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Diary of a 1st build build by 11 year old (Stage 3 New Pics)

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May 31, 2007 4:23:20 PM

Hi all, it has been a while, but I finally got the system completed!!!!

It now has all the upgrades that I wanted.

Here is what I added:
- Ultra X3 1000W PSU
- EVGA 8800GTX (took out 1 7600GT)
- Q6600 (removed E4300)
- Dell 3007WFP-HC
- Zalman 9700 NT (took out Coole Master Hyper TX)
- WD Raptor 150
- a 2nd WD Caviar 500
- a pair of M-Audio Bx5a reference monitors for DAW

Take a look at the last post for new pics.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi:
I have never did a build before, so I decided to let my 11 year old daughter do it, with mine and hopefully your expert guidance.

Her 9 year old brother will also be her helper.

Please keep this in mind if you reply. Please try to make it understandable for them too if possible. Oh yeah please watch the "creative" language if you can :wink:

Because kids have very busy schedules these days :? , the build will take some time (days).

Build philosophy: "Measure twice, cut once". thanks lumper

If you want to find out more about the use of this build please see previous thread where this was discussed:
http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=238802&highlight=

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Here is the list of current components:
CPU: Intel Core2 Duo E4300 1.8 GHz OEM
Mobo: EVGA nFroce 680i SLI (A1 Version)
Case: Ultra Gladiator Black
Mem: Corsair TWINX 2048Mb PC6400 DDR800
GPU: 2 x XFX GeForce 7600 XXX 256Mb
HDD: WesternDigital/CaviarSE16/500GB/7200/16MB/SATA-300/OEM
Fan: Cooler Master Hyper TX Intel 775
DVD: SODRU120C 16x DVDRW Burner
PSU: Ultra / V-Series / 600-Watt / SLI

To be purchased:
Main Display: Dell 30" Monitor
Sup Displays: 2 x 20" Monitors
---------------------------------------------------------------------

Current Status (with photo log):
1 - Component Overview: done 5/26
http://new.photos.yahoo.com/speedyvroomvroom/album/576460762402847618/photo/294928804407122499/0

2 - Parts purchased: done 5/27
http://new.photos.yahoo.com/speedyvroomvroom/album/576460762402847618/photo/294928804407012710/1

3 - Boxes opened: done 5/30
http://new.photos.yahoo.com/speedyvroomvroom/album/576460762402847618

4 - Parts checked and re-checked: done 5/30
http://new.photos.yahoo.com/speedyvroomvroom/album/576460762403265633/photo/294928804407029190/0

5 - Mobo benchtop barebones install: done 5/31
http://new.photos.yahoo.com/speedyvroomvroom/album/576460762403317469

6 - re-check work: done 6/1
All parts were all checked to make sure nothing had been removed

7 - Set\Review BIOS: done 6/1
Some basic BIOS changes, like remove FDD

8 - re-check work: done 6/1
Checked to ensure new BIOS settings would persist after power down\up
There are some "weird" values
Pictures in bottom of thread

9 - install all hw components in case: 1/2 done 6/1
We decided to add components outside of the case 1st

10 - re-check work: done 6/1
Power down\up. Everything checks!!

11 - install XP and install drivers: done 6/2
So far so good!!!

12 - re-check work: done 6/2
Spider Solitaire works!!! 2nd in 3DMark06 for similar systems. Kids are not happy :roll:

13 - update all firmware, sw: done 6/3
Played with some GPU OC to please the kids :lol: 

14 - re-check work: done 6/3
All checks outside of case!!!! :o  Will need to add step 14a and 14b now to install everything in case.

14a - Install everything in case:
14b - re-check work:
15 - install base set of applications:
16 - re-check work:
17 - install Work and Guitar HW\SW:
18 - re-check:
19 - DONE!:

Then OC and parts upgrades (i want a GTX!!!)
May 31, 2007 4:38:36 PM

Oh Good ONE!!!! TY

I think I will print it out for the kids to read.
Related resources
May 31, 2007 5:02:21 PM

WOW that case is really pink...lol

Good luck, be careful and most importantly, HAVE FUN!
May 31, 2007 5:12:17 PM

A pink case. :oops: 
May 31, 2007 5:52:32 PM

Thanks for the link, I shall immediately use the "wires around the screwdriver" trick.
June 1, 2007 5:13:44 AM

Yeah, we managed to post a barebones install! But with some bumps :( 

1: I put some risers to start the install


2: My helper installs the northbridge fan



3: I install the CPU. My dad was very nervous



4: Video, 1 memory, 1 heavy power supply (1st problem!!!)






