Guide to building a PC

Gusty987

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Mar 24, 2004
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I checked out MechBgon's guide and its great and I plan on using it when I build my PC, but that guide only covers hardware installation. I need a guide that will walk me through the software installation, including Windows and all the drivers, etc. Where can I find something like that?
 

mechBgon

Super Moderator<br>Elite Member
Oct 31, 1999
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Originally posted by: Gusty987
I checked out MechBgon's guide and its great and I plan on using it when I build my PC, but that guide only covers hardware installation. I need a guide that will walk me through the software installation, including Windows and all the drivers, etc. Where can I find something like that?
Looks like I should work on Part 2 :D

I did add some new info to this page near the bottom, to help people keep from getting their new, unpatched Windows installation immediately worm-infected, so check that out if it's something you didn't see already.
 

jrphoenix

Golden Member
Feb 29, 2004
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Looking forward to it! I need this guide too. I have always wondered how to go about installing all software &amp; updates on a new computer. What order would you do the following things:

After load OS (guide on how)
Flash BIOS
Firmware updates
Load drivers
Install programs
etc...

Good job on the hardware guide... I would have used it already except I have decided to wait until the beining of July to build!
 

mechBgon

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Oct 31, 1999
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One thing that's hindered me from doing "Part 2" is that I don't have WinXP, which is what most people are buying for their new systems anymore... I use Win2000 Professional at work and at home. I think I'll pick up WinXP Pro OEM from Newegg and work on the OS part, but it'll probably be about 2-4 weeks before I've got that ready. :eek:
 

jrphoenix

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Feb 29, 2004
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That will work for my time frame (building July) :) Thank you for the update and I'm looking forward to the info.

If it is not too advanced would you include a section on how to partition and if it is even necessary? I hear about everyone partitioning (something I have never done).
 

Gusty987

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Mar 24, 2004
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That will work for my time frame (building July)

That won't work for me, however, as I will be building next week. Though I will certainly be using MechBgon's awesome hardware-installation guide for reference as I go along.

Anyone know of an existing guide to software installation on a new PC?
 

Muzzy

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Mar 22, 2001
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<<<<After load OS (guide on how)
Flash BIOS
Firmware updates
Load drivers
Install programs
etc...>>>

Not a good order. Flashing BIOS and firmware updates should be done after you have install drivers, latest version of course, install all of Windows' patches, run it for a while, use SiSoft to burn it, then you can update the BIOS and firmware. Correct me if I'm wrong on this, but this is what I have done for the last 6 systems I put together.
 

jagec

Lifer
Apr 30, 2004
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www.blackviper.com is good for the Windows side of it.

However, here is a good general guide.
Install Windows (with network cable UNPLUGGED)
Install SP1a (for XP that is...you should have it pre-downloaded, or use a slipstreamed CD)
defrag
Install chipset drivers (no others for now)
Install Directx
Install video card drivers
Install other drivers
Install/enable your firewall
Connect to net (your cable should have been unplugged this whole time)
get all patches
install software
defrag

You can tweak your services/use tweakui to customize your desktop pretty much anytime after you install your drivers.
 

DAPUNISHER

Super Moderator CPU Forum Mod and Elite Member
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Aug 22, 2001
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Originally posted by: Muzzy
<<<<After load OS (guide on how)
Flash BIOS
Firmware updates
Load drivers
Install programs
etc...>>>

Not a good order. Flashing BIOS and firmware updates should be done after you have install drivers, latest version of course, install all of Windows' patches, run it for a while, use SiSoft to burn it, then you can update the BIOS and firmware. Correct me if I'm wrong on this, but this is what I have done for the last 6 systems I put together.
There's a good chance bios and firmware flashes won't be necessary for many builds, but having a guide for when it sis necessary is a plus. Howver, the details can vary by company so it's nigh impossible to do more than give a basic overview.

Sandra burn-in is next to useless as a stability testing suite, I suggest P95TT with memtest and looping 3Dmock, or just a couple F@H Gromacs or DIVX encoding. The reason being I could run SiSuck burn-in for days flawlessly and have it crash 5min. into P95TT or a Gromacs ;)
 

jrphoenix

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Feb 29, 2004
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Cool... thank you for the tips! I'm looking forward to MechBgon's part 2... when you have time :)

Thank you Muzzy, Jagec, &amp; Punisher
 

mechBgon

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Oct 31, 1999
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I was checking out BlackViper.com's OS-installation guides, and I can see why jagec recommended it, even though BlackViper kind of forgets about the need for snacks ;) So you guys might want to head over there for the baseline OS installation guides and follow-on tips, and follow jagec's step-by-step instructions that he posted above regarding your driver &amp; patch routine. I need more time to work WinXP into my budget. It'll happen sooner or later.
 

Gusty987

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Mar 24, 2004
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Originally posted by: jagec

Install chipset drivers (no others for now)
Install Directx
Install video card drivers
Install other drivers
Where do I get all those drivers? On the motherboard CD? On the video card CD? From the net? And do I have to install every single driver or are some installed by Windows or something?

Basically, I'm just really confused about driver installation. I pretty much understand everything else about putting together a computer. I just need serious help with driver installation.
 

mechBgon

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Oct 31, 1999
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You would typically get the latest chipset drivers from the chipset's manufacturer, and the latest video drivers from the manufacturer of the video card's GPU.

