My main PC suffered a series of related failures last week – the PSU died, and it took the motherboard with it.
I had to wait until I got paid to get replacement parts, and that turned out to be quite a challenge. My PC was an early dual core – one of the socket 754s. It had four RAM slots, and two PCIe ports (which were used for SLI). It also had three PCI slots (which were used for various cards), and two IDE + several SATA ports.
Finding a similar socket 754 motherboard from a store that offered fast delivery was almost impossible. In fact, the only one I managed to find didn’t have the listed board in stock.
I ended up buying a new motherboard + processor + RAM bundle because it was inexpensive, and the only way I was going to end up with a working PC that could take all my bits. So I’ve upgraded to a quad core and got some faster memory
Of course, this means I had to reinstall Windows 7, which has been an interesting process. The installer ran incredibly slowly the first time I tried it – taking several minutes to bring up the first screen, about half an hour to copy the files, then hanging at 0% on Expanding Windows Files.
I tried restarting the process a few times, and also removing all extra drives, but that didn’t help. Then I saw a post on Technet which offered a simple suggestion – disable the Floppy drive in the bios.
In my case, I hadn’t wired up my floppy yet, but in the bios the “Drive A:” option was set to 3 1/4 Floppy. Setting that to Disabled made the Windows 7 install fly by at the speed you’d expect of a Quad Core.
If you’re encountering similar problems installing Windows 7, try disabling your floppy drive before doing anything fancy or unplugging any of your drives. There’s a good chance it will help.