HP z555 Upgrade Project - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 1146 Old 12-14-2007, 09:05 PM
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Hi Guys, I was about to build a Media Center PC and decided to go with a refurb Z555 (mostly after reading this string). It was delivered tonight but I got the blue screen of death during setup. Now when it boots, Windows trys to start but gives me a message that Windows is not set up...re run setup. No worries, I have the recovery CD...wrong. It came with 5013-7568 (need 5070-0029) which is the wrong recovery CD! After spending an hour on the phone with HP, it will cost me $24 and I can get it by late next week - Merry Christmas!

Does anyone know of a place I can download it from or could someone PLEASE put an ISO out there for me? If you need proof, I can take some pictures!
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post #32 of 1146 Old 12-15-2007, 05:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azmrtwo View Post

Hi Guys, I was about to build a Media Center PC and decided to go with a refurb Z555 (mostly after reading this string). It was delivered tonight but I got the blue screen of death during setup. Now when it boots, Windows trys to start but gives me a message that Windows is not set up...re run setup. No worries, I have the recovery CD...wrong. It came with 5013-7568 (need 5070-0029) which is the wrong recovery CD! After spending an hour on the phone with HP, it will cost me $24 and I can get it by late next week - Merry Christmas!

Does anyone know of a place I can download it from or could someone PLEASE put an ISO out there for me? If you need proof, I can take some pictures!

@azmrtwo,

Unfortunately, it's not that simple. Each Recovery CD (or Recovery DVD, in the case of the z555's) is built by HP specifically for this or that particular PC, so just sticking an ISO out there would do nothing except invalidate someone else's license code.

However, you can re-create the DVD yourself, the files are on the hard drive (or should be) to create it. In my case, the directory had gotten whacked at some point, so I had to order the disc myself, but if you're on a fresh install, they should be there. If you click here it goes to HP's page that walks you through creating the Recovery DVD.

Can the PC not even boot into safe mode? If you can, then you should be able to get enough functionality to get them off onto a thumbdrive or something, and then go to another computer to burn down. Alternatively, you could pull the hard drive and stick it into another PC, and then again burn them off and create the Recovery DVD.

That's pretty lame that it's delivered that way. I know how painful dealing with HP's tech support can be. If the above procedure doesn't work, then click here to go to the Product Support page for the z555. About halfway down is the link to ordering the Recovery DVD.

Strange that they quoted you $25. It cost me $12.12. I'd throw the red flag on that one and call for review.

Of course, all this shouldn't even be an issue. If they included the wrong DVD, then they should replace it at their expense. They screwed up, they should fix it. I'd call back, and if the front-line guy won't give you satisfaction, ask for a supervisor, and keep going up the chain. You have (or should have) recourse in this one.

Good luck, and let us know if there's any other help we can be.

BW
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post #33 of 1146 Old 12-15-2007, 07:46 AM
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BW, thanks for getting back to me so quick!

Unfortunately, I cannot get into windows and I don't have another SATA system.

The replacement cost would be ~$12ish if I wanted it after the 26th, but to get it by mid to late next week, it would be ~$24. I pointed out that it wasn't my mistake that I had the wrong DVD and he said his supervisor could override the cost but it would ship the cheapest route and be here after the 26th. I told him I was going to look around locally to see if I could find a copy and he said, "okay, yea...that would be the quickest route. If you don't find one, call us back or you can order it online as well."

If they weren't out of stock already, I could order another Z555 and return this one as defective and have it sooner than the 26th...maybe I'll just buy on off EBay and return this one! There is a place selling new ones for $25 more than I paid for this one!

I'm pretty sure that the license is determined by the Product Key on the side of the unit and the DVDs are generic (per model in this case) since you can order them online or from HP.

They really should have setup a way do download an image with a validation key an HP rep could give you or something a little more customer friendly!

If I can't find an ISO, I may hook an IDE drive to it, install standard XP, then try to get to the recovery files.