2 Problems Can someone help?
- board wants a 8 pin 12v, but power supply only has 4 pins. Is it going to be a problem?

- What is a SLI EZ-Plug? looks like a molex, but we are not sure, so we are not putting anything there for now


5: CPU fan and helper turns on power!



6: PRESS Del does not work!!

My dad thinks maybe USB keyboard is the problem


Helper runs to neighbour's house and borrows a PS\2 Keyboard. Yup it works. But the Manual did not say that it was needed :-(

7: Success!!! It posted!!!! :D 



We are going to let it run and check the temperatures, and re-check everything tomorrow. Hopefully someone can help with our power supply questions[/b]
June 1, 2007 6:20:18 AM

Best Dad in the world award!!

Man, you must have a strong constitution to watch 11 and 9 year old kids put together a computer (no offense guys!). Kudos.

I hardly trust myself to build a computer.

Way to get the kids started early; I'll be they learned a lot!

Good job guys!!

This might help with the windows install

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wf2Ffm33DhA

Good Luck!!
June 1, 2007 6:24:42 AM

Quote:
Best Dad in the world award!!

Man, you must have a strong constitution to watch 11 and 9 year old kids put together a computer (no offense guys!). Kudos.

I hardly trust myself to build a computer.

Way to get the kids started early; I'll be they learned a lot!

Good job guys!!

This might help with the windows install

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wf2Ffm33DhA

Good Luck!!
No kidding.. :lol:  And the patience to wait several hours to test it out.
June 1, 2007 1:15:37 PM

Great job!

I' googled around and found that although your computer works with the 4pin from the CPU plugged into the 8pin on the mobo, it might not get enough power for overclocking or dual video cards.

Of course this is all third hand information and i'm sure that someone hear with first hand knowledge will jump in :) 
June 1, 2007 1:31:38 PM

Quote:
Best Dad in the world award!!


Seconded.
June 1, 2007 1:48:13 PM

wow great work all involved, and fantastic to get the kids involved i wish i could have done it at such an early age, truth be told i hate putting builds together moreso cos i only usually have 1 working PC and if anything goes wrong im without a PC until i get it sorted

I would have put the mobo on its plastic antistatic bag just to prevent it scraping the table and its very low risk but prevent any damage to the underside of the mobo

Next lesson installing HSF with thermal paste :twisted:
June 1, 2007 2:06:06 PM

Quote:
Best Dad in the world award!!


Seconded.


me too....
June 1, 2007 2:09:45 PM

GREAT JOB KIDS! Looks like you had fun building a computer thats much better than mine :wink: Not to mention you are doing a much better job putting it together then when I did my first build, and i was 19!


To Dad- What a great thing to do with your kids. Hope your having fun spending time with them and teaching them of the wonderful world of pc's. For your power problem, you will be able to get by using the 4 pin connector. However if you overclock, or use SLI you should use 8 pin. They sell adapters to split 4pin to 8, however they are pretty much a waste. The best thing to do would be to get a psu that supports it (assuming you have the money for it) since you plan on overclocking and running SLI.
June 1, 2007 2:29:53 PM

:trophy: !You get Dad of the year award! :trophy:

WOW! What a great project for you and your kids. Nice parts selection. Grwat pics. Good job and good luck!

I can't wait for the day when my boy is old enough to build his first machine. He's only 1 y/o so I have some time to wait. But, building your first computer is right up there with some other firsts like riding a bicycle, shooting a gun, and catching your first big mouth bass.
June 1, 2007 3:01:02 PM

If memory serves me right, the SLI EZ plug is for additional power for the 2 graphics card running in SLI to provide more stability for it.

You simply plug in a molex from the PSU into it.

