HP z555 Upgrade Project - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 1150 Old 12-22-2007, 11:02 AM
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Should I get a SATA-150 or SATA-300 controller? The SATA-150 is only $20 but the SATA-300 is $80. Will SATA-150 works with the LG combo drive?

Thanks for all the info provided on this thread!!!
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post #62 of 1150 Old 12-22-2007, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I used the Rosewill SATA controller from NewEgg. It's only SATA-150, but doesn't matter. It's playing Stargate (Blu-ray) right now with perfect display and sound (DTS-HD downmixed to DTS-ES). Looks and sounds awesome.

$11 plus $5 shipping. Good deal to me.

BW
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post #63 of 1150 Old 12-28-2007, 09:23 AM
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Hello folks. I have also finished upgrading my z560, and it is running Blu-Ray and HD-DVDs like a breeze with no stuttering issues. I would like to thank BigWorm2005GT. He has been extremely helpful in this process, and I couldn't have done it without a lot of his advice.

Here's what I added to my z560:

- Upgraded to Pentium D 3.4 ghz dual core processor
- Upgraded to 4GB of RAM (even though Vista 32 bit only uses 3.25GB)
- Replaced stock video card with MSI 8500GT HDCP card and low profile bracket
- Replaced stock 300GB HD with Western Digital 1TB HD
- Installed LG GGC-H20L Bluray/HD-DVD drive
- Running Microsoft Vista Ultimate with Media Center

After watching about 4 hours of HD-DVDs last night, my fan didn't turn on at all. But I'm still nervous that all this new equipment is going to make the system run hotter, especially since its in my wooden entertainment cabinet. I am going to work on adding some additional cooling. Feel free to throw out any ideas.

Cheers
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post #64 of 1150 Old 12-28-2007, 10:25 AM
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Thanks for the update Dave. I'm about to pull the trigger on that MSI 8500 card (hoping for some NewEgg deals in the next week).

Wondering why you moved to Vista? Mind giving me your list of pros and cons? And would those still be appropriate for a z555 (like mine)?

5200: 00004-54831-88075
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post #65 of 1150 Old 12-28-2007, 12:40 PM
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I have the LG drive and the 8500GT card and I'd like to try this on Sunday. I didn't get the MSI low profile bracket yet but I thought I'd still try it. I have the equipment to manufacture one anyway.

I don't mind adding on thing at a time but my thinking is that I should do the video card first and then after that is working upgrade the drive. Does this sound right or should both be done at the same time.

I am also curious about Vista and wonder if their is a reason to upgrade from XP.

On your 560 Dave, why did you upgrade the processor to the d945?

Thanks,

John
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post #66 of 1150 Old 12-28-2007, 02:19 PM
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@shawnsharper

I moved to Vista MCE just hoping that the experience would be better. Unfortunately, there isn't much noticeable difference, so I def say that Vista MCE is nowhere close to a requirement. I might even go back to XP MCE if I start having problems with the Vista OS. Your z555 should be able to be upgraded the same way, because BigWorm also had the z555 and I think his is working great with HD/BR.

@jongig

yea jon, go ahead and add the video card to see how that works first. that's definitely the first step you should take. then install the drivers that come with the card. make sure you're happy with the performance and go ahead and pop in the LG. i don't see you having any issues that way.

i actually installed the pentium D950. i wasn't aware of the fact that we could install any processor. and the 3.4ghz dual core seems to run much better than the 3ghz. i also figured that since i was using a processor from the same family, i wouldn't run into any compatibility issues that way. not sure if my logic was right.

does anyone have any recommendations on a different processor i should have used?

i didn't actually upgrade to Vista after all my hardware upgrades. vista was already on there from a while ago, and i don't see a difference in XP or Vista MCE, so nothing great to report there.
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post #67 of 1150 Old 12-28-2007, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
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@ jongig,

+1. Do one step at a time. That way, when you have problems, you know what change did it, and can save yourself considerable time troubleshooting it. You shouldn't have any trouble with the card (hopefully), but let me give you one piece of advice:

Before you install the new card, COMPLETELY uninstall the drivers for the old video card. I did not do this, and it is causing me issues with standard DVD playback (I think). I'm going to try and clean it out, but I'm not sure what did it. My Xbox360 suffices for now for standard DVD playback, so I have no capability problem, but I do want it to work.

