Guide to Building a HTPC, Workstation and Server - Page 128 - AVS Forum
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post #3811 of 19229 Old 10-14-2008, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laserfan View Post

renethx I thought the Q6600 overclocked was the "hot ticket" still, but I don't see this CPU anywhere in your recommendations. Is it still a good choice, and do you know the "best" mobo to mate with it? If not, why are you favoring the (what, Q9550) over it? Thanks!

Q6600 is still recommeded if you need CPU power but don't want to spend more than $200 for a 45nm quad-core. (I am using Q6600 in one of my office machines.)
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post #3812 of 19229 Old 10-14-2008, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylinestar View Post

i have downloaded a DTS sample audio. when the audio was played in MPC-Home Cinema, all I heard was noise. what's wrong? DTS audio in a movie played fine.

Please tell me more (OS, file extension, filters, download link ...).
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post #3813 of 19229 Old 10-14-2008, 09:07 AM
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Any thoughts on this new model from Acer?

Gizmodo Link

Specifications, Pricing and Availability
The Aspire AX3200-U3630A desktop PC is available at Fry's with a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $679.99. The Acer P244W 24-inch LCD display is available at technology and electronics retailers with a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $339.

Acer® AX3200-U3630A: Available now for a MSRP of $679.99
AMD Phenom(TM) X3 Triple-Core 8450 Processor (2.1GHz, 512KB X 3 L2 Cache)
4096MB DDR2 Memory, Dual Channel
NVIDIA® GeForce® 8200 Chipset
Integrated NVIDIA® GeForce® 8200 Graphics Solution
640GB SATA II (7200RPM, 8MB Cache) (2)
Blu-ray Disc(TM)/DVD-Super Multi Double-Layer Drive
Multi-in-One Digital Media Card Reader
56K ITU v.92 Ready Fax/Modem (RJ-11 Port)
Optimized Dolby Home Theater®
Windows Vista® Home Premium 64-Bit with SP1
9 USB 2.0 Ports (5 Front, 4 Rear)
IEEE 1394 Port
HDMI Port
eSATA Port
Amplified Stereo Speakers (USB Powered)
Acer USB Keyboard
USB Optical Mouse

I'm no expert....so your mileage may vary
XboxLiveID: archie68
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post #3814 of 19229 Old 10-14-2008, 09:38 AM
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Would it be wise to build one for my parents (they are in the market for a new DVR) who aren't too technologically savvy?

I've been dying to build a Home Theater PC, but haven't been able to justify the cost (currently a student living at home). My parents are now looking to buy a DVR for the home, but I was thinking of offering to build a HTPC instead of them paying for a DVR. The DVR will do just fine for what they need, but there seem to be far more advantages to having a HTPC.

Only problem is, my parents aren't too technologically savvy, so I'm afraid this may cause more complications than it is worth. I'm going to have the TV and everything in my living room running through the HTPC, so they will be forced to operate it, so I'm wondering how complicated this could potentially make things.
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post #3815 of 19229 Old 10-14-2008, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iteki View Post

Any thoughts on this new model from Acer?

It looks a great system.
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post #3816 of 19229 Old 10-14-2008, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpatel304 View Post

Would it be wise to build one for my parents (they are in the market for a new DVR) who aren't too technologically savvy?

A short answer is, HTPC can't replace DVR.

Please read the TV tuner section at page 1. Recording in HTPC is limited to OTA and basic cable channels.
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post #3817 of 19229 Old 10-14-2008, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

A short answer is, HTPC can't replace DVR.

Please read the TV tuner section at page 1. Recording in HTPC is limited to OTA and basic cable channels.

Wow, was not aware of this. Thanks a bunch. Guess DVR it is, then.
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post #3818 of 19229 Old 10-14-2008, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Bingo13 posted The IGP Chronicles Part 2: AMD 780G vs. Intel G45 vs. NVIDIA GeForce 8200.

Quote:


Final Words

As for the chipsets we looked at today, it is difficult to declare a true winner at this time. Especially given the fact that the new NVIDIA chipsets are launching shortly. However, if we had to choose one chipset for primary HTPC usage, it would be the NVIDIA GeForce 8200. The GF8200 offers 8-channel LPCM output, no hassle 1080P/24 fps playback capabilities, modest pricing, and a relatively low power envelope when paired with an appropriate processor such as the Phenom X3 8750 or Phenom X4 9350e.

This is a difficult decision as the AMD 780G is a better balanced chipset offering improved casual gaming performance, equal video quality, similiar power requirements, greater availability, and better pricing. The performance of certain 780G motherboards can equal or nearly match those of the 790GX with some creative mGPU overclocking and most models come in a space saving uATX form factor. Also, depending on the motherboard, DVI-D dual link is supported with resolutions going to 2560x1600, something the GF8200 and G45 do not support.

