help a rookie built a PC - please!

JamesHl

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$100 keyboard...? It better be the best keyboard ever.

What kind of case did you get, Lian-Li?

Corsair makes some great memory, I just had to ship back some crucial that would not run at 166 at all, although it claimed it would. I replaced it with the corsair, which runs great at the absolute lowest timings at 166.

I would've gotten xp pro, the remote desktop thing is handy along with a few other things.

Also, make sure your case comes with a psu, cause I didn't see one listed with your stuff.
 

Max Leung

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$2000 US? Holy moly!


You could have gotten a projector for that hehe.
 

Eric_L

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Here is the case I got:
http://www.colorcase.com/nobmircas.html#
(beauty, eh?)
I also got a Vantec Stealth 400w PSU, two Vantec Stealth cooling fans, blue led and the multi-media panel.

Here is the keyboard:
http://www.eluminx.com/default.asp

and I of course got a Black/silver+blue 4-button mouse. http://www.kensington.com/html/1212.html
I couldn't find one that was black/blue only.

I considered XP pro, but was concerned about back-compatibility of some of my older pc programs.. alright! games.

I'm not sure if I'll ever want remote access to my computer. In fact, considering Internet security risks these days and the gaping security holes Microsoft is known for, that though scares me.

I've been thinking about a small LCD monitor, but since I will be gameing on this a fair amount I'll stick with my old CRT for now.

And I've already got a projector.... hehe.
(but don't forget $400 of that was software)

Thanks for sharing in my enthusiasm.
 

LeeHuff

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Having had a Soundblaster Live Platinum and struggled through the insane driver problems I had, I'd take the nforce any day over any soundblaster product.
As would I. But when you're considering the products he was, professional products, like Terratec and MAudio, I would definetely take one of those cards over onboard sound, even the Audigy2.
 

JamesHl

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So what's so great about that keyboard? That it lights up?

New lcds have pretty good response times. I actually use my laptop for games...

XP Pro would present the same compatibility problems with games as Home, which both present the same problem with games as Win2k. Which aren't as bad as they used to be with the advent of vdmsound and suchlike.

As long as you setup your accounts and your network correctly there's no more harm in having remote desktop than anything else, it's not even on by default. If you have broadband internet a firewall of some kind, preferably hardware, is important.
 

Eric_L

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As I understand it XP home is still has a dos system, while XP pro is NT based - hence it's stability but inability to run older programs. Some of those old programs are still fun, er useful.

The lighted keyboard will be nice for a HTPC given that most people watch in the dark. I opted not to get a wireless since I have children. (hard enough just to find the TV remote every night..) It is also just plain cool. A bit expensive, but vanity ofen is.


Remote access must first assume that I have a remote place I'd want to access it from. Since I have no life that is not a problem.

I'm intrigued by LCDs for games. Most reviewers say no. I may have to try one out with a game wither at the store or on loaner. I like to play some FPS games.

I do use a firewall, Zonealarm. I always poweroff afterwords also. No sense in leaving an open connection.
 

Rob Gillespie

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As I understand it XP home is still has a dos system, while XP pro is NT based
Not sure where you've got that from Eric, but it's wrong.

XP Home and Pro are essentially the same product. Home has some of the more elaborate features removed, such as remote access, encrypted drives, multi-process support, domain membership and a few other things which usually aren't needed in a 'home' environment.

Full details here.
 

JamesHl

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Yeah, frankly any lcds I would be considering (ie, 19"+ and res of at least 16x12) are way too expensive compared to their equivalent CRTs. The screen on my laptop is great though, 15" 16x12, I play Jedi Knight II, Raven Shield, NOLF 2, etc. and it looks great. I imagine the screen was probably half the cost of the computer, though...

Maybe if you got a wireless glow in the dark keyboard and you lost it, you could just turn the lights off and it would be glowing. Eh? haha.

I use remote desktop all the time with the other computers in my house, the computers at the office and the computers at my parent's house which are all hooked up by vpn. It's incredibly convenient and saves me from having to make the occasional 'housecall'.
 

Max Leung

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But, Eric, you can tell your dad that his remote access is broken, and that you don't have time to fix it.
 

Eric_L

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Well, all the stuff arrived finally, and I've started to work on it. Already there are a few minor problems.

The biggest problem so far is that the Seagate hard drive was OEM and therefore didn't come with any of the cables. It is a SATA drive. The MOBO had a SATA connecctor, but NO POWER SUPPLY ADAPTER! Nowhere did it say anywhere that the powersupply connectors for a SATA were different from usual. So I am hozed until I can get one shipped to me.
(A pox on anyone who knew this and didn't post it! May they grow man-breasts!)
(just kidding, you know I appreciate your help)

I also found that the Pioneer DVR-105BK DVD/r CD/RW has analog CD audio out, but not digital cd audio out. Will that prevent me from being able to enjoy 5.1 audio or is it a non-issue - ie. the video AND audio signal comes through the ATA connectors? Anybody out there know?
(also, I don't have an analog CD audio connector, so there is no CD audio connected to the drive right now, is that a bad thing?)

I may need to replace the DVD. Drat.

Some other minor troubles so far are the door on the case was scratched and broken - they are sending me a new one. I also ended up getting too many ATA connectors since I didn't realize that the MOBO included them. And I have a neon thingy that is useless because the front of the case is solid and not a grille as I thought.

