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Author Topic: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread  (Read 210606 times)

pwhodges

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #400 on: 16 Dec 2010, 14:05 »

I've seen a faulty disk hang the motherboard up like that.

In other news, I'm building myself a new desktop.  It has a server-class motherboard holding a low-end Xeon and 16GB of RAM, with space to go to 32GB (hence the Xeon, though the 8GB DIMMs with the right DRAM type required to do that are real hard to get at present), and enough PCI slots for my various high-end audio interfaces.  My first motherboard with no  IDE or floppy connectors.

The machine is used for (a) audio editing, in surround (well Ambisonics, but you need to know what that is :wink: ), and (b) running Hauptwerk, which uses huge sample sets fully loaded into RAM.  My present 8GB machine is too small for the latest sample set I got, and some sample sets (that I can't afford right now) require 24GB or more.

The 8GB machine (which has a Q6600 cpu) will become my server machine, running HyperV (like I'm about to do at work, replacing VMware ESX) so that I can have virtual servers for the main functions I need.

The old server (a 7-year-old twin Xeon workstation) will become an experimental machine for running audio programs in Linux.
« Last Edit: 16 Dec 2010, 14:18 by pwhodges »
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #401 on: 16 Dec 2010, 14:10 »

Might try disconnecting various devices one at a time?
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clockworkjames

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #402 on: 17 Dec 2010, 05:12 »

Take it apart, put it back together with only the bare essentials hooked up (cpu, memory, optical drive with a bootable CD in it, graphics card, psu & some luck should be all you need), listen for any unnusual sounds when it is running.

If your mobo has a clear cmos button, push it. If not take the little CR2032 watch battery out for like 10 minutes then ut it in and try again.

I would agree it sounds most like a HDD failure (mechanical parts are generally the first to fail for obvious reasons) but it is worth checking all your options first.
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LTK

Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #403 on: 17 Dec 2010, 07:12 »

Might try disconnecting various devices one at a time?
I was trying different combinations of hard disk and disk drives to see if the fault was in any of those, but that didn't do anything. Moved on to the RAM cards, and one of the two turned out to be faulty. Luckily that was the one I first ejected, so it's all good now.

I did try to replace the little button battery, so the BIOS chip has been reverted to factory settings, but that's not a problem. Thanks for the tips, anyway.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #404 on: 17 Dec 2010, 10:04 »

I've had issues with faulty RAM locking down a system before too. But at least it wasn't a HDD. I fucking hate the recovery process when one of those dies on you.
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pwhodges

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #405 on: 17 Dec 2010, 13:00 »

OTOH, I've never had RAM fail when it had been working - disks, however...

(In case you don't know, at work I run a rack-full of servers and an office-full of PCs, and the comment applies to that lot too.)
« Last Edit: 17 Dec 2010, 13:02 by pwhodges »
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #406 on: 17 Dec 2010, 15:14 »

But at least it wasn't a HDD. I fucking hate the recovery process when one of those dies on you.

This. I have had my hard drive crap out on me twice in the last 6 months on my laptop. It is incredibly aggravating. I have a backup, but hadn't been archiving often, so I lost a good bit of pictures, music and all my games. Such a gorram hassle.

Also, I plan to be building my first PC after christmas. I'm still sort of figuring out parts (I know the basics and what is good, but I'm not really great at optimization) so I'm using this site as a guide. It's going to be a fancy little piece of machinery when I get it set up.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #407 on: 18 Dec 2010, 02:41 »

Surprised the mobo alarm was not going off if it was a faulty memory module, I had that problem A LOT in my first build but taking it out and making sure it was properly reseated fixed it.

No alarm beeps is what made me assume it was not the memory, every day's a school day!
« Last Edit: 02 Jul 2011, 13:24 by clockworkjames »
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #408 on: 11 Jan 2011, 13:14 »

Just making sure, this ram:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820134784&cm_re=DDR3_ram-_-20-134-784-_-Product
and this mobo:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130251&cm_re=G41mp33-_-13-130-251-_-Product

will work together? The processor is an old socket 775 P4.