By the way - a very nice project. Best of luck.
June 1, 2007 3:41:27 PM

Quote:

I would have put the mobo on its plastic antistatic bag just to prevent it scraping the table and its very low risk but prevent any damage to the underside of the mobo


lmimmfn: Oh oh dont worry about the table. This is where my daughter does her sewing, and there are plenty of scisor marks on it ;-)

Also if you notice the whole table is wrapped in plastic.

Quote:
Next lesson installing HSF with thermal paste :twisted:



The HSF came with thermal paste, and "we" decided to leave it instead of buying AF5. We will monitor the temp, and if required we will change it.
June 1, 2007 4:13:56 PM

The stock paste should stock fine for a while.

But, you are going to want to replace it in a couple of months when you clean out your machine.

The only real reason for after market paste is for maintenance use, or for overclocking.
June 1, 2007 4:37:42 PM

Folks, thanks for the awards :oops: 

I am sure the kids will be laughing their butts off when they read that when they come home from school!!!

Also thanks for letting me know that we can just put a molex on the EZ plug. Why dont they just call it molex???? :?

It really sucks about the 4 vs 8 power plug though. That PSU is only 4 months old and it clearly said SLI Ready!! That extra $ is gonna hurt, and I really wanted only to upgrade the PSU when DX10 games were common place then buy the PSU together with whatever top of line DX10 GPUs were out. But that was supposed to be 6 months from now (read x'mas).

I am going to risk it for now, but if i run into stability problems, i'll change my mind.

BTW, folks this is a great thing to do with the kids. Initially I was really concerned about letting the kids "play" with over $1200 worth of sensitive equipment. But trust me, when I say it is worth it.

Besides, they are very carefull, and less scared, and with me QAing it is actually better.

The only downside? Man, waiting for them to finish school\activities\howmework, while the build sits there is killing me!! Last night I wanted to sneek out of bed and secretly go and install XP and then undo the work, so no one would find out :lol: 

Again, thanks for all the help and references for instructional guides\videos. it really helps. And besides, being in the industry, I much reather teach the kids that this is a great place full of nice helpfull people, and not the one that the media portraits that is only full of freaks and predators.
June 1, 2007 4:42:47 PM

Quote:

The only real reason for after market paste is for maintenance use, or for overclocking.


jjnguy13, I was wondering about that. Does Tpaste degrade over time? If it does, how often do I need to replace it?

And yes, once the build is complete and stable in XP we will start OCing right away.
June 1, 2007 4:44:15 PM

It's good to see you working with your kids to help them learn about computers!

About the Power Supply, yeah, it's a bummer. If you want some suggestions for a power supply, I like the GameXstream from OCZ [700 watt version], which I used in my recent build with the same motherboard. It's good, and I got it for a very cheap price!
June 1, 2007 4:50:11 PM

I'm not sure if it degrades. But I do know that if you remove the HSF to clean it out really well but leave the paste alone, you will see some temperature increase after putting everything back together. That is from my experience.

It seems that handling it at all makes a negative impact on the heat transfer.

And I guess it seems inherent to me that newer paste is better. So, if you are going through the trouble to thoroughly clean your computer, then you might as well reapply new paste.

*I am no expert however. Someone might be able to provide you with some better facts.
June 1, 2007 5:00:58 PM

Quote:
...I like the GameXstream from OCZ [700 watt version], which I used in my recent build with the same motherboard. It's good, and I got it for a very cheap price!


Neotriple, that PSU on TigerDirect:
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2235424&CatId=106

$179.99!!! OUCH.

And according to the specs there, there is no 8 pin connector.

Are 8 pin connectors common? I cant seem to find any.Newegg has it for $125 after $25 MIR. It was $100 after $25 MIR 1 week ago.

http://images10.newegg.com/NeweggImage/productimage/17-...
In that pic it has a 4 pin molex + 4 pin cpu = 8 pin?
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
June 1, 2007 5:13:27 PM

Good job!
Your motherboard should let you use a usb keyboard to post.
The window to enter "delete" may be very small and fly by too fast. Try entering "delete" rapidly and continuously from power-on until you see post.
Also, newer keyboards have function keys which have dual uses. They are controlled by tthe F-lock key which defaults to other than the function keys. Try pressing the f-lock key to activate the function keys. Read about them here: http://jtsang.mvps.org/flock.html
It is worthwhile figuring this out so you can use your own keyboard.
June 1, 2007 5:31:31 PM

geofelt, thanks for the info. I sure am learning alot from this build :D 

So from what you are saying, at power on, the mobo should be able to "see" my MS-USB keyboard, right?