Good luck, and please post your results.

BW
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post #68 of 1150 Old 12-28-2007, 04:03 PM
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I guess I must be slow. These boards support a dual core processor? I have a z558.
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post #69 of 1150 Old 12-28-2007, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgr131 View Post

I guess I must be slow. These boards support a dual core processor? I have a z558.

Some do. The z55x series don't, the z56x series does, as near as I can tell from my research.

The z55x's use the Intel 915P chipset, which supports at most the Pentium 4 650 (3.4GHz 2MB L2 cache). The z56x's use the Intel 945P chipset, which supports up to the Core 2 Extreme on some motherboards. I haven't found anyone yet with a z56x who has put in a Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Extreme yet, but I see no reason it wouldn't work.

Anyone who turns this particular trick, please post here and let us know! I might upgrade to a z560 for that one.

BW
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post #70 of 1150 Old 12-28-2007, 04:27 PM
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BW,

My 560 has a D945 which is a dual core 3.0GHz chip that came with th PC. Is this what you mean or are you talking about a different chip?

I asked Dave about the performance and/or reason he went to the 3.4 GHz chip from the 3.0 GHz but if he had a 55X than he had a P4-3.0 GHz (I think) and if he went to a D950 from a P4 than he didn't only go from 3.0GHz to 3.4GHz he actually added a second processor by moving to the D9**.

I would be interested in knowing what options I have on mine but it doesn't seem like a big performance jump from my D945 3.0GHz to 3.4 GHz in the same Dual core chip.

Jon
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post #71 of 1150 Old 12-28-2007, 04:38 PM - Thread Starter
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@ jongig,

The different z5xx's are differentiated by, among other things (RAM, HD capacity), the CPU in them:

z555: P4 530 3.0 GHz
z556: P4 630 3.0 GHz
z557: P4 530 3.0 GHz
z558: P4 640 3.2 GHz
z560: PD 925 3.0 GHz

...and so on. Sorry, I should have been more clear. You're right, the Pentium D is a dual-core CPU. LOL, what the Worm meant to say was a Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Extreme. I'll update the above post. Thanks for the correction!

If you have a z56x series, then the 945P chipset should support up to a Core 2 Duo, perhaps even an Extreme. Click here for a list of motherboards at NewEgg that have this chipset, and note the supported processors.

A z55x series PC would not be upgradeable to the Pentium D, since the 915P chipset doesn't support that CPU. I went from a P4 530 at 3.0GHz (1MB L2 cache) to a P4 650 at 3.4GHz (2MB L2 cache). The 650 is the highest that I could find that was supported by that chipset. Even the 660 and 670 weren't listed, and the only difference I could find there was the clock speeds (3.6 and 3.8 GHz, respectively). They were made on the same 90nm process as the 650, but weren't explicitly stated as compatible, where the 650 was.

BW
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post #72 of 1150 Old 12-28-2007, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jongig View Post

BW,

My 560 has a D945 which is a dual core 3.0GHz chip that came with th PC. Is this what you mean or are you talking about a different chip?

I asked Dave about the performance and/or reason he went to the 3.4 GHz chip from the 3.0 GHz but if he had a 55X than he had a P4-3.0 GHz (I think) and if he went to a D950 from a P4 than he didn't only go from 3.0GHz to 3.4GHz he actually added a second processor by moving to the D9**.

I would be interested in knowing what options I have on mine but it doesn't seem like a big performance jump from my D945 3.0GHz to 3.4 GHz in the same Dual core chip.

Jon

i have a z560 that came with a PentiumD 925 3.0gHz dual core processor stock. I upgraded from that to a PentiumD 950 3.4gHz dual core processor. So basically i got a 13.3% increase (400 mHz) in processor speed.

Any little bit helps!
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post #73 of 1150 Old 12-28-2007, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigWorm2005GT View Post

@ jongig,

The different z5xx's are differentiated by, among other things (RAM, HD capacity), the CPU in them:

z555: P4 530 3.0 GHz
z556: P4 630 3.0 GHz
z557: P4 530 3.0 GHz
z558: P4 640 3.2 GHz
z560: PD 925 3.0 GHz

...and so on. Sorry, I should have been more clear. You're right, the Pentium D is a dual-core CPU. LOL, what the Worm meant to say was a Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Extreme. I'll update the above post. Thanks for the correction!

