Building first computer - not sure about compatibility

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Postposted on Thu Jul 14, 2005 2:41 am

Welch wrote:A bit of advice... GROUND YOURSELF before touching ANY of your computers componants. Incase you dont know what this means... you touch someone metal, like your computer case, or a radiator. This will get rid of excessive static electricity from your body. Each computer componant has a certain amount of static or electrical resistance to it, ram is one of the weakest. If you pickup a stick of ram and you shock it, if enough shock was done to it you can permanently fry the ram, rendering it useless. So... GROUND :P


Use a Anti-Static Wrist strap to earth yourself :wink: I always do, and nothing gets Statolectrocuted :P

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Postposted on Thu Jul 14, 2005 3:47 am

Ya, ive seen those all of the time lol.. My friend gave all of his away heh. He said he doesnt care for them and perffers the just touch something metal and your fine. Unless your in a HEAVEY static area you should be fine with just touching something metal. Working on comps here in the winter is the worst, its as dry as can get :P..

So Knuckler... you havent ever messed with computer hardware and your a programmer at heart :O! Thats backwards from the people I know. I got heavy into hardware a bit back and gave C++ a shot for about 2 weeks and only got a bit past the basics :P #Include heh.

Perhaps an exchange of knowledge and information is in order :)? I have a good friend of mine who is big into programming trying to force feed as much of it to me as possible.

Dont worry about getting nervous when building the rig... Since we are both under-aged Id recommend a few finely selected beers... Root Beer of course ;). Perfferably Henry Weinhard's lol. Take a few gulps... dry off your hands in wet and go to work. If you start getting the shakes just take a break and take another gulp heh. Works like a charm :)

I tell you I was scared **** when putting together my first rig, I had zero clue what I was doing and had only messed with my current PC a slight amount. To my amazment everything went together and booted as it should. Only it blue screened every 20 minutes which turned out to be a RAM Clock issue that just needed to be changed in BIOs :)

Getting a 7200 RPM drive isnt skimping by anymeans. An 80 gig as your windows drive and I recommend a good 200, 250, or 300 gig drive for storage. Im using an 80gig as my windows and 160 as my storage and im feeling the preasure of needing more storage :o.

Well good luck with the build, "Make us proud 8)"

*Edit* This is my 400th post :O! Just noticed lol
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
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Postposted on Fri Jul 15, 2005 9:26 pm

I think I'll hold off on the anti-static wrist strap. I'll just ground myself =)

I forgot A LOT of my programming. It's been a while. C++ can seem daunting sometimes. Constantly reading the same thing over and over over. But if you stick with it, it shouldn't be too hard. I got your PM. I can guarantee anything. Not really into IMs. Sorry for the late reply.

80 gigs does seem like a lot. It's 10 times what I have right now. With all the games, and programs I'll be downloading, I guesstimate that 30 of the 80 gigs will be used up. still plenty of room imo.
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Postposted on Fri Jul 15, 2005 11:17 pm

Heh... Yeah well thats about how I thought when I built my rig... "80 should be enough"

LUCKLY I won a 160 gig barracuda at a LAN Party and now im coming close to not having enough even with that drive :o. If you want to be on the safe side... Make sure that you get at least a 200 gig drive for storage, youll thank yourself later.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

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Postposted on Sat Jul 16, 2005 2:23 am

I agree...200 gig minimum for storage. You will need it sooner of later, and it is cheaper to buy it now rather than have to buy a second one later. I sure keep running out of storage...next month I am going to have to buy a couple of 300 gig drives at least to have enough spare space for a while....
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Postposted on Sat Jul 16, 2005 4:43 am

LOL... The ever changing world of computer storage and I cant seem to catch up ;)... Gotta love that qoute though :D Bill Gates - "640k outta be enough for anybody" Great stuff that is :).

