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About ed_jacobson

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  1. Hey guys, thanks for the advice. It sounds as if it's as simple as getting a decent external hard drive. I think I'm partial to the external variety for the reasons krazypoloc stated and because I can connect it when I want, but if the computer goes down, I can hook it up to a different computer or laptop and all of the data will be there. The external ones are a little more expansive, but not much. I am considering this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16822186046 for $127.50 including shipping. Not bad for 500 gigs. It's USB only, but I have the ultra-d, which I think has only 400 firewire, which I don't think it much faster than USB anyway.
  2. My name is ed_jacobson, and I don't back up my data. There, I admitted it. I had a problem with my computer this past week that, thankfully, was resolved with the help of some dfi-streeters. While the computer was down, I realized just how much data I had on those hard drives and how susceptible it is to some malfunction and/or hard drive failure. This is a computer used by a six person household, so there are loads of photos, video and music files, and other stuff that, were it to be lost, I'd get the evil eye from five other people and I'd be kicking myself left, right, and sideways. So, this got me to thinking about the best and most cost effective hard drive back up strategy, and I've done some research, but there doesn't seem to be a simple, clear answer. Presumably, I will need some new hardware, like an external hard drive, and possibly some sofware (like Norton Ghost?) that will backup (and compress?) the saved data. But that's where I'm not very clear, so any advice or suggestions are appreciated. Fry's has Ghost as part of a bundle with a net cost of $20 after rebates http://shop1.outpost.com/product/5276437 and that's why I was thinking about Ghost specifically, but I can't tell whether it does what I would like it to do or whether there are better and/or cheaper options. I have the following three hard drives to be backed up: C:, about 40GB containing my Windows installation and other software. E:, about 60GB (and growing) of Windows document files...personal settings, word, excel, music files, and most important, mostly irreplacable digital photos. F:, about 200GB of working video files. These are not essential to backup as they are working files that are replacable. I'm not creating the next indie film, just home video productions. G:, about 100GB (and growing) of finished video files. I mostly have these archived on minidv tapes and dvds, but as long as I'm developing a backup strategy, I'd like to back up these files at least monthly to make it easier to retrieve them should something go wrong. I just ordered a 500GB Samsumg hard drive with the intent of using this drive just for storing finished video files, so this third hard drive isn't in my sig yet. Ideally, I'd like to back this data up onto something like an external hard drive on a regular basis (weekly? monthly?) using some software that compresses the data so it uses up less space when backed up than it does on the hard drives, but I'm not sure if that is the best way to do what I'm seeking to do. Is it better to not compress the data and save it 1:1? Should I just get something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...Tpk=HD500UFAPE5 and call it a day? All ideas and suggestions are appreciated.
  3. HITandRUN, I've been looking at that Thermalright HR-05-SLI. The reviews at Newegg say the mounting mechanism seems a little flimsly. Does it work acceptably, in your opinion, or did you do anything to mount it differently?
  4. Good news to report. It's running again! Yesss! I did another cmos clear combined with a minimal build and reseated the cpu and power connectinos, and it booted up. I put it back together again piece by piece and it's working fine. Interestinly, the chipset fan is more quiet than it was before...not making the same whining sound. I cleaned the thing out thoroughly with canned air while it was apart. It still seems slightly noisier, but not quite the whining sound from before. Thanks for all the advice and help.
  5. No luck after a 24 hour cmos clear. I guess I could try a minimal install, but I don't know what that will tell me if I still get the 4 red lights. I don't think I can figure out whether it's the cpu or the motherboard at this point. Any ideas on an intel core duo cpu, motherboard, and ram replacement? I don't want to do it, but I'm not sure I have much of a choice. Any ideas are appreciated.
  6. My computer's been humming along just fine, until this past week when one of the fans started making a whining sound. So today, I pull the cover off and as far as I can figure it's the Arctic Cooler 64. So I pull it off and replace it with the stock cooler and crank it up and it boots up fine. Oopsy. It's the chipset fan making the whining noise! I conclude I can't fix it today, but genius that I am, even though it's working just fine, I figure I'll go ahead and put the Arctic Cooler back on. So, I do that, restart, and, damn, now the thing won't post! I get the four diagnostic lights and nothing. I have replaced the cpu three times, reset all four power connections twice, and cleared cmos for 3 hours according to ExRoadie's directions. And still I just get the four red lights. Any ideas? Could I have done something to the CPU? I didn't drop it or anything, I just cleaned it off and put it back in. Could I have done something to the mobo when taking the cooler off and putting it back on? Could the whining chipset fan mean something about the mobo? Should I take it all apart and do a minimal install? If I still can't get it to post, how can I tell whether the problem is with the cpu or the mobo? What would you do if it still won't post...replace the mobo, the cpu, or ditch the whole works and go Core Duo?
