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Bitter

So for the first time in many many years I experienced a hardware failure! well technically my GF did, her DVD burner stopped working. would not read any discs. so that was diagnosed and is being replaced, then she mentioned there were linux issues, so i installed the latest ubuntu (8.1) and that was all good and gravy.....then! the windows boot.ini was broken! oh noes! so i had to determine wtf happened there and thankgoodess for the dualboot, i was able to boot to linux and discern that for some reason windows had placed extra copies of its boot files on the spare storage drive (old PATA 80GB). why it did this? i don't know. so i formatted that to fat32 so it would share nicely with linux for extra storage between the 2 OS's and then set about to fix the boot.ini, it was just pointing at the wrong drive was all.

any fun computing adventures you'd like to share? i'm currently trying to figure out if i should give her one of my spare 7800GTX's i have laying around (will her psu be able to power it? who knows) and devise a way to keep her system from clogging with dust. in less than a year in her room the heatsink was nearly choked and the vid card was about to die from lack of airflow. it was like dust bunny city!

This thread has turned into one about my latest PC build!

Not seeking any help as its already built and running, though input is always welcome.

Lets start with the heart, the PSU.

Newegg.com - OCZ StealthXStream OCZ600SXS 600W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Power Supplies

its a PSU, it does what its supposed to and isn't gaudy. It's quiet and seems to have enough juice for my rig.

Now onto the Case

Newegg.com - Rosewill R604-P SL 120mm Fan ATX Mid Tower Computer Case,with mesh air filters,adjustable vents & Tool-Free kits - Computer Cases

I like it for the most part. the tool-less works very well. The flip-out 5.25" bay covers work and are 'neat', no blinking DVDROM lights and it keeps a little of the noise of the drive in the case. I like the finish of the case, its looks nice, like with the other Rosewill case I am very happy overall. One thing I do not like is that there is NO room between the HDD cage and front fan position, this results in little airflow past the drives and more noise.

The CPU

Newegg.com - Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Processors - Desktops

Good value! under $100 and it performs well, runs very cool, has enough balls to do most HTPC operations and play games. I hear it overclocks very well, I have not messed with that much as I'm using the Intel heatsink and fan and thermal pad.

The Board

Newegg.com - ASUS P5QL-CM LGA 775 Intel G43 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards

LOTS of bells and whistles! Expressgate is cool I guess...but I have not used it once, I have my SATA drive in ACHI mode which Expressgate is NOT compatible with, the drive needs to be set to IDE mode. There are ways to install Expressgate (slashtop) to a USB drive, but I don't really care enough to mess with it. The board has onboard DVI and VGA AND a Displayport. The onboard DVI is pretty nice if you're tossing together a cheap home office PC or PC for someone who has an LCD but does not game. Par for the course, onboard video is very weak but 110% adequate for desktop tasks. The onboard sound is good, but if you want SPDIF you need to purchase that separately.

The RAM

Newegg.com - CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory

Not the EXACT same ram, mine is C5 version. It runs cold at 1.8 volts and is auto configured, it does what it needs to do fine. Not even running it at 1066 speed so I can't really tell you if its any good.

The Video Card

Newegg.com - SPARKLE SFPX94GT1024U2 GeForce 9400 GT 1GB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards

I got this for $35 with free shipping on sale from Newegg as one of their daily specials. Good card for that price. with the above PC with NO overclocking I got 3329 in 3DMark06. With the above card at 675/475 I get 3956 with no artifacting. IMO for what I paid its a great video card. I have a 120mm case fan blowing in through the side of the case panel onto the board and northbridge and the card as well, temps are 40c ish at idle and under 60c at full load in a 73F room.

The Hard Drive

Just a 400GB thats nothing special that I moved from another machine.

The DVD Burner

Same as the HDD, moved from another machjine, nothing special.

Bikeman982

So for the first time in many many years I experienced a hardware failure! well technically my GF did, her DVD burner stopped working. would not read any discs. so that was diagnosed and is being replaced, then she mentioned there were linux issues, so i installed the latest ubuntu (8.1) and that was all good and gravy.....then! the windows boot.ini was broken! oh noes! so i had to determine wtf happened there and thankgoodess for the dualboot, i was able to boot to linux and discern that for some reason windows had placed extra copies of its boot files on the spare storage drive (old PATA 80GB). why it did this? i don't know. so i formatted that to fat32 so it would share nicely with linux for extra storage between the 2 OS's and then set about to fix the boot.ini, it was just pointing at the wrong drive was all.

