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Kyle_K_ski

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Everything posted by Kyle_K_ski

  1. Thanks for the kind comments folks. I just happened to take pictures of this thing, and will be happy to post them once Windows 7 is up and running smoothly, as well as a game or two (Ghost Recon and STALKER are the first two in). I'm more than a bit nervous about making adjustments to the BIOS, which is something that I've only ever done once before, with the guidance of a Dell technician on the phone line. That was many years ago. The good news is, and you can blare your horns for this, I have successfully changed the Time and Date settings in the BIOS. Everything else, though, gives me a bit of a shiver down my spine, and primarily because there's a product's advertised figures, and then there's the REAL values, which typically are quite smaller than advertised on the package. I don't want to input the wrong data. I'd like to describe what's on the screens available to me, and if you'd be kind enough to let me know if there are any settings that I should alter, I'd greatly appreciate it. For 10 seconds or so, the very first screen gives me the options to If I run the BIOS Setup, and then open up its "Main" tab, it lists some information that I hope is accurate. Too often, I've read of motherboards having this information wrong, with the results being the owner had a slower system than he/she should. Everything listed below is in a gray font that's inaccessible by using the standard methods. The other point of concern that I have, also written in inaccessible gray font, is found under the "OC Tweaker" menu. Now I realize that your motherboards may not feature the same features as mine, but I'm confident that there are similarities. Under this window, the following infor is listed... I'm also assuming from scrutinizing the "H/W Monitor" menu,that the fact that I there are no values listed for the computer's case-fans is normal? Does anything look odd in regards to the above data? In the end, what I would like to hear is that "Kyle, these screens look good--you're hardware is being maxed without overclocking. Just slide that Windows 7 DVD into the optical drive, and let it do its thing..." At this point in time, I'm not interested in overclocking the system, but I do want all of the hardware being used optimally. If you see any exceptions, please let me know. Thanks again for your consideration. Yours! Kyle April 21, 2011 Thanks for the kind comments folks. I just happened to take pictures of this thing, and will be happy to post them once Windows 7 is up and running smoothly, as well as a game or two (Ghost Recon and STALKER are the first two in). I'm more than a bit nervous about making adjustments to the BIOS, which is something that I've only ever done once before, with the guidance of a Dell technician on the phone line. That was many years ago. The good news is, and you can blare your horns for this, I have successfully changed the Time and Date settings in the BIOS. Everything else, though, gives me a bit of a shiver down my spine, and primarily because there's a product's advertised figures, and then there's the REAL values, which typically are quite smaller than advertised on the package. I don't want to input the wrong data. I'd like to describe what's on the screens available to me, and if you'd be kind enough to let me know if there are any settings that I should alter, I'd greatly appreciate it. For 10 seconds or so, the very first screen gives me the options to If I run the BIOS Setup, and then open up its "Main" tab, it lists some information that I hope is accurate. Too often, I've read of motherboards having this information wrong, with the results being the owner had a slower system than he/she should. Everything listed below is in a gray font that's inaccessible by using the standard methods. The other point of concern that I have, also written in inaccessible gray font, is found under the "OC Tweaker" menu. Now I realize that your motherboards may not feature the same features as mine, but I'm confident that there are similarities. Under this window, the following infor is listed... I'm also assuming from scrutinizing the "H/W Monitor" menu,that the fact that I there are no values listed for the computer's case-fans is normal? Does anything look odd in regards to the above data? In the end, what I would like to hear is that "Kyle, these screens look good--you're hardware is being maxed without overclocking. Just slide that Windows 7 DVD into the optical drive, and let it do its thing..." At this point in time, I'm not interested in overclocking the system, but I do want all of the hardware being used optimally. If you see any exceptions, please let me know. Thanks again for your consideration. Yours! Kyle April 21, 2011
