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Assassin's Simple/Beginner HTPC Buying Guide - Page 518

post #15511 of 15912
I have no hate for Hitachi. Much fondness actually. Great company.

stash-1-50b678c69b7ed.jpeg
post #15512 of 15912
Quick question: Currently running 64GB SSD in my HTPC, but planning on switching it with a 120GB or 128GB probably tomorrow. I'm also adding WHS 2011 to the system but according to the requirements, I need at least 160GB or more.

Should I be fine with 128GB or do I really need to consider a larger SSD?

.
post #15513 of 15912
You can install WHS2011 on a smaller drive, just google it. You use a short script on a USB drive that overrides the disk size check. I just installed it to a 45GB datastore to virtualize it. No problems.
post #15514 of 15912
Thanks. That's what I was hoping.
post #15515 of 15912
Thread Starter 
Added Guide #140 tonight: XBMC Movie Collections. Enjoy.

I also am working on an XBox/PS3 extender guide. Stay tuned.
post #15516 of 15912
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Added Guide #140 tonight: XBMC Movie Collections. Enjoy.

I also am working on an XBox/PS3 extender guide. Stay tuned.

themoviedb.org has cover art/fan art you can add to your collections so you're not using your cover art/fan art from one of the movies in the collection. Have to do it manually as far as I know but if you're OCD like me it's worth the time.
post #15517 of 15912
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackDiesel14 View Post

themoviedb.org has cover art/fan art you can add to your collections so you're not using your cover art/fan art from one of the movies in the collection. Have to do it manually as far as I know but if you're OCD like me it's worth the time.

Good call.

I updated the guide to show step-by-step how to do this as well.
post #15518 of 15912
Thread Starter 
Guide #141: Using a PS3 as a Media Extender

and

Guide #142: Using a XBOX 360 as a WMC Extender

are now complete. Enjoy!
post #15519 of 15912
Assassin,

Good reads, but have a question. Do you know of the best way to organize a movie if you have the extras as well? MediaBrowser has no issue with it, but with XBMC, it thinks everything is a movie and so I end up with a lot of strange movie names/cover art and such.

Thanks.
post #15520 of 15912
Hey folks,

I just upgraded to the new MB 2.6.2 and now I keep receiving error every time I run the program in WMC. I reads "INVALID APPLICATION: Unable to launch."
I've already uninstalled, removed files in ProgamData and reinstalled fresh, but nothing works. Even reverted back to 2.2.2 and still fails to launch.

Any suggestions would be most appreciated.
post #15521 of 15912
Hmmm....

Have you tried installing Media Browser 3 and see if that works?
post #15522 of 15912
It took me a while, but I finally figured it out. The latest version of MB, which is 2.6.2, is not compatible with some themes, such as my preferred theme "Simplicity" and which is no longer available as a theme. I reverted back to 2.5.2 in the end because 2.6.2 also does not allow nested folders, which totally wreaks havoc on my folder structure and my preferred setup.

What sucks worse is that I can longer use my paid plug-ins like "Pearl" and "MB Intros" because they're only available for the latest version. I can't believe they removed "Allow nested folders" in 2.6.2. It's doesn't make much sense to remove it.
post #15523 of 15912
Wow, that's amazing if true. I can't imagine they intentionally got rid of nested folders. Strange too that a theme would stop working on a non-major version change.
post #15524 of 15912
i am not privy to the inside scoop but from the forums over there i think this might have to do with soultaker quitting as a developer for MB. they pulled his themes when he left i believe which is a big blow for them as he designed most of their themes.
post #15525 of 15912
I have a situation which is perplexing me, but, perhaps you guys will know off the top of your heads.

I have an 'Assassin' build, I built it in Feb 2012 following the guides... ASRock z68 Pro3m, i5, 8GB, 64 SSD + 3TB WD 3TB. No graphics card; in a Silverstone GD 5 case... 2 extenders (old Linksys DMA 2200). OS is 7.