Anyway, thanks again for getting back to me so quickly!
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post #34 of 1146 Old 12-15-2007, 08:55 AM - Thread Starter
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@ azmrtwo,

You are correct in that the license is determined by the Windows license key you have, as well as by the serial number of the unit you have. I just reloaded my z555, so believe me when I tell you this. There is no point in the setup process where you enter your 25-character license key. It is built into the automated setup on the DVD. Therefore, if you use a disc not specifically built for your machine, the license key on that disc will not match the one you have.

The Recovery DVD I have is not generic. HP has a database of every PC they've sent out by Serial#, and which Windows license went with it. That way they can make a Recovery DVD "just for you." The Recovery CD I had for the HP laptop I used to have was generic, and you entered in the license key at load time. But not with these media PC's, or at least, not with mine.

There are probably ways to create a Recovery DVD for yourself by using another one, but I think that a discussion of that topic probably runs up against the policies of AVS Forum.

Agree that HP's customer service could be more user-friendly, but then, so could just about every other CS line I've ever called, with a couple of exceptions. Aperion Audio has exceptional customer service, but that's outside the scope of this thread.

Good luck to you. I'd keep fighting them, though. I would be fired up if they told me I had to pay shipping on replacement parts when they're the ones who screwed it up in the first place.

BW
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post #35 of 1146 Old 12-16-2007, 05:09 PM
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hd time! well, sort of.

My new (to me) 650 showed up yesterday and I got a chance to work on the system today. The lg drive went in without a hitch, and the cpu seems to be working fine. I swapped my 7300gt with a 7600gt I had lying around, stuck in transformers and crossed my fingers.

Well, a 3.4ghz p4 and a 7600gt isn't enough horsepower to decode hd movies. Stutter city. The cpus are pegged at 100% anytime there is motion on the screen. But it still looks beautiful!

The audio problem sucks. I can only get 2 ch out of pdvd with a hd-dvd. I have a blu-ray disc, but it is a xmas present so I won't be able to try that out for a while.

On a side note, all those people in the big lg thread that posted saying the drive was the quietest drive they have heard must have some pretty loud drives. It is louder than the nec 25xx it replaced, and I can hear it over the gpu's fan, which is pretty loud. No big deal because most movies will get ripped to a disk. A little surprising, though.

Anyway, its time to hit newegg and pick up a new video card!
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post #36 of 1146 Old 12-16-2007, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigWorm2005GT View Post

What's this upgrade path you speak of?

if you search the big lg thread, some people have reported that their oem copy of pdvd has been upgraded to the full version after applying an update. I think it happened around patch 3316a. You have to be careful though, because cyberlink has crippled some features in later version of pdvd (like removing hdd playback), if you care about that.

I'm waiting for the arcsoft guys to release their sw. I think it will be much better (some mce integration, support for mce remote, etc). The remote not working in pdvd sucks.

If I figure out the combination, I'll let you know.
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post #37 of 1146 Old 12-16-2007, 06:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek K. View Post

hd time! well, sort of.

My new (to me) 650 showed up yesterday and I got a chance to work on the system today. The lg drive went in without a hitch, and the cpu seems to be working fine. I swapped my 7300gt with a 7600gt I had lying around, stuck in transformers and crossed my fingers.

Well, a 3.4ghz p4 and a 7600gt isn't enough horsepower to decode hd movies. Stutter city. The cpus are pegged at 100% anytime there is motion on the screen. But it still looks beautiful!

The audio problem sucks. I can only get 2 ch out of pdvd with a hd-dvd. I have a blu-ray disc, but it is a xmas present so I won't be able to try that out for a while.

On a side note, all those people in the big lg thread that posted saying the drive was the quietest drive they have heard must have some pretty loud drives. It is louder than the nec 25xx it replaced, and I can hear it over the gpu's fan, which is pretty loud. No big deal because most movies will get ripped to a disk. A little surprising, though.

Anyway, its time to hit newegg and pick up a new video card!

Ouch... Sorry to hear that it didn't work out. Get that MSI 8500GT, it'll do the trick.

I can't hear my LG drive at all. I can barely hear the fans from here (10-12 feet away from the PC) and can't hear the LG drive period.