  2. I cannot find words to adequately describe how bad I feel about this small, but HUGE mistake. I know that some of you put a lot of time into trying to help me, and I know that time is a precious commodity for all of us. So, not only did I waste my own time, the time of my wife, my two darling kids, and for yourselves, but to be perfectly honest, the stress that I've felt from trying to figure this out has made me, well, grumpy, and that isn't fair to those who are closest around me either. Again, I'm frustrated with myself for what's occurred, and I'm grateful that, thus far, I'm getting some warm and happy responses to my gaff of cosmic proportions. Alright, now before I start to install the OS tonight, I'd like all of you to take a look at the following text, and let me know if you'd be worried about anything posted there. This is what I saw on the monitor once I hooked it up to the now properly powered motherboard: Now, I was watching the motherboard's Dr. Debug LED display during the entire of the initial loadup, and I didn't see the above till the numbers on the Dr. Debug display settled and stayed on "85." The other codes that were quickly flashed were D1, D3, D5, 2A, 38, 3A, 60, 75, 78, and finally 85. There were more numbers, but they changed far too quickly for my hand to record on the notepad. To me, all of the codes that I referenced in the ASRock manual seem to indicate that devices were detected and connections were being made--all of it sounded like "routine" stuff. I'm assuming then, that code #85 simply means to tell the computer's user, through the monitor, what the errors are. And from what I saw on the monitor, I'd assume that the errors to be reported deal with the following lines: The above sounds like "routine business" to me as well, yes? If so, what should I do first, connect my system to the internet, press F2 to have the BIOS to run the Setup (which I assume would connect it to the official website to download the latest BIOS, and get and set the correct date and time), or should I wait on updating the BIOS, and just start installing Windows 7 Professional Upgrade, or...? And am I correct in reading the "good" news that first screen gave me? It looks like it detected EVERYTHING, and it didn't report any device-based errors, so all of that stuff, the graphics card, the CPU, etc., etc., that's all working appropriately, yes? Thanks in advance, oh Forgiving Ones (I hope!)!!!
  3. I called ASRock support here: 1-909-590-8308 And the gentleman I spoke with, Derick, made reference to taking the motherboard out of the case completely, having it just hooked up to the PSU, the cooler, and with no RAM. When I start it up, it should make 3 beeps, which means that the motherboard's fine, and that the RAM is missing. He mentioned that I ensure that I have the power firmly plugged into its 24 pin and 8 pin sockets, at which point I interrupted him and said, "Uh, what 8 pin power socket?" "Well sir, there are two power sockets, one for a 24 pin and one for an 8 pin." Guess who did NOT have the 8 pin power hooked up? Yeah, that's right, ME !!!! So, I hooked up the 8 pin, cleared the CMOS, started it up, and got SEVERAL beeps, saw the Dr. Debug LED system light up, flash through a score of numbers, only to settle on #85, which according to the manual reads... Display errors to the user and gets the user response for error. Now, I have no idea what that means, and I'm guessing that it might be saying that because I don't have it hooked up yet to a monitor. So I'm going to go and do that now. If you have more details on said error report, please post here. ARRRRRRRRGH!!!!! I am SO sorry for missing something SO obvious. Only, it's not obvious, because even after I got off of the phone with the man, it took me a long several minutes just to find it because the CPU cooler makes it almost impossible to see. I feel like such a CHUMP! Forgive me all ! :'(
  4. I hope that the congratulations aren't too early. I just received an email from the friend who supplied the graphics card, and while he doesn't supply any reasons in his email (he's at work) he highly doubts that the Lightscribe Optical Device is the culprit. He wants me to basically go through the same procedures that Roco originally advised. Here's what Adam (who supplied me with the GeForce graphics card) recommended to me: I've already gone through the whole RAM-testing bit. The monitor didn't produce a picture. According to Adam's email, his four biggest culprits are the RAM, the motherboard, the power supply and the CPU. How do you feel about this? Is it VERY likely that I identified the real problem (the Lightscribe), or do I now need to strip everything out just to get a look at the processor, visually see whether its damaged or not (and if not damaged, risk damaging it by reseating it into the motherboard). The lack of an additional power supply is a major headache. I might know people who could have a powersupply, but the odds of it being as beefy as a 600W one are pretty slim. I want this mess OVER WITH, you know?
