First boot of new system

I just finished assembling a new PC w/ MSI K7T Turbo LE MB, 800 mHz Duron, 256 meg ram, etc, etc. I am majorly chicken about my first boot up. What is the proper sequence of setup? Check BIOS and verify that MB sees HD and CD ROM, reboot w/ OS boot disk, format HD and then load OS? My usual crutch expert is unable to assist me and this is the second PC that I have successfully(?) built. Help!
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  1. the system you just built posts! congradulations!!

    1. now first reset the BIOS.
    2. start BIOS options, set the date and time,teh floppy drives, detect the HDDs and CD drives.
    3. Advanded BIOS configuration: set the memory parametres if you need to, else keep the default ones although they might not be optimum. set the PnP OS option to yes.
    4. set the integrated peripherals setup, disable any unwanted IRQs like that for the display, the default display init order (PCI/AGP), the port and IRQ settings for COM and LPT ports but you wont need to, defaults are fine. disable the HDD SMART, enable Ultra DMA modes of the IDE controllers.
    5. change any FSB/multiplier if you want to overclock, but I'd sugest you to do this after you get the system up and running at the standard ratings!
    6. set Boot from CD in BIOS features setup
    7. save settings and reset.

    8. now pop in your OS CD and wait for boot. I'd recommend manual partition. I assume you are using Windows.
    9. start fdisk. set 2 GB for C drive and the rest for extended partitionans and define as many partitions you want. I'd suggest you make 2 of them, total 3 on your system.
    10. format drive c and make it bootable. format your other drives.
    11. reboot again, from the CD and install your OS.

    12. I would recommend you make a "win98setup" folder on your E drive and copy all the files from the CD, it will be handy because you need them everytime you install some hardware or change some configuration. Also, a backup of all your drivers id handy, put it in a "drivers" directory.

    13. now get a registry tweaking utility like Magic Registry or TweakUI and move all important system folders, the My Documents, Desktop, Application Data, Fonts, favorites to D drive, I'd suggest make a separate directory named "critical". it will save you a lot of work if you need to format reinstall windows or any virus eats your C drive. remember most viruses assume only one drive and would attemp to damage C drive only and in that event all your important things are safe in "D:\critical"!

    14. now install the inf update first and reboot.
    15. now instal the ATA driver, sound driver and the graphics driver. you might need to reboot after each of them is installed.
    16. Defrag drive C. If you need to tweak the swap file size (My Computer ->Properties->Performance->Virtual Memory), do it now, fix the swap file size to about 4 times of the available memory, this will prevent the swap file to be fragmented.
    17. load your favorite antivirus.
    18. now start loading your apps. keep those non-critical apps like winamp, acrobat etc on C drive while install your office and other working apps on drive D. someday you will thank yourself you did it.

    and thats it. thats how I manage my system. I need to do a clean format/install every two months and it becomes quick enough this way.

    others might have entirely different suggestions.


    <font color=blue>die-hard fans don't have heat-sinks!</font color=blue>
  2. girish:
    Thanks a lot. Your instructions are very clear. But I must admit that I sent the post for assistance from my office system. The new beast is still asleep at home. Look for a black out tonight in the eastern foothills of Los Angeles when I switch the beast on. I really appreciate the advice.
  3. I am glad I am half the globe away safe in India!

    <font color=blue>die-hard fans don't have heat-sinks!</font color=blue>
  4. That is good advise. If every manual came with instructions like that, there would never be any software issues when building a computer. You might also want to make sure you have all the latest drivers for your mother board, graphics board, sound card and any other devices you may have as well. Save them in the drivers directory. Once everything works, then start tweaking!

    If it works for you then don't fix it.
  5. thanks!
    this is the procedure I follow for every computer I sell.


    <font color=blue>die-hard fans don't have heat-sinks!</font color=blue>
  6. girish:
    There was no blackout in my neighborhood. The lights went on but nobody was home on the motherboard, at least in terms of booting up.The monitor did not display at all and I know the monitor is perfect. I use it on my 233 mHz K6 klunker. Is the videocard still the number one suspect when the display won't cooperate? The MSI K7T Turbo R LE motherboard comes with 4 LEDs and they were all red. The manual says that this indicates that the processor might be installed incorrectly. Since the processor supplied the Duron and plugged it in, I do not suspect this. And at what point do I punt to the supplier for assistance? Had the system booted, I would be setting the bios now per your great instructions.
  7. What's the power supply make/model?

    Reseat the memory and video card. Push it deep deep.

    Try with only video and memory on board.
    Disconnect the rest.
    Anyway, you don't have choice, you have to check how the processor is installed.
  8. NickM:
    The case's power supply is a Super Link ATX-300.I'll check the memory & video cards tomorrow in better light. Thnaks for the input.
  9. yep, have you connected the speaker cable right? it can give valuable info in critical conditions.

    if you dont hear anything from the speaker, nothings they the maual is probabely right. the processor isnt seated properly, try reseating it, better still try a known good processor on it if possible.

    if you hear continuous long beeps, its the memory failure and you might have a bad RAM stick or it isnt installed properly.

    and lastly if the speaker emits one long and two short beeps, its the display problem. try reseating the display card.

    so the display card isnt always the prime suspect when the system fails to boot. you might start with barebones system, just the board and CPU powered on and start putting in memoy, display card, the disks in that order if anything seems wrong.

    best of luck!


