Assassin's Simple/Beginner HTPC Buying Guide - Page 106 - AVS Forum
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post #3151 of 15964 Old 04-13-2011, 07:56 AM - Thread Starter
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ekkx pictures are now on the first page!

I will discuss my difficulties and show pics on my SSD install (as well as pics of my "ancient" Core2Duo HTPC) hopefully tonight --- wife permitting.


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post #3152 of 15964 Old 04-13-2011, 08:15 AM
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I have a couple of wires in my Thermaltake DH202 case that I cannot see where to put them on an Asrock H67M board. I have place the power sw, power LED, USB, and HD audio; however these two are left over. There is a consumer IR header and the one in the picture Cir1. Any ideas?
LL
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post #3153 of 15964 Old 04-13-2011, 08:24 AM
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Well, my parts arrived and I have assembled them with the help of this thread and the FAQ link to Tom's Hardware.

My parts:
GIGABYTE GA-H67MA-UD2H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBXM

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

SAMSUNG Black Blu-ray Drive SATA Model SH-B123L LightScribe Support - OEM

Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power

Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor

Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)


This is all put together and awaiting first post. Got the MOBO in the mail yesterday, the last part to arrive. Had dinner plans last night, then put the kids to bed, then put the wife to bed and went down to the basement around 11:30 because I couldn't wait to get started on the build. It went fairly smoothly, but a couple of quick questions:

The memory, with this board should it be in slots 1 and 2 or slots 1 and 3? In some pictures of the other builds I've seen both. The best I can tell from the manual is that it is 1 and 3.

The SATA power and data connections: I have the SSD hooked to the 0 data spot for SATA3, that's fairly obvious. My blu-ray drive though, does it matter? I left the other SATA3 connection empty and went with one of the regular SATA2 slots. And the power supply has several daisy chained SATA power connections. Should I use 2 on the same string, or use 1 on two separate strings? Or does it not matter?
I am going to make a DOS boot disk to update the firmware on my 2 Samsung drives. This would be simple to do before installing Windows and while everything is open for easy swapping right, or should I wait and do it after setting up Windows?

I finished putting pieces together around 2am so didn't want to try to boot it. It is sitting over there in the corner while I attempt to work from home today, begging to be booted. Since this is replacing my current PC (an 8 year old P4 that has been a valiant warrior for me), I am going to have to hold off until I can snag the keyboard and monitor that I'm using for work to plug in to the new machine. The wait is killing me! Oh, my, do I hope I put it together correctly. The last thing I need is a $600 paperweight.

Thanks again for this awesome thread.

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post #3154 of 15964 Old 04-13-2011, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeldomSeen31 View Post




The memory, with this board should it be in slots 1 and 2 or slots 1 and 3? In some pictures of the other builds I've seen both. The best I can tell from the manual is that it is 1 and 3.

The SATA power and data connections: I have the SSD hooked to the 0 data spot for SATA3, that's fairly obvious. My blu-ray drive though, does it matter? I left the other SATA3 connection empty and went with one of the regular SATA2 slots. And the power supply has several daisy chained SATA power connections. Should I use 2 on the same string, or use 1 on two separate strings? Or does it not matter?
I am going to make a DOS boot disk to update the firmware on my 2 Samsung drives. This would be simple to do before installing Windows and while everything is open for easy swapping right, or should I wait and do it after setting up Windows?

I finished putting pieces together around 2am so didn't want to try to boot it. It is sitting over there in the corner while I attempt to work from home today, begging to be booted. Since this is replacing my current PC (an 8 year old P4 that has been a valiant warrior for me), I am going to have to hold off until I can snag the keyboard and monitor that I'm using for work to plug in to the new machine. The wait is killing me! Oh, my, do I hope I put it together correctly. The last thing I need is a $600 paperweight.

Thanks again for this awesome thread.

For ther memory look in the manual and set it up for whichever gives you dual channel. Some boards are side by side some in alternating slots. It should be pretty clear in the manual.

Your blu ray drive is fine in the sata 2 slots. I think you did the right thing leaving the sata 3's open for something that will use them.
As far as the sata power cables go use whatever is best for cable management. If you can use one strand and then tuck away the other one that is probably your best bet.

I think its easier tyo just do the firmwares now. No need for windows to be installed and like you said everything is easy to swap right now. When I did it I just made sure the drive was the only sata device I had plugged in at the time.