  5. I think that I finally found THE CULPRIT that's been plaguing me! I used the previously mentioned testing method, but I then went one step further: I added one device at a time. A major pain in the butt, but a method I'll be MOST pleased with if it results in a positive outcome. To speed things up, I did NOT have my monitor hooked up to the graphics card (I can only place the case on the ground for the monitor hookup; it was a lot faster for me to go monitor-free, and just keep the case on the worktable. Also note that I cleared the CMOS before each and every additional change indicated in the table below. Here's my One Part Added At A Time checklist. Each part is listed in the order that it was installed in. Part Installed Motherboard Beeps? Dr. Debug LED # HIS Radeon graphics card None None Rear case fan None None AC'97-Front case panel audio switch None None Power Switch/HDD LED/Reset System panel head None None USB-Front case panel None None SATA port-Front case panel None None Top case fan None None Front case fan None None Seagate Barracuda 320 GB hard drive None None SATA connection to optical drive (this device does not yet have power) None None Lightscribe Optical Drive (power now connected) YES, two short & rapid beeps None ? One might wonder why it is that I did the Lightscribe Optical Drive in two steps, and the only reason why I did that was because ALL of the other device-hookups produced no sounds, and I wanted to "tightly corner" the Lightscribe device just to better ensure and detail it should it prompt a beep. Here's a listing for the Lightscribe Optical Device: Lightscribe product description link . So, the question is now this: what is the significance of the 2 short beeps finally sounding out when the Lightscribe is fully connected, and why did the Dr. Debug LED system NOT display a code after the beeping? Is it safe to assume that the Lightscribe is the faulty device, or does the motherboard have a malfunction in handling said device, or is it the AMD Phenom II processor that's faulty when the device is plugged in, or...? I need a short break from doing this. So I haven't yet bothered to plug it into the monitor to see if it results in anything different, but then I can't imagine how the consequences would be any different if I did. Are there any additional tests that you would like me to run, or did my methodology prove something (hopefully) conclusive?
  6. I don't recall seeing any LED's on the motherboard being lit. Here's what I'm going to do: Clear the CMOS, hook up the power supply to the outlet, start up the system with just the HIS Radeon card, motherboard, processor, and CPU cooler being connected, and, whether the two-beeps are produced or not, and thoroughly-check to see if any LED's are lit. Then, hook every cable and chord back up (yay, such fun!), clear the CMOS, hook up the power supply to the outlet, start up the system, wait for the two-beeps, and thoroughly-check to see if any LED's are lit. And then report back to you all. I've got to make breakfast for the family, and then I'll get my hands back into that case. Let me know, hopefully before I start the latest testing, if any of my above procedures could be better refined. Yours!
  7. Cleared the CMOS, and tried out the GeForce 8600GT 256MB graphics card, with no graphics being displayed. Now, not to sound like a complete idiot, but I was unable to find a socket for a power supply chord--am I correct that it gets its juice via the PCI Express connection that it has? I did a keyword search, and the results I got weren't explicit. If I somehow missed the power socket, please link me to the article that mentions it so that I can find it. Not even NVIDIA's official site was helpful My link Assuming that I did hook up the GeForce correctly, what's next for diagnosing? Do I need to remove the PSU, the CPU cooler, and then the motherboard so that I can extract the processor and see if its pins were (somehow) damaged when it was installed? What if the processor looks fine, how do I determine "for sure" that it's broken/okay, and that the only real remaining candidate for causing the circuit parity is the motherboard? How likely is it that the RAM's the culprit? I don't know if I'm going to have access to a lesser-powered and ASRock-compatible processor to do any further testing. As always, any and all advice warmly accepted. .
  8. I just acquired a used graphics card that works. It has several blown capacitors, but it's used for testing situations such as the one I'm stuck in. It'll produce a picture, but it'll have artifacts in the image. That's perfectly fine with me if it'll get the job done. Here's the card I'll be testing with tonight: GeForce 8800GT link
  9. I forgot to mention that the only fan that I did NOT remove from the panel was the Cool Master CPU Cooler's fan. Literally, the only way that I could remove it was to take EVERYTHING out, including the motherboard.