Shoot for your drives being about 50 cents a gig, that seems to be the sweet spot. If you have a sams club in your area, and if they still carry them. They have a perfect good WDC 8MB Cache 160gig Hard Drive. Was going for around 77 USD. Which sticks to the about 50 cents or less rule :)

*Edit* --->

Keep in mind, whatever you get is going to loose some of its storage capacity when you format it. My 160 turns into a 149 gig. My friends 200 gig turned into a 189... Seemed to be 11gigs no matter the diffrence between our two drives sizes. So if you need 200 ggs of actual space for storage, go for a 250. But the 200 gig drives are the band for buck ATM.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

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Postposted on Sat Jul 16, 2005 11:16 am

You're seeing the difference between real gigabytes and marketing gigabytes.

For honest people in the computer industry:
1 GB = 1,073,741,824 bytes = 2^30 bytes
For people selling harddrives by the "gigabyte":
1 "GB" = 1,000,000,000 bytes = 10^9 bytes

This fraud is about to get worse.
1 TB = 1,099,511,627,776 bytes = 2^40 bytes
New harddrives will be marketed with the following claim:
1 "TB" = 1,000,000,000,000 bytes = 10^12 bytes
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Postposted on Mon Jul 18, 2005 3:43 pm

It's here!!! HELP!!!! heh
Actually I'm unpacking it, right now. Hopefully this will go smoothly *gulp*
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Postposted on Mon Jul 18, 2005 9:37 pm

I'm stuck. Is there a place that builds computers? This is just too hard
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Postposted on Mon Jul 18, 2005 10:02 pm

Knuckler wrote:I'm stuck. Is there a place that builds computers? This is just too hard


Bummer! I know that it looks like a lot of "stuff" just laying on the table, but when it comes down to it, most of the parts are labelled and will only fit into one place. SATA cables will have a lot of places to plug in, but the Motherboard or its manual will have pictures to help you along.

Memory will only go in one way, same with CPU, video and power. I would be willing to talk you through it if I was going to be up much later tonight. Unfortunately, I have other commitments. :wink:

Read the manual for the MB again and see if you can see where all the pieces fit. Same for the CPU. You bought a retail CPU, so there is a sheet in that box with more instructions. Then test fit everything outside the case, but on a hard surface covered with the anti-static bag for the MB. If it all looks good there, make sure that the stand-offs are installed in the case and then place the unit of MB+CPU+memory into the case. Screw the MB into the stand-offs in the case so that it doesn't move.

Then add the video card. Add power cables to the MB and the power switch wires to the MB headers and connect a monitor. That is all it will take to at least see if the thing will power up and display video. If that goes well, then you can add the DVD drives, the HDD and cables for all those.

Finally, lots of people have done it; you can too! :)
I have nothing more to say about that.
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Postposted on Mon Jul 18, 2005 10:16 pm

But there were some problems. Some of the pins on the cpu were bent. Someone told me to bend them back a bit and I did. I had to slightly force the cpu into the socket. Then I lowered the level and didn't look back.

Another thing - there are too many wires, and I'm not sure if I'm connecting everything correctly. sigh. I'm kind of regretting doing this now.
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Postposted on Mon Jul 18, 2005 11:18 pm

Pfffffffffffffft...suck it up...take a deep breath and dive in...slowly..if you have a question..ask in here..you can do it..building your own only helps your knowledge of how they run...dont give up man...just do it :wink:
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Postposted on Mon Jul 18, 2005 11:57 pm

I got it to boot!!! YAY. And that's it for the good news. It goes to the bios, and displays a whole bunch of info. Temp of system. Temp of cpu. They were at 98 and 100+ respectively. That's not good, right? Also I don't think any of my drives are working. And the led that displays the temp on the case doesn't work either.

Both fans on the case appear to be working, as well as the one on the psu. I don't know why the system gets so hot. Maybe it's my wiring. It reallly sucks. I'm going to look at it more
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Postposted on Tue Jul 19, 2005 2:47 am

Ok... for one, your a lucky mofo that the CPU pin bent back the way they where. Thats probably the scarest thing is not bending a CPU pin...

If you meant 98-100*F then your running VERY cool for stock HS espcially for an A64 3700+ :D. My proc runs 115*F idle to 133*F at full load, and its only a 32bit 2600+ :P... damn stock cooling for you ;)

So the CPU lever went down properly finally I take it? You applied the Thermal Pad or Grease between the CPU and the HeatSink... the CPU HeatSink fan should obviously be working or at least be plugged in. Todays motherboards refuse to allow you to fire them up unless the CPU fan is plugged in. As for your drives, you need to make sure they have 2 things plugged in..

