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Who has built their own computer?
Old 03-04-2007, 11:12 PM   #1
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Who has built their own computer?

If you are savvy enough, please help me refresh my memory...I did this last 5 years ago and LOTS changed.

Im looking at this barebones system, $90:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16856167009

AMD 3800 X2 Chip...$109

1 gb compatible memory, $65

160 gb western digital hard drive, 7200 IDE OR SATA? $54

I will re-use my 2 cd/dvd drives, floppy, monitor etc


Okay, my first question: I have a pc that I want to transfer ALL files from. How should I do this?

I dont have another copy of Windows XP, though I'm sure I could borrow from a friend. Is it possible to use the Operating system on my current drive, with no cd, to load it on the NEW hard drive?

OR, do i need to get the cd, and install both hard drives in the new computer, then mirror the drive or copy it all over somehow?

Would it be a problem if I hooked up one drive IDE (old one) and get a new SATA drive as well? would they be 'compatible"?


And, if anyone has any lines on cheaper components for my new build, please do tell...all my cheap prices came from newegg
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Re: Who has built their own computer?
Old 03-05-2007, 12:40 AM   #2
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Re: Who has built their own computer?

I haven't done this in almost a decade, but you are going to need a CD to install Windows onto the new drive.

Easiest way is to first install the new drive and get the computer up and running smoothly, then plug in the new HD. Then when you start up again, you can just copy all the files over that you want to have on the new HD (and then keep the old HD as a backup).

Another option for the files is to burn them to DVD and then copy the DVD, but this is probably the slowest method of transfer (though it does give you two backups - the original HD and the DVD).

I recently had to transfer all of my files from my desktop (that I donated) to our new laptop. I ended up just taking out the HD and putting it into a chassis that lets me connect internal devices through USB, and then copying the files that way.
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Re: Who has built their own computer?
Old 03-05-2007, 12:52 AM   #3
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Re: Who has built their own computer?

You mean since my Sinclair?
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Re: Who has built their own computer?
Old 03-05-2007, 01:32 AM   #4
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Re: Who has built their own computer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefed
Okay, my first question: I have a pc that I want to transfer ALL files from. How should I do this?
1) Buy or obtain a copy of Copy Commander Version 9
2) Connect both old and new drives to working system (new or old, which ever will support all of the hardware that you have)
3) Make sure you have a CD drive that can support a bootable disk (most do, and your new system board should support that, you will have to make sure in the bios that you are set to enable booting from a cd as well as HD)
4) insert Copy Commander disk in CD and boot from it. Set it to copy from old to new drive. Enjoy a glass of wine.
5) When system is finished, Remove CC disk, power down, disconnect old drive (unless you want to use it for a backup or other repurpose)
6) Set bios to boot from new HD, save, and allow boot to continue.
7) hope that you have correct drivers to support new hardware/graphics/etc on new system, but if you do, it will boot up as though everything is fine. You may have to supply license number for XP if it thinks too many changes have occured, otherwise everything should work fine.
8) curse yourself for not increasing memory to 2 GB when you had the chance, and the system was down.
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Re: Who has built their own computer?
Old 03-05-2007, 07:08 AM   #5
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Re: Who has built their own computer?

Re SATA and IDE

I am running two mirrored SATA drives and two unmirrored IDE in the same machine.

Bruce
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Re: Who has built their own computer?
Old 03-05-2007, 07:36 AM   #6
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Re: Who has built their own computer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yakers
You mean since my Sinclair?
Haven't built a computer from scratch since the Z80 ruled supreme, though I did have a heavily hacked-up Amiga at one point, accelerated and with a wire-wrapped hard-disk controller added, and most importantly featuring custom-made blinkenlights. (It's not a real computer without the blinkenlights!)
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Re: Who has built their own computer?
Old 03-05-2007, 08:06 AM   #7
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Re: Who has built their own computer?

Haven't built a computer from scratch for a few years the last one was water cooled and I still use it today. Yes that is a radiator and fan to cool the cpu which has been over clocked 1.3 to 2.5. Works well but is slow for today's standards. Oh well might be time to do it again.!!

http://www.trip.net/~snichols/water%...0400%20300.jpg
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Re: Who has built their own computer?
Old 03-05-2007, 08:31 AM   #8
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Re: Who has built their own computer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yakers
You mean since my Sinclair?
I had a Timex Sinclair. You hooked it up to a pocket tape recorder for storage. All of 2K RAM if I recall correctly. I wrote flash cards for my 7 year old son on that thing. Cool Tool.
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Re: Who has built their own computer?
Old 03-05-2007, 12:17 PM   #9
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Re: Who has built their own computer?

