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HTPC build horror stories.

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
I had a slight little problem yesterday re-building my HTPC so I thought I would start this thread so others could share their disater stories...

I bought a new Silverstone GD05b case to replace my Coolermaster 360 Elite. I figure this will be an easy half hour-hour swap... Nope.
So I get everything out of the old and into the new only to discover the PSU, a Raidmax Hybrid, will not work in this new case. Too few and too short SATA connectors. So now I'm two hours into this project and realizing I'm going to have to take my trusty Corsair PSU out of my main rig. So now I'm tearing down two rigs...
Any way I get my main rig back together so that nightmares over with.
So back to the HTPC... I had to unplug the SSD SATA cord from my motherboard to reroute it and the damn SATA port pops off the motherboard(one of two SATA 3). Luckily I was pulling straight up when it happened so no bent or broken pins, but now I have to tear the whole thing back down to get the motherboard back out, take it to the table and put it back on(curse ASRock and their loose SATA ports).
4 hours later and it back up and running. Man, usually I'm so meticulous and careful, but yesterday I felt like a hamfisted clod.
post #2 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by BudgetHT View Post

I had a slight little problem yesterday re-building my HTPC so I thought I would start this thread so others could share their disater stories...
I bought a new Silverstone GD05b case to replace my Coolermaster 360 Elite. I figure this will be an easy half hour-hour swap... Nope.
So I get everything out of the old and into the new only to discover the PSU, a Raidmax Hybrid, will not work in this new case. Too few and too short SATA connectors. So now I'm two hours into this project and realizing I'm going to have to take my trusty Corsair PSU out of my main rig. So now I'm tearing down two rigs...
Any way I get my main rig back together so that nightmares over with.
So back to the HTPC... I had to unplug the SSD SATA cord from my motherboard to reroute it and the damn SATA port pops off the motherboard(one of two SATA 3). Luckily I was pulling straight up when it happened so no bent or broken pins, but now I have to tear the whole thing back down to get the motherboard back out, take it to the table and put it back on(curse ASRock and their loose SATA ports).
4 hours later and it back up and running. Man, usually I'm so meticulous and careful, but yesterday I felt like a hamfisted clod.

I am not a fan of that case.

It's hard to build in.
post #3 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I am not a fan of that case.
It's hard to build in.

The Silverstone? It's funny you say that because when I bought it I thought " man it looks great. a place for everything and everything in it's place"... And now that I have done it I have to agree with you. A total PITA.
My wife asked me why I do it. "It was running fine". I know, I know. I guess I just like to torture myself.
The Silverstone looks miles better than the Coolermaster though... IMHO wink.gif
post #4 of 30
What do you guys think was so difficult about that case?

If you're trying to cram in a bunch of drives or expansion cards, maybe, but I thought with one HD, an SSD and one card (a Colossus) it wasn't bad at all considering its size and looks. (Actually I used a GD04 but it's the same case internally.)

It's a very popular case around here. A lot of people have used it succesfully.

I do think it helps to use a PSU that's only 5.5 inches deep, rather than a 6" one, but there are still plenty of choices.
post #5 of 30
I added a fan to my Silverstone ML03B case yesterday
To put it in I had to take out :
  • Take out the top (3 screws)
  • Take out the support beam (2 screws)
  • The motherboard (5 screws), which requires...
    • Taking out the PSU (4 screws), which requires...
      • Taking out the SSD (4 screws)

So, adding a fan requires taking out 18 screws!

I don't find it hard to build though, it's to be expected when everything fits with a couple millimeters clearance...
post #6 of 30
Biggest PITA case I ever worked with is the Antec MicroFusion Remote 350. First off, I've never seen so many wires inside a case -- two for each fan, wires to and from the LCD/IR receiver and a very long 24-pin power cord with all kinds of SATA, molex and floppy connectors. To get the drive bay out you need to remove the LCD which is super fragiile and flops right out of the bracket or gets stuck and the backlight cable tears off. I hate that case. Hate it. Hate it.
post #7 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

What do you guys think was so difficult about that case?
If you're trying to cram in a bunch of drives or expansion cards, maybe, but I thought with one HD, an SSD and one card (a Colossus) it wasn't bad at all considering its size and looks. (Actually I used a GD04 but it's the same case internally.)
It's a very popular case around here. A lot of people have used it succesfully.
I do think it helps to use a PSU that's only 5.5 inches deep, rather than a 6" one, but there are still plenty of choices.

