Wednesday 04 March 2009

My Brother’s New PC And My PC History

After recently upgrading my processor, RAM and graphics card, I had decided to sell the old hardware to my brother. He has been in desperate need of an upgrade for a while now, his current PC being a “hand-me-down” from me from years ago.

Some time in 2002 I upgraded from a Pentium III 600MHz to a brand new Pentium 4 Northwood 1.8GHz. That chip was an excellent overclocker and has been running at 2.4GHz pretty much from the moment I bought it.

I can’t quite remember when I bought it, probably in 2002, but I moved away from Intel with my next PC, and got an AMD AthlonXP 1700+ with an Abit NF-7Sv2 motherboard. I gave my brother my P4 Northwood based PC, which he’s been using ever since.

The 1700+ was another brilliant overclocking CPU, but it was soon replaced in 2003 by a Mobile AthlonXP 2500+ (Barton) which was even better. I believe the only upgrade at that time was the processor.

Then in mid-2007 I went back to Intel when I built a PC based around the Core 2 Duo E6750. This was quite a major upgrade for me as so many of the old standards had been replaced by newer ones such as SATA instead of PATA and PCI-Express instead of AGP, and the slow death of the molex. Definitely a learning experience.

Since I first built my Intel based PC, I have replaced the CPU with a Q6600, the 2GB RAM (2x1GB) with 4GB (2x2GB) and the 8600GTS with a 9800GTX+. As I said earlier I was going to sell the spare stuff to my brother, so all he needed to buy was a new power supply, motherboard, hard drive and heatsink. I gave him a list of what he needed and he went off and purchased it. I do love Scan and Ebuyer, as they both delivered everything really quickly.

I spent a good amount of time yesterday putting the bits together on the dining room table to make sure they all worked, and once I was happy they did, I set about my old Lian-Li PC60 which had been housing my old AMD 2500+.

I stripped out all the old hardware, and gave it a good clean as it was a bit dusty. Then I started installing my brother’s new components into the case and powered it up when I was done. Everything seems to be working great so far, but there is still more work to do. I have to migrate his old XP over to the new hard drive which can be a messy task as all the hardware has changed and driver issues can raise their ugly heads (blue screens galore!). I will then install Vista 64-bit as a 2nd operating system so he can get the best out of the new hardware.

He also plans to replace the blue LED fans I used to have in the case with red ones, but that’s a job for another day.

The next big job will be to take everything out of my brother’s old case and use it to build a server for my dad using the AthlonXP 2500+. Nothing ever goes to waste around here.

Sunday 01 March 2009

My New Q6600

I upgraded my PC to an Intel Core 2 Quad last night. The Q6600 G0 to be exact.

After removing the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro heatsink, I used some Akasa TIM-Clean to clean off the old thermal interface material from both the bottom of the heatsink and my old CPU.

I applied a thin layer of Arctic Silver 5 to the heatspreader on the Q6600, slotted the chip into the CPU socket, and re-attached my heatsink.

While I was fiddling around in the PC, I used a can of compressed air to clean out the fins on the heatsink and removed as much dust from the inside of my PC as I could. In the process, I managed to stab the tip of my finger with the R in the GeForce logo on my graphics card. That thing is damn sharp!

Now that my PC is up and running again, I have to burn-in the chip and arctic silver compound. That should take a few days, but once it’s done I can start overclocking again.

Thursday 16 October 2008

Flash 10 (And sIFR 2)

Adobe have just released Flash Player 10.
Update your Flash Player now to get all the fancy new features!

At the time of writing the version number of Flash is 10.0.12.36, and Shockwave is 11.0r465.
You can check what versions you have here.

I discovered after upgrading my Flash to 10 that the sIFR I use on this site (to style my dates), and on a few others was no longer working. This was because the older version of sIFR I was using only detected single digit versions of Flash, so I had to upgrade to 2.0.6 to get it to work again.

2.0.7 is the latest version, which includes support for Flash CS3 and CS4, and it also fixes transparency problems with Safari. Transparency on Google Chrome 1.0 works ok, but doesn’t on 2.0 (yet).

Tuesday 19 August 2008

Plurk Syntax

I couldn’t find this information on Plurk‘s website, so I’ve put it here for future reference.

Bold:
Use double asterisks before and after a word: **word**

Italics:
Use an asterisk before and after a word: *word*

Underline:
Use double underscores before and after a word: __word__

URLs:
Type the URL and put the title you want in brackets: url (title)

Videos & Images:
Paste the direct URL into the text box

Link User Names:
Use the @ symbol before the user name to link to their profile: @Username

Monday 03 March 2008

MCSA On 2003

I am now officially a Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator on Microsoft Windows Server 2003.

Better late than never I suppose. The exam was rock hard, but I passed which is the main thing.

I’m now wondering how impossibly difficult the “Upgrading Your MCSA on Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008, Technology Specialist” exam is – probably very!

Thursday 03 January 2008

Failing RAID Card?

I seem to be having trouble with my server. *sigh*

Twice today the 4 drives on the RAID card have vanished with a few nasty looking errors in the Event Log. After the first time I rebooted it and they came back, when it happened again a few hours later I decided not to risk it until I had plan and just shut down.

If I understand correctly, due to the way RAID works, if the controller card fails I’m likely to lose all of the data on the four 500GB drives, about 800GB of music and videos in total. So I’ve decided to rescue as much as I can (hopefully all of it) as quick as possible, and then break the RAID putting the disks back separately instead of spanned across all of them. It just takes a lot of time copying that much data around!

I’ve hooked my 500GB Seagate FreeAgent drive up to the server and have been copying ALL of my music onto it – doing this first as I’ve paid for a large chunk of the tracks there. Once the music is backed up, I can start on the videos. I snagged a new 500GB drive from PC World on my way home which will be able to take the majority of them, but I’ll have to dump the rest on the remaining space of the FreeAgent drive.

I’m a little stressed right now, worried the RAID card will completely fail before I can get all the data off. Fingers crossed!

Continue reading…

Monday 31 December 2007

My PC’s CPU and GPU Specification

Just thought I’d throw in a couple of screenshots from CPU-Z and GPU-Z showing some of the spec of my PC.

CPU-Z

GPU-Z

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