Word of advice...you can get machines so inexpensively through the Dell Outlet that building your own isnt going to save you a lot.

Even some of their non refurbished stripped models are close to build cost, include a warranty, and a current OS license.
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Re: Who has built their own computer?
Old 03-05-2007, 06:47 PM   #10
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Re: Who has built their own computer?

That system doesnt look so good...

I'd go with a Dell if you're just looking to save money. If you're an enthusiast, you could go with a system you build yourself. I wouldn't go with that one though.

That motherboard doesn't have much. Seems only a few expansion slots.

You;d want to go with SATA since that is the new 'standard'. You can have both as long as you have open ide controllers or sata controllers.

There are cheap dells fully loaded for a non enthusiast for $400. Just wait for a deal. If you're interested I'll point one out for you when I see one.
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Re: Who has built their own computer?
Old 03-05-2007, 07:03 PM   #11
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Re: Who has built their own computer?

... how about those folks who built their own and are now, as a result, unable to reply to the question?
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Re: Who has built their own computer?
Old 03-05-2007, 07:11 PM   #12
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Re: Who has built their own computer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by d
... how about those folks who built their own and are now, as a result, unable to reply to the question?
haha...

Building your own used to be a good thing, because it was cheaper. Best bang for buck... now with dell deals (only when they have deals) you get a really good system without spending much.

Now if you're spending money say more than $800, i'd build your own... but you'd have to supply your own software which in itself could cost alot unless you 'borrow'.

it is also good to build your own because then you know/learn how to mess with it and fix things when things go bad... and a lot of times things go back.. It's fun too if you're into that.. almost like changing oil in a car and tinkering with it... though this is less messy.
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Re: Who has built their own computer?
Old 03-05-2007, 08:21 PM   #13
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Re: Who has built their own computer?

I'll second CFB. When DW or other family needs a new PC, I don't hesitate to choose a cheap Dell or Emachine over a build-it-yourself special. When you factor in the cost of a legal copy of a Windows OS, it's often a no-brainer.

My computer, on the other hand, has always been a build-it-yourself. Usually it's because I have a lot of pieces lying around, or I want a specific piece of hardware, or four internal disks using RAID5, or whatever. If you're a hobbyist with specific wants, go for it. Otherwise, you're likely to get better components at a better price from Dell.
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Re: Who has built their own computer?
Old 03-05-2007, 09:38 PM   #14
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Re: Who has built their own computer?

I cant find a similar system for CLOSE to what I'd spend doing it this way.
If someone finds it though, please point it out. Thanks!

Jason
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Re: Who has built their own computer?
Old 03-05-2007, 09:44 PM   #15
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Re: Who has built their own computer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefed
<snip>

And, if anyone has any lines on cheaper components for my new build, please do tell...all my cheap prices came from newegg
The last box I built, about 3 years ago, I got most of the pieces and parts from Mwave.com. They'll stick the heatsink on the processor, attach it to the motherboard and test it all for like $7.

Another good site is pricewatch.com.

Seems like some of neweggs stuff is one-time specials (crap?). Maybe I'm biased. But, I've never been burned by them.

-CC
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Re: Who has built their own computer?
Old 03-06-2007, 09:00 AM   #16
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Re: Who has built their own computer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
Word of advice...you can get machines so inexpensively through the Dell Outlet that building your own isnt going to save you a lot.

Even some of their non refurbished stripped models are close to build cost, include a warranty, and a current OS license.
Last year I was getting ready to build myself a monster of a new machine. I had all the latest and greatest picked out from newegg and I was ready to order it.

Just before I was going to order I checked out the dell outlet and found their latest high end model, with 2gigs of RAM, graphics card that almost needed it's own nuclear reactor, etc for $1500. That was about 60% of what I was going to spend on parts to build my own.

Moral of the story, check out the dell outlet. You can find some amazing bargains there.

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Re: Who has built their own computer?
Old 03-06-2007, 09:49 AM   #17
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Re: Who has built their own computer?

If you're in the techie tinkering mood, theres a script and a little local proxy server you can install and configure that 'scrapes' the dell outlet inventory when they drop new machines to it. Basically they periodically drop lumps of systems into the database and everyone attacks it with scripts to get the "good" machines first. You might have to spend a half a day (or nights are better) waiting for your PC to go "ding ding ding" and then quickly look through the systems you've scrounged up.

You can regularly get a decent machine for under $300 and a great one for under $600.

That having been said...

If you're building your own, a lot of people shortchange on the power supply and motherboard. Dont do it. You'll have lots of glitchy little problems and wont know why. Spend a bit on a decent box/supply/mobo and go low end on some of the other parts, giving yourself an upgrade path rather than needing replacement.