Uhmm, then something is wrong, because not only it does pressing del not go into setup, but also if I press Caps Lock no lights show up. I have a feeling the USB might not be powered, or "gasp" there is a problem with the USB on the mobo.

Also since I dont have a FDD, the POST pauses to show me the error, so I have lots of time to press del.

I'll give it another try while the kids are in school.
June 1, 2007 5:59:49 PM

Impressive, SpeedyVV. Most impressive.

By any chance, are you kids look for summer jobs after school gets out? Just saying, THG could use some interns. Not sure what the child labor laws are in Canada, but I'll start looking into that...
a b B Homebuilt system
June 1, 2007 6:02:26 PM

Great father! Trusting of their children.

Smart children!

It is better to wait 2-3 months before overclocking to let the parts burn in.
June 1, 2007 6:36:54 PM

Quote:
Folks, thanks for the awards :oops: 

Again, thanks for all the help and references for instructional guides\videos. it really helps. And besides, being in the industry, I much reather teach the kids that this is a great place full of nice helpfull people, and not the one that the media portraits that is only full of freaks and predators.



Hey you are doing a great job as a dad. If you go on the internet *with* your kids and explain them where to find good information. This is the best you can do. Leaving them browsing alone is not the right thing to do. Trust me they'll respect you for what you let them do. They'll be more careful when you explain that this is valuable and fragile equipment.

Same thing with tools, I never just leave the kids with them. I always have the safety equipment and always explain why to be careful. Not just tell them be careful.
June 1, 2007 6:44:31 PM

You should make sure that your USB ports are enabled in your BIOS. I had that same problem with my mobo at first.

I found out that the USB ports were by default off.
June 1, 2007 6:51:38 PM

Quote:
You should make sure that your USB ports are enabled in your BIOS. I had that same problem with my mobo at first.

I found out that the USB ports were by default off.

Whoever designed that BIOS did a bangup job. I mean, who wants to be able to use USB by default? :D 
June 1, 2007 8:04:17 PM

I have a little brother who just turned eight.

I taught him enough so that he can open any pc and name all of the parts.

I am looking forward to the day when he and I can build a PC together.
The thing is, that my parents would never let him have a pc. Sigh, well when we do, itll probably be when he is like 13. Well we should be able to build that 8-core, DX12, 16gb, Bluray/HD-DVD Combo/ Next-Gen Windows... for the price of $500. Oh, how technology advances...
June 1, 2007 8:28:49 PM

Regarding the USB keyboard issue, in addition to possibly having to enable USB ports in the BIOS, some mobos also have a BIOS setting to enable USB keyboards.

*** navigates away from forums for a minute ***

Confimed - just looked at your mobo manual, there is a BIOS setting under: Integrated Peripheral Menu -> USB Config -> USB Keyboard Support (WOW! that is the nicest mobo manual I have ever seen!)

If the photos in the manual are accurate, it looks to be disabled by default.
Using your borrowed PS/2 keyboard, boot into the BIOS and change that setting to enabled, save changes and exit the BIOS. Shutdown, switch to your new USB KB, power up and all should be hunky-dory. :) 

PS - Awesome project to do with your kids! I'll have to do the same .... in a few years.
June 1, 2007 8:29:26 PM

Quote:
Impressive, SpeedyVV. Most impressive.

By any chance, are you kids look for summer jobs after school gets out? Just saying, THG could use some interns. Not sure what the child labor laws are in Canada, but I'll start looking into that...


Rob, let me return the compliment. THG is what is most impressive.

I would have never even considered a build, much less letting my kids do the build if it was not for the great articles on THG.

Specifically it was the System Builder Marathon series (please thank the writers for me), and this "General Homebuilt" forum that made me take the plunge. There are some real good folk (Canadian expression) here to give me the knowledge\info required to do this.