If you have a z56x series, then the 945P chipset should support up to a Core 2 Duo, perhaps even an Extreme. Click here for a list of motherboards at NewEgg that have this chipset, and note the supported processors.

A z55x series PC would not be upgradeable to the Pentium D, since the 915P chipset doesn't support that CPU. I went from a P4 530 at 3.0GHz (1MB L2 cache) to a P4 650 at 3.4GHz (2MB L2 cache). The 650 is the highest that I could find that was supported by that chipset. Even the 660 and 670 weren't listed, and the only difference I could find there was the clock speeds (3.6 and 3.8 GHz, respectively). They were made on the same 90nm process as the 650, but weren't explicitly stated as compatible, where the 650 was.

BW

Bigworm and fellow members,

After doing some reasearch, I found that my motherboard is an Asus P5LP-LR. I am going to do some searching and find out what kind of processors are compatible with this motherboard. I will call Asus and inquire if the Core2Duo is compatible as well.

Like BW stated earlier, the chipset is the Intel945P. According to Intel's website, the 945P chipset supports the following processors: PentiumD and Core2Duo (however, not all motherboards will be compatible with Core2Duo processors)

So i guess it will come down to the answer that I get from Asus. If they give me the greenlight on installing the Core2Duo, I will return the PentiumD 950 3.4gHz and buy a Core2Duo from newegg.

Until then, here is some interesting reading on a fellow z560 owner who wanted to install the core2duo. Unfortunately, he never posted a resolution.

http://thegreenbutton.com/forums/thread/186476.aspx

I will keep you all updated!
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post #74 of 1150 Old 12-30-2007, 07:59 AM
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Half way and confused.

I changed out the video card and installed the 8500 and myvideo is 1080P and good. I just don't have audio over HDMI. I didn't know about some of the connectors that came with the card and so I used none of them. I have only ued the HDMI and when I'm done I'd like to connect a second LCD TV through the VGA output as I had with the old card.

I will now go for the drive change out.

John
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post #75 of 1150 Old 12-30-2007, 08:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jongig View Post

Half way and confused.

I changed out the video card and installed the 8500 and myvideo is 1080P and good. I just don't have audio over HDMI. I didn't know about some of the connectors that came with the card and so I used none of them. I have only ued the HDMI and when I'm done I'd like to connect a second LCD TV through the VGA output as I had with the old card.

I will now go for the drive change out.

John

@ Jongig,

The reason you have no audio over HDMI is because you didn't use the connector cables that came with it. The easiest to use would be the one that has a single yellow RCA plug at one end and a jumper connector at the other. The RCA connection goes into your coaxial S/PDIF audio jack on the back of your PC, snakes back inside the case, and connects to the 8500GT at the proper connection point (there are two, I think it's the one closest to the heatsink).

What this does is it takes the S/PDIF audio bitstream, funnels it onto the video card, and combines it with the video stream to create the HDMI A/V stream. You have to make this connection or there will be no audio.

Alternatively, the other connection cable can be used if your sound card (or motherboard with onboard sound) has an internal connection. That way, no cable looping from the outside to the inside. My z555 has a connector on the motherboard labeled "SPDIF1" which I think is for this purpose. I haven't bought my HDMI receiver yet, so I haven't been able to test HDMI A/V functionality. I am using a HDMI-DVI cable to go from the HDMI port on the card to the DVI connection on my HDTV, and using the optical jack for audio.

Again, that RCA-jumper cable (or the internal one) must be connected for audio data to be sent over the HDMI cable.

BW
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post #76 of 1150 Old 12-30-2007, 08:22 AM
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Thanks for the quick update and I'll look, try and let you know if it blows up.

I figured I'd look for the SPDIF and can't find it. Please give me and idea where it is.

My MOBO is a Asus P5LP-LR.

