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3 noobish questions

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  • Homebuilt
  • Computer
  • Systems
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Last response: in Systems
February 13, 2007 1:06:41 AM

1) What happens when you turn on PC without any system installed? Will you see BIOS loading and some kind of message, like, "no system detected on HD"? What happens if there is no HD at all?

2) Most of the computer cases have support of front panel USBs. However if I look on mobo description then I see something like "6 external and 4 internal USB ports". What does it mean exactly? My old Dell computer has some USBs which are build into the mobo and I can connect to them from the back of the computer (is it what is called "internal USB ports"? ) plus it has a small pcb board with some electronics on it, and this board is on the front of the computer case itself with USB ports on it, and this board is connected to the mobo through some kind of cable. (Is it external USB?) If this small pcb board is typical for the cases with front panel USB ports, then should I worry about compatibility of the mobo and that board? What if the pcb board has more USBs that mobo can support? And where do I get that connection cable? Is it standard thing which is shipped with the case?

As you can see I am quite confused about how case USBs are attached to mobo :oops: 

Can you help and explain this?

3) If I am to make RAID configuration (in particular RAID 0+1) and put Vista on it, how do I do it? The problem is that sometimes HDs require drivers in order to work, and I can not put drivers without installing Windows first. But how do I install Windows if the HDs are not working yet because they do not have drivers????

More about : noobish questions

February 13, 2007 1:27:10 AM

If you turn on your comp without an OS, it will simply says "cannot find an operating system".
February 13, 2007 1:31:29 AM

1. in either case you get a message saying 'ntldr is missing or corrupt'. You can get into the BIOS without a HDD.

2. After that statement I'm also confused 8O

3. This is more difficult, your statement is not exactly correct. HDD's are plug and play, but RAID requires a driver. The BIOS will recognize a single HDD without any drivers being installed, but not a RAID array.

(with Windows XP)To create the RAID array you will need to boot from the cd, press F5 or F6 (can't remember) when it asks if you want to install third party RAID or SCSI drivers, use the floppy with the RAID drivers when prompted.

I don't know about Vista, it might be completely different now.
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February 13, 2007 1:59:13 AM

2. They are saying there are 4 USB ports on the back of the MB. The MB also have connections for 6 more ports, usually those are on the case. My case has 2 USB ports on the top so I will run a cable from the MB to the case Ports.

the other questions have been answered. I "think" Vista has taken care of the RAID problem. Not sure as I have not used either one yet. RAID is more common now so all the companies had to write their own drivers for XP.
February 13, 2007 2:21:36 AM

Quote:
2. They are saying there are 4 USB ports on the back of the MB. The MB also have connections for 6 more ports, usually those are on the case. My case has 2 USB ports on the top so I will run a cable from the MB to the case Ports.


So, you also have a small psb board with 2 USB ports, right? What cable do you use to connect that 2 USB ports to motherboad? In my system, the cable is not standard USB cable. So where do you get it? And also what will happen if you have say 4 ports on the case, but board supports only two?


To other replies: Thanks to all!
February 13, 2007 2:43:43 AM

They are saying 4 on the MB on the rear panel and more connectors for the case ports. You have to look if they include a MB to USB cable some do, some don't.

Biostar LGA 775 MB
You can see the 4 USB ports and 2 connector on the MB. 2x2 per cable is 4 more. (ps I can't see them) This is not a good board by the way, just first one that came up.
February 13, 2007 2:44:22 AM

On the motherboard there are usually several small headers that you plug in the front panel things that come with the case. With modern cases, you have the normal front panel things, such as power switch and reset buttons, led's and case speaker. However there are usually a couple of usb ports, maybe even firewire ports built into the case. The cables are built into the case, and connect to another header like the one that your power switches and led's connect to, just usually surrounded by plastic and offset along the lower edge of the board.

If your case supports 4 ports, and your mobo only supports two, you'd have to just leave two of them disconnected. Its easy enough to get a motherboard with many internal usb headers, so don't worry about it. Just get one that supports the same number as your case, or one that supports even more. Its always fun to have a bit of headroom for future use.

Did that answer your question? If not, I'm gonna need a bit more clarification of your problem. Otherwise, I'm glad to have been help.
February 13, 2007 4:08:55 AM

I'm going to make a not-so-wild guess, and say your Dell case looks like this:


With these cases, your factory front panel usb is near impossible to hookup to an aftermarket mobo. If you look at it closely you'll see there is much more than just a couple USB ports and an audio part. you'll see capacitors and resistors. There's no telling how exactly that's wired up. To make matters worse, your front panel wiring also runs into that USB board, and this wiring along with the usb wiring runs together in a flat ribbon cable to the mobo. If you want to place an aftermarket mobo into that case, you have quite a lot of work ahead of you and some things you might not have the skills for.