A few months back the machine started running hotter than normal, as evidenced by the CPU fan becoming audible, (sometimes very). I swapped the molex from 5 to 7 on my case fans. Then, a few weeks after that the Ceton iV crapped out and I sent it back for repair... in the meantime I purchased an HD Prime 3 tuner. I believe this is when the CPU fan really began running fast... I was frequently checking that AS Rock BIOS utility and it showed CPU temps between 115 and 125F, fan was going audibly fast (can't recall the rpm range). This phenomenon would occur even if nothing was running on the machine, TV off, nothing recording... I'd walk by the box and would hear the fans going extremely loudly. Strange.

About a month ago the machine began to crash with an unacceptable frequency, and I started googling around trying to figure out what to do (posted here, I think). Then, one day, it just hung up at the blinking '-' just after the BIOS screen start ('Press F2 to enter set up") and just before the 'Starting Windows.' I reinstalled the OS as I really was at a complete loss (let the machine cool for a few hours etc.) as to what else to do... I could not get the box to boot off the SSD. Probably should have tried to boot off the back up image I made in Feb 2012 - as I said, I followed The Guides.

I think my next move is going to be to remove the HD HR prime tuner and see if that improves it. My other thought was to add a relatively inexpensive graphics card - this is a result of something I read on Tom's hardware concerning Sandy Bridge's relying solely on on board graphics and how problems occur when the cpu is taxed, however, I don't think I'm taxing the CPU (and in general when I pull up it speed because the CPU fan is humming it is frequently running at 1600 or 2300 - meaning it is in power saving mode). I can't find that posting on Tom's hardware right now, but, I remember it coming up on a few different google searches.

I've cleaned the case/fans (several times, air flow is good).

When I check task manager I don't see anything which would indicate that an idle machine's CPU should be heating up to 125F in a case with decent cooling... explorer.exe is the memory hog, CPU usage under 10%.

Can anyone provide any insight or perhaps better next steps to take? Perhaps some diagnostic package to run? The machine is once again beginning to crash, not often, but roughly once every 5 or 6 days (which, it has done since I re-installed the OS).

Again, the two things I'm considering is to remove the HD HR Prime (something I'd rather not do) and/or adding a graphics card (which I believe will trash all my DRM/Copy once recording, so, another thing I'd rather not do). I don't think that 125F or so is too hot but the machine just doesn't seem to be handling it... there is definitely a direct correlation with CPU fan speed/temp and probability of crash.

As usual any of your wisdom is greatly appreciated.

mattie
post #15526 of 15912
Did you get the SSD booting correctly? I have seen this behavior when an SSD is crashing or hanging.
post #15527 of 15912
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiedread View Post

I have a situation which is perplexing me, but, perhaps you guys will know off the top of your heads.

I have an 'Assassin' build, I built it in Feb 2012 following the guides... ASRock z68 Pro3m, i5, 8GB, 64 SSD + 3TB WD 3TB. No graphics card; in a Silverstone GD 5 case... 2 extenders (old Linksys DMA 2200). OS is 7.

A few months back the machine started running hotter than normal, as evidenced by the CPU fan becoming audible, (sometimes very). I swapped the molex from 5 to 7 on my case fans. Then, a few weeks after that the Ceton iV crapped out and I sent it back for repair... in the meantime I purchased an HD Prime 3 tuner. I believe this is when the CPU fan really began running fast... I was frequently checking that AS Rock BIOS utility and it showed CPU temps between 115 and 125F, fan was going audibly fast (can't recall the rpm range). This phenomenon would occur even if nothing was running on the machine, TV off, nothing recording... I'd walk by the box and would hear the fans going extremely loudly. Strange.

About a month ago the machine began to crash with an unacceptable frequency, and I started googling around trying to figure out what to do (posted here, I think). Then, one day, it just hung up at the blinking '-' just after the BIOS screen start ('Press F2 to enter set up") and just before the 'Starting Windows.' I reinstalled the OS as I really was at a complete loss (let the machine cool for a few hours etc.) as to what else to do... I could not get the box to boot off the SSD. Probably should have tried to boot off the back up image I made in Feb 2012 - as I said, I followed The Guides.