I won't be able to power this thing up to see if I got it all right until I get the power for the HD connected. For now all I can do is sit and look at it. Dang.
 

MikeAlletto

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(A pox on anyone who knew this and didn't post it! May they grow man-breasts!)
Sorry, I've been gone for a week but I knew that the sata drives needed different power connectors. The MSI board I'm looking at includes those connectors though. Although that doesn't do you any good
 

Eric_L

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Sorry, I've been gone for a week but I knew that the sata drives needed different power connectors
Hehe, no apology needed, except maybe from me. I was just kidding - and ranting just a bit.

I ordered the connector from Egghead Sunday, and as of now they still haven't shipped them yet. My $2000 order was shipped first thing in the AM the next day (also ordered on a Sunday), but a $5 order I guess they feel can wait a day or two. It is very frustrating to be held up by this.

Of course, I checked EVERY PC vendor in town and none had it. I guess thats the downside to living in a po-dunk town. A few didn't even know what SATA was. "Is that the test ya take in high school?" From an inexperienced baboon like me that would be acceptable, but not fom a PC vendor.

MEANWHILE... I am still not certain that my DVD is ok without a digital audio out for the soundboard. I read up on it and it looks like it will be ok, but I am uncertain and worried I may have to replace it.

Oddly enough, my new door for the case arrived today. I think they overnighted it. Not that it does me any good. The 2 knobs on the Audigy 2 platinum face panel stick out far enough to keep the case door from closing! I have to drill a few holes in it. Why oh why didn't I think of that when I was ordering everything! stupid stupid stupid! (kicks self)

Anyway, I'll let you know what happens after I finally can powerup the beast...
 

JamesHl

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Your dvd drive will be fine. I had no idea SATA took a different power connector. That is pretty odd.
 

Eric_L

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MY SATA power adapter came yesterday. Halleluliah! The BIOS sees the SATA drive as master 3 and the dvd as master 2. There is no primary. I also disabled the floppy.

I'm having difficulty installing WinXP. After about 10 minutes i get a 'blue screen of death'. The reported message, or cause, seems to vary. When I reboot the system it does not make it to bios - just the ASUS mobo screen. Reboot a second time and it just gives me a blank screen or does not even engage the monitor. If I let it sit for a while (30 minutes or so) I can reboot just fine and attempt to install winxp again, only to have it hang up again after 10 minutes or so. The longer it sits the further I seem to get.

I suspect that something is getting hot. I figure if it were a bios error I'd not be getting this far. Trouble is, I have no idea what it could be. The HD - the MOBO or the video card? (radeon 9700 AIW). I've removed the only other card - the sound card.

I checked all the fans, even the video card and they are working fine. I've tried with the case open and got the same trouble.

Any ideas what I've done wrong or what I can try?
 

MikeAlletto

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I was going to say remove the sound card. Make sure the CPU is seated correctly as well as your memory. Does the HD spin up? Does it show the memory test and does it print out to the screen the correct CPU? Or does it not even get that far...

I played with installing XP a few months ago when I got my cheap version from MS and it would crash at bootup after install, I never went any further with it but later read that it was probably because of my soundblaster card, it needs to be installed after the initial install.
 

Eric_L

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Well, i fiddles with it after looking online. I'm still having some troubles but getting closer. I took off a case fan and placed it in various spots over the open cabinet (using a plastic hangar to hold it) I also removed one of the corsair 512 memory sticks. It ran beautifully when the fan blew right on the asus heatsink.

I closed the cabinet and put the fan back, started it and it ran fine, but when I rebooted it it froze on start again.

Then I opened it, put the case fan back over the heat sink with my high-tech hangar and replaced the memory stick. Big mistake. The system wouldn't boot at all. Soon that dreaded buring smell. I quickly shut it off and checked everything. The memory module I reinstalled was HOT. I removed it and prayed.

Today I was able to reboot the system (case fan in place) and install Ofice Pro. Seems to be working fine.

Is the memory bad? Had I installed it wrong? Is it BIOS? If it was the memory then why did the system hang up when it was closed without the memory?

My suspicion is that I seated it wrong. I may try it (carefully) again. I think also that there is not enough air circulation over the mobo even with two case fans.
(should the air blow in or out?) I'm also going to double check the heatsink over the processor. It seems to fit over it two different ways. I'm not sure it matters which way, but I read somewhere it does.

Damn this is a pain, but oddly fun as well. That is, after my heart resumed beating after the burning smell went away.
 

Eric_L

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Apparently I seated the memory wrong, because it is behaving for now. I just had my computer running for about 30 minutes before I got a windows popup telling me it had some sort of error. When I clicked ok it rebooted, but was unable to boot. Looks still like something, I have no idea what, is getting hot. I felt around and nothing was unusually warm. I notice the heatsink on the vid card is the warmest.

CPU fan is on properly and the case was open. I've also moved the second case fan to the back so that both are blowing over the cpu area, though indirectly over the mobo heatsink.

Next I'm gonna run the temp monitoring utility and stare at it for about 30 minutes..... any other ideas?
 

MikeAlletto

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The fans should be ok in their original locations unless you are overclocking. I'd bet that one of the memory modules is just bad. You can't really seat the in correctly, they can be not pushed in all the way though, but usually they are either in or not. Usually the front case fans suck in while the rear ones blow out. Its probably good that the heat sinks are warm, they should be.

I'd set it up to run some memory tests and see how long till it crashes. Does it run ok with 1 stick in?
 

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