Now fire that baby up, I can't believe you did all that and then just went to bed without hitting the power button. But then I guess if it didn't work you would have been up another couple hours messing with it.
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post #3155 of 15964 Old 04-13-2011, 09:10 AM
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Got the HTPC set up and connected to my TV...

lousy cell phone pics





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post #3156 of 15964 Old 04-13-2011, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeldomSeen31 View Post

The memory, with this board should it be in slots 1 and 2 or slots 1 and 3? In some pictures of the other builds I've seen both. The best I can tell from the manual is that it is 1 and 3.

I've personally used that board and can confirm that it is definitely slot1-slot3 for dual channel.

My ASUS E35M1-I Deluxe + Antec ISK 310-150 HTPC Project:
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post #3157 of 15964 Old 04-13-2011, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteboy714 View Post

For ther memory look in the manual and set it up for whichever gives you dual channel. Some boards are side by side some in alternating slots. It should be pretty clear in the manual.

Your blu ray drive is fine in the sata 2 slots. I think you did the right thing leaving the sata 3's open for something that will use them.
As far as the sata power cables go use whatever is best for cable management. If you can use one strand and then tuck away the other one that is probably your best bet.

I think its easier tyo just do the firmwares now. No need for windows to be installed and like you said everything is easy to swap right now. When I did it I just made sure the drive was the only sata device I had plugged in at the time.

Now fire that baby up, I can't believe you did all that and then just went to bed without hitting the power button. But then I guess if it didn't work you would have been up another couple hours messing with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwpritchett View Post

I've personally used that board and can confirm that it is definitely slot1-slot3 for dual channel.

Thank you both for the quick replies. Looks like I did it correctly in regards to SATA power and data connections.

I can't believe I didn't boot it last night either, but 2am was the cutoff I gave myself. I would be a zombie today if I didn't get at least a little sleep. I am going to try and boot during my lunch hour. Any issue with connecting monitor via HDMI on an initial boot? Or would a standard vga connection be best?

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post #3158 of 15964 Old 04-13-2011, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwpritchett View Post

I've personally used that board and can confirm that it is definitely slot1-slot3 for dual channel.

I had some clearance issues with the Big Shuriken heatsink and inserting the Ripjaws X ram into Slot 1.

I chose Slot 2 and Slot 4. Will this work for dual-channel?

Thanks.
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post #3159 of 15964 Old 04-13-2011, 09:56 AM
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Yes, slot2-slot4 is fine.

My ASUS E35M1-I Deluxe + Antec ISK 310-150 HTPC Project:
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post #3160 of 15964 Old 04-13-2011, 11:24 AM
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w00t! Single beep boot to bios!

Set SSD to AHCI and boot priority to cdRom. Now to see if I can create that DOS boot disk before my lunch time is over.

Thanks All!

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post #3161 of 15964 Old 04-13-2011, 11:56 AM
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Doing my build and I have the ASUS P8H67-M EVO (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard.

The mobo user guide mentions the 4-pin CPU_FAN, 4-pin CHA-FAN and a 3-pin PWR_FAN.

I have the 4-pin CPU_FAN hooked up from the CPU heat sink, but dont seem to have any other connectors for the 4-pin CHA-FAN and a 3-pin PWR_FAN (see pix).

I definelty do not have a 3-pin connector from any component.

There is a 4-pin connector from the PSU, but it does not have a black or white GND at the end (see following pix)

Do I need the 4-pin CHA-FAN and a 3-pin PWR_FAN?

4-pin connector from PSU - does it hook onto the mobo?


4-pin CHA_FAN spot on mobo


3-pin PWR_FAN spot on mobo
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post #3162 of 15964 Old 04-13-2011, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Do I need the 4-pin CHA-FAN and a 3-pin PWR_FAN?

No.

These are there in case your HTPC case has those types of fans to connect.

So if the Chassis (CHA) fan --- meaning the fans included with the case --- have a 4 pin connector then you can connect them to the motherboards 4-pin CHA-FAN connection.

Otherwise connect the chassis/case fan to the PSU connections.


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post #3163 of 15964 Old 04-13-2011, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeldomSeen31 View Post

w00t! Single beep boot to bios!

Set SSD to AHCI and boot priority to cdRom. Now to see if I can create that DOS boot disk before my lunch time is over.

Thanks All!

Nice! Be sure to report back (with pics if possible)!


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post #3164 of 15964 Old 04-13-2011, 12:31 PM
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Do I need the 4-pin CHA-FAN and a 3-pin PWR_FAN?

