HTPC build from scratch

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Re: HTPC build from scratch

Postposted on Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:51 pm

keltor wrote:I haven't had a single issue with BluRay discs any time recently. PowerDVD seems to have no issues now with my LG reader.
What version of PowerDVD are you using? I'm on v11 and I just had a period of a week where a silent update to PowerDVD's DRM broke DVD playback. They provided a hotfix if you contacted customer support, but man, what a pain.
If there is one thing a remote-controlled, silent and unseeable surveillance/killing machine needs, it’s more whimsy. -- Marcus
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Re: HTPC build from scratch

Postposted on Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:42 pm

Darkmage wrote:I've found that the SSD makes a difference in areas where in an ideal world you wouldn't worry about it: Rebooting. Sure, I'd love to have a nice stable HTPC that never needs to reboot, but between the age of my HTPC, the years worth of Win7 updates and the poor implementation of hibernation... I find that I invariably need to reboot right before SWMBO comes downstairs to watch something. The Wife Acceptance Factor takes a huge hit if she ends up twiddling her thumbs for a couple minutes whilst your spiffy cool custom built HTPC restarts. The pressure to ditch it in favor of your cable company's DVR will eventually get to the annoyance level - regardless of any argument about monthly fees and lack of Netflix.

As an aside: A good Logitech Harmony remote is a godsend some days. :)


I don't know about that. My HTPC in my sig takes only about 60 seconds to go from hitting restart to getting back to the Windows 7 login screen. I tested it a few minutes ago. For comparison, my gaming rig with SSD and windows 8 takes about 20 seconds. I've never felt that my HTPC took too long to restart, even when my wife was waiting for live TV to come back. The 4 tuners -with resulting lack of conflicts - and massive storage more than make up for 40-50 long restarts. My wife agrees with that statement for what its worth.

Also, after a bit of time (once all the updates installed and I got all my settings correct) I didn't need to restart my HTPC much at all. I probably restart it no more than once a week now. I think I went the whole month of February without having to restart.

Logitech Harmony's are great remotes, but you really have to pay for that greatness. The Logitech K400 I got works pretty well and only cost $40.
Gaming: i5-3570k/Z77 Extreme4/212 Evo/Corsair 500R/16GB Ballstix Tact 1600 CL8/MSI 7850 2GB/840 250gb, EVO 500gb, SG 3tb/Tachyon 550w/Win7

HTPC: i3 3225/H77/8gb g.skill 1.25v/1+2TB HDD/Asus BR/Asus 7850 2gb/Silverstone GD05B/Antec 380w/InfiniTV 4/Win7
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Re: HTPC build from scratch

Postposted on Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:33 pm

southrncomfortjm wrote:The Logitech K400 I got works pretty well and only cost $40.

Amen to that. I like my K400 better than the Logitech diNovo Mini it replaced. Half the price too!!
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Re: HTPC build from scratch

Postposted on Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:28 pm

Another Update: just purchased G.Skill Ripjaws 2x4GB RAM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820231314 for $63 and a Corsair CX430 PSU on sale for $40 with a $20 mail in rebate, so after around 3 or 4 months it will only have cost me $20 haha. It had a lot of positive reviews and I figured for that price it was worth a shot. Payday is Friday and then I'm gonna pick up the i3 3225, ASRock Z77 Pro4-m, and hopefully a bluray drive. Then its time to build! (Ceton and SSD coming hopefully on my birthday)

Looking ahead, does anybody have any tips from experience on making sure the first boot goes smoothly? I've done plenty of reading and youtubing but as far as tweaking the bios and order of installation/updates, etc. I could feel more comfortable. Also, what antivirus software do you guys suggest? Microsoft Security Essentials? And has anybody used Ninite before?

