My New Build

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Mycal, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. Mycal

    Mycal Staff Member

    Well, I've had my computer for well over five years now. I have only upgraded minor things here and there, but now my computer is considered heavily outdated. My home desktop is the first computer I ever built (with the help of my stepfather) and it lasted a long time. About a year ago it started giving me problems, notably with the many hard drives. First my external drive died. I used this one for backup, so once it died I was without a backup drive. Then my data drive died. Luckily I was able to buy a new 320GB external drive and backup the data drive before it died. Then my main hard drive which I've had the longest (6+ years) began giving me problems.

    This summer I got a job and with all these growing computer problems, I vowed I would build a new computer before the summer was over. After a month of researching, I decided to build a computer that could last me just as long as this current one did if not longer. When I built the last one, it wasn't the best, but it was pretty good and the best we could afford. Just for reference here's the computer we built:

    1.6 Ghz AMD Athlon XP
    512MB RAM
    40 GB Seagate HDD 3200 RPM (had this drive before building)
    32MB DX8 nVidia Graphics Adapter (upgraded to a 256MB DX9 Radeon 9550 after about 2-3 years)

    I'll spare the remaining details, but I've gone through 4 power supplies until settling on one that has a lifetime warranty, which I have yet to have to replace.

    The behemoth I am building now is about 2.5x better than what I currently have:
    3 GHz AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+
    ASUS CROSSHAIR Motherboard
    OCZ GeForce 8800GTX 768MB PCI Express x16 Video Card
    CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 800 Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model
    NZXT Zero Black/Silver Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case
    1 Western Digital 160 GB HDD
    1 Western Digital 320 GB HDD
    AeroCool 620W Power Supply

    Note: I had this information stored so it was easy to type that up whereas the old computer I only have what is on the top of my head.

    Anyway, this computer is being built today after I get home from work, unfortunately, my last HDD, the 40GB one, died yesterday while attempting to open a file. The 2 HDDs and the Video Card have yet to be bought so I am kind of stuck without a HDD for a few days. I'm thinking of scratching one of those drives off the list and just going to the store and buying one, but I don't know. Maybe I can repair the 40GB one, maybe it'll magically work after putting it inside the new computer, who knows. I might just get lucky.

    So this is where I am, and this is what I've been working for all summer long. It is almost complete and I couldn't be more excited, although I have no idea what I'll do for a few days without a computer.
  2. Mycal

    Mycal Staff Member

    Update! All times mentioned are CST.

    The computer case arrived on Wednesday of last week. The remaining pieces I had ordered (Motherboard, Processor, Memory, Cheap-o Graphics Card, and Power-Supply) arrived on Thursday. I got home at 6:00PM, and began working on putting it all together. I finished that long process by about 8:00PM. I installed my old HDD hoping it would be magically fixed, it wasn't. So I shared the one IDE controller connection with both the HDD and my DVD Burner. I repaired my winxp installation and the HDD appeared to be working again. The computer came fully online, I had internet and everything appeared to be working just fine, then my wireless card started to fail. So I reinstalled the drivers and that started working fine again. I called it a night after that (it was close to midnight and I had work in the morning.)

    Next day after work, the problems came with other software/hardware that I had installed or previously installed (before the new build). Then I realized by repairing the windows installation, it replaced all old drivers with the ones shipped on the WinXP CD. So I went back to windows update and tried to start the long process of getting all the updates possible. Turned out that wasn't so easy. They would fail everytime I tried to download and to top it off, after my next restart, winxp deactivated itself and told me to reactivate it. Of course it wasn't a simple internet activation since my hardware had significantly changed since the last boot, so I had to call MS to do it. So I did so, spent about 10 minutes on the phone with them and got it reactivated. Knowing that you can't use windows update until you activate your copy of windows, I tried again after this was done. Still no go. Always gave me errors using both the normal version and the web version. Well, being the brilliant person I am, I finally realized that the problem was the same that I had with some of my own software on new installations of windows. I simply needed to register the updater dlls. So I googled the updater service and found all the dlls that it utilizes and registered them all and then it worked perfectly. So I let it update and then called it another night (this time only around 10:00PM, but I was exhausted from the day's work).

    Well, I woke up in the morning to play around on the new computer and found the HDD dead once again. I couldn't get it to work so I simply gave up and shut it down. I purchased a new 400GB SATA 3.0 Gb/s drive, and came home and put the sucker in. I had planned to simply install windows and work from scratch, but found my old drive working again. Taking advantage of the moment, I quickly installed the new drive, and cloned the old drive onto the new drive. Of course this decided to fail and then the drive was dead upon next reboot. Spent the rest of the evening on my laptop researching this problem and found no solutions. So I gave up and went to bed.