I think I was just having a really bad day. Usually I'm pretty methodical when it comes to building a computer and everything that could go wrong did...
I almost freaked out when the SATA port popped off. Anyone ever have that happen?
post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by BudgetHT View Post

I almost freaked out when the SATA port popped off. Anyone ever have that happen?

Negative, but out of curiosity did the SATA cable have one of those metal "release" mechanisms like in this picture? 230

I tend to forget that the cables connected the back of my HDD cage have these, and I've just pulled on them without pressing this metal release and messed up the plastic on the back of one of my old hard drives
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I am not a fan of that case.
It's hard to build in.

Its got a definite learning curve but after isn't too bad. Definitely better than some of the Mini-ITX cases I have built in which can be the worst.
post #10 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Negative, but out of curiosity did the SATA cable have one of those metal "release" mechanisms like in this picture? 230
I tend to forget that the cables connected the back of my HDD cage have these, and I've just pulled on them without pressing this metal release and messed up the plastic on the back of one of my old hard drives

Yes. and I was pushing on the clip. The SATA ports on this particular board all wiggle so it just ASRock using some cheap SATA ports.
post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by BudgetHT View Post

Yes. and I was pushing on the clip. The SATA ports on this particular board all wiggle so it just ASRock using some cheap SATA ports.
Never would have used them before reading on these forums, but you can easily see some of the corners they cut to be one of the lowest price manufacturers.

Didn't notice any of my back panel stuff being loose in the two ASRock boards I used, but the case I/O adapters look like the throw away kind that Case manufacturers include with their cases.
post #12 of 30
I was trying to squeeze a hard drive in an Apevia X-Master case underneath the psu. I ended up bending all the case pins on my motherboard. Everything is hanging tight right now, but I dont know if I'll ever be able to install the board in another case.

Also the psu that comes with that case isn't very good (surprise surprise). The computer crashed every time the ac kicked on or vacuum cleaner was used.
post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

Also the psu that comes with that case isn't very good (surprise surprise). The computer crashed every time the ac kicked on or vacuum cleaner was used.

That's pretty sad... Add some caps across the output wink.gif
post #14 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

I was trying to squeeze a hard drive in an Apevia X-Master case underneath the psu. I ended up bending all the case pins on my motherboard. Everything is hanging tight right now, but I dont know if I'll ever be able to install the board in another case.
Also the psu that comes with that case isn't very good (surprise surprise). The computer crashed every time the ac kicked on or vacuum cleaner was used.

That's the same case as the Coolermaster Elite 360 just a different front panel. Do have any issues with the length of the case? It barely fit in my rack.
post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by BudgetHT View Post

That's the same case as the Coolermaster Elite 360 just a different front panel. Do have any issues with the length of the case? It barely fit in my rack.

700

700

400

kinda not really. it used to sit below my tv. when i got a nicer/larger center channel speaker i bought the little shelf its on. definitely a long case but it seems to work out ok for me. you can see where it sticks out a bit on both sides of the stand.
post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

What do you guys think was so difficult about that case?
If you're trying to cram in a bunch of drives or expansion cards, maybe, but I thought with one HD, an SSD and one card (a Colossus) it wasn't bad at all considering its size and looks. (Actually I used a GD04 but it's the same case internally.)
It's a very popular case around here. A lot of people have used it succesfully.
I do think it helps to use a PSU that's only 5.5 inches deep, rather than a 6" one, but there are still plenty of choices.

I built a GD04B (same internally as the GD05B as mentioned) HTPC for my parents and very much liked the case. In fact, I just ordered another GD04B last week for a new HTPC build. With a bit of care during the build this can be a nice case and doesn't waste a bunch of open space like some larger cases. I like the three 120mm fans and the positive ventilation. I have another case that sucks in a lot of dust but not this GD04B. Also have found that I prefer the exposed USB ports on the front of the GD04B, compared to having to flip a lid on my other HTPC case to access the ports.
post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by BudgetHT View Post

I think I was just having a really bad day. Usually I'm pretty methodical when it comes to building a computer and everything that could go wrong did...
I almost freaked out when the SATA port popped off. Anyone ever have that happen?
Yeah, it happened to me once. I think the pins on the board-mounted connectors are just pushed into the plastic shell so you can pull it off if you use too much force. The good news is that you can simply push it back onto the connector pins if you're careful. I've had too many bad experiences with the clip-on SATA connectors so I don't use them anymore. As long as the case isn't vibrating for some reason a simple press-on SATA connector should stay put.
post #18 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

700

kinda not really. it used to sit below my tv. when i got a nicer/larger center channel speaker i bought the little shelf its on. definitely a long case but it seems to work out ok for me. you can see where it sticks out a bit on both sides of the stand.