 

any fun computing adventures you'd like to share? i'm currently trying to figure out if i should give her one of my spare 7800GTX's i have laying around (will her psu be able to power it? who knows) and devise a way to keep her system from clogging with dust. in less than a year in her room the heatsink was nearly choked and the vid card was about to die from lack of airflow. it was like dust bunny city!

OK - My computer is now messed up.

 

I wanted to get some lyrics for a song and it asked me if I wanted to download a music program - I said yes.

Now whenever I close a window - it locks up. Also some windows won't open any more.

I can minimize the windows and no problem.

I can also use the control/alt/delete and close internext explorer, which closes all the windows, then I have to open the ones I want again.

Any idea on how I fix this??

Bitter

a few options....

1. use firefox from now on, its a little more secure than IE

2. try using AVG free anti-virus, its pretty darn good and its free

3. migrate yourself to linux and use that for internet browsing, its virus proof/malware/spyware proof. if you just browse internet and type documents then it'll do that just fine. if you need programs that are specific to MS windows then don't use it. Ubuntu is a good distribution and is very very easy to use. you can install it without changing anything on your computer to try it out.

Bikeman982

I tried downloading the free anti-virus and it kept locking up on me.

It detected 138 bad files and then went to a site that required a fee.

I think the "free" part is just to get me to the "pay" point.

TRCar54

Try to uninstall the music program by going to START / Settings / Control Panel / Add or Remove Programs....might be a slightly different sequence depending on your OS.

Reboot after uninstall.

I also found a great free disk cleaning product.... http://www.ccleaner.com/

Jay in MA

Bitter

I tried downloading the free anti-virus and it kept locking up on me.It detected 138 bad files and then went to a site that required a fee.

 

I think the "free" part is just to get me to the "pay" point.

http://free.avg.com/download?prd=afe click the dark blue area, install that.

 

 

TRCar54

I use the AVG Free and it works great.

Had some bad expereinces with Norton and McAfee. Although I just read that Norton is very good now it bogged the system down really bad when I had it installed. Both McAfee and Norton were a bear to remove.

Has anybody installed CCleaner yet? Made a big difference in performance on my system.

I tried downloading the free anti-virus and it kept locking up on me.It detected 138 bad files and then went to a site that required a fee.

 

I think the "free" part is just to get me to the "pay" point.

http://free.avg.com/download?prd=afe click the dark blue area, install that.

 

Bitter

yes, i've used CCleaner, it is good if you know what you're doing. jv16pt is also good as well as jkdefrag.

Larry Roll

Re: Windows -- Once your system is infected with any sort of virus, spyware, or malware, about the only reliable way to cure the problem is to reformat the hard drive and re-install Windows. There is literally no way to surgically repair a virus infected hard drive. Do the re-install. You do have a Windows installation CD, I hope.

Re: Linux -- I went to Ubuntu in 2006, now running the latest version, which I believe is 8.4. It is fabulous. Never had any virus, spyware, or malware issues with it. I also got a 20" iMac in '07, and it has been my main computer. It is also almost totally immune to the viruses and other garbage which plague Windows. In fact, I consider Windows to be largely useless for home users just for that reason. Only thing about Linux is that it's sort of difficult to find printer drivers for it, but there's a lot of help out there on the linux forums. Always check there for driver availability before you purchase a printer.

I got a bunch for you.

Got a good mix flavors of O/S on my home machines. Windows 2000, Windows XP (32 and 64bit), Windows Vista (32 and 64bit), Mac OS 9 (the Mac is too slow/old to run OS X), Solarios 10 (unix), and two linux flavors now - CentOS 5 (64bit) and Ubuntu 8.10 (32bit). Have two "play" machines, a "work" machine, a backup machine/kid's machine, two laptops, a 4 node cluster (for heavy programming), DVR box and fileserver. I could get away with only two machines fulltime - but since the others are older boxes that I already had, why not.

Mac OS 9 - stable, slow compared to the other machines now - good enough for my kid to play with (he's able to bring the O/S to a halt with a few keyboard presses - pretty funny actually).

Windows 2000 - stable, robust, also not supported anymore - good enough for a Windows file server.

Windows XP - once you get it setup right, stable, fast, also soon to be no longer supported - good everyday O/S and for PC games, Visual Studios and Matlab run great on it, also play with GPU programming.

Windows Vista - came with my newer machine (I hate it) - full of bloatware, setup with crazy pop up stuff, slower than my 7 year old machine. Here is the revelation - repaved it immediately with a clean install of Vista, instantly 10x faster. No popups, no bloat, just a clean OS install (note that I bought a separate copy of Vista - OEM builders version, as the OEM recovery disk just puts everything back to the way ti was).

