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  1. #1
    Joined
    Apr 2001
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    7,606

    Exclamation Installing OS guide

    Windows XP pre installation:

    First thing you need to do is make sure you know what you are getting yourself into. XP is a wonderful Operating System, but if you are not prepared for the installation, it can be your worst nightmare.

    The first thing you need to do before you decide to format the drive is to get a copy of your RAID controller drivers (both PCI or Onboard). (Soyo only uses Highpoint and Promise, once I finish with my KT880 testing I will add links to ALi as well).

    3rd Party RAID/SCSI Driver Installation:

    Windows 2000/XP:

    You must download the RAID drivers which fit your controller (Promise or High Point).

    For Promise go here:

    http://www.promise.com/support/download_eng.asp

    For Highpoint go here:

    http://www.highpoint-tech.com/

    (You will have to know which version of the drivers you need, consult the manual for details.)

    After that is done, and you download the necessary drivers, put them into a \winxp folder on a Floppy Disk. Then you should be able to load them during the installation when it tells you to hit F6 for 3rd party RAID/SCSI drivers. You may have to open the OEMSETUP.INI file to make sure that is the directory it needs the files in. Make sure you keep the directory structure in tact, otherwise it will not find the driver during installation.

    XP Partition Setup:

    2000/XPs partition setup is easy to understand, most of it can be done from the setup. If you are converting FAT partitions to NTFS partitions, please do yourself a favor and do not convert them, but backup your data, and delete them, and recreate them with the NTFS partitions. The default and only option when converting partitions is 512KB.

    I recommend creating all the partitions during the inital setup. You, however, will only format the one the OS is going to go on for now. If you want to be neat and have super organization; you can create a different partition for the OS (10 GBs MAX will suffice), and seperate ones for Games, Applications, Downloads, Storage, etc. (The Max is 3 Logical disks, which would equate into D, E, F. 1 Primary and 3 logicals, or 4 primarys; note only windows XP or 2000 can read a disk with more than one primary parititon.

    Post Installation:

    Step 1:

    Install the VIA chipset drivers, use most current drivers, (4.51, Pro) Install all drivers (IDE, VIAMACH, and AGP Gart).

    (http://www.viaarena.com/?PageID=2)

    (Reboot)

    Step 2:

    Download and Install Serivce Pack 1 (alternatively, you can just goto Windows Update Page and download it from there).

    (Reboot)

    Step 3:

    Download ALL "Critical Updates", install and Reboot.

    Step 4:

    Download (user defined) "Recommended Updates". If you don't know what to download, download them all!

    (Reboot)

    Step 5:

    Install any other devices drivers such as Firewire and RAID/SCSI. Use most recent drivers for each device, check www.soyousa.com for latest drivers, do not install Sound, Video or DirectX Drivers.

    (Reboot)

    Step 6:

    Install any Office or Visual Studio Applications (after they are installed, check MS update page for any updates to them, if there are any, download and install them, and reboot afterwards.

    Step 7:

    Install any applications that can make critical system changes, such as CDRW software (Adaptec), Antivirus, or any type of Norton applications. Reboot after your install each one if prompted. (Run LIVEUPDATE to Norton now, and download/install any updates to CDRW software)

    Step 8:

    Install ASPI Layer.

    Utility to check your ASPI layer:
    http://www.adaptec.com/worldwide/sup...ey=aspichk.exe

    Download BASE ASPI Layer files (install before running update):
    (http://clonecd.gearhost.net/clonecd/forceASPI17.zip)

    Update for ASPI layer:
    (http://www.adaptec.com/worldwide/sup...key=aspi32.exe)

    Step 9:

    Install any other applications and games. Deal with the 256 colors (98/2000), XP will probably have some sort of base video driver installed.

    (Reboot)

    Step 10:

    Install Direct X 9.0
    (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/di...ads/default.asp)

    (Reboot)

    Step 11:

    Install Sound drivers

    (Reboot)

    Step 12:

    Next install your video drivers.

    For TNT and GeForce line cards:
    (http://www.nvidia.com/view.asp?PAGE=drivers)

    For ATI line cards:
    (http://www.ati.com/support/driver.html)

    Step 13:

    Defrag and run a regcleaner, and then you are done.

    Later,
    Oz
    Last edited by ozzy983; 07-05-2004 at 07:05 AM.
    Rig:

    Athlon 64 X2 7750 Kuma @ 3360 Ghz @ 1.475V (14.5x223)
    (NB: 2240, HT: 2015)
    Gigabyte MA-790X-UD4P
    Sparkle GeForce 9800 GTX+ (755core, 1350 mem)
    Onboard sound (yuck)
    4GBs Mushkin DDR800 (6/6/6/18/24 @ 928mhz)
    2x74GBs RAID 0
    2xWD 1TB HD RAID 1
    Plexter DVD Burner
    Rosewill 530W

  2. #2
    Joined
    Apr 2001
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    7,606

    Newbie guide! Some 101's

    Ok guys, I figured I'd add a new guide to this as well, making it nice to print out both guides because they are under the same thread.

    Newbie guide 101. This guide is not limited just to first time builders. We probably could all use a tip or two from it. This guide will be in number format with explainations to each "tip".

    1) This is probably one of the most important pieces of information I could possibly give to people. Do not build your computer LATE AT NIGHT. This is probably the number one reason for screw ups. I know that when it hits 9 o'clock my brain does not function in the same way it would at 1 PM. Not only are you just not thinking correctly, but your fuse is probably much shorter than it is earlier in the day. So, in short, do yourselves a favor, and build at a reasonable time.

    2) Patience is a virture. So true it is. I know there are times when I've wanted to throw the computer out the window because something is not working properly. Thinking in haste is a good reason why mistakes are made. If you come across a problem, sometimes the best solution is to take a break, sit back, and while your doing your business think about the problem, and you might think of something that you haven't tried. I know it's tempting to throw it out the window, and get a steamrollor to finish the job off, but sometimes the best solution is to just sit and think about it.

    3) I don't know how many times I've seen people put the motherboard in the case, and then they decide they have to configure the jumpers. Do yourself a favor and not only Read the Manual (yes, that book with the instructions on how to set the computer up, oh that? Since when does that exist, eh?). Secondly, do all configuration BEFORE the motherboard is put in the system. Also, if you use tweezers to pull some of the jumpers off the motherboard, make sure they have a plastic coating over the handle, otherwise, you might eletricute the motherboard causing serious damage.

    4) ALWAYS discharge yourself of any static electricity BEFORE you touch anything inside the computer. Just because you can't feel the charge, doesn't mean you aren't giving one off. In the same regards, you don't have to feel it for it to be enough to hurt your computer.

    5) Put the CPU, Memory, and heatsink in the motherboard BEFORE it is put into the case. It's just much easier to get at things.

    6) When putting your heatsink on, put a small layer of electrical tape on the motherboard by the clip, and on the bit of the screwdriver, this will prevent any damage, or reduce it, if you slip and strike the motherboard.

    7) Re-check, double check, even triple check all connections BEFORE you first power on the system. This way you will not become frustrated when it doesn't work right away.

    8) Start with the barebones configuration. Don't put that sound, LAN, modem, Firewire, USB card, etc in the computer until you have it running stable with just a floppy, one HD, one cd-rom, memory, cpu (with heatsink), and memory (1 stick). Then start adding components one by one. If you run into problems you will easily be able to troubleshoot the problem.

    9) If you have an SBLive card, do yourself a favor and try slots 4/5 on soyo motherboards.

    10) Don't overclock until you have a stable rig at default settings. I know this sounds like a given, but trust me, it's not.

    11) I realize those nice rounded cables are not only cool looking, but nice to have to cooling purposes, but it's not necessary to buy them when you can do the rounding yourself. For a floppy and/or ATA33 cable, you can use a knife and cut between the wires and then just "rip" it, then use an electical tie ($1 for about 50), then tie it...boom rounded cable, didn't have to pay $15 for it, nearly free...might have gone cheap on the video card just to be able to buy those cool looking cables. The ATA66 cables are difficult to cut because they have twice as many wires, but you can just tie them, by folding it in 3rds, and it's the same size, takes up less room, and cost you NOTHING.

    12) Try to get a case that has a cable holder underneath the last 3 1/2 inch bay. These are a great invention. They keep the cables out of the way of the front case fan. I marvel at these sometimes.

    13) Don't go cheap on a PSU (Power Supply) or RAM. You'll kick yourself later if you do.

    14) Overall, just take it slow, and try to learn something from this experience. Documentation is great. Keep track of what you are doing for future systems. Most importantly just have fun.

    Later,
    Oz
    Rig:

    Athlon 64 X2 7750 Kuma @ 3360 Ghz @ 1.475V (14.5x223)
    (NB: 2240, HT: 2015)
    Gigabyte MA-790X-UD4P
    Sparkle GeForce 9800 GTX+ (755core, 1350 mem)
    Onboard sound (yuck)
    4GBs Mushkin DDR800 (6/6/6/18/24 @ 928mhz)
    2x74GBs RAID 0
    2xWD 1TB HD RAID 1
    Plexter DVD Burner
    Rosewill 530W

  3. #3
    Joined
    Apr 2001
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    7,606
    BIOS Optimization guide:

    Alright guys, this is the first guide of a series that I will be releasing. This guide is for all flavors of the Dragon, so it ranges from the KT266 to the KT880, so some setting might not be there depending on the motherboard.

    [Soyo COMBO Features]:

    Halt on: No Errors
    Set any channels that have no devices to NONE. This will decrease IDE detection time.

    [Advanced BIOS Features]:

    Virus Warning: Disabled
    H.D.D. SMART: Disabled

    [Advanced Chipset Features]:

    (DRAM Clock/Drive):

    DRAM CLOCK: Make same is CPU FSB
    DRAM Timings: Manual

    DRAM CAS Latency: 2.0
    Bank Interleave:: 4
    Precharge to Active: 3T
    TRAS: 6T (DDR400), 5T (DDR266/333)
    Active to CMD: 3T
    DRAM Burst Length: 8
    DRAM Command Rate: 1T
    Write Recovery Time: 2T
    tWTR: 2T
    DRAM Access Time: 2T

    (AGP & P2P Bridge Control)

    AGP Performance: Fast
    AGP Aperture Size: 128MBs
    AGP Driving Frequency: AUTO
    AGP Fast Write: Disable
    AGP Master 1 WS Write: Enabled
    AGP Master 1 WS Read: Enabled
    AGP 3.0 Calibration Cycle: Enabled

    (CPU & PCI Bus Control)

    Master 0 WS Write: Enabled
    Master 0 WS Read: Enabled
    Post Write: Enabled
    Post Read: Enabled
    PCI Delay Transaction: Disabled
    VLink 8X Support: Enabled

    Any other settings not listed above leave at thier defaults. These are the settings that have the biggest impact on performance. However, note, that the quality of your RAM will have a lot to do with how far you can tweak the timings, not all memory can do the listed timings above.
    Last edited by ozzy983; 07-05-2004 at 06:49 AM.
    Rig:

    Athlon 64 X2 7750 Kuma @ 3360 Ghz @ 1.475V (14.5x223)
    (NB: 2240, HT: 2015)
    Gigabyte MA-790X-UD4P
    Sparkle GeForce 9800 GTX+ (755core, 1350 mem)
    Onboard sound (yuck)
    4GBs Mushkin DDR800 (6/6/6/18/24 @ 928mhz)
    2x74GBs RAID 0
    2xWD 1TB HD RAID 1
    Plexter DVD Burner
    Rosewill 530W

  4. #4
    Joined
    Apr 2001
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    7,606

    Case cooling! By MSNY

    Glad to see things working nicely...here are some tips on cooling that I posted in another forum:

    Cooling is always an issue were constantly fighting. In 15 years of building I've had many cases and alwsy come against this as a great challenge.

    So, no matter if your an OC'er or a newbie that just wants a stable system HEAT is your biggest enemy !

    Here is the goal then: Get your case temp as close to ambient room temp as possible. This is called case ballast. Or better yet equal case ballast.

    Not easy, but here are some good rules of cooling to live by:

    1) If you mount 6 intake fans then mount 6 outtake fans of the same speed. Think about it for a minute. You want the airflow to be constant. (of course if you need 6 you have a bigger problem then coolling LOL !...exageration time) The air in = air out simple logic.

    2) Blow in from the bottom, blow out from the top. Most tower cases have an intake at the bottom. If there is any obstruction like plastic holders for the fan, CUT those suckers off and use double sided tape instead. Heat rises so if your case has no vents drill or cut some bigger for your fans.

    3) Case maintenace IS A MUST. Don't complain because you have 3 hard drives, 2 CDROMS and all these cables and wires and STILL your not cool with a million fans. STOP ! Consider the problem and sympathize with the airflow. The shortest distance between 2 points is a straight line. If the air has to go around cables and wires it takes longer to travel through the case, and by the time it does you have actually made it warmer. Some suggestions here: Use round IDE cables. Use velcro or strong plastic ties and move the cableing to one side of the case away from the fans. You may have to buy longer cables to do this.
    Some companies have PCI slot fans, if you can install one of these. If yoiu redirect the airflow it may need a slight boost, and these fans are good for that.

    4) Small fans won't cut it. Ya I know big fans are LOUD ! Will there is a trade off you may have to make. A lot of newer fans claim to make less noise and deliver good cooling. I don't beleive it for a minute. The bigger (and noiser the better). You need some good CFM to move air out of that stell coffin. Get good qauality fans, ya there a buk or 2 more but it will be worth it in the long run.

    5) Measure temps at idle and load. Compare your cold start temp after 15 minutes to your load temp of say 2 hours to Quake 3 or some other instesive application like Prime95. If your over 7 to 10 degrees over your idle you have an airflow problem, EVEN if your load temp is still acceptable.

    Now to those who will certainly ask: "what's a good low temp to have?" Dunno, the answer for every system is different, in setup, climate, room temp, summer or winter...to many variables to compare one system to another....just get them as low as possible with good cooling.

    Good luck all, hope these tips help out.

    PS. NO I did not rip these from some tech site, there my own experience of being a systems builder/hobbyist/systems analyst for over 15 years.

    Author: MSNY
    Rig:

    Athlon 64 X2 7750 Kuma @ 3360 Ghz @ 1.475V (14.5x223)
    (NB: 2240, HT: 2015)
    Gigabyte MA-790X-UD4P
    Sparkle GeForce 9800 GTX+ (755core, 1350 mem)
    Onboard sound (yuck)
    4GBs Mushkin DDR800 (6/6/6/18/24 @ 928mhz)
    2x74GBs RAID 0
    2xWD 1TB HD RAID 1
    Plexter DVD Burner
    Rosewill 530W

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