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Windows XP Bluescreen - session_3_initialization_failed

rodneyws (IS/IT--Management)
7 Jun 05 9:13
Here's the setup:

Motherboard: Asus P5ND2-SLI (BIOS dated 5/27/05)
CPU: P4 3.0 (Socket 775)
Video Card: Single PCIe GeForce 6600GT
RAM: 2 X 512 MB DDR2-533
HD: IDE Seagate 60 GB

The PC boots fine with a Windows 98 boot disk. It can boot from a CD and can read/write to the IDE hard drive. This makes me think all of the hardware is functional. In order to simplify troubleshooting, all non-essential devices (onboard sound, onboard LAN, SATA, game ports, etc) were disabled.

So here's the problem... when attempting to install (clean) Windows XP, the installation consistently fails at the same point. During the text-based portion of the install when Windows is about to start (the screen immediately before the one that allows you to partition your drives) it fails with the following error:

session_3_initialization_failed
stop: 0X0000006F 0XC0000020

I have turned the internet upside-down and found numerous references to this message, but none really seemed to apply to my situation. Some said try a new CD (did that) and others said the harddrive is defective (it isn't)

Any help or sugguestions would be greatly appreciated.

Rodney Smith

SimonDavies (MIS)
7 Jun 05 9:44
As a matter of interest how large are you partitioning your system partition? One thing to try is to format it using the 98 disk and try installing it then. Failing that have you run any disk utils to see if that's really ok?
rodneyws (IS/IT--Management)
7 Jun 05 9:57
The Win98 boot disk I was using did not have format so I booted from the Asus motherboard CD into something called "FreeDOS" and it only allowed me to create a single 2.1 GB FAT16 partition. I had no intentions of keeping this partition around... I just wanted to get into the portion of setup that let me choose my file system and partition sizes.

You've got me to thinking and the first thing I intend to do is use a Win98 CD to boot from and format the drive as a single, 60 GB, FAT32 drive. Although I think this may be on the right track, it doesn't explain why the Windows XP installation failed initially. This particular PC had its motherboard/CPU/RAM/video card upgraded and had a previous XP installation on it during the first attempt to reinstall Windows XP... that too failed.

Some articles I've read have sugguested the problem is with the Win XP installer. Several people report installing Win2K successfully and then simply upgrading to XP... thus avoiding the clumsy XP installer.

Honestly, I'm still confused why it doesn't work, but at this point I'm willing to try anything. Thanks for your quick response.

Rodney Smith
SimonDavies (MIS)
7 Jun 05 10:37
I would look at downloading one of these to have handy, I use something similar and find it really useful.

http://ubcd.sourceforge.net/

or

http://www.ubcd4win.com/
linney (TechnicalUser)
8 Jun 05 1:36
This one mentions a faulty video card?

http://groups-beta.google.com/groups?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=GGLD,GGLD:2004-50,GGLD:en&q=session_3_initialization_failed

Have you checked the RAM?

http://www.memtest86.com/
http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag.asp

XP is a lot more fussy than 98.

Is there any Bios virus scanning running?

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