  10. Patience is a virtue I'm abundant in. Just don't tell my wife that I told you so. I've merged together Roco's two detailed and comprehensive testing recommendations into one, with my responses for what I accomplished written in red font, and if there's any related commentary by me it'll be either in the dark red or dark purple font. TESTING PROCEDURES make sure all power connectors to mainboard from powersupply are plugged in. Done, and all were in place. remove all front switch cables from mainboard. use screwdriver to short power pins. see if it boots. See next entry below. remove bios battery after removing power from power supply. turn it sideways and use the battery to short the 2 connectors. This will reset the bios. put the battery back, test. Done. Used motherboard's Start button, yet no picture on monitor. I pressed the CLR_CMOS button at the back of the case, pressed the Reset button on the motherboard, and then shutdown system. unplug all sata, ide and power connectors for everything but the mainboard, and video card. (That includes any fans) All you want is mainboard, video, ram and of course power supply for testing. That includes removing any pci sound cards or devices. That narrows it down as to post, that is all you need. (post as in show the intial screen where it has memory count and processor or the mainboard manufacturers cover screen. if it were to post then it's a component. if not, it's one of the 3. Done. Used motherboard's Start button, yet no picture on monitor. I pressed the CLR_CMOS button at the back of the case, pressed the Reset button on the motherboard, and then shutdown system. Next, try the ram as i said 1 stick at a time. Take all the ram out. Start with 1 stick. Try in 1st slot. if no post, try 2nd stick, 3rd ect. then move slot. It is possible also 1 memory card not seated can stop the whole boot. if that doesn't work then probably not the ram. Done. Used motherboard's Start button, yet no picture on monitor. I pressed the CLR_CMOS button at the back of the case, pressed the Reset button on the motherboard, and then shutdown system. I'd like to add that if having one stick of RAM "not seated" can cause the whole system not to boot up, then isn't it possible that even just one faulty stick of RAM, seated properly, could also cause the system to not boot properly? How can I tell for a certainty whether it's a bad seating or a faulty stick of RAM that's potentially causing the problem? then your down to video, processor, mainboard and power supply. From their ask a friend if he has a pci express card you can borrow for a night to test. any card will do just to post. if it posts then its your vid card. if it doesn't your down to mainboard and power supply. After going through this process, it looks like one (or more?) of the three is defective, yes? I'm hoping that I can secure a PCI-based graphics card tonight, but am unsure of what the odds will be for something like that. Also as stated the beep codes would help us narrow it down even faster. Now this is interesting: I kept the motherboard's speaker plugged in. There wasn't a single beep the entire time that I was doing the testing, and that included a lot of start ups. What does this mean, as it beeped twice when all of the other devices were plugged in? I'm quite sure that I had it seated properly after removing all of the other cables and chords. Take the processor out. Look for bent pins on mainboard or processor if that one has them. put it back. try to boot. (Reseating can help sometimes) Won't try until a friend's graphics card won't get the system to POST. As stated before also if it's the wrong processor for that mainboard it also won't boot or may need a bios update using a lesser processor before inserting.
  11. And then add some paprika. Salt to taste. Stir. And serve. I've been up since 3:30 AM, and I'm about to start all of this blasted testing now. More later (if time permits before heading off for work).
  12. I've just posted a detailed help request at TweakTown Forums, as they have ASRock representatives there to lend assistance. I hope that it's speedy, reliable, and effective. A technician from the school district I work in has also cautioned me in regards to returning the RAM, saying that Your memory is 1600 overclocked, but it will run fine on speeds below. You board probably defaulted to 1300, which is fine. Try following your motherboard's directions to reset the bios/cmos as this may get things to settle. Also, try just installing one memory stick at a time. I've never had any issues returning anything to newegg, and hopefully you don't have to return anything. So, after dinner, I'm going to try one stick of RAM at a time (in the 1st blue slot), go through all of Roco's recommendations, and be ready to hit the CLR_CMOS switch between every step that doesn't result in a picture on the monitor. In other words: great fun! More later. Thanks again all for your encouragement and advice.
  13. They started out in the two white slots, and then were moved over to the blue by Jack yesterday. So, the RAM's been tried as MATCHED pairs in both sets of MATCHING slots, and in either case, they monitor didn't display anything. Do you have any recommendations for the new RAM I should try purchasing? I'd like it to be the DDR3 type, as fast as possible, but that won't violate the motherboard's parameters. Talk about juggling balls in the air! I'm "eating" lunch right now, so it won't be long till I'm back working...