Funny one. I missed church this morning so that I could have some time to myself to do this. Grabbed a cup of coffee and ready for surgery with the new drive. Too bad for me that the drive is in the back of my car and guess what car went to church? I'm enjoying my cup of coffee though.

John
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post #77 of 1150 Old 12-30-2007, 08:30 AM
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With the drive. I'm guessing the plastic front comes off with the tabs and the drive comes out/in from the front. Anything else I should look for since I have the time.

john
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post #78 of 1150 Old 12-30-2007, 08:35 AM - Thread Starter
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LOL! The best laid plans of mice and men... Oh well, enjoy your coffee!

On my motherboard (z555) the internal connector that I think is an internal SPDIF is directly behind the external connectors. Kind of hard to see since it's very close to the power supply. You having a different model motherboard than me, it may not be there at all, or in a different place. Can't really help you on this one, I don't have a z56x in front of me to examine.

For the front panel, there are plastic tabs holding it to the main chassis on top, sides, and bottom. Be very careful when removing it, the ribbon cable that goes to the front display doesn't look like it would take too much stretching. What I did was pop the tabs, then flip the panel over and lay it on top of the chassis. Removing the drive was easy, pop-slide tabs. The rails will need to be removed from the stock drive and reattached to the LG drive.

Once reinserted, there should be plenty of clearance between the drive and the 8500GT's heatsink. Plus, the SATA cables attach to the other side of the drive, so no problem with cable clearance either.

BW
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post #79 of 1150 Old 12-30-2007, 09:53 AM
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I love all the teamwork going on. Just awesome! Hopefully we can all achieve what we're trying to do.

After hours of research on google, I can't get any confirmation that the Asus P5LP-LR can handle that Core2Duo processor, even though it has the Intel 945P chipset and Intel says that chipset can. Even when I type in "Asus P5LP-LR" into Google, barely anything comes up. Almost like this MOBO was made only for the z560. I will have to wait until Wednesday to call them.

@BW. Just to make sure, you don't need to hook up that SPDIF cable to enable the opical audio correct? Right now I am using the RCA audio out because I need to free up an optical port for my z560 which will be done shortly.

@jongig. I agree with BW. Very gently take off the front brack of the z560 and fold it over to the top. That ribbon has very little slack, and you don't want to damage it.

In other news, I am going to do a clean install of an OS this afternoon. Now that I have all this working so well, I just want to start with a clean system. But I am trying to decide between XP MCE and Vista MCE (which I've been using) Any opinions?
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post #80 of 1150 Old 12-30-2007, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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@ a.dave,

LOL! These motherboards were custom made by Asus for HP, specifically for these machines! That's why you're having trouble finding info on it.

To answer your question, you are correct. The RCA jumper cable that came with the 8500GT is so that you can pipe your S/PDIF coaxial into the HDMI so both audio and video can travel over the HDMI cable. It has nothing to do with the optical S/PDIF. Right now, my RCA jumper is coming out of the coaxial S/PDIF on the back of the machine, back into the case through the hole where the VGA connector used to be, and plugs into the 8500GT in the jumper socket. However, since I don't have an HDMI receiver (yet), this does nothing; I only did it so I wouldn't have to worry about it later. My audio is coming out the optical Toslink port and into the receiver. So apparently there isn't even a problem with using both the optical and coaxial S/PDIF ports at the same time!

As far as the OS goes, I'm kind of curious myself how VMC would behave on my PC. The Vista Upgrade Advisor says I'm Vista ready, but I don't know how much it would drag the system. XP MCE does just fine for my purposes, so I'm in no hurry to upgrade. Whichever way you go, let us know, it might change some people's minds!

I'm going to have to do a reinstall myself. Something I did broke playback of standard DVD's. I keep getting an error message that they can't play in (quote unquote) "this" resolution. Fine and dandy, but it says that in every resolution from 640x480 up to 1920x1080! It's either PowerDVD Ultra, The FireSTB software, or something screwy with the 8500GT's drivers. Anyone else have this problem that have done the video card and LG drive upgrades?

BW

PS. To reply to your comment about teamwork, I get so tired of seeing posts where someone asks an honest question, and gets flamed with "Use teh search, n00b!" He may not even know how, and I think that people sometimes forget that they were "n00bs" at one point themselves. My goal here is to make no judgements about the validity of any question asked, but to relate my experiences and try to help whoever needs it as best I can.