The drawback for us is the lack of multi-channel LPCM HDMI audio output and not so great 1080P/24 fps playback capabilities. If these items were not important to you, then the 780G would probably be at the top of our list. Of course, these problems can be solved with an inexpensive HD 4550 or HD 4670 video card but that completely throws off the price advantage over the Intel platform in one aspect. In another, you end up with a significantly improved platform offering balanced performance for the HTPC, casual gamer, or SOHO user.

That leaves the Intel G45. If you are an Intel fan, this is your only real IGP choice, well for the next few days at least. The G45 is acceptable for an HTPC platform as it offers excellent video quality and 8-channel LPCM output. However, we have no idea if implementation of 1080P/24 fps support will occur. Speaking of driver quality and features, this is one area where Intel is behind AMD and NVIDIA. In addition, platform cost is a problem when looking at the mid to lower range processor market compared to AMD. This is something we will look at shortly as it pertains to the IG market.

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post #3819 of 19229 Old 10-14-2008, 11:24 AM
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They also stated:

Quote:


On one end of the spectrum we have Intel's G45 which absolutely does not support proper 24p playback. The G45 still does not have official support for it in the drivers and although 24 fps playback is possible in the hardware, we seriously doubt the software group will implement it (that's a dare).

This is false. I have used 24p playback on my G45 (via Intel drivers), however crappy it is. Not sure when they did this review, but I've had my board for about a month already.
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post #3820 of 19229 Old 10-14-2008, 12:09 PM
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Yep. 24p support is there in the drivers, it's just that folks are seeing stuttering.

(I applaud Arcsoft, BTW, as they are apparently assembling data on why this is occuring)

I do not speak officially in any sense for
Intel Corp., Technology Manufacturing Group
but I do work there.
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post #3821 of 19229 Old 10-14-2008, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopdobb View Post

I've basically got 2 main questions:
1) As mentioned above, I'd like to decode full 1080p. Can anyone speak to the X4500 HD support in linux? Any access to the hardware acceleration?

Video hardware acceleration of all but the most basic kind (motion compensation) is missing from Linux right now across all graphics providers. Intel's got a roadmap on implementing HW support, but pinning the guys down on dates is ultimately very difficult.

Quote:


If not, what kind of CPU would I need to do it with no help from the GPU?

Any Core 2 Quad. A high-end Core 2 Duo (2.67GHz or 3GHz) can also handle anything except the most egregious Blu-ray bitrates of H.264... and even then, if the bitstream is not encrypted it can probably still pull it off.

2) What is the smallest PSU (Watt) I can get away with? This obviously depends on whether I need to add another dedicated GPU or a much faster CPU, but the system listed above should ok with 250W-300W, no?

I do not speak officially in any sense for
Intel Corp., Technology Manufacturing Group
but I do work there.
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post #3822 of 19229 Old 10-14-2008, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

A short answer is, HTPC can't replace DVR.

Please read the TV tuner section at page 1. Recording in HTPC is limited to OTA and basic cable channels.

I'll nitpick and say that an DIY HTPC and a cable box can replace a DVR with the use of the HD-PVR or an R5000 mod to the set top box. However, then you are still paying for the cost of the cable box rental every month.

Purchasing a pre-built machine with CableCard would replace the DVR entirely, and your cable company will still charge you a cable card rental fee.


But yes, go read the entire first section is a good recommendation.

I also probably would never give an HTPC to my mother. It screams weekly tech support phone calls.
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post #3823 of 19229 Old 10-14-2008, 01:57 PM
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Yes, my folks would never be able to use a HTPC as a DVR replacement. I do get a lot of those tech support calls, even though they have a Dish DVR. Even a relatively easy to use HTPC computer would be a support nightmare for me and them.

Technically, though, you can get OTA and satellite recording and DVR-like functionality from a modified Dish 211/411/622 receiver. Get the Nextcom R5000 mod to one of those boxes and you can have the best of a lot of worlds. Just don't expect to teach your parents to use it easily.