I bought the motherboard for my brother, not seeing that it was DDR3. We had DDR2. So I either need to get a new mobo or new ram, ram is cheaper.
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pwhodges

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #409 on: 11 Jan 2011, 13:32 »

I always download the motherboard manual from the manufacturer's web site to get the exact specification required. 

For some types of DDR3 memory you have to check not only the speed but also possibly the rank (single, dual, quad) and sometimes (especially for the more expensive "registered" memory used mainly in workstations and servers) the chip type (x4, x8, x16).  When I ordered registered DDR3 memory recently, the company emailed me back to ask for the motherboard details so they could check I had done it right (I had, of course).
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"As long as we're all living, and as long as we're all having fun, that should do it, right?"  (from: The Eccentric Family )

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #410 on: 11 Jan 2011, 15:16 »

I don't know what I need to be looking for, though. Is rank the same thing as channels? If I'm buying only one stick, it won't be dual-channel, right? The motherboards says DDR3 800/1066mhz, and the stick is 1066mhz DDR3, but I don't want to buy this and have it be the wrong thing. It isn't registered, I can tell that by the price alone. I don't know if the latencies and voltages matter. And if they do matter I don't know what they need to be.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #411 on: 11 Jan 2011, 15:31 »

OK - the manual for that mobo is remarkably unforthcoming.  They have lists of compatible memory on their site, though, and that Kingston memory looks OK (Newegg haven't given the whole Kingston code number as I understand it, but what's there is enough to be confident).

Channels are on the motherboard, and are about it using two (or three) sticks of memory in parallel; this is why it is usually better to have two smaller sticks rather than a single larger one - I hope you are planning for two of those sticks.

Voltages (for instance) are defined by the fact that the stick is DDR3.
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"As long as we're all living, and as long as we're all having fun, that should do it, right?"  (from: The Eccentric Family )

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #412 on: 11 Jan 2011, 15:37 »

Well, before this whole messy upgrade started, he was working with 512 megs of DDR2. Would just the 1 gig be a problem in the forseeable future?
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #413 on: 11 Jan 2011, 15:47 »

Fine for XP or Linux, but I'd rather have two for Vista or 7.  Depends what they're doing, though; I've been running XP with 8gig (but it's got 16gig and Windows 7 now), 'cos that's the size of some of the sample sets I use (which is not normal!).  If you put one stick on, you can always add another later (but should be identical if possible).
« Last Edit: 20 Jan 2011, 01:56 by pwhodges »
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"As long as we're all living, and as long as we're all having fun, that should do it, right?"  (from: The Eccentric Family )

snalin

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #414 on: 20 Jan 2011, 01:35 »

damn damn damnit to hell


I'm trying to clean my laptop's (hp pavilion dv6-3046eo) fan, but to get to it, I'll have to go through everything in my computer. Fine, I think, until I get to the very first thing to remove after the battery - the hatch for the harddrive. It's got four screws - one of them come right out, the three others are stuck. Okay. I check the manual. Seems like you have to loosen the screws, and then just flip the cover off. Brilliant. But how come the screw came loose?

I check under the screw. Yeah. Bottom of the screw is stuck in the hole. It broke into two pieces while I was unscrewing it. So now I have two choices - trying to force the thing up, and hope that it doesn't break, or send it for repairs, and hope that the repair folks thinks that they broke the screw. What to do?