HD DVD audio is a problem with the OEM version. With either track I'm not sure what I'm getting. It says Dolby Digital on my amp, but I don't think I'm getting true surround. I just put the amp in Dolby PLIIx mode, which works for now.

Blu ray is a different story. I put Blu ray discs on PCM Uncompressed and it outputs as DTS to the amp. Beautiful! Except for the slight ringing problem that others have reported on Spiderman 3. I get it too. Didn't do it on Apocalypto, though. I'll check Ultraviolet and POTC3:AWE on Dec 25.

Like you, I'm waiting for Arcsoft. Hopefully, they're not as crippled as PowerDVD. I'm not paying $100 for the retail version if this OEM is any indication of the quality of the product.

Get the 8500GT!!!

BW
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post #38 of 1146 Old 12-17-2007, 04:34 AM
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Just pulled the trigger on the 8500GT over at ZipZoomFly. Out the door with FexEx 2Day for $86.29. Can't wait to see my rig at 1080P!

Cheers!

JR
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post #39 of 1146 Old 12-17-2007, 06:33 AM
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they big problem with the msi 8600gt is it has a huge heatsink. the other issue is nvidia's latest drivers suck. they wouldn't allow my to move the screen around. I had to go back to 93.71 in order to position the screen correctly.

I somehow managed to get some form of dolby digital audio on transformers out of pdvd. My receiver showed dd instead of plii, and I seemed like it had surround sound. I don't know.

as soon as newegg's server come back up I'm going to order something.
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post #40 of 1146 Old 12-17-2007, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
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@ sandflea,

Welcome to the family! You'll love it.

@ Derek,

The 8500GT has a huge heatsink as well, but it does fit. It comes close to but does not touch the PCI riser assembly where the tuner cards are, and has plenty of front-back clearance to the back of the DVD drive.

I get the same thing with HD DVD's. The amp shows Dolby Digital (or PLIIxif I select it). With both, all speakers are active, but it just doesn't quite have the OOMPH of standard DVD's or the Blu-ray's I've played with Uncompressed turned on.

May try the Japanese trial of Arcsoft and see what that does. I'll keep you posted.

BW
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post #41 of 1146 Old 12-19-2007, 02:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I tried the Arcsoft TotalMedia Japanese trial. Playback: horrible! Stutter all over the place. CPU usage is pegged at 100%, so obviously hardware acceleration is the key. But, given that the program is in Japanese, I can't find the option to turn it on, if it exists.

Anyone figure out hardware acceleration in Arcsoft and can relate how to turn it on? Thanks in advance!

BW
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post #42 of 1146 Old 12-19-2007, 11:21 PM
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My z555 has a SATA HDD, so I am assuming that it already come with a SATA controller. Can I use that for the LG combo drive?
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post #43 of 1146 Old 12-20-2007, 03:07 AM - Thread Starter
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@ Chienlim,

Answer: Maybe. These z-series machines were built with different series motherboards. Some (like mine) only have one SATA port, which the hard drive already occupies. Others have two SATA ports on the motherboard, in which case you'll have one open for the drive to use.

You'll have to crack your case open and see what the motherboard gives you. I had to add a PCI SATA controller since I only have the one port, but yours may be one of the two-port versions. No way to know without looking.

BW
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post #44 of 1146 Old 12-20-2007, 05:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigWorm2005GT View Post

Well, I tried the Arcsoft TotalMedia Japanese trial. Playback: horrible! Stutter all over the place. CPU usage is pegged at 100%, so obviously hardware acceleration is the key. But, given that the program is in Japanese, I can't find the option to turn it on, if it exists.

Anyone figure out hardware acceleration in Arcsoft and can relate how to turn it on? Thanks in advance!

BW

ha! there is a huge arcsoft thread here. look in there to see if anyone figured it out. you could also ask.

My 2600xt should be here today! hopefully I'll get a chance to stick it in the htpc soon.
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post #45 of 1146 Old 12-20-2007, 07:44 AM
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I have two HP machines, one is a Z560 and the other is a z565. They are both the same since I upgraded the 560. I am wondering if I can use the LG drive. I purchased one last month and received it but then heard that it wouldn't work with the 7600 video card and when I couldn't find one that I knew would work I sold the LG drive and purchased a Toshiba A35. I like the Toshiba but I really wanted to play both HD and BD and seeing this thread gets me interested again. I don't use the z560 and plan on selling it and upgrading the z565 if it's possible.