Just to make it clear, the header labeled PWR_FAN does not power fans, it is only there to connect a PSU fan speed monitoring cable so you can monitor rpm's. Not all PSU's have a fan monitoring cable. The only PSU I have with that cable is an Enermax.

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post #3165 of 15964 Old 04-13-2011, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by assassin View Post

No.

These are there in case your HTPC case has those types of fans to connect.

So if the Chassis (CHA) fan --- meaning the fans included with the case --- have a 4 pin connector then you can connect them to the motherboards 4-pin CHA-FAN connection.

Otherwise connect the chassis/case fan to the PSU connections.

Great. Thanks Assassin.

Everything is hooked together. Powered up with a BIOS boot beep.

Could not get into the BIOS though - it kept asking for a boot device.

I have started the Win7 install on the SSD, and will come back to the BIOS (I assume the BIOS has acceptable defaults).

Cheers.
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post #3166 of 15964 Old 04-13-2011, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mondo Rock View Post

Great. Thanks Assassin.

Everything is hooked together. Powered up with a BIOS boot beep.

Could not get into the BIOS though - it kept asking for a boot device.

I have started the Win7 install on the SSD, and will come back to the BIOS (I assume the BIOS has acceptable defaults).

Cheers.

Keep hitting delete until you get into bios after you start the HTPC.

Then look for your boot list priority and make sure that the SSD is listed. Next make sure that it is list 1st in the priority in relation to your other devices (other hard drives especially).


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post #3167 of 15964 Old 04-13-2011, 01:03 PM
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I mentioned HippoRemote a few posts (maybe pages now) back. But Logitech makes a free touch mouse, and there are a number of other free remote apps. HippoRemote even has a free one. Both free and pro versions of HippoRemote support WOL.

But where HippoRemote really shines is the pro version ($5). It supports their app profiles that consist of different button layouts for different programs. So the WMC profile has a "green button", the Windows 7 profile has the "windows key", the Chrome Profile has keys for the navigation bar and tabs. One of my favorite parts about the profiles is that when you switch it automatically brings the new program to the front, or even opens it if there is no instance running.

I added some screen shots of the profiles I most commonly use, Win 7, WMC, MPC-HC, Chrome, & Hulu Desktop. However they are really just scratching the surface as I use very few programs on my HTPC. But I have seen profiles for Boxee, XBMC, TMT5, PowerDVD, and a ton others, all available to download from inside the HippoRemote app. Profiles are also fully customizable and editable, you can even make your own. The only profile that I have had to edit was MPC-HC, and I only edited it in order to get the "skip back" and "skip forward" to my liking.

Wow for $5 that looks like a sweet deal! I downloaded myremote from the market but havent tried it yet.
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post #3168 of 15964 Old 04-13-2011, 01:35 PM
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Everything seems to be working ok.

I only had the SSD installed, and put Win7 on it. It boots from the SSD.

Got into the BIOS, but cant seem to scroll - probably a limitation of my TV screen (I dont have a monitor handy). Tried changing the TV resolution, but didnt seem to make a difference. Nevertheless, everything seems to be running fine.

Next, I'll install the 2TB HDD.

And no ... this is not my Home Theater ... lol !

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post #3169 of 15964 Old 04-13-2011, 01:53 PM
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Nice camera, Mondo! I tried close ups on my MOBO like that and NOTHING would focus!!

___________

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post #3170 of 15964 Old 04-13-2011, 02:11 PM
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Nice camera, Mondo! I tried close ups on my MOBO like that and NOTHING would focus!!

Thanks! Thats my trusty Nikon D300 with an 18-200 zoom. Its an all round lens, and it will get in nice and tight.

My 2TB HDD is formatted and now Im transfering files ... another great build with all the help from this thread.

~~ Thanks Assassin! ~~

The build itself was particularly easy - just follow the manuals (case and mobo) and it goes pretty smoothly. Everything is labelled, and the only trip up for me was the FAN connectors.

Well, gotta transfer files and then do service pack updates (check out time remaining on my transfer ... 7 hours!)

Cheers!

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post #3171 of 15964 Old 04-13-2011, 02:42 PM
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Nice camera, Mondo! I tried close ups on my MOBO like that and NOTHING would focus!!