Also, there's horrible hotkeys to shitty software built into the keyboard that can overrun any program ever meaning that if I missclick, everything will be minimizedm even programs that you can't even minimize if you trym because windows fucking live mail is opening. There's a fucking fingerprint reader just where my arm rests meaning that the computer tries to do something with faulty fingerprint input all the fucking time, a fan that's gone and turned into a roaring moster after half a month, without actually ever having kept my pc from heating to ridicolous levels, stupid and often broken stand by mode when I close the laptop and pretty unstable usb and internet ports, and now they can't even get their screws right. I'm never buying anything from hp ever again.
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pwhodges

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #415 on: 20 Jan 2011, 01:57 »

Next time, use an airbrush to blast through the ventilation channel - could save you a lot of trouble.
« Last Edit: 20 Jan 2011, 01:59 by pwhodges »
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #416 on: 20 Jan 2011, 02:11 »

Just bought a GTX 580 to replace my olllllld Radeon 4890.  Delicious! Even with PhysX on and the details ramped up it's still better than my old one.

Next up is a Gigabyte UD7 mobo plus i7 2600K and as much ram as I can afford to buy.  Hooray upgrades!  Pics when it all comes together.
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snalin

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #417 on: 20 Jan 2011, 11:45 »

Gaah

I've been googling around. Seems like I should've done that before I bought this pc. Turns out that the whole pavilion dv6 series has frequent problems with nearly everything that you can have problems with - primarily the heat handling. I managed to take the thing apart and clean/oil the fan, but now it keeps shutting down on me, telling me that the BIOS shut down the pc to prevent overheating. I've got the laptop resting in a way that maximizes air intake, and I can't feel any part of it going hot, so either it's stopped draining heat away from the different components, or whatever is monitoring the heat levels is busted. Both are bad.

I've seen a lot of people complaining that they've had this model back and forth for repairs until the warranty ran out, luckily there's laws here saying that the third time you turn something in for repairs, you can get the money back no questions asked. Might be that I'll have to go with that option. In the mean time, I'll probably take my old, shitty laptop and run unbutu on it so it at least works for uni purposes.

Protip: don't buy stuff from hp.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #418 on: 21 Jan 2011, 12:14 »

I work in a computer repair shop and we see dv6/dv9s with bad boards at least a few times a week. Usually wireless is the first thing to go, the canary if you will. HP has, however, issued a totally unpublicized recall that covers most of the line. It takes a little digging to find the info on it (and they called it an "extended warranty"), but if your serial number falls into the right category you should be able to get a free replacement that should be somewhat better.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #419 on: 22 Jan 2011, 22:29 »

Did you remove the heatsink from the motherboard when you worked on the fan? If so you have to replace the thermal compound with fresh stuff. If the heatsink isn't getting hot, it's not cooling the CPU.

The only permanent fix for the dv6 (or was it dv6000?) series is to reflow the motherboard and install better heatsink compound. The problem is caused by the chipset expanding and contracting due to its own heat, causing serious fatigue to the solder balls holding it to the motherboard. Over time it can almost completely detach itself, held in place with the heatsink's mechanical pressure. HP didn't actually recall all of them, only select models they were willing to admit had a problem. I have a friend who had a dv6000 with the same issue, and it was not covered under the recall.

See if it falls under the recall, and if you can get it fixed for free do it. If it's not, just replace the laptop with something decent. Don't put any more than the cost of a tube of Arctic Silver into it; it's not worth the time.

Protip: don't buy stuff from hp.

Indeed. For laptops, go with Dell business-class or Lenovo. (Really most consumer grade laptops are disposable rubbish.)

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #420 on: 22 Jan 2011, 22:35 »

Asus tends to make some pretty decent stuff. I've never had a bad experience with them, anyway. I also really like my friend's Toshiba, but it's the only one I've ever had experience with.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #421 on: 25 Jan 2011, 16:05 »

I didn't remove the heatsink - I started on the screws and then thought better of it and put them back in. The was detachable from the rest of the thing, so the gel should still be in place.

The wireless is actually one of the few things that works perfectly. It'll jump out pretty much constantly with a cable.