I think my next move is going to be to remove the HD HR prime tuner and see if that improves it. My other thought was to add a relatively inexpensive graphics card - this is a result of something I read on Tom's hardware concerning Sandy Bridge's relying solely on on board graphics and how problems occur when the cpu is taxed, however, I don't think I'm taxing the CPU (and in general when I pull up it speed because the CPU fan is humming it is frequently running at 1600 or 2300 - meaning it is in power saving mode). I can't find that posting on Tom's hardware right now, but, I remember it coming up on a few different google searches.

I've cleaned the case/fans (several times, air flow is good).

When I check task manager I don't see anything which would indicate that an idle machine's CPU should be heating up to 125F in a case with decent cooling... explorer.exe is the memory hog, CPU usage under 10%.

Can anyone provide any insight or perhaps better next steps to take? Perhaps some diagnostic package to run? The machine is once again beginning to crash, not often, but roughly once every 5 or 6 days (which, it has done since I re-installed the OS).

Again, the two things I'm considering is to remove the HD HR Prime (something I'd rather not do) and/or adding a graphics card (which I believe will trash all my DRM/Copy once recording, so, another thing I'd rather not do). I don't think that 125F or so is too hot but the machine just doesn't seem to be handling it... there is definitely a direct correlation with CPU fan speed/temp and probability of crash.

As usual any of your wisdom is greatly appreciated.

mattie

I am guessing if your followed the guides you followed his advice for a Crucial SSD- Those are known to start crashing to blue screen of death around the 5000 hour mark without a firmware update. What SSD do you have? If you have a Crucial have you ever updated the firmware? How many hours are on it ?

I'd start there.

Once that is done- we can move on.

If your overheating on the CPU you might want to pull off the fan and replace with a better CPU fan. I'd take the time to clean off the thermal paste and use a good high end thermal paste like Artic Silver5 or MX12 on your new CPU cooler. I would clean install and try again all over again. You might have some funny install or something messing stuff up that a clean install would correct (if your problem is a software bug) - but I'd first check the SSD and possibly re-seat your CPU cooler with better thermal paste.

Many of the experienced other posters of this forum don't check this thread - you might want to start your own post asking for help with details about your specific hardware.

I'm guessing you have a 2500k ? Crucial m4? Asrock Mobo ?
post #15528 of 15912

In the meantime, leave the cover off and confirm the other fans are working.

A virus could be another possibility, if you use the machine online.

Hopefully, it's a Crucial and the fw update will work.

post #15529 of 15912
Yes, the SSD appears to booting correctly, comes into the non-Aero screen without a problem in a short time... 45 seconds or so.

The SSD was on my list of things to ... swap out (it is a crucial 64GB, which I 'flashed' to obviate the 5k hour problem).
post #15530 of 15912
Sorry, Edit wasn't an option. Yes, Mfusick, your hardware guess is correct Crucial, which, I did not re-flash after the OS re-install (but, I shouldn't need to, that hardware problem should be solved)... and, you've saved me a few times before so I'd love to hear what your 'best guess' is.
post #15531 of 15912
overheating should never happen first of all. Even if your overclocked and your CPU is pegged out at 100% you should have a proper cooling system to handle that. If your overheating- something is wrong with your cooling system. Unless your in some extreme stress test and you'll never see those temps in real world normal use- I'd advise you deal with the temp issue. Perhaps an aftermarket cooler and some great thermal paste. It could be in your messing around your cooler not making sufficient contact with your CPU- sometimes the stock plastic lock clips on the stock intel coolers come out from the motherboard holes. You might want to try pressing down hard on all four corners and make sure your CPU cooler is connected and clipping in- making good contact with your CPU. If so- you should consider an aftermarket cooler to reduce your temps and possibly quiet your system ? A gemini coolermaster might work well. What case you have ?

overheating is a totally different issue than crashing- or a software problem. But a bad CPU could be a concern- just hard to trouble shoot.