I usually go with an antec box/power supply. You can get better. You can pay more. However they're mass marketed so if you hang out on Fatwallet.com, you'll get one on sale for cheap and its a lot better than a lot of el cheapo barebones boxes/supplies.

I've been using Albatron motherboards for about 5 years. They have no marketing whatsoever ("Catches the spirit of the albatross" ?!? WTF?) but the guy who started the company was the chief engineer at Gigabyte, who makes some of the better mobo's. They're bulletproof, overclockable, very clean signals, and very reasonably priced. Also a decent source of medium to high end graphics cards. Cheap because they have lousy marketing, no brand recognition and they're still a virtual unknown.

Heres where to spend a little more money and get a nice bargain for the long haul. Get a mobo with the Intel 965G chip set and the X3000 integrated graphics. The 965 is solid, you can plug the lowest end Core2Duo chip into it and get some serious gas now, then upgrade to a mid-upper tier core2duo in 3 years and double the throughput. Goes 800MHz on ram, but you can use 533 now to save a few bucks. The X3000 is an integrated part, and normally I wouldnt piss on an integrated graphics processor to put out the fire, but this one is pretty dang good. The drivers are still immature, so its only performing at a medium-low-end range right now, but the next major driver revision due out any day now will turn on all the functions in hardware instead of software. At that point it should perform right up there with a solid mid range dedicated graphics chip. At a far lower power draw and lower heat levels. It'll run all but the very latest 'twitch' games that call for a $800 graphics card to run at all the top settings.

Nice part about a G965 core2duo X3000 based system is that with a single hard drive and 2GB ram, you'll be pulling about 65-68 watts at full on, and about 2-3 watts in standby mode that has a 4 second recovery time. You'll save so much in electricity over 3 years that it'll pay for itself vs some other combos. Bet that AMD box you were looking to build would pull 150-200 watts with a mid-range graphics card.

On the operating system, you wont be able to transfer the license unless your old copy was legit and a retail copy. When the OS tries to activate, it'll see that the platform is not the same as the one it was last activated on and you'll have to call microsoft to have them enable it. They wont do that for a pirate copy or an OEM copy, which is intended to run on only one machine.

You can BUY a cheap OEM copy from some 2nd/3rd tier providers, who will bundle it with a cheap piece of hardware to get around the licensing restriction that the OS only be sold with hardware...intending it to go with a system rather than a $10 USB 2.0 port card. I've seen sub $50 copies of XP kicking around.

To copy your old files to the new machine, either mount your drive as a D: drive in the new machine or get a cheap external USB 2.0 disk enclosure and mount the drive in that. Some newer mobo's have Sata and IDE drive connectors. The G965 has ONLY sata, but you can put a PCI IDE controller card into it...and that can even be the 'piece of hardware' you buy to qualify for the new OEM XP license.

Rest of the stuff is up to you...although haunting fatwallet could net you a free or nearly free after rebate dvd burner, a super cheap sata hard drive, and some other goodies.
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Re: Who has built their own computer?
Old 03-06-2007, 02:36 PM   #18
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Re: Who has built their own computer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sc
I'll second CFB. When DW or other family needs a new PC, I don't hesitate to choose a cheap Dell or Emachine over a build-it-yourself special. When you factor in the cost of a legal copy of a Windows OS, it's often a no-brainer.

My computer, on the other hand, has always been a build-it-yourself. Usually it's because I have a lot of pieces lying around, or I want a specific piece of hardware, or four internal disks using RAID5, or whatever. If you're a hobbyist with specific wants, go for it. Otherwise, you're likely to get better components at a better price from Dell.
I'm with SC. I always build my own computers because that way I have maximum control over what components go in it. (I'm fussy about the components) However, all of the computers I have given to other family members over the years have been off the shelf affairs... usually by HP
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Re: Who has built their own computer?
Old 03-06-2007, 02:39 PM   #19
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Re: Who has built their own computer?

Throwing out another option for transferring your files between the two machines:
once you've got the new hardware/OS set up, just plug in a crossover ethernet cable between the two systems and copy files over the network. Or if you already have a switch/router, just plug 'em both in there. At 100Mbps, shouldn't take too long, and a crossover cable should only cost a few bucks.

I used to build my own systems as well, but agree that lately it's not cost effective. My latest system is a dell.
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Re: Who has built their own computer?
Old 03-06-2007, 11:45 PM   #20
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Re: Who has built their own computer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
If you're in the techie tinkering mood, theres a script and a little local proxy server you can install and configure
Link Please
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