    <font color=blue>die-hard fans don't have heat-sinks!</font color=blue>
  10. girish:
    The system is a good news-bad news joke. The supplier of the MB, CPU, memory & case tested the setup and found that I had set the CPU bus(?) speed at 266 mHz instead of 200 mHz and with my 800 mHz duron, it would not work. He reset the jumper and it booted properly. The bad news was that the new Shuttle G-force Nvidia 32 meg video card is DOA (dead on arrival). So Monday I'll contact a different supplier and see how honest & forthright he is. Now if I can just borrow a spare AGP card from someone in the meantime. Thanks again for your help.
  11. cool! you attempted to run the Duron at 1054 MHz!!!
    it simply isnt possible under normal conditions, I mean regular cooling, standard voltage etc. you need to study the overclocking science well for that.

    arent you getting a replacement for the DOA card?

    your Indian menu was too good!


    <font color=blue>die-hard fans don't have heat-sinks!</font color=blue>
  12. Girish:
    I cannot get in contact with the video card supplier until Monday. This is the down side of obtaining bargins at a computer show. Getting the lowest prices means more than one supplier to deal with later. The card came in a new box with soft ware. Shuttle is a known brand in the middle of the quality range. So I shopped for the lowest price gForce2 MX-200 chipset w/ 32 mBytes of on board ram. Now I pay the possible difference in purchase price by driving 28 miles round trip to replace the card.

    My accidental over clocking was my misunderstanding of the purpose of a particular jumper. Years ago, when Japanese cars first came to america, the owners manuals were translated into english so bad that it was dubbed "Japlish".
    My reading of the manual was that the jumper was for either PC100 or PC133 memory chips. When the technician at found the unjumpered connection, he explained that it was for the "interbal" bus speed of 200 mHz or 266 mHz at the CPU and the chip did not work at the higher speed. He probably realized that I was a neophyte computer builder and wisely left out the possibilities of "overclocking".
    Being a retired (financially, as in can no longer afford that expensive hobby) private pilot, I love MS's Combat Flight Simulator. This new PC is being built to allow me to work or "game" without interupt my wife's work on the 233 mHz AMD K-6 3 "klunker". Air to air combat in WWII has always fascinated me since high school and I really enjoy "escaping" into the sky. Early wearing of glasses kept me from considering the US Airforce Academy and my bad knee made me "unsuitable for combat" and I never had to deal with the horrors of real combat. So I studied Chemical Engineering and helped design nuclear and fossil fired electric generating stations in the early portions of my career. After 10 years in manufacturing and "right-sizing", I reinvented myself and now I am a project manager at a branch of the California Environmental Protection Agency. Our department, Toxic Substances Control, regulates and permits facilities that transport, treat and dispose of hazardous waste. You could say that I am an environmental policeman of sorts. I lean on responsible parties until they adequately discover their in ground pollution and clean it up. And the State of California pays me to do it! The job is not as technically challenging as private industry, but private industry has become rather canaballistic towards the more senior staff. The State offers far more stability, especially since I am about 10 - 15 years away from being actually able to retire.

    I hope that all is well with you.
  13. Please consider giving airwarrior 3d online a look at the site .. it is a huge multiplayer air combat sim with relaxed, full and ultra realistic arenas.. I'm there in the pacific theater relaxed realism everynight with my squad <**Sea Serpents**> ( I am C.O. <I.D. is Hg> and we have been # 1 squad in arena for 5 consecutive months) I will be the one in a p-51-d heavy with 2 eggs (bombs) boomin and zoomin for the C-land country ( the game software it self is a free download the service is 10 bux US monthly)


    <b><font color=blue>Never try to idiot proof anything..God will always make a better Idiot </b> </font color=blue>
  14. Girish:
    I was able to boot up the system using a spare vga card. But I suspect that I partitioned the HD incorrectly. I have a 2 gig "C" and a 2 gig "D" drive in the HD. The remaining 6 gig seems unaccessible. I am not real sure how to undo it now that I have win98 installed on "C". Must I now remove the existing partitions and reformat?
  15. no these can easily be be partitioned within windows or with a boot disk .If you use the 98 boot disk make sure you copy format on it.

    I aint signing nothing!!!
  16. Hi!
    so the system boots up and works fine?

    and the problems with it is now narrowed down to just the hard disk partitions, right? and you have just 8 gigs of HD?

    ok. you have the OS CD. now boot from it onto the DOS prompt without CD support. run "fdisk" and say "Y" when it asks whether you want to go with large disks. saying "No" will limit the maximum size of your partition to 2 GB.

    now delete the partitions in the order "logical drive(s) in extended partition", the "extended partition" itself. 2 GB for "drive C" is quite okay.

    now again, create an extended partition and assign all the size to it. I guess you must have missed this step and assigned 2 GB to this extended partition. now when you press "Escape" from this screen, it will ask you to create "logical drives in extended partition" and when you say yes, it will expect you to create this drive with the maximum size, the same size you created this extended partition. maybe its okay with it. but I'd suggest you to create a 4 GB logical drive which would become "D". it will keep on asking for more drives until all the extended partition is exhausted. assign all the remaining space the third partition (second logical drive). now come to the main screen and press option 2 and make drive C bootable (Active partition). now reboot off the CD with CD support.

    now your CD-ROM drive will be F:! you now have C, D and E drives. but right now they are not formatted and hence unusable.

    now goto the windows directory on the CD and format all the drives. make drive C bootable with the /s switch, like:
    e:\win98>format c:/s/u

    and other drives as

    e:\win98>format d:/u
    e:\win98>format e:/u

    now run setup from the CD:


    and off you go.


    <font color=red>No system is fool-proof. Fools are Ingenious!</font color=red>
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