Installing a new motherboard...

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Installing a new motherboard...

Postby VogueBoy » Fri May 24, 2002 2:09 pm

Ok before anyone flames me, yes I did read the guide on motherboards.org and yes if I choose to install the board myself, I will probably find it very helpful. But I still have some questions about it, so here goes:

How difficult is this considered to be? (use whatever scale you want, but I know that adding video cards or sound cards, modems, etc is pretty easy, so please keep that in mind)

Will I have to reconfigure everything again? (i know the hd won't get wiped, so that's good, but my computer is part of a network, and gets its internet access through a router, and I do NOT want to have to bother with that crap again. Am I gonna have to anyways, or can the same configuration be used as from my previous board? - damnit, I can feel this answer coming)

If I do decide to install the board myself, is it better to install the essentials first, and then the rest of the cards, or is it better to plug in everything at once, and hope the computer figures it all out. This is another one of those harddrive questions, I mean the information on the hd stays the same, so maybe the comp can just read it off...ARRGH damnit I can feel this one coming too...


Well ok that's it for now, I'm sure once (if) someone anwers me I'll have some more stupid questions. :)

Thanks,
VogueBoy
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Postby Aibohphobia » Fri May 24, 2002 4:43 pm

Physically installing the motherboard is a cinch, as long as you have all components and they all work. Depending on which OS you have, you may have to reconfigure everything[you won't if you have WinXP, otherwise probably]. It is best to install all in at once, then see if any problems arise, and if so then gradually take out components until you find what works and what does not. Hey don't be embarassed at all about asking questions here. There are no stupid questions, only stupid answers as I have heard from the Moderators here [Tolemac, Hardware Junkie, and evasive]. You have right to be a newbie and therefore confused, it is in our good will that we try our best to assist you. :wink:

If you do get a new board and need help on reconfiguring etc. just post a topic and we'll help ya out.
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Postby Toby B. » Fri May 24, 2002 7:11 pm

Well said Peter,
If the hard original hard drive and add-on components (i.e. modem, sound card, etc.) are to be used the the drivers will already be loaded on the hard drive. If, however, the new mobo has onboard video, sound, etc. ant the original mobo had add-on cards you will need to load new drivers from the software provided with the new mobo.
I highly recommend reading the motherboard manual that comes with the new one, cover to cover, first. This will give you a heads up on what is involved before jumping in with both feet. **note** Ny mother who knows nothing about the inner workings of a PC recently changed her motherboard with absolutely no trouble.
A few key things to remember: 1.) Static electricity kills -make sure if you do not have a static strap you touch a the bare metal of the PC chassis before touching any internal components or the new motherboard. 2.) Leave the new motherboard in the static bag in a safe place till ready for it. And remeber to release static electricity!! 3.) If you have empty slots (from the removal of add-on cards) install covers immediately to prevent dust entering the system.

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Postby VogueBoy » Tue May 28, 2002 6:51 am

Alright thank you both, I'm gonna try to put it together on my own. Now I have another question. Its about RAM. I have 320Mb ram on this comp (256 + 64) and I just want to know if this ram will be compatible with the other board. I assumed it would be until I read something about this DDR crap. From what I understood its just normal ram, but the way that the cpu accesses it is different, and thus faster. But I could be wrong. And I don't wanna be wrong. So my current motherboard is an ASUS P5A-B (I hope that's enough info, I have no more) and the board I'm going to buy is one of these (this is directly from the store's website):

A7S133 (ATX): SIS745 chipset, socket A 266FSB, ATA100, 3xDDR333, 5xPCI
A7A133 (ATX): ALI-M1647 chipset, socket A 266FSB, ATA133, 3xSDRAM, 5xPCI

So you can see how I'm confused, what's all that crap about 3xSDRAM and 3xDDR333 ???? Also, I'd like your advice/opinion on which of these I should buy. I'm upgrading my computer, yes, but I'm really just upping it a little. I don't have any money to spend so I'm just keeping it somewhat up-to-date, that's why its only these cards that I'm looking at, because they're cheap. So unless you can suggest another card that's being sold for as much as these ones, and supports the duron processor, then please just tell me which one of these you'd get.

Right, so the first question was about the ram, and then the second was advice on which card I should get. Thanks guys!

VogueBoy
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Postby Toby B. » Tue May 28, 2002 7:08 am

Two things to remember:
1) If your current RAM is SDRAM you cannot use it in a boars that only supports DDR RAM and vise versa. And if the board supports DDR RAM it will specify what is the minimum required (i.e. PC2100 DDR DIMM, PC2700 DDR DIMM)....DDR RAM - Double Data Rate (184 pin) SDR RAM - Single Data Rate (168 pin).

And as far as buying a card just cause it is cheap.................DONT!!!!!!!! Save your money and invest in a good quality card....***Remmber you get what you pay for****

Hope this helps
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Postby Johnny Mnemonic » Tue May 28, 2002 7:20 am

Changing out a motherboard isn't too hard. I think hooking up a Home theater surround system is about the same difficulty. You just gotta know which wires go where (most plugs are proprietary, they can only fit one place in a certain way), and the rest are just matching up labels.

A few things I have found helpful.

As a "newbie", always try to purchase Retail packaged items vs OEM. Retail packaged items should always have full instructions on how to install / configure any said device. OEM packages can sometimes be little more than a white box and foam peanuts. You also should get a much better warranty on Retail items. Just call the extra price for Retail items insurance money.