My little way of bringing peace and harmony to the world. Heck, I even went format neutral so I wouldn't have to take sides in the "War of the Formats!"
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post #81 of 1150 Old 12-30-2007, 01:25 PM
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Update:

I installed the drive and it works fine and I played transformers HD with no problems on my TV in 1080P. I didn't watch much of it but it seemed to work fine.

Problem: The buttons on the front of my 560 do not control the drive, i.e. open/close.

The SPDIF MOBO connector did not work and what I got from the TV was a static sound. I have an idea that maybe the wires are backwords since the connector from the MOBO will go either way onto the video card. The RCA that the card came with however worked find and the TV gets audio by HDMI and I routed the wire as you did BW.

With regards to the MOBO, if you do a search of it leaving the LR off you will find a lot of information.

I am not home or I would check to see if I had the same drive issue as you do BW with playing DVDs.

A couple notes. When I installed the drivers for the 8500GT I did the same as BW and did not uninstall the old drivers. While installing I got a repeating message about the files being installed were older than that which was on the machine already. I kept all the newer files. I had previously updated my 7600 video card and think this was why.

I did not check for updated video drivers for the new 8500GT card.

I will have to pick up a blu-ray movie since I have none, maybe SpiderMan.

The CPU has me wondering.

What advantage is the Core2Duo processor over the D960 for instance? The D960 will work on our machines and is a dual chip processor and is 3.6GHz. This seems to be a lot of computing power and is 64 bit and can be purchased for less than $200. The problem with our chip that kept it at speeds under 4 Ghz was heat as I recall reading. I understand the upgrade from the P4 to the D9** because that's like bolting on a second P4.

This is a great thread and I never would have upgraded my 560 without it. I had purchased a LG drive a month ago and sold it on Ebay because I got scared after hearing it didn't work for another 560 owner.

Great job, thanks.

John
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post #82 of 1150 Old 12-30-2007, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
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@ Jongig,

Awesome news! Great to hear that you met with success. Now enjoy those movies on your new rig!

You are right about the buttons not working, this is an endemic problem to replacing the drive on a z56x machine. The interface for the front panel buttons is different between the z55x and z56x machines, so ours (z55x's) will work where the z56x's won't. Just a function of the design, unfortunately.

For the CPU, good question. I honestly don't know which would be the better choice. My workstation/gaming rig has a socket 478 P4 on an AGP motherboard. It's over 3 years old, and not yet really ready for an upgrade yet. Point being, I have no hands-on experience with true dual-core chips, and would not be in the position of providing good advice. There are several people on here who good tell you better, though.

I figure I've given my z555 at least another 2-3 years of relevant life, unless it experiences hardware failure first. At that point, the drive, controller, and video card will all be transferable to whatever device I build at that point. I think you've done at least that much, if not more, given your superior chipset and CPU capability.

Again, congratulations on some damn fine work on saving another "Z-machine" from an inglorious end!

BW
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post #83 of 1150 Old 12-30-2007, 04:03 PM
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Bigworm and Jon. Big problems and need some advice asap.

I am doing a clean install of Vista, but it looks like the disc I'm using is hanging right at the Completing Installation point. Its been going on a few hours now, so I'm almost sure that is the issue. Now here's the problem. I have no idea how to get the disc out! Since the eject button doesn't work on the z560, how should I go about getting the disc out of there without taking apart the whole thing???

Any ideas?
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post #84 of 1150 Old 12-30-2007, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
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@ a.dave,

Well, the easiest way is probably going to be removing the top cover, removing the front panel, and popping the emergency ejct hole.

If it must be done without disassembly, I would see about getting a small Linux installation with the proper drivers, putting it on a thumbdrive, and trying to boot from that. If this motherboard supports that (doubtful).

I would go the first route, personally. Good luck!

BW
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post #85 of 1150 Old 12-30-2007, 06:16 PM
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Shut it off and reboot and it will probably work and it's probably stuck on a reboot anyway.

