Windows Vista: You didn't actually want to INSTALL me, did you?

Windows Vista hates me. I've been wasting my time trying to get Vista beta 2 installed. I know, I know - "beta 2? That was released months ago!" But I've simply been too busy to install it even though I downloaded it when Microsoft opened up the Consumer Preview Program.

My first attempt at installing Vista was on a brand new hard drive. No partitions on it, no nothing. I booted the DVD I had burned the ISO to, and was greeted with a screen that looked like this:

Over and over and over and over again. The progress bar would complete, and the system would reboot, boot from the DVD, and go through the progress bar again. And again. And again. Ad nauseam.

I suspected a bad burn so I burned another disc. Same result. I ultimately tried 7 discs (DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW) using 3 different software packages and 3 different burners (no rhyme or reason to my selection process). Always had the same result.

I googled a bit and discovered that I wasn't the only one with the problem where "Windows is loading files..." would display on the screen with a progress bar and setup would reboot after the progress bar completed... and the problems were most often related to a bad burn or a a bad download. Sigh.

After making 2 backups, I tried upgrading XP Pro to beta 2, using one of the same discs. Setup begain, and I was prompted for some information. When the file copy process began, I left to go do some other things. Coming back to the system, I was greeted with an error:

An error occurred while copying setup files onto your local machine. Error code is 0x80070241.
I obtained access to another Vista beta 2 ISO image, burned it, and tried installing Vista. This time, the "Windows is loading files" screen looked a bit different - the font was different and there was a flashing white cursor at the end of the line with the progress bar:

I thought that was a bit strange. Once the progress bar completed, I was presented with an error message:
File: \windows\system32\winload.exe
Status: 0xc0000001
Info: The selected entry could not be loaded because the application is missing or corrupt

Once again, I tried buring with different media types, using different software and different hardware. Same results each time.

I was trying to avoid using a VM to run Vista because I actually wanted to get some real-world, day-to-day experience with it. But at this point I broke out VMware and mounted the ISO. The virtual machine did the same thing as the "real" machine - the same error messages and problems with the ISO images.

Looks like I'll have to wait until RC1 is released (hopefully sometime in early September) before I get a chance to install Vista...


Shahn Hogan said...

Hi, When you burnt the DVD did you use the lowest speed that your burner will go? I've seen some people have "wierd" issues installing unless they used a DVD burn at 2x or 1x. Try that and see if it helps.

«/\/\Ø|ö±ò\/»®© said...

Hi Shahn,

Thanks for the suggestion. I know I never burned faster than 4x, and I'm quite certain 2 of the later burns were at 1x. I may try it again in the coming days (love the sound of discs grinding in my shredder anyway), but with RC1 as close as it is I'm somewhat loathe to spend any more time with beta 2. That said, there is a part of me that refuses to let this go...

«/\/\Ø|ö±ò\/»®© said...

Blech. Too early to be thinking clearly. The installation process behaved the same when I mounted either Vista beta 2 ISO in a VMware Virtual Machine, as when I tried installing on the physical machine. GIGO applies here, I think - the ISO is bad so burning DVDs from it wouldn't be very productive. I just used the virtual CD control panel to mount the ISO as a drive, and things don't look good. Some of the files appear to be OK, but the content is null bytes - for example, \Sources\W32uires.dll is 197,120 null bytes. Same story with upgrade_bulk.xml - 84,977 null bytes.

«/\/\Ø|ö±ò\/»®© said...

Just tried booting a VMware 5.5.2 VM with one of the ISOs. It now displays a message after the "Windows is loading files..." progress bar completes: *** Virtual machine kernel stack fault (hardware reset) ***
The virtual machine just suffered a stack fault in kernel mode. On a real computer, this would amount to a reset of the processor. It can be caused by an incorrect configuration of the virtual machine, a bug in the operating system, or a problem in the VMware Workstation software. Press OK to reboot virtual machine or Cancel to shut it down.

Anonymous said...

vista beta sucks ...

Harry said...

Hi, Harry here. Tried loading Vista Beta 1 on a clean drive. Loaded up ok the first time. Lotsa freezing going on though. Couldn't get on the internet for the updates. Recieved my Vista Beta 2 from Microsoft, wnated to load a clean install. Upon trying to remove Vista one, it crashed. Tried everything. I to am now getting the same 0xc0000001 error. Can't fdisk. Cannot reformat. Hell my drives dead. Any way to remove and clean up the hard drive?


«/\/\Ø|ö±ò\/»®© said...

Hi Harry,

Can you attach the drive to a "functioning" XP / 2000 system via direct IDE / SATA connection, USB enclosure, or IDE / SATA to USB 2.0 Adapter (http://www.dealsonic.com/bybtusb20toi.html, for example), and then partition / format the drive using Disk Management?