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I Am Building A Computer for First Time


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#1
GrumpyGuy

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Greetings,

This is my first post. I am pleased to be here.

A Google search for "How to Build a Computer System" found you for me.

Yesterday and today I physically assembled a new system built from components that I selected by various considerations. I can give more details about what it is but at the moment this is an introductory post.

My system is Windows XP 32 bit (hence this forum). It uses a motherboard built by Foxconn that is PCI-Express oriented, supports the AMD AM2 socket The system has an Athleon 64 2x (dual core) F2 (unsure what this means) processor. (After buying perhaps 1 or 2 too many PCs from D_ll, I was ready for something with AMD inside.) The purpose of the system is to enable me to capture uncompressed standard definition video. The application, and the capture card I decided to go with, requires 3GB sata2 drive systems. I have support for 6 SATA hard drives, 5 are physically installed. The motherboard has on board RAID controller.

I did not order a floppy drive until today. (My prior two computers did not have a floppy. There is not even one laying about that I can borrow to get going.) I hope that lack of a floppy drive does not stop me before I can get the system up and running.

I have not yet broken the seal on my OEM XP Pro software package. I also have a disc that came with the motherboard and one that came with the video card.

The system has an OEM DVD burner (with combi capability) pysically installed. That is the only IDE drive installed.

All hard drives are, for the moment, unformatted. I have an option of formatting one of them on this PC if that is a prerequisite.

I realized from the time that I started putting the system physically together yesterday that needing to get answers to the following question was going to stop forward progress. A while ago it did. The question: How does life get breathed into a (this) new system?

Right now I have a new PC without the drivers and motherboard software installed, without the optical drive installed (in the Windows sense), without the video card installed (ditto) and without a drop of Windows or anything else on any of the hard drives. I do not even know if the PC will boot from one one of the optical installation discs that I have. I realize that first I have to enable the optical drive to be checked in the boot sequence for available software to boot. Before that can even happen I need to know how to set the optical drive so that it is configured properly with the IDE cable. It is the only device on the IDE so it should be the master, but it may require that I change something for that to be possible (most likely a jumper setting). I have to get the optical drive model for you, please give me until later this evening, to get that for you. The optical drive is in the farthest IDE cable connector from the motherboard. That was the only point long enough to reach to the motherboard connector. I am using a full tower case because I needed lots of drive bays.

My guess is that my first step shoud be to bring up the BIOS settings and enable a couple of things. The next step seems to require loading either the motherboard installation disc or the Windows XP pro installation disc, but I do not know which.

I will check back later this evening and see what suggestions and questions may be waiting for me on this thread. I would like to be able to plug the PC in and turn it on this evening and start the process of installing all the required software. I prefer not to throw the power switch until I have had some responses from some folks here that have this done this before. This seems to be a good forum to get those responses. I look forward to hearing from some of you soon.

Cheers,
GrumpyGuy
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#2
warriorscot

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Just plug in the IDE no matter how you have set it if its the only drive it should just work it being the only drive master and slave aren't so important. The big thing you need is a floppy drive you cant install windows without one on SATA drives as windows XP is to old to have SATA drivers pre installed so you need to do that in a separate step you are prompted to so so during the start-up of the disk(hit F6 to install 3rd party drivers or something like that). You load the drivers provided with the motherboard decent mobos usually come with pre made floppies but you might need to take the drivers off the mobo CD.

That's it really i think you are thinking a little to much at this point just relax if you already have it built that's the hard bit setting it up is nothing. Also just power it up see if it works it wont hurt it unless you did something horribly wrong putting it together(in that case you would be buggered anyway). You dont need an OS to configure bios and if you want to use the computer while you wait for the floppy drives you can always try a linux live CD(you should actually be able to install linux without SATA drivers it has them allready, install time for linux is 10-15 minutes plus another 10-15 to set it up easy really if you are impatient to test it works you can even use it as a primary OS if you like).
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#3
GrumpyGuy

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I just did not a "fast reply" and I seem to have lost what I wrote--it is not showing up anywhere.

Thanks, warriorscot, that was what I needed to know to keep on going. I am going to borrow a floppy from a kin person's PC if they will let me. I will have my own in a week. The things are only $6 now, I thought they cost $26 or $30, plus I did not realize that my motherboard supports up to 2 floppies and that the line is separate from the IDE line.

Meantime, I have crashed (gotten very tired while I was out). I will be back tomorrow with news of what happened. Are there more of you following this? Write me a note, even if only to say hello. If anyone wants to know more about my system (and it does not seem to be that important to knowing what one has to do), ask and I will post it here.

"Til tomorrow
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#4
warriorscot

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Not that many of us to go around im afraid, Floppies are ridiculously cheap they are only 1.99 or less here, Shipping costs more than the drives usually they do usually have their own channel. If you cant get a loaner i would try a linux OS for a while just to get it tested, your first linux try out is a fun experience if you are into computers as well.
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#5
GrumpyGuy

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WarriorScot, thank you again for your helpful advice.

You said that floppies cost $2 here. Are for sale on this site somewhere? Or is that where you work? Or? I paid 3.5 times that much for the one I ordered from N_wEgg but it will not break the bank, and it is a lot less than D_ll puts them into their systems for. I paid a comparable amount for shipping, but I also was buying an optical mouse and it did not change shipping total much. I should have ordered a pair of flopppies, one for this D_ll.

I have SATA and RAID drivers from the Foxconn site on a CD data disc now. They are extracted from a pair of zip folders called something or other floppy. I expect that Foxconn intended folks to use the extracted files to make a floppies for the purpose that you explained in your first response. I do not know whether I should make separate floppies for each driver group or just put all the files on a single one.

Removing the floppy from the kin's D_ll PC was an experience. Opening the removeable side of the case revealed two securing screws, one accessible only by reaching under the cage with a small wrench. But the drive was still immoveable. I finally figured out how to remove the plastic front of the case. That revealed two more securing screws. Finally, the floppy slid out the front. When I return this drive it is going in with only 3 of the screws.

Yesterday I had too many appointments and two of them were out of town. Today, with I will clean up this tiny office and prepare a space for the new machine. I will also transfer the drivers to floppy. I will use another's PC ath their place to do that. Then I will power-up for the first time. I will go as far as I get with this before I post an update here. If I do not post today, it means that something came up and I did not get to power-up yet.

I have an interest in Linux--I think it that the Linux open source project is wonderful--but I need to be very focused on what I am doing at the moment. My DeckLink card is Windowx XP pro specific. It had a lot of requirements for the system it can be used on, including that one. It is specific, more or less, to using with Adobe Pemiere Pro v 1.5 or v 2 as well.
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#6
GrumpyGuy

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I had the power supply RMAed, boxed and ready to go back. While having another look at what PS I should replace it with, I found a way to check PS out of the case. The supply checked good. I reinstalled it. (This post is a 100% reedit of an account of the PS being bad. Otherwise, I would have waited for the update.)

I had forgot to press the computer activate switch. All's well that ends well. Tomorrow afternoon I will install the software including drivers. Just now I am going to order what I now know is called a KVA so that I can share mouse, keyboard and monitor between two computers.

Edited by GrumpyGuy, 07 October 2006 - 09:27 PM.

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