The Computer Reshuffling Game

Spent the past two days doing this..

For a while now I’ve been like “I need to switch to my AMD, I need to reformat, …” since I’ve had my junkified Windows installations since .. April. Finally did it. Richard came over and we hung out for a while on Wednesday before going to my 3-minute wisdom tooth checkup – lol @ driving up to Jacklin, waiting 13 minutes, and driving back. We came back and we powered off my systems to blow them out. Blew out most of things but I was dumb enough to miss like 1/6 of my Big Typhoon’s heatsink and the dust compacted into my tiny video cards’ fans.

Nonetheless, it was finally time to switch to my AMD X2 4200+ to be my main (from the Intel 805). I wanted to continue using my 4+ year-old Antec Sonata case though with the 380W PSU (and 2 SATA power connectors – when SATA was new!) It didn’t seem to boot with the 20-pin trick when the motherboard was 24-pin. (The trick is to just plug the 20 pins into pins 1-20 of the 24.) So I said that sucks and was going to change to the Ultra PSU.

I had to make dinner, and I figured things would take a while so I quickly impromptu reassembled my main PC on the Intel 805 again, caseless, just so I had a computer to use while working on the AMD. (The things we do for minimal downtime..) I took my time assembling the system again as if it was a new purchase, and.. it booted. With the Antec PSU. Sweet?!

Backed up all the stuff and reformatted, but the video card fan was bitchin’ loud. The stock CPU fan was up next and the little 40mm chipset fan after that. I didn’t know what to do. I went from a fairly silent (~18 dBA) machine to this thing that’s like 10x louder. (Decibel ratings work on logarithmic scales.) I started by changing the stock CPU fan to the Cooler Master Hyper TX2 that I got for free after rebate from Fry’s on Black Friday. Bigger, but only 92mm compared to the Big Typhoon’s 120mm. Cheaper and louder. I wish I could use my Big Typhoon on this system, but the one Brim and I bought last winter for $30 shipped/taxed was the model that didn’t fit socket AM2. Oh well, I’ll leave it with the Intel 805.

Anyways, the video card fan was still an issue. Browsed around the net trying to find solutions to silence the fan – nTune sucked, RivaTuner doesn’t work on the 7600gt series, and there are a trillion people on the internet with the same problem. I was willing to settle with simply unplugging it (and possibly keeping a case fan underneath it.) Little did I remember that I had a Zalman VF700-CU sitting around, that I was going to use on my AGP 6600gt but ended up finding RivaTuner to modify the fan speed. Fortunately, it worked on this PCI-E 7600gt. And it works well. It’s actually about 10ºC hotter (which is a LOT) at the cost of complete silence. Nonetheless, it’s still well below dangerous temperatures and the thermal paste has yet to sink in.

There was a BIOS release related to fan speed controls, so I installed it. There was a little Windows BIOS flash utility for Award BIOS’s – WinFlash. I didn’t like the feeling of using it but it “worked”.. When I reboot, my DVD burner kicks twice and it seems to reboot again, kicking the DVD again before booting. I think I’ll just live with that. I was able to set the fan speed to automatic instead of a constant 1800 rpm – so now it alternates between ~800 and 0 (zero!!) RPM. Currently sitting at 29-30c idle as compared to 26c before at full speed. (Who gives.)

Now that the video card and CPU cooler were silenced, the little 40mm chipset fan was the next loudest thing. I just unplugged that little piece of shit (LOL) and my system was pretty much as silent as the old one. woot!

Problem is now Windows always crashes mid-boot once before actually.. booting.. Very very annoying. Thought I fixed it last night – a test reboot had no problems, but.. I guess not. I want to fix it without reformatting again.. took me forever to set everything up again..

Also.. My mic rebounds what I’m listening to REALLY loudly, even though I’m sure have it set to only mic and am trying to reduce it as much as I can.. How lame. Using same headset of course..

There were also little split-second skips while playing CS that I got really frustrated at, that seem to have gone away.. But that kind of crap makes me want to reformat again.

All this and the fact that my comp has died down winter quarter my freshman and sophomore years.. gives me a very eerie feeling.

On another note, I fixed the missing-LAN-on-reboot problem on my Intel 805’s ECS P4M800pro-m v2 board by just flashing the BIOS (they fixed it in a BIOS update). It took a very very long time (slowly over months!) figuring out how to make a boot disk that wasn’t a floppy. I gave up trying it on a USB, and ended up burning boot CD-RW’s (or so I thought – I accidentally used the CD-R with the same case design pretty much) using Nero along with using a virtual floppy drive emulator program to get the files in and bootable. There goes another 2 CD-Rs into the I’ve-thrown-away-too-many-CDs-I-need-to-recycle bin.


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