I've talked with Hp, and they're taking it in for repairs, so I'll see what they can do. I've seen something about that "extended warranty" thing, but the links were all broken - like the one here. Anyone that knows anything more about it?
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LTK

Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #422 on: 29 Jan 2011, 04:00 »

Can anyone tell me what the market for broken laptops is like? I recently wiped the hard disk for my mom's old laptop (Fujitsu Amilo M1425), which has a malfunctioning backlight, and we noticed that there were a lot of broken laptops being offered for sale on marktplaats, the Dutch auction site she uses a lot. Bids were exceeding €100 in most cases, which is something I didn't expect. Now I posted an ad for this one and within a day there were already bids starting at €50, plus there are people trying to secure the sale via e-mail, one of whom is Swedish and one German, and I've never seen foreigners bid on this site before. The majority of them use yahoo e-mail adresses.

Now, I'm strongly suspecting that these people are using this site to snag cheap hardware from sellers ignorant about their value, such as me. So, am I just being ripped off, and can I get a better price at a place specialized in defunct hardware?
« Last Edit: 29 Jan 2011, 04:05 by LTK »
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I just got the image of a midwife and a woman giving birth swinging towards each other on a trapeze - when they meet, the midwife pulls the baby out. The knife juggler is standing on the floor and cuts the umbilical cord with a a knifethrow.

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #423 on: 29 Jan 2011, 10:37 »

Well, the problem is that the value depends on if you can actually do anything with it.

If you aren't comfortable getting into the laptop and messing about with things then in all honesty it's about as useless as you can possibly get. Just a massive paperweight that these folks are willing to pay you money for and turn into something they can make a profit on.

It is much like why mechanics and scrapyards will buy your piece of shit irreparable vehicle for $300. They can take it apart and do things with those individual parts that the average joe can't and it makes them a tidy profit while they're at it. You're probably unlikely to get more from a local place but it's always worth checking out.
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LTK

Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #424 on: 13 Mar 2011, 04:47 »

An update on that broken laptop: Someone who was going to use it for parts paid €80 for it. Not bad.

Currently I'm busy putting together a gaming setup of my own. I'm being pretty backwards about it, first pre-ordering Crysis 2 on a whim, and then, realizing I had nothing that could run it, I picked up an NVidia GTS 450 video card that was on sale. But the video card was never the issue to begin with, my processor was always holding performance back. Subsequently, I looked for some Intel processors, and noticed that a regular quad-core was in roughly the same price range as the faster, i5 "Lynnfield" quad-core, but this one was incompatible with the motherboard I still had. So now I've bought a new Gigabyte motherboard in addition to all of the previous, as well as two 160GB Western Digital hard drives and two 2GB Corsair DDR3 1333MHz memory modules. Now that all the guts of the machine are accounted for, I had no reason not to go the whole nine yards and buy an Antec Two Hundred Gaming case plus 500W power supply and a Samsung 24" monitor. So I did. All in all, it set me back about one thousand dollars.

(Actually I paid €730 for it but it feels better to say one thousand dollars.)

The only things I didn't buy new were the mouse and audio, but those two are still holding up pretty well. It should all arrive in the following week or so. Looking forward to putting it all together, as befits a true technophile.
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I just got the image of a midwife and a woman giving birth swinging towards each other on a trapeze - when they meet, the midwife pulls the baby out. The knife juggler is standing on the floor and cuts the umbilical cord with a a knifethrow.

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #425 on: 14 Mar 2011, 20:53 »

Woo, just finally ordered my Gigabyte P67A-UD7 (B3) and a 2600K.  The mobo is expected in at the store on the 17th and I have a 1-2 day delivery timeframe.  I am hoping to pinch it just before the weekend so I have some new stuff to install/reconfig/etc.
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LTK

Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #426 on: 17 Mar 2011, 09:04 »



This is my setup currently. I was surprised how big the monitor turned out to be, seeing as I can estimate sizes in centimeters but not inches. The colors are really good as well.