I would first start with getting your temps under control. Try a temp program to keep track: Download REALTEMP http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/SysInfo/Real_Temp/

You can run it and keep an eye on things. If your under 60c you might be ok- over 60c you might have a problem. I'd want 30 or 40c temps for your machine if I was you.

Next up- Download and burn Memtest86 - Try running it overnight or for a few hours- It should test your RAM and make sure it's good. RAM is a common issue for crashes like your seeing- and also for corruption of your SSD and installation like your indicating. I'd guess you might have a bad dimm. Memtest should sniff it out if so. If you get no errors on your RAM- and your RAM proves good then come back and we can go to level 2 eek.gif\

When it comes to PC problems I can say I been there and done that. I'd make sure your system is running under 60c, and your RAM is good before you go messing with anything else. RAM would give you the crashes and the problems you are talking about.

If the ram is good- I'd say we look next at the CPU / Mobo / SSD as possible trouble areas. But you need to make sure RAM is good before you go there.
post #15532 of 15912
Alright, thanks, that is the order I'm going to go... I have a 'slot' fan which I haven't installed because it is loud... bought a molex extender but couldn't easily pop it out. I could also turn my case fans up, again a little loud (but, I have 3 kids, 2 dogs and a very vocal cat, so, loud is a relative term!)

I did not use thermal paste when I popped my my CPU in.

Case is Silverstone GD 5 with decent cooling arrangement: 3 fans running on 7W, could bump them to 12, but, they are quite audible at 12.. only 2 of the three spins on 5, and the one which doesn't is the HDD area. (I had a 3rd drive in there but pulled it when I re-installed the OS, it was only 500GB).

But, thanks, I'm going to start with cooling and see if that corrects the problem (although I doubt it, my suspision has been Mem all along because I had a similar problem with a Micron Tech set up I built 20 years ago.... overheat crash, replaced graphics card, no luck, replaced mem, problem solved). but hardware has changed so much in the last 20 years and that post I read on Tom's Hardware about Sandy's w/o graphics cards having over heating problems.

Because it reached a point where it wouldn't boot at all (before the OS re-install).... it could be an HDD problem.... I don't know, I'm going to start with cooling and see if that doesn't help.

Nothing is running right now, the TV was set to Live TV for about an hour, no recordings, and CPU is 48C, MB 42... seems a little hot (ambient temp is 72F... roughly 24C)... and I never know when the temp will suddenly rise and fans step up.

I'm probably not going to get around to tinkering for a couple of days, perhaps a week, but, I'll post once I get some evidence of a solution or lack there of....

Thanks again.
post #15533 of 15912
I upped my chassis fans to 12 V, they are audible; haven't added the slot fan yet (probably this weekend). However, when I did a quick search for what the temps should be, this processor should behave fine well into the 60C range, which I'm not close to.

The CPU and board temps both dropped a little (not worth the extra noise, for 16 bucks can get a cooler master CPU cooler which is 17-20db... will try slot fan first)... but I'm starting to think lowering the temperature isn't going to resolve the crashes... it is some other piece of hardware.... I'm going to spend a little time with the machine this weekend... add the slot... that will give me a few days with the new fan speeds to see if there is a crash.
post #15534 of 15912
Right. I told you I'd want it under 60c if I was you. Over 60c you have a problem- but if your in the 50's just idling then your likely to get HOT under stress. At idle it should be 40's or lower IMO. Often a bad surface connection between the CPU cooler and the CPU is the problem. Replacing the CPU cooler with a better model is often the best solution- but removing your current cooler- re-attaching it properly with thermal paste might help without spending much cash. (Amazon sells Artic Silver 5 for $6 ) Majority of cooling issues are not cooler performance- but rather caused by the contact between the cooler and the CPU being insufficient to dissipate the heat properly.