  14. Jack already tried resetting the CMOS yesterday. I'll try pressing the CLR_CMOS button once I get the computer plugged back in after work, but I have my doubts as to what its effectiveness is going to be. So, for sure, the RAM's default MHz settings, if not the entire problem, is certainly a large enough issue to cause the system not to send an image to the monitor, and cause the two beeps? And that means, no matter what, I have to get RAM that starts at 1333 MHz? That A-Data packaging was a monster to get open, and is no longer very "neat" looking. Will Newegg have any issues with me returning it? Do I need to send it back with a note declaring the RAM to be most likely okay? Also, can I order the new RAM before I hear back from Newegg about the refund-status of the A-Data RAM, or should I wait on ordering the new RAM till I first hear back from them, or...? Should I hold off on any of Roco*AFZ*'s recommendations till I get the new RAM installed? If A-Data's RAM's Mhz is a for sure "show-stopper," then I don't see much point in going through all of Roco*AFZ*'s nicely detailed step-by-step advice. And thank you for it too Roco! Thanks again all ! Alright, have to hit the road. Have a great day/evening everyone!
  15. Julie and I sat by the computer case, put our heads up real close, and started up the computer. For some reason the sound was clear and quite noticeable (maybe because I moved the RAM to different slots? That would be a weird trigger for better sound from an internal micro-speaker, but whatever). We counted two beeps, and waited a couple of more minutes for more beeps. There weren't any. So, we restarted the computer again. And once more, two more beeps. We waited around for five more minutes, and there weren't any more beeps produced. Do I need to somehow send more inputs into the system, to see if more beeps will be produced? If so, what could those be? A certain set of keystroke inputs (that will be a bit tricky without a monitor to see what verify what it is I'm typing)? Thanks again!
  16. The DVI "D" cable did NOT work. I ran to Staples, and they had a previously-opened 3 m long chord on clearance for $25, instead of $40. I picked it up because I figured that by the time I ordered a cheaper one, added in shipping and handling, and then waited for the delivery, well, my sanity couldn't hold out that long. This is the RAM that I got A-DATA XPG Gaming Series v2.0 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model AX3U1600GB2G9-DG2: A-Data RAM. What's the "POST?" It sounds like you're saying that the CPU is operating okay, but that there's potentially a "parity circuit failure," if that is what's wrong (I'll listen VERY carefully again), then is that caused by the RAM, or an issue with the motherboard? It sounds like you're suspecting that the issue has more to do with the motherboard than anything else, yes? In a few minutes I'm going to get my wife to sit next to me and figure out what it is that we're hearing exactly from that tiny speaker. I wish that it was louder and more distinctive. When I described the likely "two-beeps" as sounding like a car tooting its horn, the sound's so muffled and muddled that it sounds like a honking horn from a car that's driving by. Alright, time to purchase a hearing aide, and then move on over to the tiny speaker. Oh, and by the way, is there any real point in my keeping that DVI "D" cable? I don't understand how it's better than the cable with its adapter that I was already using. Will it result in higher framerates, a crisper and more detailed picture, or...?
  17. That's exactly what it looks like, and I installed it right where the motherboard's schematic said it should be. When I started up the computer afterward, it made a "beep" sound that pretty much sounded like a little car tooting its horn ("beep-beep"). It was barely audible though, so I can't say with even 75% certainty if I was hearing two beeps, or one. To no one's surprise, the motherboard's manual says nothing about the significance of the number of "beeps" produced by said speaker. Is the fact that it's beeping a good sign? Does it signify that the processor's okay, and/or that the motherboard's okay? Jack just left, and I knew he was "hardcore", but not exactly how hardcore he was till he showed up with his plastic tub full of tools and spare computer parts. He even showed me this device that insulated cables. He used to dismantle the cables and then encase them in that fine mesh insulation material. Now, that's a hardcore computer builder! And that's why I took his advice very carefully when building this thing. What I'm happy to report is that he had no criticisms with how I assembled the system. Yeah, I'm pretty proud of myself. At least all of that stress got me a nice compliment from a pro! :-D Right now, he's pretty focused on believing that the issue is likely a simple one: either the graphics card or the cable running from the card to the monitor (maybe the motherboard, but he's doubtful about that). We know that the monitor is operating fine. But I had to use the HDMI adapter on the card, and even though the adapter I'm using came with the card, Jack swapped it out and checked it with his own, to no avail. So, he's recommending that I get a DVI "D" cable. "Yes" the card should work with the adapter, BUT he's experienced firsthand it not working till a more proper DVI "D" cable has been attached. He's said that in spite of the advertising they do, that these