at which point the OS finally installed without giving me any more trouble.
Today will be a “re-install everything” day for me, and I guess I’ll also take this opportunity to thoroughly clean out the computer for dust and enforce some order to the internal cable-mess. Then I’ll tweak this Windows-installation to new heights and widths and breadths performance-wise using Age of Conan as a benchmarking tool!