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post #3824 of 19229 Old 10-14-2008, 02:07 PM
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I need some help I am building my HTPC with the following components:

Case: Thermaltake DH102 case
CPU Fan: Zalman CNPS9500 CPU fan
Power supply: Enermax MODU82+ 625W (EMD625AWT)
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-X48-DQ6
And Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.83GHz Socket 775
HDD: Western Digital WD6400AAKS 640GB SATA
Memory: G.SKILL F2-8000CL5D-4GBPQ DDR2-1000 2 x 2GB Kit,
Graphic card: Sapphire HD 4870 X2
CD burner: GGW-H20L (will this fit the Theemaltake DH102 case?)
Sound card (I will wait until all bugs are worked out) ASUS Xonar HDAV1.3

I want to use the Graphics card to send out audio and video by means of the HDMI connector. The graphics card does not have a way to connect the 7.1 audio internal to the Motherboard, I would have thought that I could redirect audio to the card and send audio and video by means of HDMI. Can anyone advice me how I can manage this. do I have to send audio to Anthem D2 by means of the optic cable? I am hoping I do not have to do this. if this is true and I have to give up my hope to use HDMI to HDMI to my Anthem D2, when the Xonar HDAV1.3 has worked out all its problems can I redirect the video to the audio card and do what I originally want to do. HDMI to HDMI..

Help ... I am so close to finishing this project. The only other question is, do I consider doing a raid or just set it as AHCI

Thank you in advance

Fred
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post #3825 of 19229 Old 10-14-2008, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archibael View Post

BD, in many cases, has LPCM as its audio. In other cases, Dolby TrueHD or DD+ and DTS MA are decoded in software into LPCM.

For that matter, standard DD or DTS can be decoded in software into LPCM.

Any time you can run audio out to your 6- or 8-speaker analog outs, you are sending it in LPCM until the final stage when it passes through the DACs and becomes analog.

DD or DTS recoded in LPCM would not be any benefit since the source is lossy. I did a bit of Googling on LPCM, AE3S, and S/PDIF. Regular DVDs (not just BD) support LPCM.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S/PDIF
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AES3
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linear_...ode_modulation

I am only concerned with HDTV, regular DVDs, and CD audio on my HTPC. BD is a possibility in the future, but since it's not supported in Linux and requires expensive drives, I have decided to go without it for now.

I believe S/PDIF works for my needs as it is designed for carrying DD5.1 and DTS and also carries uncompressed digital audio from a CD player to a receiver. I want to be sure I am not losing/compromising my sound quality. HDTV is DD5.1. As far as I know, regular DVDs are encoded in DD5.1 and some have DTS as well. Although the DVD format supports LPCM, I believe any content would simply be DD or DTS recoded into LPCM. My receiver only handles DD5.1 and I can't see a need for more than 5.1 channels. In my situation, I see no benefit with LPCM, correct?
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post #3826 of 19229 Old 10-14-2008, 03:34 PM
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I am now building my HTPC and ran into this problem with the SATA drives only showing up as 137GB when installing Windows XP Pro. I think it is a BIOS issue which I am about to try and resolve. I have just never run into this before, but never used a SATA drive before wither...
GA-EP35-DS3P
2 WD 640GB SATA drives
Windows XP Pro (original no SP, have to add that after the install)
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post #3827 of 19229 Old 10-14-2008, 05:08 PM
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older crt TV that has a component input available. Can I get this to work through a secondary output from the card? I'll want to use the primary output to drive my desktop LCD monitor.
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post #3828 of 19229 Old 10-14-2008, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunshine108j View Post

I want to use the Graphics card to send out audio and video by means of the HDMI connector. The graphics card does not have a way to connect the 7.1 audio internal to the Motherboard, I would have thought that I could redirect audio to the card and send audio and video by means of HDMI. Can anyone advice me how I can manage this. do I have to send audio to Anthem D2 by means of the optic cable? I am hoping I do not have to do this. if this is true and I have to give up my hope to use HDMI to HDMI to my Anthem D2, when the Xonar HDAV1.3 has worked out all its problems can I redirect the video to the audio card and do what I originally want to do. HDMI to HDMI.

HD 4870 X2 has a built-in HD audio controller. So you don't have to use any other audio device to get HDMI audio from the graphics card. Just use the bundled DVI-HDMI adapter and connect it to your receiver. Select "Realtek HDMI Output" in the Sound dialog box. (Don't forget to install "ATI HDMI audio driver" [the latest version is downloadable from the Realtek site].)
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post #3829 of 19229 Old 10-14-2008, 07:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTimeShifter View Post

I believe S/PDIF works for my needs as it is designed for carrying DD5.1 and DTS and also carries uncompressed digital audio from a CD player to a receiver. I want to be sure I am not losing/compromising my sound quality. HDTV is DD5.1. As far as I know, regular DVDs are encoded in DD5.1 and some have DTS as well. Although the DVD format supports LPCM, I believe any content would simply be DD or DTS recoded into LPCM. My receiver only handles DD5.1 and I can't see a need for more than 5.1 channels. In my situation, I see no benefit with LPCM, correct?