Yeah That case is long. The front on the Apevia is a lot nicer looking than the Cooler Master... The Cooler Master has that huge "Cooler Master" logo on it that cheeses it up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

Yeah, it happened to me once. I think the pins on the board-mounted connectors are just pushed into the plastic shell so you can pull it off if you use too much force. The good news is that you can simply push it back onto the connector pins if you're careful. I've had too many bad experiences with the clip-on SATA connectors so I don't use them anymore. As long as the case isn't vibrating for some reason a simple press-on SATA connector should stay put.

Yep that's what I did. Luckily I was pulling straight up on the cord when it came off. I just slid it back on and gently pressed it back onto the holding pins. Seem fine so far.
post #19 of 30
Thread Starter 
You guys that have the Silverstone GD05b... Do you have issues with the power button? I noitice I have to push it in faily hard to get it to start.
post #20 of 30
I have a Silverstone GD05b coming in the mail as we speak for my first attempt at building an HTPC. Now I'm scared! eek.gif
Edited by bfhancock - 6/15/12 at 10:29am
post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfhancock View Post

I have a Silverstone GD05b coming in the mail as we speak for my first attempt at building an HTPC. Now I'm scared! eek.gif

No reason to be.

I suggest going to Youtube and searching GD04 and GD05 (they're the same internally). You'll find quite a few videos of people building in those cases. Watch a few. You'll feel more comfortable.
post #22 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

No reason to be.
I suggest going to Youtube and searching GD04 and GD05 (they're the same internally). You'll find quite a few videos of people building in those cases. Watch a few. You'll feel more comfortable.

Agreed.
I love the looks of the case in my rack and even though I had a rough go of it, it's not like you're going to be building and tearing it back down over and over again. You build it once and it's done.
My only real complaint now is the wonky power button. This one may need to go back to Amazon for a replacement if I cant get it fixed.
post #23 of 30
DO you not have it set up to power on from a remote?
post #24 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfhancock View Post

DO you not have it set up to power on from a remote?

No, but I have set up to sleep so I leave it on 24/7 anyway, but I don't want to pay full price for a defective case. If I got a good deal on it then I wouldn't mind so much...
post #25 of 30
Arguments about cases? You have to be kidding....

I should smack the sh*t out of people that suggested a "fresh install" is the one way to fly when updated/upgrading hardware. I went from an extremely stable system to a mangled mess. From images that won't work right because the MAC address is different on this motherboard, to trying to fix that with Sysprep, that fails, no Autochk found. New install huh? Riiiight... Accessing the server even to install the connector knocks out my wireless network! The only way I can get it to work is to disable IPv6 which disables HomeGroup and any Home Server Connector programs (like TV Archive).

All this stuff didn't happen with my old motherboard but then I couldn't encode anything without it crashing (thermal related). That's fairly easy, I treat it like a slow machine that can't encode something, fine. But the A6-3500 and DDR3 RAM + SSD make this PC much faster than the old one, cold boot to desktop in 40 seconds.... No turning off Windows Flower or any of that stuff that would speed it up.

So while you guys are arguing about which HTPC is tight I have more serious problems to deal with....
post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by dj4monie View Post

New install huh? Riiiight... Accessing the server even to install the connector knocks out my wireless network! The only way I can get it to work is to disable IPv6 which disables HomeGroup and any Home Server Connector programs (like TV Archive).

Your problems with setting up server connector software are . . . problems with setting up server connector software

Of any installations I've ever accomplished, from iphone jailbreaks, debian package installs on iphone or linux, terminal installs, tarball installs in linux, windows exe or msi, windows installations, linux installations, dual boots, windows cab installs on old windows phone os, and on and on and on Installing the connector software from WHS 2011 to three Windows 7 PCs was BY-FAR the biggest PITA I've ever dealt with. When doing a fresh install, I'd suggest getting basic graphics and internet drivers going then install connector software while plugged in to the same router as the WHS and then go through and complete your normal application installs and complete your driver updates. Learned that the hard way
post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by dj4monie View Post

The only way I can get it to work is to disable IPv6

I also tried this after reading that on either thegreenbutton or yougotserved, and I found it to be FUD. Disabled IPv6 and still couldn't install connector software, so I went back and turned it right on. My error continuously said "Connector cannot install because there is another installation in progress" or something very similar. Google the error and add registry to the end and you'll see some people mentioning a registry value that you have to change for it to install.