Solaris 10 - UNIX, tough, stable, non-intuitive, just like I'm back in college with the old VAX machines, also FREE - keep this around for building assembly code, as all my tools on it.

Linux distros - CentOS for work/Rocks cluster, Ubuntu for my kid (just so that he gets used to command line stuff), stable, efficient, FREE - good for the majority of my coding needs that require atleast overnight runs (simulations).

As for virus and trojans - Linux, UNIX, and Mac don't really see too many of them - as they aren't as popular as Windows flavors. Doesn't mean that they are completely virus/trojan free - there are some really nasty ones out there. As soon as they get more popular, you'll see these bugs start coming out more often.

On my Windows boxes - no problems with virus and trojans, as I turn off services that I know are not needed and streamline the O/S install. Install and run tools like AVG, Spybot, HijackThis, Windows Defender, Zonealarm, etc. - disable automatic services/updates. I've got zero issues with my Windows machines. Now factory preinstalled O/S - IMO, every single one = FAIL. So much bloat-ware preinstalled, scheduled pop-ups to renew subscriptions, OEM warranty updates, automatic update installations and virus/malware scanning, etc. This is probably why most people hate Windows. Also have to BACKUP your data, regardless of what O/S. Hardware failures happen and always unexpectly. Clean images of all O/S installed is a must as well. Heaven forbid, if you do get a virus that cannot be cleaned off - you can nuke the drive and rebuild. Back in College, when I taught a physics lab - we had some "enterprising" individuals that compromised some system files to crash their machine. Their excuse, no machine - automatic pass on the lab for the day. My solution was to nuke the drive, reimage clean O/S from a networked copy - from start to finish, only 5 minutes. then I'd take points off for them being a Sierra Alpha (SA - smarta$$).

Not to defend Microsoft - but IMO, if the O/S was installed correctly and sans all this OEM garbage - it would run 10x better in a heatbeat. All my custom boxes, so far - kncok on wood, have been flawless in operation. Three OEM boxes (two HPs and a Dell) - I nearly threw them out the house they were that screwed up. Pre-install games (useless, memory hogs, some are known spyware), pre-antivirus (some are memory hogs), and all the pre-scheduled tags for warranty, advertising, etc. (HUGE vunerablilty here, most jump online and display different ads, that might have been spoofed, etc.). After repaving them (EULA be damned) - working well now.

Bitter

she might be able to snag the DVD drive tomorrow from work (works at UPS) :woot: so i can throw it in and get it back to her before the weekend hits. i'm going to install XBMC on her linux side so i can just plug hers into the TV when its here again and use it as a lil HTPC default_smile

fish, i have a bunch of old old hardware here, i have a put together system thats an Athlon classic 700mhz (yes, slot A!) with a Geforce 3, an old-ish dell (2.6 P4), and some Pentium 2 stuff floating around still, and a P3 866 and its board also floating around, but not housed. I've been meaning to put together another machine to fill the case that the Athlon is in currently, but just havent pulled the trigger on the parts. it'll be another intel dual core machine, as i have the ram, dvd drive, video card, case, but need board, cpu, psu, and some hdd's.

Ah sweet!

Slot A brings back memories. All the trials and late nights in an attempt to get stable overclocks. Unlike the old Intel Celeron 300A - old setup with dual Slot 1 designed for Pentium II CPUs, populated with two "slockets" for the Celerons. Those 300A overclocked to 450MHz easily. Then the ABIT BP6 came out, an overclocker's dream board.

Yeah - I pulled the trigger and got another machine fairly recently. This time was an HP prebuilt with an E2180 (2GHz dual core) - free widescreen monitor, DVD burner, 3GB DDR2 800 (nothing fancy, but good chips), Vista 32 (the nightmare build + every trial software they could get their hands on) = $500, I couldn't turn that down. Was at Wally*World of places. Tossed the E2180 and slapped in a Intel Core2 Duo E6700 (Conroe) from my other machine (custom built with a Q6600 - all parts from Newegg). The E6700 was running at 3.5GHz on air cooling alone - but I haven't figured out how to do it yet on the HP. Might have to do it via software, like some people did with their Dell laptops.

Bitter

you might be able to flash a different bios into that HP's board and unlock some of the adjustments.

my main 'rig' is a little beast of a machine, nothing too impressive but it does enough for me.