Edit: I have no need for burning blu rays, just ripping. I can do this with a regular blu ray drive and not just a burner, correct? That will save me some money.
Last edited by bostonhokie on Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
HTPC: i3-3225, Z77 Pro4-m, ASUS HD7790 2GB, 120GB Samsung 840 SSD, 3TB & 2TB Barracuda HDDs, 2x4GB G.Skill Ripjaws, Asus BD, Ceton Infinitv4, CX430 PSU in a Fractal Define Mini
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Re: HTPC build from scratch

Postposted on Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:54 am

southrncomfortjm wrote:I don't know about that. My HTPC in my sig takes only about 60 seconds to go from hitting restart to getting back to the Windows 7 login screen. I tested it a few minutes ago. For comparison, my gaming rig with SSD and windows 8 takes about 20 seconds. I've never felt that my HTPC took too long to restart, even when my wife was waiting for live TV to come back. The 4 tuners -with resulting lack of conflicts - and massive storage more than make up for 40-50 long restarts. My wife agrees with that statement for what its worth.
Your wife is more... patient than mine. A 60 second reboot is enough to get the eye rolls and two stinging questions about why we have this expensive box to watch DVDs instead of a $100 Blu-Ray player.

southrncomfortjm wrote:Also, after a bit of time (once all the updates installed and I got all my settings correct) I didn't need to restart my HTPC much at all. I probably restart it no more than once a week now. I think I went the whole month of February without having to restart.
Mine is exceptionally stable except for hibernation. The implementation is messed up somehow and it interferes with PowerDVD's display detection or something. After I resume from hibernation, PowerDVD is convinced that I'm running two monitors and refuses to play Blu-Ray discs. Also, Netflix is unstable after resuming from hibernation, to the point of requiring a hard reset. I suppose I could just leave it on all the time, but I pay the electric bill and it's bad enough as it is.

bostonhokie wrote:And has anybody used Ninite before?

I have. It saves a lot of time and I've had no issues with it.
If there is one thing a remote-controlled, silent and unseeable surveillance/killing machine needs, it’s more whimsy. -- Marcus
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Re: HTPC build from scratch

Postposted on Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:37 am

bostonhokie wrote:Another Update: just purchased G.Skill Ripjaws 2x4GB RAM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820231314 for $63 and a Corsair CX430 PSU on sale for $40 with a $20 mail in rebate, so after around 3 or 4 months it will only have cost me $20 haha. It had a lot of positive reviews and I figured for that price it was worth a shot. Payday is Friday and then I'm gonna pick up the i3 3225, ASRock Z77 Pro4-m, and hopefully a bluray drive. Then its time to build! (Ceton and SSD coming hopefully on my birthday)

Looking ahead, does anybody have any tips from experience on making sure the first boot goes smoothly? I've done plenty of reading and youtubing but as far as tweaking the bios and order of installation/updates, etc. I could feel more comfortable. Also, what antivirus software do you guys suggest? Microsoft Security Essentials? And has anybody used Ninite before?


For the first boot - be sure you don't short the board. So keep grounding yourself obsessively (just touch a piece of metal that isn't on your motherboard/processor etc. The TR guide is pretty nicely detailed, so definitely refer to that when building. The Newegg "How to Build a Computer" part II on Youtube is also great. Assuming you don't short the board and all the parts work then the computer should boot fine. I did the "test boot" that Newegg recommends in their video when I built my gaming rig and it didn't boot. Took me a minute to realize I hadn't pushed the RAM down far enough :).

As for antivirus, I only use Security Essentials and Malware Bytes. The best antivirus is to avoid unknown/sketchy sites as much as possible.

Note that for ripping you will need a special program. That program will probably run $60-$80.

Hope everything arrives on time!
Gaming: i5-3570k/Z77 Extreme4/212 Evo/Corsair 500R/16GB Ballstix Tact 1600 CL8/MSI 7850 2GB/840 250gb, EVO 500gb, SG 3tb/Tachyon 550w/Win7

HTPC: i3 3225/H77/8gb g.skill 1.25v/1+2TB HDD/Asus BR/Asus 7850 2gb/Silverstone GD05B/Antec 380w/InfiniTV 4/Win7
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Re: HTPC build from scratch

Postposted on Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:41 pm

So I went to MicroCenter after work yesterday and picked up the i3 3225, Z77 Pro4-m, and an Asus blu ray drive. Got home and immediately started building. I think its safe to say without this forum and Newegg's video series I would not have been nearly so confident. I was sure I crushed the cpu when lowering that arm tho haha. Got it together and hit the power button.......nothing..how many other people have had that moment of panic before realizing the power switch on the psu was off? Try 2, success! Well, got the motherboard splash screen to come up. Apparently you can't buy windows 7 in stores anymore...so anyone know of a way to (legally) download it since its not available in the Microsoft store anymore? It's killing me that the thing is together and functional but I can't do anything until I get my hands on the OS. Anyways, thanks for all the help guys!
HTPC: i3-3225, Z77 Pro4-m, ASUS HD7790 2GB, 120GB Samsung 840 SSD, 3TB & 2TB Barracuda HDDs, 2x4GB G.Skill Ripjaws, Asus BD, Ceton Infinitv4, CX430 PSU in a Fractal Define Mini
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Re: HTPC build from scratch

