Computer noob questions

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Mr. Mikey, Sep 2, 2006.

  1. Mr. Mikey

    Mr. Mikey New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    Messages:
    584
    Likes Received:
    0
    OK, for some reason, I decided that building my next computer would be the way to go. My 7yr old Dell took a dump on me last week and Tiger Direct was running a sale so....

    Here I am, $500 later, with this pile of pieces-parts that supposedly assemble into a computer and I have a few questions.

    1) The chasis USB and firewire ports (on the front) need to be plugged into the mobo. I see the headers marked for USB but none for firewire. The two plugs are exactly the same, but the instructions say NOT to plug firewire to a USB or vice-versa. Now, the mobo paperwork tells me that the two headers on the board have different voltage values.

    -Which of these headers should be for the front USB ports?

    -Since the plugs are identical, and since the values are different, could one of these headers be for the firewire port? If so, which one?

    -Will it work if I install the two CD drives on the same ribbon cable with their respective jumpers set to CABLE SELECT?

    Most of the stuff seems to go together intuitively, but I haven't tried to boot up, so we'll have to see.

    Stuff:

    mobo=ASUS A8S-X
    case=ASUS Wizard ATX Mid-Tower
    cpu=Athlon64 3200+

    1g ram

    2-SATA 160g hard drives

    2-cd-dvd r/wr

    video card=XFX GeForce 6500 TurboCache

    Am I missing anything?
     
  2. bptillman

    bptillman New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2004
    Messages:
    1,966
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    dont know about your motherboard but mine has them actually labeled on the board itself which one is for front usb and firewire and sound. And with the cable select if you dont care which is master and slave and such go for it, just put them on the secondary channel.

    edit: according to the asus website you dont have any firewire on your board http://www.asus.com/products4.aspx?modelmenu=2&model=755&l1=3&l2=15&l3=228
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2006
  3. Mr. Mikey

    Mr. Mikey New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    Messages:
    584
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks.

    Secondary channel?
     
  4. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    The two IDE connectors (20 pins wide, 2 pins tall) are referred to as Primary and Secondary. Each connector can support two drives, referred to as Master and Slave. The Master gets priority over the Slave, if they are both getting used at the same time, so if you can avoid having two drives on the same cable that's the best way to go; if you can't avoid having two drives on the same cable, put the hard drive (or hard drives) in the Master position and the DVD drive (or drives) in the Slave position.
     
  5. Mr. Mikey

    Mr. Mikey New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    Messages:
    584
    Likes Received:
    0
    I currently have the two hard drives connected to the SATA headers and the two DVDs connected via ribbon to the primary IDE connection on the motherboard.

    If I understand you correctly, I'd be better off connecting each DVD drive via its own ribbon to the primary and secondary IDE connectors respectively.
     
  6. Mr. Mikey

    Mr. Mikey New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    Messages:
    584
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, I was missing something.

    A Video Card!

    WTF? They sell me a Do-it-yourself-everything-you-need CPU, it just doesn't have video. I guess I'll just plug the monitor into my ass.

    So, I order a &#@(@Video card. I ask the guy at Tiger Direct " will this card work with this mobo?"

    "Yeah sure"

    Lying sack of shit!

    I install the card, plug it all in, load the mobo drivers, load the OS. Everything is going fine. That is until I loaded the drivers for the video.

    The screen went blank and now I get nothing. I can reboot till my finger is raw, it just boots to a blank screen.

    Now, I read the box that the card came in. It reads; A minimum 400w power supply. Mine is 350w.

    Really, is this the problem? And if it is, would it be better to just get a bigger power supply?
     
  7. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, you're better off connecting the two DVD drives to separate cables.

    Most computers eat a lot of power these days. Getting a better power supply is certainly a good idea; however, you may be able to boot into Safe Mode, uninstall the video drivers through Device Manager, and then reboot normally and let the computer reinstall the drivers its own way. I had a computer once where I had to do that every single time a new set of drivers was released.
     
  8. Mr. Mikey

    Mr. Mikey New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    Messages:
    584
    Likes Received:
    0
    I did that with the DVD drives and they seem to work fine.

    How do I boot into safe mode?
     
  9. Mr. Mikey

    Mr. Mikey New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    Messages:
    584
    Likes Received:
    0
    OK, I replaced the 350w power supply with a shiney new 500w unit.

    Guess what.