My last purchase was a HP HTPC, and I was about to buy a Dell for my work. I am really glad I decided to go this route.

Oh yeah, I wish you had not used the word labor. If the kids read that, they might ask me to pay them for the labor!!! :|
June 1, 2007 8:36:23 PM

Quote:
Oh yeah, I wish you had not used the word labor. If the kids read that, they might ask me to pay them for the labor!!! :|


Heh, smart kids.

They should get some compensation....(sorry)

Mainly because if something goes wrong you can pass the blame off on your kids. (sorry guys) But they deserve some ice cream or something....thats what I could really go for after a tough build...ice cream.....
June 1, 2007 9:17:36 PM

Confimed - just looked at your mobo manual, there is a BIOS setting under: Integrated Peripheral Menu -> USB Config -> USB Keyboard Support (WOW! that is the nicest mobo manual I have ever seen!)

jjnguy13. Thanks. IT WORKS NOW!!!!! :trophy:

As for the manual, yes, I am really glad for the EVGA 680i decision, cause while this is a mobo for extreme users, the documentation provided is definately usable by us n00bs.

Have you seen their amazing OC guide? It says "NVIDIA Confidential. Prepared and Provided Under NDA". But then why would they post it in their web site FAQs?? ;-)

http://www.nvidia.com/docs/CP/45121/nforce_680i_sli_overclocking.pdf
June 1, 2007 9:23:54 PM



Hey deadhead_matt, great find!! a previous post mentioned that there were 4 pin to 8 pin adaptors, but that they were useless. But this one actually takes 2 molex and combines it to a 8 pin for this purpose. I have a feeling that will provide it the right voltages. Any one try this before?

Now I just have to find a canadian distributor, or pick it up next time I am in the US.
June 1, 2007 9:32:15 PM



Hey deadhead_matt, great find!! a previous post mentioned that there were 4 pin to 8 pin adaptors, but that they were useless. But this one actually takes 2 molex and combines it to a 8 pin for this purpose. I have a feeling that will provide it the right voltages. Any one try this before?

Now I just have to find a canadian distributor, or pick it up next time I am in the US.

this link is a page that i think will ship to you

http://www.pctoys.com/840556068020.html
June 1, 2007 9:56:16 PM

I thought I was young, and I'm 12. You have a 9 year old and an 11 year old building one ( When I was 11 I had enough knowledge to build one but I was too scared to, you know $1200 is a lot of money....)
June 1, 2007 10:18:57 PM

You may need to enable USB keyboard support in BIOS using a PS2 keyboard or adapter first, Look here http://www.xoxide.com/tt-psu-adaptor-cables.html for a 8 pin PSU adapter. 8)
Good job with the build! :D 

EDIT... Looks like I should read the whole tread before responding. :oops: 
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
June 1, 2007 11:10:28 PM

I see you found the problem,..good. It seems to me that usb support ='ON' should have been the default in the bios. What if you did not have access to a ps/2 keyboard to change it? Also, it is the f-lock key, not the caps-lock key that I was referring to to use the 12 PF keys. Keep it going. Experience is what you get when things do not work out the way you thought they would.
June 2, 2007 12:34:13 AM

Nice job. The closest I've been able to build a new computer is a complete rebuild (sans software installs) of my current computer. Ok on thermal tape/thermal compound... that stuff should last for a very long time. If you break the seal (even if you think it was broke), you ought to go and take the HSF off, clean the HSF and processor die. Here's how I did it.