You are right. If your sound sources are DD, DTS or stereo LPCM, S/PDIF is enough.
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post #3830 of 19229 Old 10-14-2008, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelG View Post

I am now building my HTPC and ran into this problem with the SATA drives only showing up as 137GB when installing Windows XP Pro. I think it is a BIOS issue which I am about to try and resolve. I have just never run into this before, but never used a SATA drive before wither...
GA-EP35-DS3P
2 WD 640GB SATA drives
Windows XP Pro (original no SP, have to add that after the install)

Perhaps you need to apply SP. Or slipstream SP to XP before installation (use nLite).
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post #3831 of 19229 Old 10-14-2008, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaal View Post

older crt TV that has a component input available. Can I get this to work through a secondary output from the card? I'll want to use the primary output to drive my desktop LCD monitor.

Yes. Use the bundled component video cable.
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post #3832 of 19229 Old 10-14-2008, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbMagFab View Post

1) Feed HDMI from the source device (e.g. HTPC) to the AVR or pre-pro via one HDMI cable
1a) Feed all other source devices (e.g. DVR) to the AVR or pre-pro via one HDMI cable each
2) Feed speakers from the AVR/pre-pro as normal
3) Feed TV from the AVR/pre-pro via only one HDMI cable
4) The AVR/pre-pro switches between the HDMI sources, and sends sound to the speakers, video to the TV (and optionally sound to the TV, but this can be problematic as many TV's only accept 2-channel low-bitrate audio, so most people either don't send sound to the TV, or switch listening modes before sending sound to the TV).

Make sense? It's exactly why we want a good HDMI solution for our HTPC's, so they can fit in the rack just like any other HDMI source device. This minimizes significantly the cables used.

Thanks. Yes, it makes sense (and it WAS a dumb question). I think I just had a brain freeze.
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post #3833 of 19229 Old 10-14-2008, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTimeShifter View Post

Although the DVD format supports LPCM, I believe any content would simply be DD or DTS recoded into LPCM. My receiver only handles DD5.1 and I can't see a need for more than 5.1 channels. In my situation, I see no benefit with LPCM, correct?

Technically, many DVDs also have 2-channel LPCM tracks, so it's not lossy. But your overall conclusion still stands.
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post #3834 of 19229 Old 10-15-2008, 03:55 AM
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*I am building a HTPC from the list...

But I cant find the "GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P" on the europen Gigabyte webpage.

Any other Gigabyte recommendation?

And I like the idea about 5 PCI express cards...

Is Intel Chipset P45 better than Nvidia 9XXX ?

Thanks for your input
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post #3835 of 19229 Old 10-15-2008, 04:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manakeri View Post

But I cant find the "GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P" on the europen Gigabyte webpage.

Any other Gigabyte recommendation?

Which European site are you referring to? UD3 Series was released this month. They will show up on every GIGABYTE site eventually.

The previous recommendation was ASUS P5Q PRO. It is still recommended in case GA-EP45-UD3P is not available.
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post #3836 of 19229 Old 10-15-2008, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Please tell me more (OS, file extension, filters, download link ...).

http://www.kellyindustries.com/sounds.html
the file that i've downloaded is "The Other Side - DTS (WAV @ 44.1kHz/16-bit Stereo)"
http://www.kellyindustries.com/downl..._44khz_wav.zip
OS is WinXP SP3. I'm using MPC-HomeCinema with its own filter.
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post #3837 of 19229 Old 10-15-2008, 06:58 AM
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4350 Passive on the Egg for 40 clams. No HDMI dongle in photo so another 10 for that if you don't have one.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814127390
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post #3838 of 19229 Old 10-15-2008, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Which European site are you referring to? UD3 Series was released this month. They will show up on every GIGABYTE site eventually.

The previous recommendation was ASUS P5Q PRO. It is still recommended in case GA-EP45-UD3P is not available.

I cant post any links (New to the AVsforum need 3 post before I can do that )
I looked at the Danish page, so this might just not be updated.

One other thing! someone told me that there is a MB with a embedded HD player chip for (790G) that plays H264 & Blu-Ray so you dont really need a Graphic card like the one recommended on the list (ASUS EN9800GT HB/HTDI/512M GeForce 9800 GT) and you dont need a powerfull/expensive CPU? is that true?

Is it because the card supports HDCP on the HDMI, so I can play protected Blu Rays on my PC?
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post #3839 of 19229 Old 10-15-2008, 07:42 AM
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renethx, i bought a recommended setup of yours with the scythe ninja mini and the gd02. these are absolutely incompatible! there is no way to install the drivebay when the ninja is installed......
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post #3840 of 19229 Old 10-15-2008, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Perhaps you need to apply SP. Or slipstream SP to XP before installation (use nLite).

That is exactly what I did, slipstreamed SP3 to my XP Pro install. Plus removed a bunch of junk that I don't need for a HTPC. Need to read up on all the services to disable as well and remove those during the nLite creation process. Thanks!
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