Good luck...
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post #86 of 1150 Old 12-30-2007, 06:49 PM
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Thanks for the info guys. I just used the manual hole with a paper clip and ejected to get the disc out. I decided to not use the Vista Ultimate Disc and go with the XP MCE.

I put in my Windows XP Media Center OS disc (not the HP recovery CD), and started the clean install. When I got to the part about what drive I would like to install to, there were 4 drives listed as "Unknown Drive". There was no place to install the OS!

After looking at some forums, people are saying this is due to the SATA HD we have in the z560. If you don't run the RAID drivers during the install, the Windows XP install won't be able to detect the hard drive. Now, I don't have any of the driver discs, and even if i did, these would have to be loaded of of floppy.

So at this point, I guess I might be stuck. I am going to have to order the HP Recovery Discs from HP and wait several days Sad news. Especially since I had everything working great before being too wise and starting a clean install.

I guess this is what I get for trying to do too much. Did you guys run into this issue, if and when you installed your OS?
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post #87 of 1150 Old 12-30-2007, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
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@ a.dave,

Not necessarily. I ordered the Recovery DVD, but that was because I wanted one. It is possible to do what you're intending without need of a floppy. The solution is a bit technical, but you seem like you do this stuff well. I did this for my workstation PC (which has a SATA boot drive) and it worked flawlessly.

What you want to do is called slipstreaming. Basically what you're doing is taking a standard Windows XP install CD, adding the drivers that you want (like for a SATA controller), and reburning the CD. Now you have an installation CD that has the drivers you need built in, and will load them at the proper time in the installation sequence.

If you want, you can even "slipstream in" things like SP2, IE7, WMP10, and other apps. The install CD I built for my office PC has the drivers for all components (MOBO, graphics card, on board sound, LAN, etc.), SP2, various hotfixes, and other things slipstreamed in so when I have to do a reload, it loads it all at install time. Less stuff I have to download after install is complete.

The guide I used is Paul Thurrott's guide. It was a lifesaver and explained the process very well. That will tell you how to slipstream in the SP. To get the drivers integrated, you'll need to use a tool like nLite. If you have a second PC to do all this on, give it a try. The most it could cost you is a blank CD or two.

Let me know if you have any questions on that one. Like I said, I did it for my other PC, and could have done it for the z555, but I wanted the Recovery DVD anyway. Good luck!

BW
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post #88 of 1150 Old 12-30-2007, 09:47 PM
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thanks for the advice bigworm. i read through paul thurrott's guide, and it looks do-able. the XP MCE disc i have already has SP2 loaded on it, so that's one thing that's out of the way.

the hard stuff to find is the MOBO drivers and SATA controller. I looked on the z560's drivers site at HP (http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/s...235291&lang=en) and don't see any of the MOBO or SATA drivers listed for download.

Do you know where we can go to grab the specific drivers for our Z series machines (or in my case, just the SATA controller for now)? Then I can use the nLite app to integrate them.

Its killing me to wait for those darn HP Recovery discs!
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post #89 of 1150 Old 12-31-2007, 03:23 AM - Thread Starter
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SATA RAID/ACHI

LAN

Chipset

Found in this link.

I agree with the original poster. Intel 945 chipset, should work. Won't cost anything to try, anyway. I also found the drivers for the 915 chipset on Intel's site, so I may try it myself, that way I can get MCE without all of HP's bloatware.

Know where I can find a copy of the MCE installation disk? If that's legal to ask, that is. I have a license for it (obviously) but not the media, just HP's Recovery DVD. The only installation CD I have for XP is for Professional for my workstation.

BW
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post #90 of 1150 Old 12-31-2007, 09:40 AM
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Gents -

Just wanted to state that thanks to all the obvious support available here, I jumped in last night and ordered the MSI 8500 card.

Should get it Friday, so I'll ping back once I start installing it.

I was curious about comments from a couple posts back about video drivers - the poster kept the "newer" ones for the old card? Guessing that's OK because they're both nvidia?

I'm having video stuttering issues, and am wondering if my drivers are bad right now. Just want to make sure I can "go back" to whatever drivers I have now (they work better than any set I've tried so far) in case I get into trouble.

I'm sure with all the knowledge here, you guys can bail me out.

Thanks!
-Shawn

5200: 00004-54831-88075
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