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Old 05-01-2009, 11:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Setting up my rig.

Ok so.. I am not a complete moron when it comes to PC stuff but I have been forgetful in the past and I still am running on quite out dated information... so... I figure let's start a little "help me" thread before I start doing stuff to my PC.

I planned to Format/Load brand new, with some pictures/movies etc backed up on CDs and Jump drives. However, I want to make sure I download everything I need first, and put on backups, so I can do this without net connection.

I will list my system specs soon, but I want something like AVG and malware protection and such as well as my general windows configuring for the best I can bring out of this computer.

I was going to do this when I got my 4890 GPU, and fresh install all my games, and that should be pretty soon - so I want to get things prepared now.

What I have:
Intel Core i7 920 (2.67GHz) (stock cooling/paste)
2.99 GB RAM (this is actually 6GB but I don't have a 64bit OS yet) (OCZ, Triple Channel 1600)
GPU is right now a Radeon x700 series, but I plan to go to a 4890
1 TB harddrive - Seagate Barracude 7200.11
ASUS P6T Deluxe motherboard.

I WILL have a HAF932 case so you get an idea of the air flow for my case.

What I want to do is reinstall, in proper order, everything I want to play my games, view websites (flash, etc) and keep my PC running the best it can (tweaking for performance, etc, as well as AVG antivirus [or other program] and anti-malware )

First things first I should probably get a 64 bit OS - there are some problems with this, I want windows 7 but currently one of the games I play will not play on windows 7 I do have windows 7 64 (and 32) bit Burned to DVDs that will last until June when the trial is over. Oh.. I would be willing to have a small secondary windows install (windows xp Pro SP3) so I can run the game, however I WILL require help to get a Windows 7 64bit/ WinXP SP3 dual boot set up.. I haven't had any luck in the past, it seems to just boot to Windows 7.

Let's just start with the start. :P

For this help.. let's say I have no idea what I am doing, walk me through what I need to download, and what I should install first, and what all I will need to get things running.

I am gathering my CDs that came with my parts so I can do drivers and all that, most have extra utilities as well which I may or may not require.

The biggest thing I have is how should I format my TB drive.. should I partition it to like 3 parts and run windows off another completely different harddrive, or should I do 4 parts, with a small 20ish GB partition for windows? or what... I want performance speed and gaming edge... the computer kind of stutters right now loading web pages and such and I am not fully sure what it is.

(Osiris malware removal was performed, it helped some but still kinda seems "sluggish" for this system specs)

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Old 05-01-2009, 12:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Setting up my rig.

While you are doing this, why not get an aftermarket cooler for that i7?

Partitioning shouldn't affect performance.. as it is still reading from the same drive, unlike having a fast HDD for OS/Games and another for storage... I personally dual boot Win7 and Vista ATM, with a 25gb partition for win7 and the rest for vista... I must ask why you need all your drivers BEFORE you do the install.. aside from the fact you might want to reflash your bios while you do this... you should be able to get drivers as needed... atleast thats what I did.. as I found they were missing I just went to the website of said part and download the driver...

How to setup dual boot... I've seen some different ways... Personally.. I set the bios to boot from CD first.. after using vista (not sure if win7 has same tool) to create a partition.. boot from install disk, install second OS on newly created partition... change boot order in bios back to HDD first... done..

HAF 932 | i7 920 @ 4.4ghz | OCZ Platinum | EVGA GTX285-SC | EVGA X58 SLI
Corsair 1000HX | Samsung T240 & 2253bw | Watercooled
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Old 05-01-2009, 01:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Setting up my rig.

I don't need a aftermarket cooler.... I don't plan to OC until I know things are stable and fine and I see the need to OC.

Drivers are so I don't have to be online while I fix everything, I prefer not to be, as if your online, there is at least a little risk of getting more malware and junk. Even from trusted sites.

I would be on Win7 all the time, unless I wanted to play that game, then I would shut down the PC and restart and go to WinXP mode to play it, so I want it to go to 7 first, but if I shut off the computer, an option to ask which OS to boot to.
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Old 05-01-2009, 01:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Setting up my rig.

You are going to be getting online at somepoint AFTER all the drivers are installed by disk are you not? therefore you are merely delaying that risk, and the reasoning for it is invalid. Go online to download drivers, because you will be there for other things anyway, just use AVG free and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to take care of any additional risky programs. As for the cooler, it can't hurt to do it... because lower temps are never a bad thing, even if you dont overclock... also since overclocking is free performance, there is no reason not to do it even in small amounts... but that is your call...