So let's say you pick a Shuttle AN35N Ultra and a Leadtek 9800Pro video card. You would go to nVidia's site to get the nVidia driver package for the AN35N Ultra, since nVidia makes the nForce2 chipset found on the AN35N Ultra. You would go to ATI's site and get the latest Catalyst drivers for the Leadtek 9800 Pro, since ATI makes the GPU that's found on the Leadtek video card.

The remaining drivers... let's say you plunk in a TV-tuner card and a Firewire card. You can either go to the manufacturers' web sites for the latest drivers, or install them from the CD that comes with each card. As you guessed, Windows may already have built-in drivers for many devices too. :)

DirectX 9.0B is available here if you'd like to have the full-file installer, or you can get it when you visit Windows Update.

To reiterate what was said above: you want to have firewall protection before connecting the network cable or dial-up modem to the Internet.
 

Gusty987

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Mar 24, 2004
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Thanks for the quick reply. That's good info, you should put it on your site.

Ok, I see that drivers come from the internet. But you have to have a fully-functioning computer to get on the internet and browse to these sites. What I don't understand is if you don't have these drivers yet, how will the PC be functional and able to browse the internet for these drivers? Like how will you be able to see the screen without the video card drivers installed from the net yet?

Sorry, I'm an idiot.

Edit: I will probably have the free ZoneAlarm firewall on my SBC DSL connection. Is that sufficient?
 

mechBgon

Super Moderator<br>Elite Member
Oct 31, 1999
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Originally posted by: Gusty987
Thanks for the quick reply. That's good info, you should put it on your site.

Ok, I see that drivers come from the internet, and you have to have a fully-functioning computer to get on the internet and browse to these sites. What I don't understand is if you don't have these drivers yet, how will the PC be functional and able to browse the internet for these drivers?

Edit: I will probably have the free ZoneAlarm firewall on my SBC DSL connection. Is that sufficient?
What you want to do is download the drivers, ZoneAlarm, DirectX 9.0B and whatnot, and burn that stuff to a CD before you start your new build, so you don't have to connect to the Internet until your drivers are installed and your firewall is in place. :) Otherwise it would be a chicken-&amp;-egg situation, yeah.
 

Gusty987

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Mar 24, 2004
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Originally posted by: mechBgon
Originally posted by: Gusty987
Thanks for the quick reply. That's good info, you should put it on your site.

Ok, I see that drivers come from the internet, and you have to have a fully-functioning computer to get on the internet and browse to these sites. What I don't understand is if you don't have these drivers yet, how will the PC be functional and able to browse the internet for these drivers?

Edit: I will probably have the free ZoneAlarm firewall on my SBC DSL connection. Is that sufficient?
What you want to do is download the drivers, ZoneAlarm, DirectX 9.0B and whatnot, and burn that stuff to a CD before you start your new build, so you don't have to connect to the Internet until your drivers are installed and your firewall is in place. :) Otherwise it would be a chicken-&amp;-egg situation, yeah.


Ok, I see. So I can get all the way to the Windows Desktop without drivers at which point I put in this CD and install them all at that time?
 

ArmchairAthlete

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Dec 3, 2002
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I would usually do just:

Get all your latest drivers from the net first and put them on a USB drive or CD-RW
Install Chipset drivers
Video Drivers
Other drivers (often part of Chipset's install if you have a unified driver package with integrated stuff)
The latest service pack for your OS and updates from CD (Microsoft gives away a free update CDs, or try to get this stuff manually)
Firewall (from CD or usb drive, or activate the one that comes with XP)
Connect pc to network
Use Windows Update for remaining critical updates
Other software/games/whatever


I guess if you have RAID or something special you may have to change this a bit.
 

mechBgon

Super Moderator<br>Elite Member
Oct 31, 1999
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That's right :) I don't know exactly what hardware you picked, or else I forgot :D but at the worst, the desktop screen might look visually ugly until the motherboard and video drivers have been installed. Or WinXP might have some drivers for your motherboard's chipset and video card already, and be able to start off looking normal, but you would still want to update the chipset drivers, then DirectX, then your video-card drivers so that you've got the latest versions.
 

Gusty987

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Mar 24, 2004
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Ok, now I understand what to do. I just put the VIA Hyperion chipset drivers, DX9.0b, the latest ATI Catalyst, ZoneAlarm, and AVG Virus Scanner on a CD. Thanks Mechbgon and ArmchairAthlete.

Just for the heck of it, these will be my specs:

Asus K8V SE Deluxe
Athlon 64 3000+
2x512MB Mushkin Level 1 PC3500
Maxtor 160GB SATA
Sapphire Radeon 9800 Pro
NEC 2500a DVD-RW
Sony Floppy

Hoping to do some serious gaming with this rig.
 

Nab

Senior member
May 13, 2002
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Originally posted by: Gusty987
Thanks Mechbgon and ArmchairAthlete.



He's not the only one that you've helped a lot. Thanks for the guide and the recent tips.
:beer:
 

Nab

Senior member
May 13, 2002
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Originally posted by: Gusty987
Thanks Mechbgon and ArmchairAthlete.



He's not the only one that you've helped a lot. Thanks for the guide and the recent tips.
:beer: