Dumb Question?

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BML

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I've been reading where lots of people who "build" their own units have various problems when they go to boot up. If I go this route I'll be using some of the hardware components from my old computer so once I start my only online access will be at work till I get booted up.

What are some of the common "problems" that I might run into when starting with a new m/b in a new case? Do motherboards come with instructions as far as setting the bios & connecting it? All the talk about setting the CMOS & jumpers can be a little scary. I know heat is a big one but I'll have a CPU fan & power supply fan, and I guess I'll need a case fan as well? (I'm going to use a hot Athlon CPU about 1.5 ghz)

My experience with computer hardware is limited to having installed RAM myself (worked fine) and a CD=RW too (worked fine) but I'm pretty well inclined technically and I've been trying to read as much as I can...and there sure is a lot out there!
 
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A motherboard is a b*tch to install. It's the biggest thing you'll put in the machine, and so is the easiest to fry with static electricity. Also...please, for the love of god, don't buy an Asus A7V-266...please?
 
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From what I've seen the most common issue is really being too hasty. Other than not getting the mobo in correctly as WarC said (like touching the case/not grounded properly/static), I'd say these (in no order):
1. Not inserting a card/processor/memory fully.
2. Plugging in cables backwards.
3. Plugging in/inserting everything all at once and then turning it on. If it doesn't work, you have no idea where the culprit lies.

Basically, take precautions and just take your time and you will run into minimal probs. Put components in one at a time and make sure you're ok before throwing in the next one. That way, if something doesn't work, you'll know what caused the prob.
 
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WarC...that's an awefully negative thing to say....just because you are having so many issues with an Asus board...LOL
Motherboards are erally easy to install if you have a good case and read the directions thoroughly! The placement of the standoffs is important and just because you have lots of them it doesn't mean to fill every hole in the backplane as you will be shorting out your motherboard to the case.
 
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I still stand by my anti-Asus A7V stance. I've never had so much trouble from a Motherboard in all my life! I never had any trouble with my good ol' Abit Socket 7....also make sure you've got a decent Powersupply in that beast...Atleast 300 watts is the standard now! (I had to throw that in for the sake of the topic)
 
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Hello BML,

Angel and Rockn gives some really good advise. Perhaps the most important thing to do is to open the new mobo. Hold it, caress it, get to know it. Study it. Look at the jumpers. dip swithches, etc and familiarize yourself with them. Open the manual that comes with it and locate everything on the mobo that is referenced in the book. Then "dry fit" it into the case.Take it back out and install the ram, processor/heat sink and set all the jumpers per the instructions. Then install it into the case. Next insert the video card unless it has onboard VGA. Finally connect all the cables to the mobo. Now you are ready to plug in the power cord and boot up to the BIOS setup. Set the necessary parameters in setup, save and exit. Now install the hard drive and partition/format it. Finally install the operating system. Once this is complete then add the peripheal devices one at a time, restarting and making sure they work correctly after each one, before adding something else. Yep, I know it takes longer this way but I promise you that you will have far fewer problems. TAKE YOUR TIME! Good luck. kw1
 
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Do your research first, components, how to guides, etc.

There's lots of guides out on how to build you own machine.

I have built 4 or 5, never had one yet that wouldn't boot.

Too eliminate static problem stop at radio shack or whereever and buy a static band, not that expensive, takes the worry out of it. Just put the wrist strap on and attach the clip to the case.

A quality case and quality motherboard generally are not a problem.

Abit, asus, Iwill, epox, all have good motherboards now along with others.

My two cents
 
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But don't fry the Asus A7V-266 you got for christmas. It hurts.
 

BML

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Nov 24, 2001
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687
1. The case I want to buy has FRONT usb connections. Do I need a special motherboard for this or some kind of extra connector to go from the motherboard to the front of the case?

2. Suppose I want to buy a new hard drive. 7200rpm. My existing one is 5400. If I install the old one to use as only a "backup" drive will the 7200 one still be as fast? Someone told me if you have two hard drives the computer will only recognize the speed of the slowest one. So how would I work around this or is it a good idea to do this at all - combine 2 hard drives one fast one slow.

3. When you buy a mobo/CPU combo like from Pricewatch do they come in seperate boxes that YOU put together or does everything come as one unit - board, CPU, fan/heat sink?
 
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hey BML,

Putting together a computer will be the best thing you have ever done in computing. You will get to know the capabilities of your computer by studying the mobo and the periferials that go with it. The mobo owners manual will have where the third and forth USB connectors are, if so equiped. I have an AOpen 34 and it had separate on-board USB as well as the standard ones.

The hard drive's rpm just help out on seek time and will not make a difference how you set it up. If the mobo supports EIDE ATA 66 cables, use both for the hard drive because if you master the hard drive and slave the CD ROM, the CD ROM will slow down the HD.

The mobo and processor and heat sink do come seperate. Some mobo's can support different types of processors and some CPU's can take different fans. DON'T SKIMP on the fan or the power supply. These are the two things that will cause you problems down the road.

Good Luck!

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most sites not all on pricewatch will have the motherboard cpu and fan together but you might want to look at the pc-kits on there about all of them are put together and tested that's what I buy when I build them much easier plus shipping comes out cheaper then buying them separate
 
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