View Full Version : Problem installing XP on Roboard

04-04-2009, 01:00 PM
I recently got my very own roboard from trossen and have sat down to start installing Windows Xp on the fellow. Unfortunatly, every time I go through the Windows installation, i get the following error message :


I find this most distressing and have treid multiple micro SD cards with multiple formats on them but to no avail since the problem persists (exact same error message).

Can anyone give me some feedback as to how to fix the problem or is my Roboard a dud?

04-04-2009, 01:02 PM
Ugh, the blue screen of death image i tried to link seems not to have uploaded properly; allow me to provide a new link


04-04-2009, 01:26 PM
Well, BSODs can happen for plenty of reasons, I doubt the Roboard is a dud, they're tested fairly well before being sent out.

You might actually try a different windows XP disc, also: what USB floppy and CD-ROM are you using?

At what point during the windows installation do you encounter this error? That will help in trying to pin down what would be causing it.

04-04-2009, 01:34 PM
You're not taking an already installed drive and moving it over, are you? That message generally means you have an inaccessible boot controller.


04-04-2009, 01:45 PM
Yeah, I believe there are instructions on setting up XP on it... but one major thing is that you need a USB floppy with the SD card IDE driver on it, and you need to load that up by pressing F6 at the very start of the Windows install.

These boards certainly aren't a plug-n-play system, so expect some hurdles if you're not familiar with embedded computer systems.

04-04-2009, 01:52 PM
The error occurs at the stage of the installation where the loading programs states it is "Starting up windows" which it does shortly after selecting the floppy drive for loading the OEM files.

The DVD rom player I am using is a HP DVD 940 and the floppy drive is a Imation D353FUE (which I checked is recognized by the windows installer).

04-04-2009, 02:04 PM
I do have the the floppy with the SD IDE on it and have been hitting f6 to select it; The whole thing crashes not long after the floppy SCSI Drvers are loaded but the installation definately is clearing the floppy hurdle.

04-04-2009, 02:25 PM
And I assume you set the BIOS up per the instructions here, previous to installation? http://www.roboard.com/Files/RB-100/Install_%20XP_RB-100.pdf

You are not getting to the point where you agree to the License Agreement and format your SD card, correct?

04-04-2009, 03:01 PM
Yes that is exactly correct; I get past the bios settings and fail just before the formating and license agreement steps.

04-04-2009, 10:59 PM
I'm going to go through a reinstall on my own to test things out.

So far, I'd speculate that it's some issue your windows install is having with the SD card IDE driver. Try another build of windows if you have one, or even a copy of the same CD. Also try a new floppy disk with a fresh set of drivers. Definitely sounds like a software issue rather than a hardware issue though.

04-05-2009, 11:04 AM
Well thats reassuring, thanks Tyberius. I am going to try a different set of install disks today, as well as a freind's floppy & dvd drive.

My thoughts at the moment are whether the windows install doesnt like fat32 formatted disks, but we shall see if that fixes the problem.

04-05-2009, 11:45 AM
You might try reformatting the SD card before trying to install windows on it, do it with a SD card reader in windows on another machine, I'd try FAT32 and then NTFS

04-05-2009, 09:10 PM
Well I have tried it with a different set of windows install discs and have come up with the same results so far. Tomorrow I will try a different floppy and disc drive.

04-06-2009, 08:49 PM
Just a thought and I know nothing about this board.

But, I was thinking if you have an old windows xp install cd, this might help. If you have a windows xp cd, you can actually use a utility to create a new install cd with windows xp service pack 2 or 3 already prepared for your install. You can also package your install with additional hdd drivers. I forget the name of one that I've used before. here is one link:


There are many free utilities with a guis to make it easier and speed up the process.

04-07-2009, 11:52 AM
Well I tried multiple versions of the windows installer yesterday (sp1, sp3, hoome, proff, etc). Today, I am going to take the roboard to a freind of mine who fixes PC proffesionally. She thinks that the problem may be fixed by slipstreaming the nessecary SCSI drivers directly into the install disks and thus remove the floppy from the equation. I'll post as to the results later today.

04-07-2009, 02:30 PM
Just to give you an update, I went out and bought another SD card (didnt want to overwrite my current windows xp/linux image) and did a fresh install without a hitch. Loaded the drivers, formatted the SD card as FAT32, and it installed without issue.

I'm really not sure why you're running into this issue at this point. It definitely sounds like your windows install is having issues with the driver. I assume you've tried different floppies and re-downloaded the driver? Also, what size SD card are you using?

04-08-2009, 10:51 AM
Yep I tried different different floppies, and the micro sd cards are 8 gb large.