Postposted on Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:48 pm

Just buy a copy from Newegg. It's still on sale there.
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Re: HTPC build from scratch

Postposted on Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:43 pm

Captain Ned wrote:Just buy a copy from Newegg. It's still on sale there.


I'm not 100% on OEM software. If I install to my HDD right now and in a couples months pick up a SSD, will I not be able to reinstall it to the SSD? Logic says I should be allowed to deactivate and reactivate, but when it comes to MSFT logic doesn't always play.
HTPC: i3-3225, Z77 Pro4-m, ASUS HD7790 2GB, 120GB Samsung 840 SSD, 3TB & 2TB Barracuda HDDs, 2x4GB G.Skill Ripjaws, Asus BD, Ceton Infinitv4, CX430 PSU in a Fractal Define Mini
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Re: HTPC build from scratch

Postposted on Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:47 pm

bostonhokie wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:Just buy a copy from Newegg. It's still on sale there.


I'm not 100% on OEM software. If I install to my HDD right now and in a couples months pick up a SSD, will I not be able to reinstall it to the SSD? Logic says I should be allowed to deactivate and reactivate, but when it comes to MSFT logic doesn't always play.

You'll be fine... Just call the activation center, say that your HDD died and you are re-installing it on a replacement drive, and they'll give you a new activation key.
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Re: HTPC build from scratch

Postposted on Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:32 pm

I'm gonna pick up the Logitech k400, which seems like a pretty solid daily use keyboard for basic control outside of gaming. Does anybody have any insight into controlling the ceton infinitv4? Currently I have remotes for my TV, AV receiver, and cable box. I'll be getting rid of the Comcast remote when I get my hands on the ceton but after that, I'd still like to consolidate. Are those harmony remotes good for controlling the ceton and combining the tv/av receiver? I wouldn't mind dropping some money (reasonably) on a good remote if it makes everything simpler.

EDIT: Here's me being an idiot, for some reason I've never programmed my av receiver to control my tv. Still, is the k400 sufficient for controlling the htpc with the ceton tuner or do you recommend something else?
HTPC: i3-3225, Z77 Pro4-m, ASUS HD7790 2GB, 120GB Samsung 840 SSD, 3TB & 2TB Barracuda HDDs, 2x4GB G.Skill Ripjaws, Asus BD, Ceton Infinitv4, CX430 PSU in a Fractal Define Mini
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Re: HTPC build from scratch

Postposted on Sun Mar 31, 2013 4:10 pm

Any Media Center remote should work. I'm using the one that came with an AverMedia tuner several iterations ago.
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Re: HTPC build from scratch

Postposted on Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:35 pm

bostonhokie wrote:I'm gonna pick up the Logitech k400, which seems like a pretty solid daily use keyboard for basic control outside of gaming. Does anybody have any insight into controlling the ceton infinitv4? Currently I have remotes for my TV, AV receiver, and cable box. I'll be getting rid of the Comcast remote when I get my hands on the ceton but after that, I'd still like to consolidate. Are those harmony remotes good for controlling the ceton and combining the tv/av receiver? I wouldn't mind dropping some money (reasonably) on a good remote if it makes everything simpler.

EDIT: Here's me being an idiot, for some reason I've never programmed my av receiver to control my tv. Still, is the k400 sufficient for controlling the htpc with the ceton tuner or do you recommend something else?


All the InfiniTV4 does is bring in the data so that Windows Media Center can record it. So, what you need to do is control Media Center (and the rest of your computer) and the K400 does just fine with that - it is the only thing I use to control my HTPC. I only use my regular remote to switch TV inputs and turn it on.