1. IDE (Or Sata) cable... They go directly to the motherboard.
2. 4 Pin Molex Connector (Unless its a sata drive, in which case it has a speicalized Power cable)

Obviously you also plugged the Power Supply into the motherboard properly or you wouldnt have power at all lol.

Make sure to set your hard drives and optical drives properly to their respective Jumper Pin settings.. There is Master, Master with Slave, Slave, and Cable Select.

Master - Its the first and only drive.
Master w/Slave - The drive is the master but has a slave on the same controller.
Slave - The Drive is just a slave to another drive on the same controller.
Cable Select - The drive will be set according to its placing on the IDE cable.
(All sata drives are automatically Masters, as only 1 device can be plugged into each Sata controller.)

You'll be fine with the build man ;). I was scared **** on my first build and thought much like you "Ohhh god what did I get myself into" heh... Its not problem, youll catch on very quick :).
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

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Postposted on Tue Jul 19, 2005 7:50 am

Congrats man. Keep us updated 8)
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Postposted on Tue Jul 19, 2005 11:14 am

Cool...since you got it to boot..go into bios and set the cdrom as first boot device..save..exit and then install your OS..once thats done..before you even think of hooking up to the net..get a firewall and virus protection installed...and...do your chipset drivers that come on the mobo install cd. Good luck..youre making progress :wink:
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Postposted on Tue Jul 19, 2005 5:07 pm

Ok. I'm having some problems now. Last night, it keept freezing at the start up screen. It just stayed there. Ctrl alt del didn't work. My cd drives don't appear to be working either. I think my floppy drive works. It lights upwhen it boots. Also, I can't get into the bios any more. It goes to some screen asking for a system boot disk.

Another thing is last night, when the info screen was displayed, it reported the case fan wasn't on, yet it clearly was. There was no 3 pin (the small one) connecter for the case fan to connect to the motherboard. I had to connect it to the psu.
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Postposted on Tue Jul 19, 2005 5:21 pm

Thats not a problem...obviously its a hardware issue...how many sticks of ram are you using? If two or more..try taking one out and if it still does it..try the one you took out and remove the other..It also could be an older bios thats not dealing with the newer chip.
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Postposted on Tue Jul 19, 2005 5:26 pm

It's not freezing anymore. I just booted it once for the first time since last night a few minutes ago. I thought it might be because it was so hot. I'm using 2 sticks of ram. They're suppose to go in the same color slots for the dual channel thing to kick in right?
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Postposted on Tue Jul 19, 2005 5:30 pm

Sounds like a heat issue then...recheck to make sure the cpu fan is working properly..the temps you reported earlier were great in that respect. There are no 3 pin fan headers on that board???
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Postposted on Tue Jul 19, 2005 5:41 pm

There are three 3-pin fan connectors on the motherboard:

JCPU_FAN - I have the cpu connected to this
JPWR_FAN - motherboard booklet says "If you are installing an additional fan to the unit, connect to this fan connector."
JSYS_FAN - "The chassis fan will provide adequate airflow throughtout the chassis to prevent overheating the cpu"

There are 2 fans on the case. I can't seem to find a connector for them that will fit onto the motherboard's pins
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Postposted on Tue Jul 19, 2005 5:42 pm

also the cpu fan seems to work. The system info screen was reporting it was rotating at 3500 rpms last night
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Postposted on Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:08 pm

It very well could be that your cpu isnt making good contact with the heatsink...are you using the pad that it came with or thermal grease? Take it off and reapply the thermal goop and reseat the hsf.
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Postposted on Tue Jul 19, 2005 7:09 pm

What thermal grease? I didn't get any thermal grease. Someone said that the grey stuff on the bottom of the heatsink/fan was the thermal compound.