That is how my computer boots... it comes up asking which one I want.. I choose and I go into that OS,.. if/when I reboot it comes up and asks again... works very well... just change the boot order in the bios to boot from CD/DVD first, pop the install disk in, and load it to whatever partition you choose... do the same for the other OS.. Probably best to install win7 and use the disk partition manager to create a small partition for the xp64 install... just remember to switch boot order back to HDD first when you are done.. it will work as you described...
HAF 932 | i7 920 @ 4.4ghz | OCZ Platinum | EVGA GTX285-SC | EVGA X58 SLI
Corsair 1000HX | Samsung T240 & 2253bw | Watercooled
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Old 05-01-2009, 04:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Setting up my rig.

How much space does windows 7 take up? (64 bit) I can't remember...

So how should i partition the drive to start?

Ideally I'd want C: windows7 D: windows xp E games /pictures/data and F drive as the Download/Trash drive

actually the best ideally would be C: as another SATA harddrive.....

I thought about getting a solid state drive for my OS... would this be a bad idea? or not really show much change in game performance at all and "not worth it" ?

this drive in particular: - OCZ Vertex Series 2.5" 30GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid state disk (SSD) - Solid State Disks
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Old 05-01-2009, 04:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Setting up my rig.

Personally I recommend 2 hard drives. It makes it super easy to have backups (just get another TB once you get one and clone it) and you don't have to worry about the drive being worn from the OS.

I would make C: your primary OS...but wait! Windows usually makes the partition it boots from C: and any other partitions D:, E:, etc. I think this is how Vista and 7 work at least, XP you can change. I've had it where XP saw its partition as C: and Vista saw its partition as C: even though they were 2 different partitions, the letters just switched between OS'es.

I would make the first partition on your HDD your primary OS (Win7) then your second for your secondary OS (XP) and then whatever is left for your data (or just get a second drive, make that have your two OS'es, and put data on its own drive).

On my laptop at one point I had:

170GB - Windows Vista 64
40GB - Windows XP 32
20GB - Mac OSX 10.5
20GB - Ubuntu 8.x 64

To create partitions I always use GParted from an Ubuntu CD. You can also use a number of other bootable tools, there are a lot of boot CD's you can download that contain some good partition editing software. I have occasionally had to use these when GParted wouldn't work. Vista/7 also have a basic partition editor in Administration -> Computer Management, but you can't edit the working partition.

I just kept all my data on my Vista partition because I didn't have a big HDD, I got a 1.5TB drive and made it into my data drive and having everything in one place is great. Being a data only drive it is easily transferable between PC's (actually I put it in an external enclosure, but I could move it easily since nothing runs off of it).

As for virus software...who needs it! I know it is good to have to protect your computer, but it EATS UP RESOURCES LIKE CRAZY and often kills hard drive performance. I can't stand it, running any virus scanner with games cuts performance a lot so I just gave up and deleted virus scanning...oddly enough my computer runs a lot faster. The whole point of virus scanners is to keep your computer running smoothly, but removing the virus scanner does exactly that!
Also...Core i7...lucky I really need a new desktop (stupid Sempron )...can't wait until I can afford an i7 which hopefully will be soon.

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Old 05-01-2009, 04:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Setting up my rig.

Get a good aftermarket cooler even if your not overclocking. Lower temps will improve it's efficiency. 2 cpu's, one loads to 60dC and the other loads to 70dC. The lower temp cpu will score better numbers most of the time, it may be marginal but better none the less. And you be ready to overclock if you ever decide to.

I think Microsoft is releasing a new version of Windows 7 to the public on the 5th of May and it will be good for 1 year.

Harddrives are cheap, buy a couple of spares
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Old 05-01-2009, 11:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Setting up my rig.

Well money is kinda tight right now, so wherever I can cut a corner I need to.

$150 for case
$250 for 4890 GPU

there's $400 I still have to spend already.

Simply buying more stuff for marginal gains or for extreme purposes isn't really on budget right now. While I do hope to unlock all this computers power someday, right now I just want it working smoothly, as I stated, sometimes it still feels like my old P4 1Gig RAM rig, which... since this is i7 and 3(6)GB RAM... something is very VERY wrong, this computer should NEVER feel like a P4 system.

That said, another hardrive is debated because some still say get a Solid drive for your OS and keep my TB drive for everything else, and everything will run much smoother (since your OS is on Solid) others say this is a bad idea due to the read/write speeds of the solid disks, it slows the system down. I surely don't want to slow this thing down, I have the PSU and Triple Channel RAM and new CPU and all that fun stuff, be silly to dull it down.

Either that, or I was cranking my P4 more then I thought and I turned it into a beast. Lol.

I dunno... maybe my internet is just being lazy or this GPU hurts more then I thought it would. My ISP is rated BOTTOM 30% in the world, but the rest of the PC is in the top 20%

yea something is way wrong... so I had the net going and I go to Start- Right click my computer- go to properties and then..nothing..... nothing pops up the net freezes and I have to wait about 20 seconds for it to "catch up"

This should NOT be happening on my system...

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