systems can be far less flexible than they'd like the public to know. He gave me another example: when he built his wife's computer, he accidentally setup an extra stand-off for the motherboard. It kept shorting out on him, and the hours it took for him to find the culprit were plenty. So, something as little as that can keep the whole system from working properly. I'm heading out soon to the nearest Staples and Wal-Mart, although their online prices are ridiculously high ($60 for 3 m. worth of cable!), I'm hoping that they have them for much cheaper or on Clearance in the store, especially since I can get a 2 m. cable for $6-9 through Newegg.com, although in all honesty, I am VERY nervous about what could happen if I ordered the part, found out it didn't fix the problem, and then I end up trying to return the graphics card or (perhaps) even the motherboard and they're both beyond their 30-day returns policy. Jack thinks that they'd be fine with it in light of the circumstances: I had to build the computer several weeks out from the date of the order, (which is a common event) and that we're in a troubleshooting process that's designed to address the least expensive fix first (a process that's in Newegg's and the manufacturer's long-term financial favor). Do you any of you have such stories that you could share in regards to Newegg's flexibility on such issues? Are they pretty understanding of such things, or would I be better off buying the part locally at a much higher cost, so that if the cable doesn't work, I still have just enough time to get the graphics card back in the mail to Newegg? And just to think things out a bit, let's say that I do get that cable today, and it makes no difference; there's still no picture on the monitor. Should I then assume that it's the graphics card? If so, and I send that back, and they then send me a new one, and I test that out, and the new card doesn't fix the issue, I'll then be beyond the 30 days for the motherboard. What then? Would they understand the troubleshooting process, and respect that and then be flexible with their returns policy, or...? I know that I'm asking you all to be partly "psychic" here, but just tell me what you think is most likely going to be true. What a stressful mess. Thanks again for all of your help! Yeah, but with the monitor not working, I can't read the BIOS. It would've been nice had they included "The Essential" beeps, at least, on paper, for situations such as mine, which, after spending more time with Jack, leads me to believe that they're more common than one would expect. And don't be ashamed to be all "Giga-in-my-face." If you got it, flaunt it!
  18. BUZZER?! The Roseville case shipped with a small bag of screws that also had a round thin plastic disc entitled "Speaker," and it has two long and very thin wires coming off of it, and that ended with a tiny 3 of 4 prong plug. I had no idea what was for, and the case's manual made no mention of it, nor the motherboard documentation. I find it bizarre that the motherboard would not come with a buzzer, but in any case, this is just another example of a firm doing a poor job of supplying enough info for the consumer. Alright, I'll try plugging it in, and then listen to what it might tell us. If we're REALLY fortunate, perhaps it'll say, "Dear valiant and nit picky computer-builder, have thee heart! Thous didst miss kissing thine case, and lo, thine fine affections shalt trigger the monitor's functioning...!" But I won't hold my breath for that. More later.
  19. Ugh! Had my wife in front of the computer. She saw the LED for the hard drive briefly appear once the computer was started up, but neither of us heard a beep. I assume that this sound is mandatory to indicate that the motherboard/CPU is working, or...? Moving the graphics card to the other PCI Express slot made no difference. Still nothing on the screen. Any final verdicts? I'm VERY sure that all the plugs/cables are where they're supposed to be.
  20. Thanks again for your input. No, the screwdrivers weren't magnetic. Washing something like those (with all of the different heads around the handle's base) would've been a real pain in the butt. I washed several non-magnetic Phillips head screwdrivers, but pretty much solely depended on the longest handled one, especially when dealing with securing that CPU cooler. And I just looked up that PSU. Here's the info on it, and "Yes" it has several 12 V rails: RS-600-ASAA listing. What really makes me nervous, especially in light of your mentioning of the magnetic screwdrivers is this: I worked at UPS for a couple of years, both in the Unload and then later in the Sorting, and there's no way that shipping places control for issues such as that. ALL kinds of stuff are just packed together in the backs of those trailers. When UPS went on strike in 1997, the management had to rapidly empty out the entire trailers on their own just to retrieve the human organs that are shipped through them. You'd think that something as sensitive and as vital as human tissues would be loaded in a particular location of the trailer, to ensure their viability and quick retrieval, but you'd be wrong. The only thing that was routinely located was the money when it was transported from one center to a hub. But no surprise there, is there? Alright, I've just finished moving the graphics card to the other PCI Express slot, so I'm going to take a small bit of time, and plug everything in to the case. Wish me luck!
