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computer on the fritz

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  #11  
Old 08-12-2006, 05:11 PM
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NancyJ NancyJ is offline
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When I build a new machine I just stick the old harddrive in the new one and I'm good to go - ofcourse XP changed all that - it doesnt like new CPUs - M$ decided in their infinate wisdom that you buy a copy of windows for your CPU not your computer as a whole - therefore if you get a new cpu you have to get a new copy of windows - but if you dont care about the annoying security alert when you boot up then its fine. But the difference with WinXP is you cant just plug and play the old hard drive - you pretty much have to reinstall. All your software will still be there tho - you just need to reinstall for the stuff that needs the registry entries to work, all your config files and pluigins etc will be intact

I cant believe you would buy an AGP mobo after already making the mistake of getting on-board before.
AGP is dead, they just arent making the cards anymore - by getting a new agp mobo, you're limiting the life of your computer. I game a lot so my gfx card has to be the best I can afford - infact my card costs more than your whole computer (approx £270 - and that was less than I usually pay) but I cant afford a whole new system so I had to buy the best AGP card around - ever, they're just not going to make them anymore. AGP has hit its limit. If you want a machine that will stick around for another 5 years - you need PCI-E. Ok you'd need a new card too, but you can get one for about $40.

Last edited by NancyJ; 08-12-2006 at 05:19 PM.
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  #12  
Old 08-12-2006, 06:43 PM
Lucile Davis Lucile Davis is offline
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Rebuilding your machine

Excellent value for the buck, there. Can you recommend a parts source?

As an aside, having recently lost all my PhotoShop customizations (under Prorams-PS-plugins and presets) in a needed XP "Restore", sure wish you could find some way to save yours.
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  #13  
Old 08-12-2006, 07:30 PM
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Littlecoo Littlecoo is offline
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When I start afresh I just reinstall everything...yeah, it's time consuming but most painless option in the long run and gives me the opportunity to do some serious culling I have two hard drives which makes life so much easier, so the second drive is where I backup all my files(and photoshop scratch and plugins) so my primary (boot) drive mostly has all my installed programs on it so it is not so much a hassle or anxiety to reformat the entire drive. As for agp graphics, yeah they are on the way out especially for gaming and 3d animation/graphics, but if you don't dabble in that sort of thing the later agp cards will be supported for a while yet and if it does what you want it to do then it's all good
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  #14  
Old 08-12-2006, 09:34 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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thanks guys, but at the moment, all is moot. seems the motherboard has no carraige for the heatsink/fan arrangement over the cpu. the cpu socket is there and fine, but the plastic carriaige that holds the heat sink is missing. so, no way to lock down the heatsink/fan. always fun to find this out when the last thing you do in the assembly is the heatsink/fan. i've got all the other basics in place and just now found this out.

i think i'm going to go back to my old sig, 'I hate Windows'.

craig
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  #15  
Old 08-12-2006, 10:01 PM
Cassidy Cassidy is offline
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Craig, as you have a full backup of the system on another hard drive, you should boot to your Windows CD and it should start the installation processs. Just after the licence agreement part, it should look for an existing installation of Windows and offer you the option of either repair or upgrade. This usually will repair your Windows to be compatible with the new hardware and your existing files and programs should remain in tact. If it does not find an existing installation of Windows to repair/upgrade, do not proceed.

If it cannot find a hard drive at all then you most likely will have to make the driver disk from the motherboard cd and use the f6 option when windows starts its loading process from the cd (it does prompt for this across the bottom of the screen).
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  #16  
Old 08-13-2006, 05:53 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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well, i had to wait till noon for the computer store to open today, sunday and all, but took the entire system back to the store and swapped out the errant motherboard for new, more expensive pci-e board (all nancyj's doing ). that meant stripping everything i had already installed and the board and putting in the new one and setting it all back up again, including my old c: drive with the oem windows on it.

got that all set up and the guys had a testing station there where i could hook up a mouse, keyboard and montitor to test the new rig. no video signal from the pci card (pci, not pci-e... this was my old card). we fooled around with that and finally determined the card was blown. so, i broke down and bought a cheap, $69.00 pci-e card. ok, now we got a video signal.

so, time to test the old harddrive and see if by some longshot that would boot. no signal. bios couldnt see it, even with manual setup. about this time i began wondering if my entire system had had some sort of massive burnout. luckily, the store guys were smarter than me and by changing ribbons and removing ribbons, the drive was finally seen by bios.

ok, getting there, so let's see if the longshot can happen and that maybe, just maybe, windows will actually boot up from my old system. now, this is where things got interesting and surprising. windows began to boot. naturally, since i'd crashed the system so many times, it wanted to do a chkdisk. ok, i let that run and it basically ran through all that and then rebooted itself, which seemed odd. but finally, windows came up to the windows activation screen wanting to know if i wanted to activate now or later. i said later and the system reboot itself again. lol. but it did come up to the activation thing again.