Items required:
Isoprophyl Alcohol (I had a 1 litre bottle 70%, there is smaller boxes of more potent stuff)
5-10 Q-Tips
~2 paper towels
Razor blade (recommended, not required)

Here's what to do:
1) Unplug all power plugs
2) Unplug all cables
3) Remove add-in cards, graphics cards, it would be best to also remove hard drives, optical drives, and other 5.25"/3.5" devices
4) Remove the power supply
5) Remove the motherboard from the case. Place it on a non-static surface (I used the aluminum case side as I was too lazy to clear off my glass desk)
6) Unplug the HSF from the motherboard, also unplug everything you haven't yet unplugged
7) Remove the HSF (I have a PGA478 system, so it was to undo the clamps and then make the plastic bracket come off the HSF support on motherboard and the HSF
8) With the HSF removed, open the lever for the processor, inspect the CPU die for leaked thermal compound/thermal paste around the CPU die but under the bracket. If there is any, you will need to remove the CPU die (if LGA775, you can leave a PGA478 processor in the socket as the socket will hold it firm, like I did) and clean it with the alcohol and Q-Tips. I would recommend non-static plastic to hold on to it, scrubbing with light-to-medium force while it's in your hand. Once you have all leaked thermal tape/compound cleaned off
9) Continue cleaning the CPU die. As before, use the alcohol, but now spread the alcohol over the CPU die with a Q-Tip (so the entire thing is covered), then scrub it firmly with a paper towel (keep the same part scrubbing until there is no more sufficent amount of alcohol on the die. It evaporates shortly after being placed on the die). Until the alcohol is no longer seen, keep scrubbing. Then, reapply alcohol and continue to scrub, until all tape/compound is removed
10) Once the CPU die is cleaned off (all thermal tape/thermal compound), move on to the heatsink.
11) With the heatsink removed and in your hand, apply alcohol and scrub with a paper towel. Keep scrubbing until the alcohol dissipates, the reapply alcohol and continue scrubbing until the thermal compound/tape is all removed.
12) OK from here you probably have a clean-looking HSF and processor. Now, dip clean Q-Tips into the alcohol and scrub the CPU die and then the HSF with clean Q-Tips. Continue until you went over both about 20 times. You may not be able to see it, but odds are there is still some thermal compound/tape on both
13) Now that both are cleaned completely, I would recommend you use the razor blade to find out if your HSF will make complete contact. Do not push the blade in, just lightly press the blade and observe from a 90 degree angle. If the blade lays completely flat across the HSF contact point, it should be good. Some HSFs, unfortunately, will have the edges "higher" then the centre, and some will have the edges "lower" then the centre. If your blade does not make complete contact, I would recommend you examine the option of a new HSF. If the arc is any taller then about 0.1mm you ought to replace the HSF. However, if it is shorter you ought to be able to "get away" with slightly more thermal compound. Now that you've analyzed how flat the HSF is, continue on.
14) Now, you want to place the CPU die back into the motherboard socket if it is not already there (PGA478 should not have to be removed).
15) Now, you will want to setup the HSF is any special mounting is required (such as a bracket on the backside of the motherboard or aligning the plastic braked for PGA478 on the HSF)
16) If all mounting is ready, you want to put a small "bead" of thermal compound on the CPU die itself. Try to aim it dead-centre on the CPU die. The diameter of compound should be about half the length of the longer dimention of your pinky finger nail (I'd say about 4mm max)
17) Now, quickly place the HSF correctly down on the CPU die. Remember that once you place the HSF down on the CPU, you will have to repeat all steps if you remove it! Make this one landing count--land it flat and have all screws ready to be screwed in. Don't fasten one side before the others, try to keep pressure firm while you screw in each. I recommend you start with the top-right (if you're right-handed) or the top-left (if you're left-handed) and then screw in the diagonal screw (bottom-left or bottom-right, respectively). From there, do the same with the two remaining screws.
18) Now, plug in the HSF to the motherboard.
19) Put and mount the motherboard back into the case if you removed it, plug in everything you had in before.
20) Finally, boot up and watch thermal monitors to see if your CPU temperature is abnormally high.

That should be the complete guide as I did it.


EDIT: If you want a new power supply, look for an "EPS12V" power supply-most new motherboards use the EPS12V power standard (24 pin and a 8 pin 12V) instead of the "current" ATX12V power standard (24 pin and a 4 pin 12V).
June 2, 2007 2:23:58 AM

Quote:
I thought I was young, and I'm 12. You have a 9 year old and an 11 year old building one ( When I was 11 I had enough knowledge to build one but I was too scared to, you know $1200 is a lot of money....)


Thanks i'm 9 but my dad and sister are helping.

BTW I also looooooove 8O cars.

TOMAS
!