Will the 8500GT that you mentioned fit in mine as well?

I was told that with the LG drive you loose the open/close button on the front of the HP, is this true or did you figure out a fix?

I really love the HP machines and they really work well with all that I do and both of mine have 7.1 and HDMI and I was really surprised that the LG didn't work but it sure would be cool to use this and throw out the Toshiba because I hate having 4 DVD players in the same rack.

God job...

john
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post #46 of 1146 Old 12-20-2007, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jongig View Post

I have two HP machines, one is a Z560 and the other is a z565. They are both the same since I upgraded the 560. I am wondering if I can use the LG drive. I purchased one last month and received it but then heard that it wouldn't work with the 7600 video card and when I couldn't find one that I knew would work I sold the LG drive and purchased a Toshiba A35. I like the Toshiba but I really wanted to play both HD and BD and seeing this thread gets me interested again. I don't use the z560 and plan on selling it and upgrading the z565 if it's possible.

Will the 8500GT that you mentioned fit in mine as well?

I was told that with the LG drive you loose the open/close button on the front of the HP, is this true or did you figure out a fix?

I really love the HP machines and they really work well with all that I do and both of mine have 7.1 and HDMI and I was really surprised that the LG didn't work but it sure would be cool to use this and throw out the Toshiba because I hate having 4 DVD players in the same rack.

God job...

john

@ jongig,

The z560 series is the same form-factor as the z555, no reason the 8500GT card shouldn't fit. The heatsink comes close but does not touch the PCI riser to the side, and has an inch or two of clearance to the DVD drive in front.

The eject button on the front panel properly ejects the drive. This worked properly from the get-go; no hacks or registry tweaks were necessary.

BW
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post #47 of 1146 Old 12-20-2007, 06:16 PM
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success! sort of...

I got my gigabyte 2600xt and installed it no problem. The card fits fine, but I have two issues that need to be resolved with overscan and position settings and hw acceleration while playing back ota hd.

CPU utilization while playing back transformers is 20-30%! Woohoo!

The bottom line is you can play back new hd discs on 3+ year old cpus but you need some help from a video card.

I'm off to watch some more transformers!
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post #48 of 1146 Old 12-20-2007, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek K. View Post

success! sort of...

I got my gigabyte 2600xt and installed it no problem. The card fits fine, but I have two issues that need to be resolved with overscan and position settings and hw acceleration while playing back ota hd.

CPU utilization while playing back transformers is 20-30%! Woohoo!

The bottom line is you can play back new hd discs on 3+ year old cpus but you need some help from a video card.

I'm off to watch some more transformers!

Excellent! Another z555 saved from oblivion! Enjoy the new life you've given your machine.
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post #49 of 1146 Old 12-21-2007, 12:23 AM
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Will I be able to play HD-DVD or Blu-ray from within MCE using the LG's included PowerDVD?
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post #50 of 1146 Old 12-21-2007, 03:27 AM - Thread Starter
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@ Chienlim,

You can easily create an icon pointing to PowerDVD from the "Other Programs" portion of MCE by creating an .mcl file and placing it in the Media Center Programs foler under the start menu.

If you're not averse to doing some holiday "registry carving" you could alternatively have PowerDVD appear on the "Start" menu of Media Center. The easy way to do this is:
  1. Install PowerDVD Ultra
  2. Install the Arcsoft Total Media Japanese Trial
  3. The Arcsoft program creates an item on the "Start" menu called "Play BD/HD DVD"
  4. Start RegEdit
  5. Search the registry for "Play BD/HD DVD"
  6. It will find the key with the launch info for Arcsoft.
  7. Change the file paths to find PowerDVD instead.
  8. Done!
Disclaimer: If you aren't comfortable doing registry modifications, DO NOT PERFORM THE ABOVE! You can mess up your computer if you don't do it right. This is what I did, not an endorsement for others (there, I'm covered! )

The .mcl file is much easier. Let me know if you want it, I could post the one I created here.

