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Please Help With Upgrades To Dying HTPC

Last response: in Systems
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November 28, 2006 4:39:35 AM

Over the past 2 years I build my HTPC with the following components:

Antec Overture Case
Asus A7N8X-E Deluxe
AMD Athlon 2600 (Socked 462)
2 X Corsair TwinX XMS 3700 256MB 466MHZ
GeForce 6600 GT 128MB
Creative Audigy2 Platinum (Yeah I thought the front plate was cool)
NVTV TV tuner
Windows Media Remote
MCE 2005

It worked ok for the first year but was hot. I had a bunch of drives in it, but I replaced these 10mths ago with a new 400MB SATA.

Overtime the DVD drive stopped working consistently. The USB ports on the board and the case work intermittently (currently cant boot as the PC doesnt know my USB keyboard is plugged in). When it was able to start booting, I started getting missing windows file errors so Windows wouldnt load. Its been essentially dead for the past 4 months.

I finally had time to start working on the PC this week and was able to get a chkdsk done and reinstall windows yesterday. However, I tried booting tonight and again usb ports are not working... so no boot.

Im sure the motherboard is probably the main failure, caused by a hot case and improper cooling. I'm not sure what else may be fried...cpu, ram, drive?

Id like to get some advice on how to proceed. My main desire in moving forward is to build a HTPC based on MCE05 that will output to a new 50" 1080i plasma. I do not currently have HD programming. If possible, I want to upsample DVDs to HD, record and play cable TV, play my library of AVIs and MP3s. Sound output is to Klipsch Promedia 5.1s - no receiver.

I believe the best step forward is to replace my enclosure with a new, cooler HTPC case. I will also replace the Motherboard, but I am hoping the other components are still ok and can be used with the new case and new MB. If the cpu also turns out to be unstable, I am hoping the MB will be able to accept other readily available socket 462 cpus (if there are any). I would prefer not to scrap the whole thing and start over, but this also might be my best option.

Any advice on what components to get or replace would be really, REALLY appreciated.
Thanks for reading.

More about : upgrades dying htpc

November 28, 2006 12:13:19 PM

I would first check the power supply..
November 28, 2006 12:34:45 PM

Also, have at least 1 gig of ram in there.
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November 28, 2006 1:03:34 PM

Cheap solution: get one of those Fry's $59-$69 Sempron/MB combos. While you are at it, get in on one of those Free after rebate 500w power supplies.

If you are really ready to move up cpu-wise, get one of those Frys C2D/MB combos ($180).

Finally, there are some good disk deals around. For under $50, you ought to be able to get a brand new 200GB drive. I got one online on BF for $20 after rebate (staples, I think).

Though you have to deal with rebates, $100 (cpu/mb/disk/ps) would keep your system alive and kicking.


p.s. you do need at least a gig of ram.
November 28, 2006 1:56:32 PM

I had a similiar thing happen with problems having the devices detected on boot and files not found (NTLDR was one of them if I recall correctly) but not on every boot.

After a lot of trouble shooting it turned out to be the USB hub on the motherboard going out. Replaced the motherboard and everything went back to normal. I thought for sure it was a software / hard disk issue at first but.....

I have a MythTV setup and the hardware requirements are different and higher if you are looking at HD as part of the HTPC setup. There are numerous forums dicussing HTPC setup.

Good luck
!