You'll probably notice my laptop sitting there as well. You probably don't notice that the tower is almost completely empty. All the other hardware still has to be delivered, so I simply plugged what I already had into the laptop to enjoy this magnificent screen.
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I just got the image of a midwife and a woman giving birth swinging towards each other on a trapeze - when they meet, the midwife pulls the baby out. The knife juggler is standing on the floor and cuts the umbilical cord with a a knifethrow.

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #427 on: 17 Mar 2011, 20:57 »

Not gonna get my gear delivered by this weekend. Boooooo :(
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #428 on: 21 Mar 2011, 21:58 »

So I guess that my motherboard is out of stock with no ETA.  I've changed out my order for some more ram and another hdd instead in the interim.
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LTK

Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #429 on: 22 Mar 2011, 10:57 »

I found that the CPU I was about to order had the same problem, probably due to being really popular. But after shopping around I found another webshop that was able to order it within a week, and they even had all the other products I planned on buying for a bit cheaper so I could just as easily buy everything from them. Not sure if you have that option; I have no idea how readily available computer hardware is for you.

The rest of my things are supposed to be delivered tomorrow. The order got delayed because I wanted to throw in a digital adapter for the monitor, which only included an analog cable for some reason. But I have to work tomorrow and won't be there to take the package, grrr.
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Quote from: snalin
I just got the image of a midwife and a woman giving birth swinging towards each other on a trapeze - when they meet, the midwife pulls the baby out. The knife juggler is standing on the floor and cuts the umbilical cord with a a knifethrow.

LTK

Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #430 on: 25 Mar 2011, 04:48 »

Hmmm.

Assembly went fine, installation without a hiccup, and everything runs smooth as silk. However, I'm beginning to notice some of the drawbacks of the less expensive hardware. The power supply and hard drives, to be specific: Both are considerably noisy, the PSU producing a constant humming and the hard drives audibly clicking under load. It's not something that makes the whole thing unusable, but I'll consider upgrading.

Another thing, and this is a bit weird, is static coming from inside the casing. What's weird about it, is that it's only there when loading a page with Flash, and continues after the tab is closed. It pauses for the time a webpage is loading, or when scrolling/typing, but it's there when idling. It goes away when closing the browser. I recognize this sound, though, it's there on my dad's computer as well, only in that case it's coming from his two speaker towers. Does anyone have a clue what this might be?
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I just got the image of a midwife and a woman giving birth swinging towards each other on a trapeze - when they meet, the midwife pulls the baby out. The knife juggler is standing on the floor and cuts the umbilical cord with a a knifethrow.

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #431 on: 25 Mar 2011, 05:33 »

You may (though I haven't done this for some years, so I can't promise) be able to find on the disk manufacturer's web site some utility programs that enable you to change the noisiness of the drive (specifically, they set a gentler and hence slightly slower seek which clicks less).
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"As long as we're all living, and as long as we're all having fun, that should do it, right?"  (from: The Eccentric Family )

LTK

Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #432 on: 25 Mar 2011, 05:47 »

No such luck. Western Digital's website doesn't offer that kind of software, as far as I can see.

I'm starting to wonder if it was worth buying two lower capacity hard drives for redundancy instead of one high capacity drive. Now I see that the same money would have gotten me three times the capacity on one disk. I figured I don't have terabytes of data so buying a 2TB drive would be pointless, but the price per disk seems to be fairly constant no matter what capacity.
« Last Edit: 25 Mar 2011, 05:53 by LTK »
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Torlek

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #433 on: 11 Apr 2011, 06:37 »

So, the SATA controller on my mobo fried a few weeks ago and I took that as a good excuse to rebuild my system and bring myself up to 2011 standards. I've finally got the box rebuilt and sat down yesterday to install 64-bit Windows 7 and finally get back to my internet and games.
Now we come to the riddle. Install went fine. Recognized all the hardware. The overclocking features seem to work. But when I install the new NVIDIA graphics drivers it won't output at my monitor's native resolution (1680x1050). It caps the output at 1024x768 unless I choose a TV resolution format. The graphics card is a brand new GeForce GTX 560Ti on an MSI board. The monitor plugs in straight DVI and it's only 4 years old (an Acer 22"). I can't tell if this is a Windows 7 problem, a card problem or maybe it doesn't like plugging the monitor in through DVI. Has anybody else ever heard of this kind of problem?
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ackblom12

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #434 on: 11 Apr 2011, 06:50 »

That sounds like a driver problem.