On the topic of floppies, I would strongly caution other roboard users to run chkdsk.exe on the floppies to see if it has bad sectors. 4 out of 5 floppies seem to have just that problem (yes that is the majority of floppies), but you would never know it since formating marks the sectors bad so that windows can read/write around them. In other words, they seem to operate perfectly fine without ever complaining or currupting data- until you use them for a windows installation. For some reason the windows installer is not as good handling bad sectors as windows is and will crash on them. I ran into just this problem the first time I tried installing the roboard, but it is no longer the problem I am enountering now since my floppy has been thouroughly vetted.

Unfortunately, my freind, the computer specialist, ran a diagnostic boot program yesterday and concluded that the RAM is mostly likely bad on this roboard. At this point, I may need to return the roboard or buy a new one.

04-08-2009, 11:06 AM
I can almost guarantee your problem is the uSD size. I've only tested them using 2gb uSD. Try out a 2gb uSD, they're all of $9-10 at an electronics store. The uSD is intended for the OS only, not data storage. A USB flash drive would be used to store files, etc. I recall similar issues being reported using embedded PCs such as the Gumstix and larger than 2gb flash.

Memtest86 (what I assume she used) probably will fail on something like this due to the architecture being so different from that of a regular PC.

What you are saying about floppies is very true, windows install is extremely sensitive in that regard.

04-08-2009, 03:03 PM
K I will try a 2 gb today, and report back the results.

04-09-2009, 11:42 AM
Well the 2gb uSD didnt work either but I did have some luck ghost windows onto a flash drive and booting from that. The results however are erratic; I keep losing keyboard and mouse support, and windows crashes often (no blue screen, just restarts).

05-23-2009, 09:56 AM
I suspect it is the RAM. Good try on the 2GB thing, that was my thought too but it's been a while since I've installed XP and I don't know how big the OS is on disk.

I worked for Hynix Semiconductor making RAM chips for a few years. I've also been in IT and a systems builder and now a software engineer. Based on the things you've tried and the behavior you experienced with the flash USB OS and previous installs, I'd say it is very likley RAM. Despite the architecture difference MemTest86 would likley still test out fine if the DRAM is ok. Its just that with MemTest86, there's no big mystery about what it's doing. It writes to every memory address then reads it back and checks for errors. If MemTest86 wouldn't work, I'd expect it to not recognize the DRAM from the bootloader.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memtest86%2B (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memtest86%2B)

05-23-2009, 09:58 AM
Tyberius, I like that your Location says:

Location: Trossen Robotics Laboratory

...I wish I had a labratory. Hey, Trossen doesn't sell those too do they?

05-23-2009, 11:08 AM
Tyberius, I like that your Location says:

Location: Trossen Robotics Laboratory

...I wish I had a labratory. Hey, Trossen doesn't sell those too do they?

That's because since I've been at Trossen, our office has turned into one big Lab :D

On the note of your previous post: He ended up getting it to work. The BSOD error he was getting was an 'unmountable boot device'. I think there was an issue with the IDE driver getting corrupted.

06-25-2009, 09:29 AM

I don't believe that it's a corrupted IDE driver.

The 0x7B blue screen during boot/installation is a old issue with the Roboard that I myself at Robosavvy have thoroughly investigated (and produced a fix) and this is what we found:

If you don't use a floppy to perform the install and instead slipstream the IDE drivers into the XP install (manually or using a tool like nLite) you will always get this 0x0000007B blue screen error.

This problem always occurs when using the native Roboard IDE drivers (or the Vortex IDE driver from DMP which I think is the same) in a slipstreammed installation.
(and it ALWAYS occur if you are using a standard windows xp installation cd without any slipstreamed IDE drivers and DON'T use a floppy drive)

Technically this occurs because the necessary IDE driver for the SD card is not loaded by the windows loader before the kernel.
Because the IDE driver is not in memory when the kernel loads, you get this BSOD.

I have produced a modified version of the IDE driver for windows that fixes this behaviour and will work with Slipstreammed installations, including nLite.

If you use nLite to prepare a slipstreammed installation CD you don't need to use a floppy drive during the installation.

Full instructions on how to produce a slipstreammed CD and also the link for the modified IDE driver by Robosavvy is available on the Roboard forum at Robosavvy, here http://robosavvy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=20432#20432

I believe it will fix 99.9% of the Windows XP installation issues we've seen.

Best Regards
Robosavvy UK

06-25-2009, 10:11 AM
Thank you very much Pedro, that is extremely helpful!

+ Rep!