E8400 (45nm) 3Ghz at 3.6 air cooled, a nice 1600Mhz FSB which puts my ram right at 1066 with a 5:3 divider

4GB 1066 DDR2

9800GT

2 Raid 0 arrays, one at 600GB and the other at 240GB and a single drive, the usual dvd burner too.

the board is a little older, an Abit IN932X MAX which has all the onboard goodies like dual gigabit. the NVRAID is actually darn nice on the PCI-e bus, having previously ran raid arrays on a PCI bus i was limited by the bus speed and would peak at its maximum. now i'm literally seeing transfers that are 2x the drives speed. its very nice when playing a game and the loading bar just zips right across the screen, or moving files around, uncompressing large files, encoding/decoding, etc.

SWEET! That's a good O/C - nothing stressful or anything. The 45nm process is an overclockers dream - seen some blurbs of people getting their E8400 up to 4.2+ GHz - that's just nuts. I assume this is on stock voltage - that's pretty good. I had to bump the voltage up to 1.425V to get mine stable, runs in the mid 50s in temp © on load.

My "Big" system - mostly number crunching and for play (built last year):

Intel Q6600 (G0 stepping) @ 3.6 (400x9)

AC Freezer 7 Pro CPU cooler

Asus P5K-E Mobo

Mushkin XP2-8500 RAM (2x2), 5-5-5-15 timings (had Corsair XMS sticks (4x1) previously, moved to my kid's machine)

8800GTX 512MB (615 / 1500 / 1050)

2 - WD Raptor 74GB (RAID 0)

Pioneer DVD-RW

Corsair TX650W P/S

Antec Nine Hundred case

2 - SONY 17" 1280x1024 LCDs (5 years and still running - knock on wood) - gave the Dell 30" 2560x1600 LCD to my wife (I couldn't see squat on it - maybe bad eyes).

My "little" HP Wally*World special:

Intel E6700 @ 2.66Ghz (stock for now) - tossed the OEM Intel E2180 (2.0Ghz)

HP Benicia mobo (comes up as ASUS IPIBL-LB, so I might be able to find an appropraite BIOS out there)

HP OEM cooler (AC Freezer 7 Pro will not fit in case)

No Name DDR2-800 RAM sticks (2x1, 2x512) - but decent chips on them

PNY 9800GT 1GB

OEM Seagate SATA drive (500GB)

OEM LG DVD-RW w/Lightscribe

OEM HP case - need to add some extra fans, the 9800GT makes things toasty inside.

Antec Earthwatt 430W P/S - tossed the OEM Bestec 250W P/S

HP 22" widescreen 1600x1050 LCD (came with system, a little "shiny" for my tastes, but an excellent monitor).

Bitter

what'd you do with the E2180? i'd be willing to take it off your hands for a fair price default_smile i'll toss it into my GF's box, shes got a 2140 right now (1.6).

yes, its a decent OC on the E8400, my board is a little older so it won't go higher with stability. a newer board would get me faster but i don't need it right now really. heres the cooler i'm using, its pretty good!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16835233003 well mine is the old version without the backplate, i'm ordering that soon and installing it. those clips are the devil!

i'm thinking of updating to the new version and using my old one to cool the new htpc build since its real quiet.

also her PC case which i've fallen in love with and am ordering another of for another build..

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16811147056 its cheap and VERY high quality. i posted a review of it.

Pros: Great Case, have had one for just over a year now. the CPU duct works PERFECT to allow the stock Intel cooler draw in cooler air from outside of the case while the filter does an adequate job of removing most fur/hair from air entering without reducing airflow. Fan placement throughout the case is well laid out with places to put fans to blow over the hard drive rack. the large and nearly silent rear fan moves enough air through the case, however it would be nice to see a better grill over it, maybe a finer perforation to allow more airflow?

The hard drive bays are great and allow very easy access to the drives, but be ware that a 90 degree SATA cable will make your life alot easier when connecting to drives! A regular straight cable may not bend enough to get past the case side cover.

The tool-less feature is nice, the drives snap into place very firmly and do not move around at all, however its a good idea to secure the optical drive with a - continue below

Cons: Only one real problem thus far, the plastic with the tool-less snap rails for the 3.5" drive have become brittle with heat/time. This may be accelerated as this PC resides in a pretty warm room (80-90F!), however when removing the front case cover to replace a bad DVD burner one of the rails for the 3.5" drive was broken, the bent part that one would squeeze broke at some point and fell out with the removal of the front panel, the other side feels as if its about to break as well. Not an issue really, as the front cover will retain the drive from pulling out, just a note to anyone who keeps cases for a long period of time. I wonder if I could trim a 5.25 metal rail to fit the 3.5" drive?

