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tmmuk

Need Advice before Reinstall (incl. Bios)

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Hi, I built my rig about 5-6 months ago, and I've managed to mess it up / slow it down somehow, with random errors / hanging & crashing.

 

So I've decided to do a reinstall of XP Pro, but before I do I need some advice:

 

My current Bios ver is in my sig. Should I update this before i reinstall? If so, what to (A DFI one or 3rd party one - and which one)?

 

Also, seeing as I will probably end up doing this again in the future, I was considering moving my documents and files onto a separate drive / partition, for easier backup / movement etc.

Would I be able to make a partition on my hdd to store all of my data (eg Windows / Programs on C: partition, Data (music, files, documents, etc.) on D: partition? Or would I be better off buying another hdd (probably ~80gb - for windows / programs)?

Does anyone here currently do something like this - and how?

 

I'm also planning on getting some quieter and cooler cooling for my rig. Currently, most of the fans are very quiet (the 2x120mm and 1x80mm fans in the case, and the 2x80mm fans in the psu), but there is a least one which is pretty noisy. I reckon it's probably the chipset / gfx card / cpu fan.

All fans are stock atm. I was looking at the AC Freezer 64 Pro for the CPU (Any good? - it's cheap and seems to lower temps a bit / be quieter than stock). Or other if you can recommend (>£30 if possible)

I need advice on gfx card / chipset fan replacement. (Is this worth it, and which would make the most difference in cooling / noise reduction).

My main aim with the cooling is to make it quieter, but also a bit cooler if possible, so that i can possibly overclock the X2 3800 and G.Skill HZ a bit.

 

Sorry for the long post. (And sorry if it's in the wrong forum, I wasnt sure as to which one as I have several diff questions).

 

Current temps btw (MBM5 - in degrees C):

CPU Idle: 30-35

CPU Load: 37-43

PWMIC: 41-44 most of the time

NF4 Chipset: ~45 most of the time

HDD: 50-55

GPU Core: 43-48

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If you wish to Flash your Bios here is the utility: Tmod's Bios Utility

As far as the HDD goes I have seen many people are moving to having one for Operating System and one for Storage.....Depends on what your needs are? I have mine partitioned for a linux platform.....

The chipset fan has been a problem (noisy) on some boards in the past...So if you decide that is the problem here's the link for a replacement:

VC Evercool:)

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Welcome to the Street

 

Your BIOS is fine. Your temps are fine, except for the HDD that is a little warm.

 

Try a CMOS clear a re enter your desired settings.

 

Have you every run memtest or and other stability test? Check out Praz new thread Stability Testing Programs.

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Thanks for the quick responses!

@21Motorcraft - Thanks for the links. Is it safe / easy to install the replacement chipset cooler? And can I get it in the uk anywhere?

 

@tasr - So you reckon I don't need to update the BIOS? I think that the HDD reporting isn't too accurate, as sometimes it says it has reached ~80*C, but I've opened the case whilst it's said this, and the hdd has been only slightly warm to the touch.

I did once run memtest I think. Long time ago though, can't remember the results. I am still going to do an xp reinstall though.

 

Any advice on the CPU cooling? (worth it to make quieter / cooler?)

 

Oh yeah - I searched a bit for a small (for os/apps) hdd, and i'm considering the 160GB version of what I currently have, or a 36/74GB raptor. Are the raptors really worth the high price point? I heard they can be quite noisy too..

@21Motorcraft - My needs are to have XP Pro as primary OS, possibly ubuntu linux as secondary (don't care where that goes), quite a lot of storage for large video files / lots of music files, and quite a lot of games (a few GBs each usually). So I reckon my 250gb would be fine for the data, but need advice on hdd for os and apps/games. Ubuntu isn't essential and could go on either hdd.

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get a Seagate 7200.10 series.... they're just as fast as Raptors and alot cheaper.... and quieter too...

 

I have both...price wise I prefer the Seagate...;)

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In UK - Evercool VC-RE

 

Check the “Street Tutorials” for good stuff on the VC-RE chipset cooler.

 

@tasr - So you reckon I don't need to update the BIOS? I think that the HDD reporting isn't too accurate, as sometimes it says it has reached ~80*C, but I've opened the case whilst it's said this, and the hdd has been only slightly warm to the touch.
Yes I think your BIOS is fine. The temps on your HDD maybe check MBM5 or get a new data file. Do you have a fan blowing across the drives? Check the MBM5 thread in the software section of the forum.

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The only reason to update to a newer BIOS is if you are experiencing specific problems with your current one - these could be either errors, low O/C probles, or even excess heat (i've heard of this in the past, but never seen it for myself).

 

If you are going to update your BIOS - the only way to go is with Tmod's CD. Never flash from windows using WinFlash, you are asking for nothing but trouble...

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get a Seagate 7200.10 series.... they're just as fast as Raptors and alot cheaper.... and quieter too...

 

I had a look here. If you skim through the testing results, it seems that the WD Caviar SE16s and the Seagate 7200.10s are about the same performance-wise (one is usually better than the other at a specific thing, but it varies per test). Though one thing is that the WD SE16s are quieter, according to those tests.

 

I guess I could get another one of what I have (or maybe the 160gb version).

 

Oh yeah - something i was wondering: Is it possible to have 3 drives set up like this:

 

250GB+205GB (raid mirror - not sure what called eg 1 or 0) + 160GB (not raided to anything).

 

The 160GB would be for OS, Apps/Games, the 250GB would be for data, which would be mirror raided onto another (incase one fails - backup purpose).

 

Or is there another type of raid that lets you use the full 250+250=500GB, but will still mirror one onto the other (or mirror part of it, not sure)?

 

@tasr - well, the bottom of the hdd is in line with the top 1/4 of the front intake fan (120mm).

 

@ganders75 - ok, I think i''l stick with my current bios. There doesn't seem to be any problem with it.

Though there is one thing - I have a webcam plugged into my computer, which can be removed and used as a regular camera (it has flash memory in it). Sometimes, If it is switched on, the bios tells me that the boot devices priority has changed, and that i have to press F1 to continue (a minor annoyance). Is there a way around this?

 

And one more Bios-related question: Is there a way to make the initial turning on / POST (everything before it starts booting the OS) go any faster? It seems to take about 15-20 seconds usually, and this seems a bit slow (if not, then i can live with it).

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Like Tasr said your bios is fine for some reason everybody wants to flash their bios. I guess cause they can. I would only suggest flashing it if you have a specific problem that a newer bios addresses. And before you flash it make sure your system is stable. so you'll need to do a cmos clear anyway.

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@thefabe Ok, thanks. I'll keep it as it is.

 

Any advice on the hard drives? ^^See previous post^^

Any advice on the cooling? (CPU, where can get the replacement chipset fan in the uk)

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Tasr already linked you to WHere to buy the Evercool in the UK they still got 3 on stock....

 

The 160GB would be for OS, Apps/Games, the 250GB would be for data, which would be mirror raided onto another (incase one fails - backup purpose).

 

Yes i think you can do that.....

 

 

 

Logan

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My understanding (wouldn't be too hard to research) is that raid 0 + 1 can be configured using 3 drives (2 for striped (say 2X250g for a total of 500g) then that entire array mirrored to a larger drive (single 500g) for backup).

 

The other method is raid 5 which gets better with each drive you add to it both in speed and redundancy.

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