Also what pad?
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Postposted on Tue Jul 19, 2005 8:36 pm

Knuckler wrote:There are three 3-pin fan connectors on the motherboard:

JCPU_FAN - I have the cpu connected to this
JPWR_FAN - motherboard booklet says "If you are installing an additional fan to the unit, connect to this fan connector."
JSYS_FAN - "The chassis fan will provide adequate airflow throughtout the chassis to prevent overheating the cpu"

There are 2 fans on the case. I can't seem to find a connector for them that will fit onto the motherboard's pins

If you were desperate to connect it to the motherboard, you would want something like this.
You don't really have to. As long as you see that your fans are on, that's fine.
Also what are your temps now that it is up and running?
(just a comment, but most people talk about computer temperatures in Celsius, rather than Farenheit)
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Postposted on Tue Jul 19, 2005 10:16 pm

Knuckler wrote:What thermal grease? I didn't get any thermal grease. Someone said that the grey stuff on the bottom of the heatsink/fan was the thermal compound.

Also what pad?


That gray goop on the bottom of the HSF (heatsink-fan) is TIM (thermaal interface material) often referred to as thermal paste or the pad... As long as you removed the plastic cover taped to the bottom of the HSF and have seated it in the guides that should be installed on the sides of the CPU then you are fine. A little bit of advice, don't go ripping that HSF off every time you open the case. Unless there is a really good reason to remove the HSF I leave it on.

JPWR_FAN is one I usually use to connect the bottom fan in my Antec PSU. I am not familiar with the Epox board, but I would guess it is near the top of the MB.
I have nothing more to say about that.
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Postposted on Tue Jul 19, 2005 11:51 pm

Usacomp, I think it's running at 113F, now. Sorry, I normally work in Farenheit. Don't remember how to convert from F to C. I got the system up and running. Windows installed. And I'm connected to the net typing this message *BIG SMILE*

I have to put in the sound card, and hook up the speakers. Everything besides that seems to be running ok.
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Postposted on Wed Jul 20, 2005 1:40 am

Great to hear :)... What did you change in order for it to start running properly? Either way it seems like you have gotten the majority of the gremlins worked out ;)

Dont worry about the *F or *C thing :P... I have a friend ready to slaughter me everytime I list my temps in *F lol. I got a few temps remembered, and can tell what a safe *C temp is, just I cant convert mine exactly.

Get this program, it will help TONS when people ask you questions about temps, hardware, BIOS versions of various hardware like your mobo or even video card. I consider it a must have. And its free with no spyware :P
Everest Home
http://www.snapfiles.com/download/dleverest.html

If all you are doing is running 113*F with that system, then you are doing very good. Runs a bit cooler than my system, and yours is a much more powerful CPU.

Well Im happy to hear its booting and working :)... Dont get frustrated if something goes a bit werid again, it happens to the best of us on a new build. It will likely just be a few hardware things that need to be updated in order to be compatible with each other, no biggie.

A tip for you with your sound card and any other PCI device. Its best to have the most bandwith needy one on the highest PCI bus, or whichever one is closest to the CPU. The closer it is to the CPU the better for speed and bandwith, maybe not horribly noticable, but its always good to go all out. Just make sure its not exetremely close to your video cards big heatsink.

If you do remove your CPU heatsink, you should be able to reuse the TIM that came with it unless you notice it coming apart and not in one peice. In which case I always recommend getting some Artic Silver 5 thermal compound, which will reduce your tempatures quite a bit in some cases (meaning situations not computer case :P).

So all of that said and done, enjoy your new rig, and make sure to score yourself the updates for your motherboards BIOS, Video Card BIOS (If they have them avalible) and your chipset drivers also. I personally dont like SP2, but I guess Ill have to look into how well the bugs were worked out, so far I see no purpose to it as my system is running awsome with no attacks :P (And do everyone a favor, dont install Norton Anti-Virus or Macfee, they suck)
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

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Postposted on Wed Jul 20, 2005 12:45 pm

Good job!

:D
I have nothing more to say about that.
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Postposted on Thu Jul 21, 2005 11:47 am

Thanks for the advice Welch. Welch, I didn't do anything. I just cut the comptuer off for the night. The next morning it was working fine. Time heals all wounds? =)

And thank you everyone for helping me out with this. I really really REALLY (it's very hard to demonstrate sincerity in text) apprecitate all the help you guys/gals have given me.
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