I'm assuming you've done a uninstall of the driver and reinstalled? Did you install the new driver through windows updater or manually?

Also you might try to find and install the drivers for the monitor itself.
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Torlek

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #435 on: 11 Apr 2011, 20:07 »

Tried all of the above, in triplicate. I'm almost to the point of swapping the monitor over to a vga cable and using a dvi->vga adapter to connect to the card. Either that or swap back to the 8800 GT I upgraded from and see if that works. New builds can never just be easy can they?
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LTK

Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #436 on: 13 Apr 2011, 11:32 »

There always seems to be something wrong, yeah. The screen resolution is a strange problem, I've never had that happen before. Is it limited in both the Windows control panel and the NVidia control panel?

My new CPU cooler came in today, a Scythe Samurai ZZ, the lightest and most compact cooler that was reviewed in the PC mag. My RAM modules are pretty close to the CPU socket so most coolers were likely too large, but this one fits perfectly, with only a few millimeters to spare between the cooler and a motherboard heatsink. I would mention it has been keeping my computer quite cool while it collects dust, seeing as I'm still waiting for the PSU to be repaired, but as it turns out, the replacement is already in the mail and expected to arrive tomorrow. I'm pleasantly surprised! Looks like I'll be ready for Portal 2 on time after all.
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I just got the image of a midwife and a woman giving birth swinging towards each other on a trapeze - when they meet, the midwife pulls the baby out. The knife juggler is standing on the floor and cuts the umbilical cord with a a knifethrow.

Cire27

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #437 on: 13 Apr 2011, 14:05 »

So I'm upgrading my video card, what should I do with my old one?
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #438 on: 13 Apr 2011, 19:30 »

Depends on how old it is. If it's newish I'd recommend putting it up on ebay and seeing how much you can get out of it. If it's older I'd recommend looking into electronics recycling programs in your area. Or if you've got a video cardless rig sitting around and want something to experiment with Linux or something on, there you go.

Found a workaround for my resolution problem. Switched the monitor over to a VGA cable and it recognizes the native resolution just fine. It's probably a driver issue on NVIDIA's side. I seem to recall this kind of thing happening before then a few months later the VGA connection starting messing up and it worked fine when I switched it back to DVI. I don't like having to use a hack solution like this but it works.
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est

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #439 on: 13 Apr 2011, 20:31 »

Hey yo, something about my new gear is causing it to freeze intermittently.  These problems are the fucking worst.  I'm going to do some troubleshooting over the weekend, but does anyone have recent experience troubleshooting the following issue:

- machine works fine 99% of the time
- occasionally the machine freezes, with no indication that anything is wrong other than both the keyboard and mouse not working & the screen not updating (ie: it doesn't restart, blue screen, make strange noises or anything like that)

The troubleshooting I'll be doing over the weekend includes:
- event log checks for strange error messages (although if it's freezing i don't expect Windows to have time enough to record them)
- overnight MemTest (maybe actually tonight)
- some kind of CPU stress test to check heat levels (but it doesn't seem like a heat issue)
 ^- if CPU & MemTests come back all ok: booting up with a livecd to test if it still happens outside of the current Windows install

I am leaning toward a memory issue, but if anyone has suggestions I'm all ears.
« Last Edit: 13 Apr 2011, 20:33 by est »
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LTK

Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #440 on: 15 Apr 2011, 15:25 »

Hard freezes like that used to be relatively common on my older computers and/or operating systems, but I wouldn't be able to tell you what's the cause.