If you don't mind me asking, what model is your Dell exactly? What kind of upgrade do you want? The reason I ask this question, is because you can quite easily update your Dell just by swapping the mobo and tray out for one from a newer Dell that uses the same case. The last model to use this case was the Dimension 8400, and you can find this mobo with tray (it's very important that you also get the tray) on ebay for around $50, and this will upgrade you to socket 775 (Prescott and *I think* cedar mill P4), DDR-2 ram, and SATA hard drive controller, all without having to change any of your front panel wiring. you'll also want to pick up the fan shroud and heatsink from the Dimension 8400, which should set you back no more than $15 or so. A newer power supply wouldn't hurt either, as the Dimension 8400 got a 300 watt unit instead of the 250 watt version found in earlier models using this case (such as my Dell Dimension 4500).

If you want to go the hard way and fit an aftermarket board in your Dell, please see the following link:

http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/Dell-case-805-2...

Please be aware that not all mobos found in these cases are mATX standard, so your mobo tray may or may not work to accept an aftermarket mobo. Dimension 4500s and 4550s are mATX, and I believe the 8300 and 8400 are not true mATX. The differences are seen in the interchangeable mobo trays.

EDIT: 1000 posts. woot. :roll:
February 13, 2007 5:28:48 AM

I would get a new case. Building a new computer around a case doesn't make much sense. The RAID question leads me to believe you are looking for something better than a P4. Buy a nice ATX case for 50 bucks and use any MB you want.
February 13, 2007 1:52:55 PM

Quote:
I'm going to make a not-so-wild guess, and say your Dell case looks like this:


With these cases, your factory front panel usb is near impossible to hookup to an aftermarket mobo. If you look at it closely you'll see there is much more than just a couple USB ports and an audio part. you'll see capacitors and resistors. There's no telling how exactly that's wired up. To make matters worse, your front panel wiring also runs into that USB board, and this wiring along with the usb wiring runs together in a flat ribbon cable to the mobo. If you want to place an aftermarket mobo into that case, you have quite a lot of work ahead of you and some things you might not have the skills for.


Yep, that's what I have, but I am not trying to upgrade that thing. I need practically all new components anyway. I was just trying to understand if whatever I see on my Dell Dimension is representative to what I will see in other cases. Looks like it is not. Thanks for informative reply!

PS. It was actually quite spooky when I saw a picture of my computer as your guess :twisted:
February 13, 2007 1:55:46 PM

Quote:


If your case supports 4 ports, and your mobo only supports two, you'd have to just leave two of them disconnected. Its easy enough to get a motherboard with many internal usb headers, so don't worry about it. Just get one that supports the same number as your case, or one that supports even more. Its always fun to have a bit of headroom for future use.


Thanks for the reply.

So, do I understand correctly that for the standard cases there is always a single cable for single USB or FireWire connection? So, I should expect to see 6 separate connectors on mobo if it supports 6 external USB ports?

Maxim
February 13, 2007 3:05:35 PM

Actually, each connector supports two ports, as there are 9 pins (4 each for the ports, one for the ground) in each connector. So on said motherboard, there'd be usb headers integrated into it. There is a similar deal with the firewire, only they're shaped a bit differently.

And to answer your other question, what you see in your dell case is the same idea of what you'll see elsewhere, but it will be shaped a bit differently. As with anything, make sure you read the manual when you get anything to avoid confusion and possible destruction of parts.

Good luck!
February 13, 2007 4:03:22 PM

OK, thanks everyone. I hope I should not have incompatibility problems if I buy standard mobo and standard case. And I hope that Vista already has RAID 0+1 drivers. BTW can somebody confirm this or give a link to confirm that VISTA does have RAID drivers, so that I could skip on buying floppy drive?
February 13, 2007 5:38:52 PM

Vista can get drivers from a usb flash drive during installation. It doesn't have the raid drivers built in, but you can put them on the flash drive (same ones you'd put on the floppy) and get them that way.
February 13, 2007 5:42:41 PM

first thing with the RAID Vista might or might not have drivers depending on the manufacturer and model of the raid controller. If vista does not you will need a disk to load the drivers from during the install which should be provided with the controller. It is usually a floppy but I would think that you could either get a CD or make a CD that would work. Since it is Vista you should not have any problems with the drivers as long as you have a controller made by one of the major brands like highpoint, promise, and many others.
February 14, 2007 3:08:49 AM

Quote:
Since it is Vista you should not have any problems with the drivers as long as you have a controller made by one of the major brands like highpoint, promise, and many others.


Uhh... I was thinking about mobo with build in controller, like ASUS P5N32-E which has NV RAID. Or would you recommend external RAID controller?
February 14, 2007 3:13:34 AM

The problem is not in the location of your SATA controller, it is the OS. They have not added that to the mix so we all load drivers. If you want to test the system get a linux boot disk like KNoppix. They fixes the problem long ago.