ok, now here, through a bit of trickery the store guy knew, we actually got windows to fully boot up and lo and behold, there was my desktop with all my icons and the whole shebang! ok, i was now pretty impressed. meanwhile, popups for installing devices and drivers are coming up like crazy, most of which werent even attached to the system currently.

well, i'd now been in the store for about 3 1/2 to 4 hours and it was near closing time. so, i shut things down, packed them all up and brought them home. i'm still on the backup machine writing this. there is a ton of stuff i'll still have to do to get the main system back up and functioning fully, but i'm rather amazed they could save that oem on the new hardware!

oh yea, i also had to buy a new keyboard at the store to get the system working there. all they had on the test station was one that used an usb board and mine was set up on ps2. so, $10.50 for a new, cheap board.

so, i've completely blown my original budget of $300. the upgraded board added another $30, the new pci-e card=$70 and a new keyboard for $10.50, plus the fact that i was already over budget by $58. but for what, $470 or so, i've got a new 64 bit mobo, cpu, case, power supply and pci-e card. i'd say that's still a pretty good bang for the buck. and, i saved my old system drives! not bad

so, thanks for the help and for putting up my problems i'll probably burn the whole thing out finishing all the setup i've got to do yet.. lol. shld have bought a mac

craig
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  #17  
Old 08-14-2006, 02:02 AM
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NancyJ NancyJ is offline
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You may be over budget now but it looks like you're set for a fair few years of upgrades there.
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  #18  
Old 08-14-2006, 03:45 AM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Sounds like you had a lot of fun (and that you've got a good computer store), hope you don't have any more problems getting it fully rigged.

Like Nancy said, you may have spent a bit more than you'd budgeted for, but you've got a box that should last you a while.

Now, hows your monitor looking?
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  #19  
Old 08-14-2006, 04:23 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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hehe, the monitor is fine.

but, am having problems getting it fully rigged. at first i had a hard time just getting it see two drives in bios. finally got past that but it's still very dodgy. may yet have to go with a full, new install of windows. whatever the guys did at the store to keep the old oem version going, it seems to be affecting putting stuff back on the system, like drives and printers and other devices. so, i'm not out of the woods yet. it boots up ok and i've even got the new vid card drivers installed and that part was mostly ok and i've got one harddrive and one dvd burner running, but when i put a 2nd harddrive back on it goes through all the bootup, gets to the desktop, loads a few things but no start button or task bar comes up and then it blue screens and crashes.

in fact, even before putting the 2nd drive on it would blue screen about 2 out of 3 times. and it doesnt seem to like cable select. i had to go back to master/slave on the drives to get just the one harddrive and dvd burner up and running.

so, in the long run i may be better off just partitioning the current c: drive into 2 partitions and making one clean one for a new install and make that the master boot partition.

the guys at the store told me this would dodgy, trying to save the old oem version, because of the old master boot record stuff and the M$ activation stuff. well, we seem to have gotten past the activation but maybe not the mbr.

i'm gonna keep playing with it for a while, but the frustration level is rising

i do have another thing i havent tried yet too. the motherboard came with a cd of drivers and utilities. might be something there that needs installing since this is a different chipset from the last machine.

i did get a nice performance boost when i removed the old ATI drivers. seems that was conflicting a bit and slowing things down.

so, have made a little progress but keep hitting installation bugs on putting back the old devices.

i hate windows.

craig
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  #20  
Old 08-14-2006, 06:21 PM
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Racc Iria Racc Iria is offline
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Craig...

I hate to say this, but the path you're on is a blue one. A very blue one, indeed. Hardware wise, anyway. Trust me. I know... I've been there.

You should bite the bullet and go with a fresh install of the OS on a nice new formatted partition. Otherwise, all those hardware installation issues you're having will continue... along with those blue screens of death (BSOD).

Here's why... When Windows (NT or later) is installed on a machine it examines all the attached hardware, customizes itself, and creates what's call a Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL). A good analogy might be that the HAL is to the OS what the BIOS is to the motherboard. Without getting into a lot of detail, it tells windows how to talk to and interpret drivers for all your hardware... everything from your ram, hard drives, video card, peripherals, to your CPU. Everything. And you can't see or control it.

Your current HAL was created for your old e-machine. Forcing Windows to use an old HAL with almost all new hardware (only your drives and the ram are the same, right?) is just asking for problems. Just look at all the BSODs and BIOS issues you're having. Even if you install new drivers for your hardware, Windows may be interpreting/applying them to the old hardware that it thinks is still there. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, sometimes it does but is unstable or has performance issues. A very common result is the BSOD.

A BSOD in later versions of windows (again NT or better) is almost always the result of a hardware driver failure/incompatibility. This is not the foundation you want to build a new system on. Think how difficult it will be to trouble shoot later. Plus, with a fresh install you won't have all that "bit rot" bogging down your system from the start.

A fresh install is a pain, I know, but you will be much happier after it's done and your system is stable and predictable and running as fast and smooth as it can.

--Racc
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