I identified the noise problem I had earlier as 'coil whine', which is caused by faulty components in the PSU. I mailed it back and received a replacement... Still the same noise. It's not as bad as before, but it's there. My current solution, strange as it may be, is to install [email protected] and keep it running, and it neutralizes the noise completely. It must be that the power feed has no way to deliver its wattage when in low use, somehow causing the coil whine. That's the only explanation I can come up with. The moment [email protected] stops, it's there, and the moment I resume, it vanishes.
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Quote from: snalin
I just got the image of a midwife and a woman giving birth swinging towards each other on a trapeze - when they meet, the midwife pulls the baby out. The knife juggler is standing on the floor and cuts the umbilical cord with a a knifethrow.

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #441 on: 15 Apr 2011, 16:24 »

My laptop hard freezes occasionally when I plug in or remove the power cord. Usually it's only if I'm doing a lot of things at the same time, so it's not a big deal, but it's still rather annoying and mysterious.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #442 on: 16 Apr 2011, 22:47 »

- occasionally the machine freezes,

In order of likelihood, from my rather extensive experience:  Motherboard, power supply, disk drive, memory.  Memory problems are common, but IME don't cause this kind of hang (more likely to prevent booting at all).  I've had disks with IDE interfaces do it, but not (so far) SATA ones.

But these things are the worst, as you simply get no diagnostic clues when the machine simply stops working.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #443 on: 18 Apr 2011, 18:15 »

I actually have issues like that on one of my work machines.  The hardware in it was configured as a Linux server box, but our IT guys spent 3 days getting Windows up and running on it.  Is it possible you've got some slightly weird hardware, like ECC-registered RAM, or a server-oriented CPU?  I know it's not a lot of help, but I've seen it happen at a similar frequency of occurrence, so I figured I'd throw it out there?

Just as a tidbit for anyone else: be wary when running the NoScript extension in Firefox when you've got a lot of web pages with Flash enabled sitting open.  I've never seen so many Error Reporting Service timeouts without seeing the Error Reporting Service window ever.  If you don't allow the part of the page that's using Flash to run, Windows treats it as a crash in Flash and runs the service in the background, which can cause all of your programs to stop responding for up to 3 minutes, several times a day.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #444 on: 19 Apr 2011, 23:44 »

When I start seeing computers act up in ways that aren't explained by software tests, my first guess is capacitors. I've seen so much equipment, from servers to video cards, fail because of those stupid things. If any of them are puffy or split on top, puffy on the bottom, covered in yellow crust, or loose, they're bad and need to be replaced. It's a pain in the butt and requires a good bit of experience to perform reliably, but it may be the only option short of complete replacement if the equipment is out of warranty. Nearly everything made in the last 8 years is very likely to fall victim to the capacitor plague.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCSNWi3UHf4
« Last Edit: 19 Apr 2011, 23:54 by bicostp »
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #445 on: 20 Apr 2011, 01:19 »

- occasionally the machine freezes,

In order of likelihood, from my rather extensive experience:  Motherboard, power supply, disk drive, memory.  Memory problems are common, but IME don't cause this kind of hang (more likely to prevent booting at all).  I've had disks with IDE interfaces do it, but not (so far) SATA ones.

But these things are the worst, as you simply get no diagnostic clues when the machine simply stops working.
I've had bad memory cause hard freezes before, stick had to be replaced
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #446 on: 26 May 2011, 15:04 »

Just bought my first mechanical keyboard.

http://www.daskeyboard.com/

I don't think I can ever go back.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #447 on: 26 May 2011, 15:10 »

I've still got two of the classic IBM ones; but I can't use them for typing late at night because they disturb my wife when she's falling asleep.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #448 on: 26 May 2011, 16:05 »

I want to build a PC in my summer so I can play the Witcher 2, Portal and TESV. Any suggestions?
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #449 on: 02 Jun 2011, 06:16 »

got a rough budget? I can put together something in Newegg's Basket probably
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