Windows 7 Install problems

Dear all,

Firstly, wow you have a wonderful forum here, seems nice, anyway I'll get straight down to my problem.

I have a Windows Vista machine, a custom modified/built machine,

I am not sure if it is a hardware error or compatability error but I can't find anything to say it isn't,

It is a upgraded Dell Dimensions C521, Dual core 64bit 3.5ghz, 4gig of Crucial Ram, upgraded ATI HD4550 GFX card, everything else is pretty standard, generic Dell DVD/CD drive, 600w psu,

thats my pc history, now for the background and the problems.

I lost my Win Vista Disks and needed to reformat so I spent £70 on a copy of Win7, thought why the hell not, looks good and it's been good when I used it,

I pop the disk in, boot up, go to install and select custom install, format the drive I want to install too, install, it installs fine, restarts and goes to the logo screen and gives a message saying updating the registry, the screen go blank and then it restarts again, goes to the loading screen and says "windows is starting" screen goes blank, I can move the cursor but that is it, now if i try it in safe mode it goes but says "windows is starting for the first time" or something like that, then i get an error message about it not being able to be installed in safemode and restarts.

This happens with both a 32bit install and 64bit install

I do not believe I can give much more information but any help would be appreciated. ps I did spend 4 hours on the phone to Microsoft Tech support, installing 64bit OS 4 times and 32bit 3 times before they gave up.

Hi hellfire i took the liberty of moving you thread to the appropriate forum


Honorable Member
I don't believe you will be able to successfully install this way. Your system looks like a new system to the install process since you reformated. I believe you will need to boot from a Vista recovery disk and after the successful boot, insert the new Win 7 upgrade disk and proceed with your clean install from that point.

I'm not an expert at this so perhaps someone eles can comment.

I forgot to mention, there will not likely be any significant performance improvement due to Win 7. The clean install may remove a lot of 'junk' that may be slowing the system.

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Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
What type of video output do you have. Some folks have had problems with HDMI and a TV?

Hi people, sorry for the lateness of getting back.

See the install process I did was what Microsoft Tech support told me to do, over the phone. anwyay I have Vista back installed,

My Video output is a ATI Raidon 4550HD with a DVI, VGA connection and HDMI (not plugged in that often) As I'd lost my Vista Disk Microsft sent me a new one FOC so that is something.


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
I don't really have a good answer for you, but at the black screen, can you hit CTRL+ALT Delete to get to the Task Manager?

Do you have access to another monitor? It would seem the black screen is because something won't let it switch to the correct mode. If you had a cheap video card laying around, that might be good to try. But most problems like, after the install has basically completed are related to video situations.

I also found the FAQ on the ATI website. Maybe going through it will help.

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