    It still doesn't work!

    Oh well, it's heavy enough to use as a doorstop.
     
  10. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Messages:
    16,404
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ohio
    :bowdown:
    When you reboot, hit f8.
     
  11. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    ...after the initial bootup screen and before the Windows XP loading screen.
     
  12. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Messages:
    16,404
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ohio
    Yeah that too.


    :h5:











    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2006
  13. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just re-read your original post. Regarding the USB/Firewire/Front Audio connectors:

    They may look the same, but virtually all cases with front-panel connectors have one of the ten pins in each connector plugged with a piece of plastic. This is called a key; each type of connector has a different key, so they won't plug into the wrong header on the motherboard. Just match up the keys and you'll be fine.
     
  14. Mr. Mikey

    Mr. Mikey New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    Messages:
    584
    Likes Received:
    0
    They both are keyed to fit the usb headers, but the case hase two usb and one firewire port. The paperwork is explicit in that these two are absolutely NOT interchangeable.

    ....yet the key/ plugs are identical.

    But right now, my issue is this video card.

    XFX Geforce 6500

    When I load the drivers the screen goes blank.

    I've loaded them from the original packaged CD with the included factory install wizard.

    I've loaded them from the Windows install wizard on both automatic select and from specified location.

    I've loaded the latest version from XFXforce.com.

    All attempts got me the same result - a blank screen.

    Bios?
     
  15. Mr. Mikey

    Mr. Mikey New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    Messages:
    584
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bump for some bios info.
     
  16. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Actually, it almost sounds like the new drivers are bumping the screen resolution higher than what the screen can show. Boot into VGA Mode (the same way you get to Safe Mode) and reset the screen resolution to 800x600 and set the refresh rate to 60Hz. Then you can reboot in normal mode and tweak the screen to your preferences.
     
  17. Mr. Mikey

    Mr. Mikey New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    Messages:
    584
    Likes Received:
    0
    After discussing the scenario with the techs at XFX, they informed me that I probably have a bad video card and that I should contact Tiger Direct to arrange a return.

    So, back it goes and in its place I ordered this:

    EVGA GeForce 7300 GT / 512MB GDDR2 / SLI / PCI Express / DVI / VGA / TV Out / Video Card (E145-7874)

    I hope I haven't just opened another can of worms.
     
  18. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Every time you get a new part, you open a new can of worms. Best of luck with the replacement.
     
  19. Mr. Mikey

    Mr. Mikey New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    Messages:
    584
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yup it's worms.

    I tried to load the drivers and get a message that the software has NOT passed Windows Logo testing and may cause the system to become unstable.

    I elect to install it anyway and, sure enough, blank screen.

    I flashed the BIOS to the newest version on ASUS's website and got the same result.

    WTF am I doing wrong? :rant2:
     
  20. tony

    tony Guest

    :hsd: it sounds like that dell had a good long life :) , those look good to be, an i am:eek3: they have a 6500 out already
     
  21. Mr. Mikey

    Mr. Mikey New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    Messages:
    584
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, I bought it back in April of 1999. Back then Dell was still building a great machine and tech support was awesome. I paid almost 2 grand for it, but I think I got my $'s worth.

    I'm sure that video card is ok. I must have done something wrong in the OS install. I cannot believe that two video cards in a row are bad right out of the box.

    Now I get a warning during bootup; S.M.A.R.T. tells me that my brand new Seagate HD is going tits up.

    I don't know if this is the real problem or just a new symptom of something else.:squint:
     
  22. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Don't use the XFX drivers then. Just plug the card in and go to Microsoft Update; use the driver it provides. It will work fine unless you want to overclock.
     
  23. Mr. Mikey

    Mr. Mikey New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2004
    Messages:
    584
    Likes Received:
    0
    I downloaded all available updates for my system.

    This sucks. I know there must be some simple detail that I screwed up. I'll be glad when I find it.
     
  24. keleko

    keleko yes, he is

    Joined:
    May 22, 2005
    Messages:
    28,741
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    lauderhill, fl
    wow.

    seriously, just wow.


    you have NO business inside a pc case, not now, not later, not before.
    do all of I.T. a favor and take the entire pile of parts to a proper pc shop and let them put it together for you.
     
  25. keleko

    keleko yes, he is

    Joined:
    May 22, 2005
    Messages:
    28,741
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    lauderhill, fl

Share This Page