Try to install one item at a time, when upgrading a working system. This is hard when you upgrade motherboards, but a good motherboard can usually last longer than it's attached components (especially video cards, jeeze! :)) Just take it one step at a time, follow the instructions, double check every step, and ask questions if you have any! :)

And your router settings should be the same, as most configuration settings are in the router, or software based on your PC. The only hangups could be if you are going from NIC card to Motherboard on-board LAN. But if you are re-using a NIC card, I don't see any changes needed after the new hardware drivers (motherboard, chip, or whatever you change) are loaded.

The whole matter in principle is pretty simple. It may be intimidating the first time, but just follow Doc's guide for all the good pointers. It only gets tricky when there is an incompatibility, or other random problem that may occur, and that happens to the best of us. Just post the problem/question if you get any, someone here is bound to have seen it before.


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Postby Toby B. » Wed May 29, 2002 1:03 am

One more thing in regards to RAM
3XSDRAM = 3 SDRAM chips can be used to the specified MAX.
3XDDR333 = 3 DDR RAM Chips can be used ( I am not familiar with DDR333 RAM ).

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Postby Tolemac » Wed May 29, 2002 1:29 am

Let me see if I can give you some clarity here. Your current mobo, the P5A-B uses PC100 SDRAM memory. Of the two new boards you are looking at, the A7A133 will also use this same ram.
The A7S333 uses the newer DDR (Double Data Rate) memory so if you decide on this one, you will need to buy some DDR ram.
The designation of DDR333 refers to a specific speed of memory, which in this case is PC2700 (2.7Gb of through-put per second.)

When they say 3XDDR or 3XSDRAM, they mean that there are 3 slots of memory on the board and that they can take either DDR or SDRAM. The A7A133 can have up to 3Gb of SDRAM memory on board, and the A7S333 can have 3Gb of DDR memory on board.

If you wish to keep your costs way down, then getting the A7A133 would be the move for you as that way you could still use the memory that you already have. PC100 is not very fast, but it will work until you can get some PC133 for that board.
If you can afford to buy some new ram as well, then the A7S333 is the better choice as it is a much faster board. 8)
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Postby VogueBoy » Wed May 29, 2002 2:46 pm

Ahhhhh, excellenté. So that decides which board I'm getting. And I think that just about answers all my questions sofar, once I get the new board I might have some more, but for now: THANK YOU ALL!

Thanks,
Vogue
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Postby VogueBoy » Thu May 30, 2002 12:15 pm

Well big friggin' surprise...damnit! I got the new board. I got the new CPU (AMD DURON 1.3GHz). I got a new case 'cause my old piece du resistance was a piece du crap. I didn't have the instruction manual for putting together the case, so I called the store and they said it normally doesn't come with one, so I did my best to mount the platform, and do everything else. I connected this, connected that, used my secret tool (the sledgehammer) to fix a couple problems and turned it on. BOOM! Its in the bios setup screen and I'm a happy camper. Ok, I go to the CPU speed menu, and I get "Manual", "500MHz", and "667MHz". Hrm. Uhhhhm. Ok, I pack everything up, go back to the store, ask them to check if I plugged in everything ok, if something is fried, or if anything is gonna short out, they check, they say everything a-ok, and I ask them to boot it. Same thing, only those options are given. The guy does something, I don't know what, and reboots (at a sloooow speed, definetly NOT 3x faster than what it used to be) and I'm in windows, and my familiar background picture of an iceberg with the caption "No matter how big your problems may seem now, remember you've probably only seen the tip of them" comes up and I'm 1/2 way happy. It ain't fast, but its working. Then he clicks shut down...restart...and the computer shuts down. Whaaaat? Ehm, okaayyy lets reboot again, "WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM\" is missing or corrupt? What? That's not right. That's not right at all. Well he puts everything back together, tells me it looks right, and I'm on my own. This is because I didn't pay for this "inspection" of theirs, that's why no advice was offered. And frankly that's fine. If I'm gonna pay for them to fix my computer, then gawd damnit that computer is going to be the most screwed up piece of crap they have ever come across, and they're gonna have their hands full. So if I decided to send this back to them, at least I'm gonna try to fix it on my own, and if I screw it up in the process then aw hell let THEM worry about it...cheap schmucks. So what now? I go home, try to 'repair' winxp with that option they have when you put in the xp cd and boot from there. I do, it hangs. I do again, it hangs again. Uhhhmm. Crap! I decide enough is enough, I must reinstall windows. Ok then, install...accept...partition? I have no partition...hm, well there IS only one, must mean that that's my harddrive. Hm, 40G that's right, that's my harddrive. Ok then...select...right, its already selected...return...Blue screen of death? But why? WHYYYYY????? Here's what it says:

First some crap about stopping my computer before it causes damage, then some crap about disabling antivirus etc, which is all CRAP BECAUSE I CAN'T GET MY HARDDRIVE TO WORK GOD DAMNIT!!!

Now the Technical Information:

*** STOP: 0x00000024 (0x001902F8, 0xF88ED908, 0xF88ED608, 0xF8105BF1)

*** ntfs.sys - Address F8105BF1 base at F8080000, datestam 3b7dc5d0


HHEEEEEEEELP MEEEEEEEE!!!!

What the hell is going on?! How did my harddrive get screwed up? Maybe I connected it wrong and it got wiped...it does that? Ok, my bad, I'll suffer for it, but JUST MAKE IT WORK! Did I burn anything out? Once a cpu is molten can it still work at the "safe mode" 66MHz? Did my cpu screw up? Did my harddrive fry up? Does it do that? Can it do that? Why did it do that? When did it do that? *sigh* Just...just...please, offer any knowledge you may have, I want to do everything I can before I send this back and they tell me I need everything new and it'll cost me $2000.

Thanks,
Vogue
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