Gotta use macro mode. Any camera made in the last 15 years should be able to do it.
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post #3172 of 15964 Old 04-13-2011, 02:48 PM
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Gotta use macro mode. Any camera made in the last 15 years should be able to do it.

A tripod might help a bit too. Mine was in the bedroom closet with my wife sleeping last night during my build so I didn't take any pictures. The case is still wide open though so I'll snap a few before sealing it up.

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post #3173 of 15964 Old 04-13-2011, 02:59 PM
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This is my first question.I do not know i do it right.Please help.
I follow Mr Assassin instruction to build a Sandy Bridge i3-2100 using Gigabyte GA-H67MA-UD2H-B3 _LGA 1155 MB as mentioned in the first page, except using Antec Fusion case with its Power Supply.After everything in place i power it on,POST sucessfull ,then,when i hit a key to load the OS disk from CD-ROM,nothing happened.It should continue to load the disk for setting up Win 7 as usual.I check everything,connections,another CD-ROM,even try loading by USB stick ,changing priority accordingly in Bios.Computer is still refuse to load the OS disk for me to go to next phase.I use my old 640GB WD partioned and formatted for the OS beside that i am stuck.What i did wrong .Please help.
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post #3174 of 15964 Old 04-13-2011, 03:58 PM
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Great thread...thanks Assassin!

Decided to build my own HTPC for my home theater rooom. Not my first PC build, won't be my last.

The build:
Case - Zalman HD160 - 99.99 Newegg sale
CPU - Intel i3 2100 Sandy Bridge - 114.99
Mobo - MSI H67MS-E43 (B3) - 89.99
RAM - GSkill 4GB DDR 1333 - 43.99
PSU - Antec Earthwatts Green EA-380D 24.99 w/rebate
HD - Seagate Barracuda 7200 500GB - 39.99 (have WHS server for storage)
Blu-ray - Samsung SH-B123L - 69.99
Keyboard/mouse - IO Gear GKM561R wireless HTPC Multimedia Keyboard with Laser Trackball - 39.99
Remote - Rosewill WMC RRC-227 - 24.99
Operating System - Win7 Home Premium

Total cost: 548.91 shipped

Got the case Monday, most of the rest arrives today. I will post pics of the build.

I also ordered another case to move an older dual core PC into for a HTPC in our main living room.
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post #3175 of 15964 Old 04-13-2011, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Great thread...thanks Assassin!

Decided to build my own HTPC for my home theater rooom. Not my first PC build, won't be my last.

The build:
Case - Zalman HD160 - 99.99 Newegg sale
CPU - Intel i3 2100 Sandy Bridge - 114.99
Mobo - MSI H67MS-E43 (B3) - 89.99
RAM - GSkill 4GB DDR 1333 - 43.99
PSU - Antec Earthwatts Green EA-380D 24.99 w/rebate
HD - Seagate Barracuda 7200 500GB - 39.99 (have WHS server for storage)
Blu-ray - Samsung SH-B123L - 69.99
Keyboard/mouse - IO Gear GKM561R wireless HTPC Multimedia Keyboard with Laser Trackball - 39.99
Remote - Rosewill WMC RRC-227 - 24.99
Operating System - Win7 Home Premium

Total cost: 548.91 shipped

Got the case Monday, most of the rest arrives today. I will post pics of the build.

I also ordered another case to move an older dual core PC into for a HTPC in our main living room.

Can't wait to see it!


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post #3176 of 15964 Old 04-13-2011, 05:09 PM
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I found this great Windows 7 Media Center Tips and Tricks guide, though I would share here.
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/27329...-media-center/
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post #3177 of 15964 Old 04-13-2011, 05:32 PM
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I found this great Windows 7 Media Center Tips and Tricks guide, though I would share here.
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/27329...-media-center/

Nice find!
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post #3178 of 15964 Old 04-13-2011, 05:38 PM
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Hi Assassin....mind lending your opinion to my goals?

(a) HTPC:

I have a 72" 1080p Mitsu RP HDTV with HDMI (duh), and a 5.1 system that is powered by an older receiver, capable of DTS and DD, but lacking HDMI input (I use optical input).

I'd like the HTPC to be able to:

*Interact with the media server via both a file structure (moving files back and forth via windows explorer), as well as media playback via media center or another media center type program. Files to be included on the media server will range from dvd and blu ray rips to 1080p .mkv files (and .mp3 and anything else you can think of).

*Play emulated games up to and including the N64 and PSX without ANY stuttering issues. 99% of the time this will be SNES games that I'm too lazy to break out my SNES for.