Other Thoughts: However it is a good idea to secure the optical drive with a screw on either side to prevent vibration when the drive spins up a disc.

Overall this is the best bang-for-the-buck case I've ever bought! I tend to hang onto cases for decades and this one seems like its a survivor for the most part (as long as I don't loose all those tool-less rails!)

Cool deal - thanks for the heads up, I can always use another case. That is a COOLER - looks sort of a Scythe cooler - but with much higher density of find - I like it.

As for the CPU - I might let it go if I don't have any need for it, have to wait and see for a little bit. Might buy a cheap mobo and build another computer for the bedroom (can't have too many computers default_biggrin).

Right now - I'm looking for a new P/S for my old Snap Server. Thing has been bulletproof this whole time (uptime, almost 10 years, minus all the power failures that we had) - finally gave up the ghost. Populated with 4 Quantum Fireball 40GB EIDE drives (RAID 5 + SnapOS, loosely based on the BSD Linux flavor) - a whopping 120GB of storage. Could build a killer NAS box, but this works perfectly when I'm on travel and need to upload/download files.

Bitter

wow, fireballs...that brings back memories. i have a Qauntum Bigfoot drive that still works. 5.25" single platter the size of a CDROM. i think its a whopping 7GB drive. i could kill a man with that thing, its big hunk of metal! let me know if you do want to get rid of that CPU.

and yea, the case is excellent. one of the best cases i've used, right next to me Coolermaster Stacker 810.

http://www.coolermaster.com/products/produ...etail&id=13

its got insane drive space! i have 6 HDD's and an optical and its not even close to crowded. as for PSU i'm using a toughpower 750W unit, its nice. i have some old ATX psu's which are nearing 15yrs old and still work....and theyre the cheapy OEM ones that come with dell's/Gateway/hp/etc.

Bitter

well i just put in a newegg order for a case, psu, and cpu to make another machine here.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16817341010

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16811147059 (almost identical to the other case, which is out of stock)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16819116072

i have on hand the video card, ram, and optical drive. i'll grab a hard drive for it and motherboard next week once i pick what i want.

Bikeman982

My computer is a piece of junk.

It will lock up if I close any window.

I can use the control/alt/delete and then stop running internet explorer and it closes out all open windows.

Then I have to open them again if I want to use them.

I can minimize the windows and it works fine.

It all started when I downloaded a music/lyric file.

Then I tried to delete it and downloaded a virus checker.

Now the virus checker always comes up on start-up and has to be closed out.

I need to do a clean-up on programs/files that don't work.

Bitter

format and reinstall windows, you oughta have a recovery CD that came with the computer or a recovery partition and a keypress at startup will access it.

Bikeman982

format and reinstall windows, you oughta have a recovery CD that came with the computer or a recovery partition and a keypress at startup will access it.

Will that wipe out anything else on the computer??

 

I don't know if I have the installation disc, but if I do, will it un-install and then re-install?

Bitter

yes you'll loose everything and it'll go back to how you had it when you first turned it on. if you don't have the disc theres websites online that sell them for specific computers.

you might be able to backup important photos and documents onto an external drive.

Bikeman982

I have way too many pictures and files to lose.

It is easier to just live with the computer the way it is.

It still works, but not like it should.

Bitter

just get an external drive and back them up, what do you think will happen to them if the hard drive should up and fail? they'd be just as gone you know! always always always backup important things, its like not having home owners insurance!!!!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820227333 $15 after rebate, 16GB's of storage thats stable for decades and nearly failure proof. i doubt you have more that 16GB's worth of pictures/documents you want to save? plug it in, drag and drop it all to the memory stick, re-do the PC, plug the memory stick back in, and drag and drop it all back.

then install avgfree and the avg toolbar and use fire-fox and don't run suspicious programs!

Bitter

darnit, case came broken. contacted rosewill and they'll try to locate and send me out a new front panel. thankfully the fronts are pretty interchangable between their case models so if my one isnt instock i'll let them know that i'll take another one.

https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v335/huz.../DSC04354-1.jpg

https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v335/huz...er/DSC04354.jpg

https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v335/huz...er/DSC04352.jpg

https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v335/huz...er/DSC04364.jpg

just tossed in the OCZ stealthstream 600W unit, its pretty hefty in the hands and smells like new computer. installed the front 120mm to keep the hard drives cool, need to order the rest of the stuff and wait on the front panel now.