Even after all this, one of my Intel or Asrock drivers kept changing the registry value back after every restart so I had to remove it to get the connector going. Lots of work for automatic backups, and definitely not simple enough for anyone in my family to do it on their own
post #28 of 30
I'm starting to think its an ASRock thing. The error you mentioned happen before when I first tried to connect the server on the old hardware. I used the "Find My Server" software and found the problem was NET Framework was all knackered and prevented it from installing. But this time, it knocks out my network trying to download the connector from the server. Event Viewer say an DNS error (1104 ) now its saying NetBIOS entered a stopped state.

None of this was a problem on the old hardware (Gigabyte). From the first boot up of this board, I have been getting NIC problems only solved by disabling IPv6. From that point, its fine. There is a newer driver from Realtek however and I really don't wanna buy another NIC (don't have the slots), though it could be the cheapest thing and I being draconian about saving money. Even a USB Wireless Adapter is out of the question. I might be able to pick a cheap one up from Target or Walmart, my only other option.
post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Your problems with setting up server connector software are . . . problems with setting up server connector software
Of any installations I've ever accomplished, from iphone jailbreaks, debian package installs on iphone or linux, terminal installs, tarball installs in linux, windows exe or msi, windows installations, linux installations, dual boots, windows cab installs on old windows phone os, and on and on and on Installing the connector software from WHS 2011 to three Windows 7 PCs was BY-FAR the biggest PITA I've ever dealt with. When doing a fresh install, I'd suggest getting basic graphics and internet drivers going then install connector software while plugged in to the same router as the WHS and then go through and complete your normal application installs and complete your driver updates. Learned that the hard way

If only that was possible, I'd have to disconnect so many things just to move the HTPC to where the router is, plus a monitor though I guess I could use the monitor in there for my mom's PC when she's not using it. Either way I can't have this, why? Downloading the connector and drivers to share the Printer over Home Group even knocked it out. Okay fine, it eventually downloaded it and installed it. At first it said it couldn't find it, clicked it again, done. Last night I ran XMBC to get the metadata, same thing, accessing the server + getting the metadata kept knocking the HTPC off-line. I've been connected to the server the ENTIRE time on the laptop, so I know its not a router or server issue, its locally.

To top it all off, I am setting up WMC and I thought secure erase, fresh install of Windows would solve my copy protection issues. We shall see, on VGA connection, I got a picture and then a low-bite rate error and then the picture back again, frozen... That was HBO.... (Pacific)... Well after I wrote that finished the setup, went back to that channel and all seems fine, ran for about 5 mins, no freezing. Will try HDMI later, I suppose.

First new Driver, then USB Wireless Adapter, after that?
post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by dj4monie View Post

I'm starting to think its an ASRock thing. The error you mentioned happen before when I first tried to connect the server on the old hardware. I used the "Find My Server" software and found the problem was NET Framework was all knackered and prevented it from installing. But this time, it knocks out my network trying to download the connector from the server. Event Viewer say an DNS error (1104 ) now its saying NetBIOS entered a stopped state
Quote:
Originally Posted by dj4monie View Post

If only that was possible, I'd have to disconnect so many things just to move the HTPC to where the router is, plus a monitor though I guess I could use the monitor in there for my mom's PC when she's not using it. Either way I can't have this, why? Downloading the connector and drivers to share the Printer over Home Group even knocked it out

I'd need to know a little more about your setup. You mention a usb wireless adapter might fix it, IPv6, knocking out your network, and having to unplug a lot to get your htpc moved to the router.

I assume your using a wireless bridge, powerline, or MoCA adapter if the HTPC isn't connected to the router. FWIW, I use a wireless bridge for one of my HTPCs and I couldn't get it to join my server's homegroup without moving it to the router (where the server happens to be plugged in). This could have been caused by some kind of blocking software on the wireless bridge, but I really don't care I just moved it to the router (didn't want to do this but I was fed up with other options) joined the homegroup, installed the connector software, shut down, moved it back to the bridge, booted, and everything is humming along nicely.

Also if you didn't already, give your server's ip a dhcp reservation and use http://192.168.X.XXX/connect rather than http://servername/connect
Quote:
Originally Posted by dj4monie View Post

We shall see, on VGA connection, I got a picture and then a low-bite rate error and then the picture back again, frozen... That was HBO.... (Pacific)
It's surprising to me that it worked at all. I thought they needed HDCP handshakes to work with movie channels, and VGA certainly won't accomplish that. I've read some people have no copy flags set on their movie channels, who is your provider?

I might be wrong about needing HDCP for viewing copy-protected content . . .
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