  21. Thanks for your input. My answers to your questions will be in this bold white font. I honestly can't recall. I was so tired from working on it (I was being fastidious about doing everything right, so I was checking multiple text/video step-by-step tutorials with every little step I made. That, and trying to decipher the ridiculously obscure "directions" in the manuals) and all my attention was on the monitor each and every time I started up the computer. No clue. Would it be declared on a label somewhere on its exterior? I didn't get a manual, so I should probably find its online counterpart to make sure (although thus far the manuals are universally abysmal and I wouldn't be at all surprised if the manual doesn't even mention anything about it). That friend of mine, Jack, who gave me that 600 W Cooler Master, who is a dentist who hand-assembles all of his businesses computers and their networking, is very dedicated to getting the best energy-friendly and highly regarded products when he builds his systems, so I'm assuming that this PSU followed his building-philosophy when he bought it, and he's very big on the "80 plus" labeling. Can't say for certain though. The 320 GB hard drive that Jack gave me came bare (just the drive). All of the cabling running to/from it is brand new. I used the cables that came with the Roseville Challenger computer case. I can't say for certain whether or not Jack zeroed out the 320 GB hard drive before he handed it over to me, so I can't say if it's being read as being "empty" or not. And as I said above, when I say I was "fastidious" about putting this system together, I'm not exaggerating. The entire computer case, including its exterior, is metal, and I made sure I touched some metal part of it before picking up any piece, and this is in addition to my wearing blue nitrile medical gloves the entire time. I even washed the entirety of the screwdrivers I was using before I started. Due to the financially hard times, we need this system to LAST, so I was very careful with this stuff (which slowed me down even more). And I can't say yet if the hard drive's kaput or not, since the monitor isn't displaying anything to verify, unless, of course, that hard drive LED (if it's wired correctly, and I'm highly confident it is) is not hooked up properly. I'm hoping that Jack will be stopping by to take a quick look at this today. He already suspects that it's either the graphics card or the motherboard that's acting up. I'd be majorly bummed out if the problem ends up being the motherboard or the AMD Phenom II. Either one of those would add a ton of time to replacing. Well, not so much the Phenom II, as I now know for sure the correct way to assemble that CPU cooler. Ugh! I'm going to have my wife watch the system start up with me once I get everything hooked back up, to see if I'm missing any kind of signal when it starts. More info as I get it. THANKS again!!!
  22. Arrrrrgh!!!!! I have spent over 9 hours building my first computer, and it's still not working properly! Please, if any of you can think of something that I'm getting wrong, or missing, don't hesitate to send your advice my way. First, the parts that I used for this build can be found listed here: List of Build Parts. What is working? 1. The power turns on. 2. The optical drive's LED is lit green, and its tray opens/closes on demand. 3. ALL of the fans are spinning and the one's that are supposed to glow do so, and... 4. ...the Power and Reset buttons on the motherboard panel are lit up red (I'm assuming that these lights can only glow red, and not green). What's not working: 1. Nothing is displayed on the monitor. And "Yes" it is turned on. 2. The LED light on the front of the case to indicate hard drive activity briefly flashes a red glow at startup, but nothing thereafter. Perhaps the hard drive shows no activity because the drivers haven't been installed, and the operating system is waiting to go on. That said, the 320 GB SATA hard drive is a used one, but its previous owner is meticulous, and it's HIGHLY unlikely that there's anything wrong with it. I'm assuming that there is data on said hard drive. What could be wrong? These are my inexpert musings, but in case they can prove of value, I'm presenting them here: The manufactorors of the HIS Radeon graphics card supply a x2 4 pin to a x1 6 pin power connector. Although they supplied said device, they strongly advise not to use it if there's a 6 pin PCI Express power connection available (which there is). I have tried both means of supplying power to the graphics card, and both means supply enough power that the card's cooler fan is spinning. The manual keeps making constant references to plugging in TWO PCI Express power connectors into the card, but this card has only ONE receptacle (I have scrutinized its exterior numerous times, there is but the one power connection). Could the graphics card be working, but because the hard drive (might) be improperly