Vista 32 bit install fails from factory DVD to new SSD

Discussion in 'Installation & Compatibility' started by jffairman, Sep 7, 2017.

  1. jffairman


    Sep 7, 2017
    Likes Received:
    I have had several hours of failed attempts to install Vista on a Dell Inspiron 531 ( 2009 vintage ) which up until last week has been running Vista Ultimate 32 bit on a 320GB drive shipped with the system at time of purchase. The 320GB HD drive was identified as showing lots of disk errors in the Windows dignostics. "Normal" boot attempts yielded a black screen with blinking white cursor, but I could boot into safe mode fine. Chkdsk did not solve the problems. I was unable to use system restore as all previous restore points were gone. Since the 320GB disk is "old" I figured it's time for a replacement. I have recovered all needed files from the HD and am attempting to replace it with a 250GB WDC SSD.

    Context: I have a second drive ( 2TB ) which I installed in the machine some time after purchase which is where I keep photos for use with Adobe Lightroom, and videos for use with Pinnacle. I want to continue having this machine available for use with Lightroom and Pinnacle ( video editing ) software, and the I/O card ( shipped with Pinnacle software ) which allows RCA connection input from a Hi8 video camera. I've disconnected the 2TB with the intent to reconnect it only when I've got Vista running successfully again.

    What follows is the saga of my first day tackling this OS install. What suggestions do the good folks in this forum have for me? What additional information would be helpful for me to provide?

    I attempted to install vista ultimate 32 bit onto the WDC blue 250GB SSD device yesterday. So far I’ve not been successful, and so have some questions which I hope to get answered toward eventual success.

    1) When I installed the SSD to SATA0 ( just as the original 320GB drive had been ) and first started the PC, the F2 setup did not show any device attached at SATA0. The only device shown was the DVD drive. Is this expected? I did no formatting or any other kind of initialization of the SSD prior to this point.

    2) How should the boot sequence be set when doing this OS install? What about when there is no HD recognized? On my first two attempts to install the OS, the boot sequence was set only to DVD. The HD was not configured as a second boot source.

    2) On first attempt to install Vista from the factory DVD, booting from the DVD drive, I was asked to select the drive to install windows to. The install prompt showed me a generic HD as an option. I attempted to explore options to install drivers. This got me stuck in a sequence of choices I could not back out of. I did not think to put the Dell drivers disk into the DVD drive to try having the system search from this drive. I have received guidance that the SSD should not need a "special" driver, but I am not convinced. In general, should I expect to be required to install a driver as part of the OS install on a new HD/SSD? If so, should the standard drivers packaged with the machine in 2009 work, or is there someplace I can get a needed driver from the WDC site?

    3) After finding myself stuck in prompts requesting a source for a driver, I powered off the machine and restarted the install. On this attempt, when prompted to choose the disk for OS install I simply selected the HD ( there is only the SSD installed in the machine ) and selected “next” without attempting to specify a driver. The install seemed to proceed as expected: asking to agree to licensing terms, asking to confirm a custom vs upgrade install, copying windows files, expanding files, installing features, installing updates ( the system was not connected to the internet ) where it seemed to hang for a while. I plugged in the ethernet and shortly thereafter it got passed this step. Then it really hung at “Completing Installation”. I left the machine sitting for a couple of hours and when I returned the message showed that it had failed to reboot and that the installation was cancelled and none of the install changes would be saved. This computer was functional last week, so I am focusing my troubleshooting on the new components ( eg SSD and boot priority settings ).

    This is my first ( ever ) attempt at installing an OS, so ask myself .. what is the likelihood that not showing the HD as a secondary boot source caused this reboot failure during the install process?

    What other ideas does the community have about why the machine would have failed to reboot during this final (?) phase of the OS install?

    4) After these two unsuccessful attempts, I powered off and restarted and changed the setup ( f2 ) to include a HD as a second priority boot source. The SSD was still not shown as a recognized device in the setup screen. On this third and ALL subsequent attempts the computer runs the BIOS and seems to be starting the boot from DVD, but fails to get past the Microsoft Corporation ( logo screen ) with the green/black horizontal progress bar, after showing “loading windows files” ( black and white screen ). I have attempted the install both with setup including HD as a secondary boot source, and not including a second boot source ( as configured in the first two attempts ). No setup config allows me to make the same progress with the install as I made on my first two attempts.

    Is there a change to the system ( or SSD ) which would have occurred during the nearly successful install which may now be preventing a subsequent reattempt? Is there something about the state of the SSD after a failed install attempt such that it is no longer going to be recognized/allowed as a valid target for OS installation? ( eg. It’s not really blank anymore, it needs to be reformatted, etc )

    Thank you in advance for your thoughtful guidance!
    jffairman, Sep 7, 2017
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