    Next day (Sunday if you haven't been keeping track), I am at church for about 70% of the day, so didn't have much time to work on it. A measly 3 hours. But through those 3 hours, I was successful. I am still unsure why it was successful this time, compared to the 30 times before, but if anyone has a similar problem, I can tell exactly what I did to get it to work. Anyway, so after it was fully up and running, I began partitioning the drive to make my life easier. Then I moved all data from my 320GB external drive onto different partitions on the new drive. I setup the external to be my new backup device and now I am all set. The remainder of the day, I had my computer running through different tools (defrag, chkdsk, spyware checks, virus checks, etc) on each and every partition and went to bed. (Side note: the new 400GB has a dead sector on it so in reality it is only about 370GB that I can actually use. I could return the drive but I've already moved everything onto I think I'll live with the missing 30GB.)

    Today I woke up to a finished computer. It all seemed to be in order when I left the house for work, so I should be back to normal now. In a few weeks, I'll be buying my new gfx card and another new HDD (hopefully another 400GB) to start the raid, but otherwise, I am super happy with my new computer.

    When I get home, I'll get started on getting the database up and running and hopefully find my backup CDs so I have the most recent source codes.
  3. krum

    krum New Member

    if you need any donations of parts I will be abliged to paypal some money to ya to buy some new ones I am making pretty good money with 2 jobs and all!!
  4. Mycal

    Mycal Staff Member

    No worries the comp is all good now. The database is working fine (as far as I know) and the only problems I'm having now are with drivers. My wireless drivers and my audio drivers are having compatibility issues with each other. Very strange issue, but I'm in the process of fixing it already even if it means RMAing the mobo (the audio card came with it).
  5. steven

    steven Administrator

    So the status is : Ready?
  6. Mycal

    Mycal Staff Member

    Nope, still not ready for anything. The board is fine, it's just the onboard audio and the audio card that came with the board that suck horribly. They currently do not have a solution for my problem and suggest that I send in the board to have it tested and possibly replaced. I have sent the board in and on a temporary computer with none of my programs or data (still in the new computer).

    They estimate it'll be another 2-3 weeks before determining if I have a defective board or not..What happened to just simply trashing the board and sending out a replacement? Worst part is, I actually paid the damn shipping costs in order for me to be out of my new computer for 4 weeks!
  7. steven

    steven Administrator

    That sucks in short...hurry up.
  8. Mycal

    Mycal Staff Member

    Just got an e-mail today. They told me the board tested fine. So did the soundcard. They will be shipping the board back to me by the end of the week. So I should have it back next week Monday or Tuesday (I predict). They've also decided to give me some real help. First of which is test the sound on a new installation of Windows XP or Vista. This new build is more trouble than I predicted it would be, but it is almost over. All this for the freaking sound! What in the world was I thinking sending it back. Should have just bought a new soundcard and been done with it..
  9. steven

    steven Administrator

    Thats great and yeah its about time.
  10. Fledge

    Fledge New Member

    Keeping in mind that it was just a prediction, it is now Wednesday, for those of us following this gripping news story. :) I'm just curious. But... there's no killing this cat just yet, I can be patient.
  11. Mycal

    Mycal Staff Member

    Yea, I've gotten it back now. I spent the better part of yesterday backing up my HDD, formating and installing a fresh copy of WinXP Pro. That's as far as I got before I got fed up and had to relieve some stress in the form of offline Halo 3 (played the campaign for awhile trying to find all those stupid skulls..the non-achievement related ones.)

    I have school all today, so on Friday I'll get back to work on fixing it all up and testing their suggestions. If worse comes to worse, I'll head out and buy a new sound card (I won't be happy about that). But yay almost done...finally!

    If all goes well, I'll get all caught up on posts on Friday/Saturday. Oop..already running a little late for class.
  12. demonking

    demonking New Member

    Sounds like a beast Big. How's the game coming btw?
  13. Mycal

    Mycal Staff Member

    Ok, I must confess. My computer has been running since Oct. 5. I got the sound working after buying a new sound card, and now couldn't be happier. However, there were/are a lot of games that I couldn't play before this computer and I couldn't help but get caught up :p.

    Still working on:
    - Oblivion (not likely to finish since a friend deleted my saved game :evil:)

    - Bioshock
    - F.E.A.R Extraction Point (I actually could have played it before, but it runs so much better on this one)
    - Age of Empires III
    - Age of Empires III: The Warchiefs

    And since they just came out:
    - Halo 3 (not PC I know, but still)
    - Half-life 2: Episode Two
    - Portal

    But now I'm done with the majority of them. Amazing how good some of these games look, namely Oblivion and Bioshock.
  14. Firestorm

    Firestorm New Member

    I am glad to hear that you got it working. I will be getting an actual video card later this month, so I am looking forward to how lOTRO will look. :)

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