BW
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post #51 of 1146 Old 12-21-2007, 06:57 AM
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Talking about processors and on the box of the LG drive it mentioned CPU requirements.

On my z560 it has a d525 and is 3.0 GHz but the LG box required at least 3.2Ghz. Should I only attempt to put the LG drive in the z565 with a 3.4GHz or doesn't it matter.

I see no difference between the two machines one being 3.0 and the other being 3.4 and does the .4 actually make any difference? In the z560 I increased the RAM to 3Gig.

The video card you used, does it work the same as the Nvidea 7600 that came with my machines. Will I still be able to use a second display at a different resolution?

I am sending my Toshiba A35 back and believe it or not the retailer said ok to a full refund even though it's been a month or more. I really like BH*****.

I can't wait to try this.

A question about Media Center. Have you found a way to incorporate PowerDVD so that you can use Media Center to run things?

Have you thought about running Vista because it looks kind of neat?

Thanks very much for taking the time.

John
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post #52 of 1146 Old 12-21-2007, 08:13 AM
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John,

As long as you have a nvidia 85/8600 or ati 24/2600 video card, I don't think you will need a 3.4 ghz cpu. 3.0 should be ok.

Currently there isn't a way to integrate pdvd into mce. my movies sort of does it, but it is a hack and probably won't work with newer versions of pdvd. pdvd just plain sucks.
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post #53 of 1146 Old 12-21-2007, 08:29 AM
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Thanks Derek,

I just ordered the LG drive and the MSI 8500GT from PCalchemy and so we'll see what happens.

Has anyone found a way to increase the range of the HP Wireless keyboard? I have to be within 6 feet of the PC for it to work.

John
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post #54 of 1146 Old 12-21-2007, 09:50 AM
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I have a z558. Does the same processor max the mainboard out?

Also, how many memory slots does the box have?
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post #55 of 1146 Old 12-21-2007, 10:43 AM
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John,

Great. pcalchemy is great, and you shouldn't have any problems with them.

I don't have a hp machine like you guys do, just a machine with very similar specs that I built.

Is the wireless keyboard rf or ir? if rf, is the receiver usb? if so, try getting a usb extension cable (of hub) and moving the receiver around.

you might also want to try new batteries.
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post #56 of 1146 Old 12-21-2007, 11:36 AM
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Thanks Derek,

The keyboard is RF and somewhere I had seen the frequency but now I can't find the information. I've built lots of RF stuff years ago and I even have a frequency counter so I may try to play with it. I'm surprised they don't have an external antenna for the keybaord on the PC. I would like to know where the transmitter is in the PC so that I could play with it?

John
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post #57 of 1146 Old 12-21-2007, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgr131 View Post

I have a z558. Does the same processor max the mainboard out?

Also, how many memory slots does the box have?

@ tgr131,

Here are the specs of your machine:

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/d...110866&lang=en

It has the same motherboard and the same chipset as my z555, therefore, you would be limited to the same CPU, the Pentium 4 650. Also on that page, it lists that there are four memory sockets, for a maximum of 4GB of RAM supported.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jongig View Post

Thanks Derek,

I just ordered the LG drive and the MSI 8500GT from PCalchemy and so we'll see what happens.

Has anyone found a way to increase the range of the HP Wireless keyboard? I have to be within 6 feet of the PC for it to work.

John

@ John,

My HP wireless keyboard works from over 15 feet away quite reliably. Maybe you have a bad copy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jongig View Post

Talking about processors and on the box of the LG drive it mentioned CPU requirements.

On my z560 it has a d525 and is 3.0 GHz but the LG box required at least 3.2Ghz. Should I only attempt to put the LG drive in the z565 with a 3.4GHz or doesn't it matter.

I see no difference between the two machines one being 3.0 and the other being 3.4 and does the .4 actually make any difference? In the z560 I increased the RAM to 3Gig.

The video card you used, does it work the same as the Nvidea 7600 that came with my machines. Will I still be able to use a second display at a different resolution?

