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How 2: for a Noob

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December 28, 2007 10:37:59 AM

I've recently got a new passion for computers and decided to build one in the near future (feb or mar). I have read enough to understand how to piece everything together for the most part (I think). However after installing the OS im not sure what to do. I know you got to download drivers for all your components and I think I'll be able to do that, I'm talking more about partition's for the hard drive and other thing that home builders tweak. Is there certain software that I should download ( I know i should download CPU-Z, and that's about all i know). I want to learn as much as I can. Thanks for any replies.

Also I def. want to try overclocking but will worry about that later.

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a b B Homebuilt system
December 28, 2007 10:57:16 AM

You partition the hard drive while installing Windows.
After you have installed Windows, use the CD that comes with the motherboard to install drivers or install the network driver only, get connected to the internet and download the drivers from the motherboard's site.
You are going to need firewall software, antivirus, spyware software, some form of Office, Adobe Reader, flash, java runtime environment.

http://www.mysuperpc.com/

December 28, 2007 11:06:23 AM

You'll probably want Quicktime as well, although it's not becoming as much of a necessity since many websites are shifting over to flash-based movie players and divx.

As, evongugg said, you have to partition before you install Windows, at least you do if you want to partition the same drive that Windows is installed on. If, however, you have an additional hard drive you can manually format and partition inside of Windows - just follow the instructions that usually come with the harddrive. (If you don't have the instructions, just ask and I'll help you out)

For some office software, you can try http://www.openoffice.org/ . It can handle all M$ office documents to my knowledge. Also, if you need something to clean your 'e'tracks every once in a while, try this: http://www.ccleaner.com/ . Just leave it on the default settings and run it once every one to two weeks. It will clean anywhere between 100-800MB of useless data off your computer (temp files, Internet Cache, Cookies, index.dat files, recent file history, etc. - *if you need your Event logs, make sure to remove that from the CCleaner options since I'm pretty sure it is set to remove them by default)

Anyways, if you have any more questions don't hesitate to ask. :) 
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
December 28, 2007 12:10:22 PM

Keep it simple; don't bother with partitioning or raid. They are helpful only in a few situations. If you don't know that you have a problem to solve you don't need it.
December 28, 2007 12:15:35 PM

rgeist554 said:
You'll probably want Quicktime as well, although it's not becoming as much of a necessity since many websites are shifting over to flash-based movie players and divx.


I would NOT install Quicktime. It's practically useless nowdays since VLC media player will play everything that QT can (without all the iTunes prompts and high probabilty of errors upon install), not to mention that 99.9999% of site that that actually offer QT videos also have them in WMP format.
December 28, 2007 12:30:33 PM

Quote:
Keep it simple; don't bother with partitioning or raid. They are helpful only in a few situations. If you don't know that you have a problem to solve you don't need it.
I don't know if this still holds true, but at the time I learned this (a while back, I will admit) that no known virus could move across partitions (unless of course you moved it your self). So if you caught something that couldn't be removed by ordinary means, you could just wipe the partition.

Quote:
I would NOT install Quicktime. It's practically useless nowdays since VLC media player will play everything that QT can (without all the iTunes prompts and high probabilty of errors upon install), not to mention that 99.9999% of site that that actually offer QT videos also have them in WMP format.
You could remove itunes from the installation, as well as remove the Apple Update and startup option, but yes, I as mentioned in the quote above, it's become less of a necessity since most sites are no longer monopolizing a single movie file format.
December 28, 2007 12:36:08 PM

First thing that I did was use Disk Defragmentor and install all updates, note when updating Windows it may take several (six different times) different times for it to complete. Don't update your BIOS unless you are having problems with hardware compatibilty problems. I am on my out of box BIOS still and its fine.

People needlessly update the BIOS simply because they can and that causes them to run into problems that there asking for, updating when there is a reason to is the only way. If your system is behaving badly and you have tried everything then update the BIOS. BIOS release notes tell you more about that BIOS update info and what it fix.
December 28, 2007 8:13:23 PM

Thank you all for your replies, I had heard that people create a seperate partition for windows, another for games and then another for everything else. Is this something worth doing or is 1 giant partiion about the same performance wise? by the way I plan on building with a 1TB drive. I also heard of people tweaking their registry, I don't know anything about that, but I found something called registryFix that seemed like it could do it. For a price. Would it be worth it?
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
December 28, 2007 8:44:50 PM

What do you wish to accomplish? From a performance point of view, partitioning may actually hurt. Having a second partition for backup, or another OS is a reason, but both of those reasons are better served by a separate device.

What is wrong with your registry? If you don't know, then don't fix it.
December 29, 2007 6:27:54 AM

When people tweak their registry they are asking for trouble in my opinion, if it isn't broke don't fix it. One partition is simple enough and performance wise there is no difference. I agree with geofelt that you are better served by a separate HDD, just keep it simple. When I was where you are I read from forum to forum about how to build your first computer system and did this for three months during my free time so the hole building process went smooth when it came time to actually build it. If you have anymore questions nows the time to ask them. :D 
December 29, 2007 8:17:23 AM

About partitioning: making a 'small' partition for OS and apps and another, larger one for data has two direct advantages: apps and OS use a lot of small files, that are often updated - thus rewritten all over the place. Since Windows (all versions) suck fragmentation-wise, storing your data ion a drive (with little data movements) means you don't have to defrag it often (once every six month to a year) while you can defrag your system files alone.
Moreover, in case of reinstall (every six months for a hapless WinXP user), wiping out the system partition is much less of a hassle: much less backup to perform.

About apps: OpenOffice.org ++; VLC ++ (plays all formats, and DVDs); forget Quicktime and Real; get a Free antivirus (Avast is very good but heavy; AVG is not as good but light). Antispyware : get Spybot (best of breed); web browser: ditch IE, get either Firefox or Opera; firewall: if you are not directly connected to the Net (bridge), WinXP's integrated firewall is good enough, otherwise several options are available.

For best performance, I personally disable the Themes service, uninstall Microsoft file sharing and client, disable Server service, disable System Restore, use PageDefrag on every boot, set up a fixed size swap file, and remove all system sounds. Latest drivers always help.

Finally, if you want a system that screams of speed and stability, install Linux - it will install everything myou may need in one single go :) 
December 29, 2007 8:33:44 AM

linux + noob = wrong

don't touch your registry. there aren't any tweeks worth bothering with. the software mentioned is all good (and free). don't pay for software unless you have to (and you rarely have to) I agree with the 2 partition recommend. a smaller one for os and games (100gb) and the rest in a big media partition. less to defrag when you have to. I had to format my c: when I built my current pc, it helped having a separate partition to back up important stuff on. even better than doing all of this though is to get 2 drives and either raid 1 them or use a program to auto backup every night. WHEN one of the drives fails, you'll still have another copy.
!