I don't have experience with remotes on my HTPC.
Gaming: i5-3570k/Z77 Extreme4/212 Evo/Corsair 500R/16GB Ballstix Tact 1600 CL8/MSI 7850 2GB/840 250gb, EVO 500gb, SG 3tb/Tachyon 550w/Win7

HTPC: i3 3225/H77/8gb g.skill 1.25v/1+2TB HDD/Asus BR/Asus 7850 2gb/Silverstone GD05B/Antec 380w/InfiniTV 4/Win7
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Re: HTPC build from scratch

Postposted on Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:38 am

If anyone reading this is interested in doing their own HTPC with a Ceton InfiniTV4, just know that its on sale at Newegg for $170. See here. Deal expires on 2 April.
Gaming: i5-3570k/Z77 Extreme4/212 Evo/Corsair 500R/16GB Ballstix Tact 1600 CL8/MSI 7850 2GB/840 250gb, EVO 500gb, SG 3tb/Tachyon 550w/Win7

HTPC: i3 3225/H77/8gb g.skill 1.25v/1+2TB HDD/Asus BR/Asus 7850 2gb/Silverstone GD05B/Antec 380w/InfiniTV 4/Win7
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Re: HTPC build from scratch

Postposted on Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:26 am

JohnC wrote:
bostonhokie wrote:I'm not 100% on OEM software. If I install to my HDD right now and in a couples months pick up a SSD, will I not be able to reinstall it to the SSD? Logic says I should be allowed to deactivate and reactivate, but when it comes to MSFT logic doesn't always play.
You'll be fine... Just call the activation center, say that your HDD died and you are re-installing it on a replacement drive, and they'll give you a new activation key.
I can verify this. I just had to go through this process with my HTPC upgrade. It's pretty easy and they don't give you any grief or skepticism. It takes about five minutes.
If there is one thing a remote-controlled, silent and unseeable surveillance/killing machine needs, it’s more whimsy. -- Marcus
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Re: HTPC build from scratch

Postposted on Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:32 pm

I'm doing some research on this at the moment but I figured I'd post this here as well. When installing windows, I'm having a problem partitioning my HDD. I created one partition (at its largest possible size) and it left me with 746.5GB of free Unallocated Space that I can't create a new partition on. I get the error:

"Failed to create a new partition on the selected unused space. [Error: 0x80042468]"

Any advice? All I know is its a MBR vs GPT issue, whatever that means..

EDIT: Finally figured it out. For anyone experiencing similar issues http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/29055 ... ve#6093068 helped out a lot
HTPC: i3-3225, Z77 Pro4-m, ASUS HD7790 2GB, 120GB Samsung 840 SSD, 3TB & 2TB Barracuda HDDs, 2x4GB G.Skill Ripjaws, Asus BD, Ceton Infinitv4, CX430 PSU in a Fractal Define Mini
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Re: HTPC build from scratch

Postposted on Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:00 pm

How goes the build, did you get it running?

I have been researching HTPC for probably a year or so now...sorta one of those projects I wanted to do but wife didn't give full approval and it wasn't completely necessary. We just dropped our cable provider thoughand based on all the info in your topic it looks like your build or similar (the others posted) might be the way to go. I generally just need to run Media Center and/or XBMC..and run files of my networked HDD from my main PC (hooked to network wired not wireless).

Er...anyways I got off topic lol..I might make my own thread but was just curious how it went did you get it up and running.
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Re: HTPC build from scratch

Postposted on Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:14 pm

Hey NewYears1978! To answer your question: mostly. The computer works wonderfully, windows 7 installed and all my components working fine. Haven't gotten the ceton tuner yet though so I can't comment on that. There have been a few minor hiccups (namely my HDD issue) but honestly the whole process has been a lot easier than I expected. I'm currently in the process of setting up my movie collection to function properly in WMC, and once the ceton comes I'll be making the full jump over and ditching the cable boxes, hooking up my 360 as an extender having some fun with networking everything. I definitely recommend using this forum as well as the Newegg TV how-to videos and a few other online resources you may google across. In a nutshell, this whole process has been exciting and worked out even better than I had imagined. I definitely recommend you take the plunge. Hope this thread helps!
HTPC: i3-3225, Z77 Pro4-m, ASUS HD7790 2GB, 120GB Samsung 840 SSD, 3TB & 2TB Barracuda HDDs, 2x4GB G.Skill Ripjaws, Asus BD, Ceton Infinitv4, CX430 PSU in a Fractal Define Mini
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