I am sending my Toshiba A35 back and believe it or not the retailer said ok to a full refund even though it's been a month or more. I really like BH*****.

I can't wait to try this.

A question about Media Center. Have you found a way to incorporate PowerDVD so that you can use Media Center to run things?

Have you thought about running Vista because it looks kind of neat?

Thanks very much for taking the time.

John

@ John,

On the processor, while this is a crude example, look at it this way. The extra 400Mhz of speed is about a 13% increase in processor capacity. With HD DVD playback, I am using 30%-40% processor utilization. A 13% deficit in processing capacity would increase that to about 34%-45% utilization. Is that a great difference? No, but every little bit helps.

I haven't tried dual output from the 8500GT yet, but it should be able to work with dual displays. However, when trying to play back HD DVD's or Blu-ray's, you may run into AACS or HDCP content protections. Either both would have to be HDCP compliant, or one would have to be turned off, or both, for HDM playback. But to answer your question, there should be no issue in all other cases running both screens, in independent resolutions.

BW
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post #58 of 1146 Old 12-21-2007, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
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A question about Media Center. Have you found a way to incorporate PowerDVD so that you can use Media Center to run things?

Have you thought about running Vista because it looks kind of neat?

Thanks very much for taking the time.

John

Here is how I integrated PowerDVD Ultra into XP MCE (sort of):

I installed the PowerDVD application. I then installed the Arcsoft Total Media Japanese trial. The Arcsoft application creates an item on the root level of XP MCE labeled "Play BD/HD DVD". I searched through the registry for this phrase. When I found that key, I repointed the key to the PowerDVD application. When selected, this item now fires PowerDVD from the menu and minimizes MCE. I set PowerDVD to maximize itself upon disc playback.

I own a Logitech Harmony 880 that has the Media Center profile as one of its devices, and it fully controls PowerDVD: Play, Rewind, FF, Stop, Pause, arrow keys, Enter/select, etc. So, once PowerDVD fires and MCE minimizes, focus automatically shifts to PowerDVD, and control shifts with it. No extra button presses. When I am done, I hit the "Start" button programmed on the Harmony, and it re-focuses to MCE, with PowerDVD still active in the background. Selecting "Play BD/HD DVD" again from the menu repeats the process.

So. While it isn't fully integrated, it is enough for my purposes. I get everything I need from it without having to use the keyboard except for more esoteric functions.

Hope this helps!

BW
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post #59 of 1146 Old 12-21-2007, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by BigWorm2005GT View Post

Here is how I integrated PowerDVD Ultra into XP MCE (sort of):

I installed the PowerDVD application. I then installed the Arcsoft Total Media Japanese trial. The Arcsoft application creates an item on the root level of XP MCE labeled "Play BD/HD DVD". I searched through the registry for this phrase. When I found that key, I repointed the key to the PowerDVD application. When selected, this item now fires PowerDVD from the menu and minimizes MCE. I set PowerDVD to maximize itself upon disc playback.

I own a Logitech Harmony 880 that has the Media Center profile as one of its devices, and it fully controls PowerDVD: Play, Rewind, FF, Stop, Pause, arrow keys, Enter/select, etc. So, once PowerDVD fires and MCE minimizes, focus automatically shifts to PowerDVD, and control shifts with it. No extra button presses. When I am done, I hit the "Start" button programmed on the Harmony, and it re-focuses to MCE, with PowerDVD still active in the background. Selecting "Play BD/HD DVD" again from the menu repeats the process.

So. While it isn't fully integrated, it is enough for my purposes. I get everything I need from it without having to use the keyboard except for more esoteric functions.

Hope this helps!

BW

very clever.
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post #60 of 1146 Old 12-21-2007, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by BigWorm2005GT View Post

On the processor, while this is a crude example, look at it this way. The extra 400Mhz of speed is about a 13% increase in processor capacity. With HD DVD playback, I am using 30%-40% processor utilization. A 13% deficit in processing capacity would increase that to about 34%-45% utilization. Is that a great difference? No, but every little bit helps.
BW

my feelings exactly. every little bit helps, especially for $60 (ebay).
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