  7. Thanks for the tips. I tried what you suggested and it didn't work. It was strange that in the drive showed up in device manager and the light would flicker but it wasn't showing up in the BIOS. So I shut it down, unplugged the power connection, and rebooted, and the drive showed up again in the BIOS and it's working now. Strange. Gremlins I guess.
  8. I'm having problems with my DVD drive. It won't open. How can I troubleshoot to see if the problem is the drive or something else? Here's what happened: I was copying some music CDs, a mixture or "real" CDs and burned CDRs and CD-RWs. The drive seemed to be OK with the "real" CDs, but it started balking at the CDRs...it just wouldn't read a couple even though they work in other CD players. One time, it swallowed the CDR and wouldn't open, and the software didn't recognize that the drive had a CD in it...I basically couldn't access the CDR through the software, and I couldn't open the drive either. So I rebooted and was able to open the drive upon the reboot. But then the same thing happened a bit later. I inserted a CD-RW and erased the contents, then burned some songs onto it. Later, I inserted this same CD-RW into the computer, and the drive just swallowed it up and wouldn't open. Even when I reboot. It just won't open. The software doesn't recognize the drive has a CD in it, and I troubleshot through the Device Manager to no avail. So, what do you think I should do? The DVD drive is two years old. Is this a sign the drive is bad? How can I check if the drive is OK and it's the interface between the drive and the motherboard that's broken?
  9. smedley, I think you are smart to come up with a logical upgrade path for your computer. However, you really need to think it through before you buy anything, so it's good to ask questions. Dollar for dollar, the cheapest thing you can do to improve the performance of your computer is to overclock your CPU using your stock cooler. It's free! It will just take you a little time to learn how. But you could easily OC that CPU from stock 2.0 GHz to 2.4 or 2.5 GHz with the stock cooler. I OC a 3000+ Winchester from 1.8 Ghz to 2.25 Ghz with the stock cooler and run it that way 24/7. The stock coolers are good for moderate overclocking. I can OC to 2.45 Ghz or something like that stable with the stock cooler, but just don't run it that fast everyday since it does take extra volts and runs hotter with the stock cooler. I doubt your RAM will OC, so you'll need to learn how to use the dividers. The next cheapest thing to do would be to OC after buying a HSF like the Thermalright XP-90 with fan, which can be purchased for about $40 shipped. You might be able to squeeze out a few more GHz out of the CPU with a better HSF, and that $40 might be a good investment in letting you do that. The next thing would probably be to buy a SATA II hard drive, like the Hitachi 80GB for less that $100, and use that as your boot drive while using the PATA for storage. You don't need to RAID right away, but once you buy one, you could always buy a second and take the next step to RAID. After you have done these relatively inexpensive things, it's time to think about CPU, RAM, and videocard to further boost performance. Since these are bigger ticket items, you'll want to make sure they will work together. For example, if you are getting 2x1GB RAM kit and can OC your CPU to 250x10, you will want to consider getting a kit that can run at 250 FSB stock, so you might consider gettingt DDR500 (PC 4000) instead of DDR400 (PC 3200).
  10. CompUSA is currently running a special on the Antec SuperLanboy for $65.00...save on shipping if there's one nearby also. Two 120 fans. http://www.compusa.com/products/product_in...2199&pfp=BROWSE
  11. You can get those same speakers right now at Amazon for $50 (after $50 rebate) plus shipping...half the price at Newegg. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002SQ2P...5Fencoding=UTF8
  12. ExRoadie, yes, all the data is off the drive. I think I tried to delete the C: partition, but Windows came back and said I couldn't do that because it had already copied files to that drive that it needed to install Windows. I'll give it another try when I get a chance.
  13. Thanks for the responses. So, is there no way to do this within windows without using a third party software like partition magic?
  14. Hey everyone, when I first set up my computer, I partitioned my hard drive to include two partitions: C:, where I loaded all my programs, and E: where I saved all data files such as My Documents. Well, I've run out of space on the 24GB C: partition. So I would like to start all over by deleting/merging the two partitions, reformat the entire drive, repartition so that the C: drive is 48GB, and reinstall windows and all program files. I've already copied the My Documents files onto another hard drive, and I'll just move them back once I've repartitoned. I've tried to look at Windows forums, and tried to to reinstall windows, but it doesn't seem to give me the option I'm looking for. Anyone have any guidance on how to do this?
  15. I use the computer for internet, email, digital video, photos and music, burning CDs and DVDs, general purpose Word, Excel etc. and mild gaming. There are 6 separate users on this computer, each with their own My Documents setup. I am using AVG Anti-Virus. I guess it is possible it is a virus, but I can't check the AVG test results until I can get Windows up and running. So you are suggesting a reinstall and quick format. I have the windows loaded onto the C: partition along with other program files, and I have the user data files separated onto the E: partition. If if do the reinstall and quick format, will I lose the other program files? Will I retain the user files and links to the data stored in My Documents on the E: drive? Or will I need to reinstall all of the programs, drivers, etc, and set up all the user accounts all over again? I want to fix this while having to reinstall and reconfigure as little as possible.
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