Your memory is another issue. Download MEMTEST86 and test it. You can test without messing with your cooler. Your cooler appears to be a minor issue. Your PC is not going to meltdown if you run it near 60c. I ran my 4770k at 90c last night stress testing it at 4.8ghz eek.gif Most CPU's like it. wink.gif
post #15535 of 15912
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiedread View Post


I did not use thermal paste when I popped my my CPU in.


This statement worries me a little bit, since you've also mentioned that you're now having overheating problems with the build and that it isn't booting.

What do you mean you didn't use thermal paste when you built the rig? Did you drop the CPU in and use the Heatsink/fan combo that came with it without adding additional paste, or did you use an aftermarket Heatsink/fan combo and not use the included Thermal paste.

I really hope you mean you went with the first option.

The underside of the heatsink and fan that comes with CPU's will usually have some thermal paste already applied to the underside of it. If this is the case, then you should be ok.

However, if you used an aftermarket heatsink and didn't apply any paste, your CPU isn't dissipating heat correctly and that could be the cause of your problems.

Also, have you checked to make sure all of your fans are spinning? I know I've had a fan get caught by a loose cable and once it got caught around the blade, it stopped the fan from spinning which made the rest of the system compensate by working harder.

Finally, how is your build stored? If it's in a cabinet with no airflow, it's essentially circulating its own heat, and that's definitely no good.
post #15536 of 15912
I am guessing he just used the stock fan.. which had a little paste on it. His temps are not that bad. That issue is probably a side issue and unrelated.
post #15537 of 15912
Used stock, with the 'stock' paste, I did not add any. Because my temps aren't bad, I don't think overheating is actually the problem (the cpu fan will race when the temp is 45C, and lock the machine).

The box is stored on an open shelf with plenty of air circulation, all case fans (3), PSU and CPU fans are spinning. Again, my temps don't get above 50 so I agree with Mfusick, it is some unrelated problem.

I downloaded that Memtest you recommended, didn't read all the instructions, spent 10 minutes removing the gaming software it installs (w/o asking) and haven't yet burned to disk, which is apparently what needs to be done... I have to restart one of these days anyway (as that is how I update my DRM stuff, I haven't figured out how to do that without rebooting).

I haven't had a crash since I upped the case fans to 12V, mobo temps are in the low 40's (39 this morning) and cpu mid 40s... haven't heard the cpu fan racing either.... so, upping my circulation may be the simple solution.... mem check is on the list (but we have a house full of people for the next week - one of the draw downs to living in the Hamptons).
post #15538 of 15912
I get it. smile.gif there's important stuff to do first . Lol
post #15539 of 15912
Well, the fan went racing today, I let it go for hours... never really slowed down much, RPM's were 2000, cpu temp 45C, mobo 42 and I got a BSOD.

I have it apart right now, have pulled off the cpu fan, vacuumed it, and the case (although there was a little dust on the CPU fan, the case is clean.

I'm going to put it back together and add that slot cooler I have, however, I don't think at 45C the cpu fan should be running at 2000 rpm and ultimately crashing hte machine. I'm not certain what temp was when it crashed, I hadn't checked in a half hour or so, but it had been 44/5 each time I had checked prior.

I've been looking at fans on AMZN/NewEgg and I don't want one of the liquid cooling towers (won't fit under my optical drive), but, I'd like a good fan + plus the artic paste... Any recs? I'm going to be getting by with what I have for now.

Seems strange that this fan racing problem starting happening a year after the build.

Still haven't done the mem test...

Should I re-flash my SSD? I think I'm going to pull the HD HR off as that is roughly the add when it started to happen, 4 tuners is enough during the summer.
post #15540 of 15912
Could be a fan control or BIOS/MOBO issue. 45c is not too hot. That's not your problem at all. The fan racing is a symptom of your real problem. Do you have bios level fan control on your mobo or machine ? Try setting it manually and it might fix things. I doubt your fan is bad. If your temps are 45c that's ok- and you don't need a new fan. (at least not because of cooling issues)
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