*Seem very fast and snappy 100% of the time. I'm willing to spend $ on an SSD for my OS, and then would likely look for a 1TB (or 2, if its really cheap) HDD.


*As of now, I use OTA HD for TV in that room. In the future I may upgrade to a Cable-Card based setup, so please recommend the best tuner / card for my needs.


~~I will not be doing any major new-release gaming, video editing, or anything resource intensive other than media playback.~~

(b) Media Server

In my basement (connected via Cat 5 and GB Ethernet) I'll be setting up a media server to keep music and video backups. I'd like to start with 3 2TB drives (6 TB), but have the ability to EASILY buy additional drives and add them when I start feeling a space crunch. Max I'll ever need is likely 10-15 drives.

I have no idea what the best way to go about this is (RAID, backup? redundancy? etc....), so please provide any suggestions

*~*Also - I would like to be able to access this media on the road when I have internet access. I'm not sure what this means, but I can leave both this server and the HTPC always-on if necessary. What are my options here?*~*
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post #3179 of 15964 Old 04-13-2011, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarpeD1em500 View Post

Hi Assassin....mind lending your opinion to my goals?

(a) HTPC:

I am happy to help with part "a".

Everything you need is listed on the first page. I would recommend a Sandy Bridge with 60-64GB SATAIII SSD, 2TB Green Drive for storage, 4 GB RAM and probably a micro-ATX board since you want to use a tuner card and may need expansion for your server needs. See one of the tuner cards under "optional parts" to guide you there.


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post #3180 of 15964 Old 04-13-2011, 05:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Assassin's HTPC and SSD Upgrade

As some of you may know my HTPC is relatively "old" by HTPC standards. However it still does absolutely everything I want it to do. I took the time while upgrading my SSD to show a few shot of my HTPC build.

So first, the fun part of showing you my HTPC and the SSD install...

Parts:
Motherboard - GIGABYTE GA-G41M-ES2L LGA 775
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128388
CPU - Intel Pentium Dual Core e5200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819116072
Case - Antec NSK-2480 painted black with spraypaint
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-034-_-Product
PSU - Antec Greenwatts 380 watt (included with case)
Graphics - Sapphire ATI 5450 fanless 1GB DDR2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814102876
RAM - Corsairl 2x2GB DDR2
Hard Drive (OS+storage) - WD 640GB Green
Hard Drive (Storage) - WD 2TB EARS Green
CPU Cooler - Cooler Master Geminii S
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...46&Tpk=geminii
Optical - Old IDE Samsung DVD burner

New SSD - Corsair Nova Series 64GB --- $80 after rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820233108


My HTPC




SSD and the Molex-to-SATA power adapter and securing device that I had to run out to get when I realized that I was out of SATA power connections



Next was to figure out where to mount my new SSD. I had a optical drive bay open but I want to save that for a possible hard drive (with a 5.25" to 3.5" adapter) for a later date. So I found the perfect flat surface near the other hard drives that would be perfect. But how to mount the SSD??? The answer --- Velcro!!!




So far do good! That was easy and took me literally 5 minute (30 minutes if you count the trip to Radio shack for the molex -sata adapter).

But now the bad part.

When I tried to the clone OS as described in my FAQ it simply didn't work. I copied these steps from another AVS member who has used this in the past but for me it just didn't work. After about an hour of intense googling it appears that the problem is with Windows. Apparently cloning your OS is NOT supported if you are trying to move your OS from a large hard drive to a smaller hard drive ---- even if the smaller hard drive has plenty of room for the OS partition to be installed.


Bummer.

Many of the people who were having the same problems that I was having used a program made by Paragon to move the OS partition to the new SSD.
http://www.paragon-software.com/tech...ate-OS-to-SSD/
This was $20 and the next day I posed this question to AVS members who all confirmed that this is an issue with cloning OS to SSD but who also offered many (free) options that I was not aware of.

The Paragon software was extremely easy to use and while I can't vouch for the other free cloning software since I haven't used it I can give this software a 10 out of 10 grade.



Finished product showing all three drives now installed including the OS SSD.


Other programs recommended by AVS users to clone an OS partition to smaller SSD (most for free)...
http://www.easeus.com/download.htm
Gparted
Ghost
Clonezilla
Acronis True Image (for WD drives --- don't know if it works for others) http://support.wdc.com/product/downl...l.asp?swid=119


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