operating, that its signals can't be displayed on the monitor? In regards to the hard drive's LED light at the case's front: it has a clear red plastic bubble (so it has to emit a red glow, right?), I checked the motherboard's manual over and over again, so I'm confident that I have it's x2 pronged cable hooked up right into the System Panel Header, especially since the Power and the Reset switches are being lit up (but they're lit red, is this color the lights' default color, or does it indicate that they're wired up improperly?). So, if I can figure it out for two of the three devices, then I'm assuming that I have the third one correct as well. Perhaps there's something wrong with the hard drive? And, if there is, could it be having an impact on nothing showing up on the monitor, and the graphics card is really working, but we just can't tell because the hard drive is kaput? Or are the graphics not being displayed because the older 600 W power source is not delivering the wattage it used to deliver when it was newer? Or is it due to my house being so old that not enough juice is being pumped out of the wall socket so that the wattage can be properly generated and channeled to the graphics card? I can't recall the exact expected wattage-demand that was calculated when I was doing my research, I'm pretty sure it was around 480 Watts, but perhaps that calculator was off a good degree, and I need more power? Or is the graphics card defective, or...? And that's all that I can think of at this point. I am earnestly hoping that I'm missing something simple, and that there aren't any defects in the parts. I worry a little bit that I screwed the cooler unit on too tightly over the top of the processor, but before I even started screwing it on, I checked several instructional articles and videos, and they all said to tighten down the cooler unit's screws till they quite-suddenly tighten to a near stop. This is exactly what I did, so... And the manuals for all of these devices are nearly impossible to make sense of, with the least helpful illustrations, and with extremely limited Keys/Legends to make sense of all of the notations. I swear, had they invested in another quarter page's worth of paper and ink, they could avoid having to field a lot of nervous email/telephone requests for help, and thus save big money on supplying service help to those who made mistakes and/or are confused. But I guess they like loosing money. Again, any help would be greatly appreciated (especially since the 30 day return deadline is fast approaching!). Thank you! Kyle April 17, 2011
  23. ROCKO*AFZ*, With using the first method you referred me to, what does it mean to "Handle the UAC prompt?" Hopefully, nothing too tricky...! I appreciate the three links that you supplied to me. I'm strongly leaning to the second double-install method, as it just seems the simplest to do. I'm a little nervous with altering any kind of OS file, especially if it's important that there aren't any pending updates. What are the odds of that not happening? LibreOffice sounds cool. I've downloaded it and it's ready to install as soon as I get the Win. 7 OS up and running. Thanks for the input all !
  24. Thanks for the feedback folks. So, if I'm understanding things correctly, I should just leave Win. XP installed on my old 200 GB hard drive. Install Win. 7 Professional Upgrade to the new 300 GB hard drive but do this WITHOUT any other hard drives installed. Does Win. XP have to be installed on the 300 GB hard drive, or can it be zeroed out (remember it's a newer hard drive that was a gift to me, and not brand new), and then install Win. 7 Professional Upgrade on it? My confusion is this: does XP have to be on the newer 300 GB hard drive in order for the Win. 7 Upgrade to be installed, or can it be installed on a clean hard drive, and at a certain point in the installation process, Win. 7 Upgrade asks for my old Win. XP keycode, and once I enter that code, Win. 7 assumes that the installation process is legit, or...? However it's achieved, after the Win. 7 OS is installed, I can then hook up my old 200 GB Win. XP hard drive to the system. Before I do this, I should set its jumper to "slave," yes? Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like no matter how I install the Win. 7 Upgrade to the newer 300 GB hard drive, the system will not be able to access the data on the old 200 GB XP hard drive, correct? If that's the case, then should I zero out the old 200 GB hard drive, or would it just be wiser and safer to just delete all of its data, and then perhaps run Eraser to overwrite everything with a single pass of randomized data, or...? And one more question: can I install my old XP-based Windows Office for Small Business and PowerPoint 2003 and have it run properly in Win. 7, or are those programs nerfed by the new OS? If they're nerfed, I'm just going to use OpenOffice. Thanks again!
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