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Do you never get sick of this?

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January 6, 2008 2:11:11 PM

Ok this isnt a call for assistance or whatever but i think it belongs in this part of the forum nonetheless

My question, as a frustrated computer user is - Do you never get sick of homebuilt systems failing, having incompatible components that should be compatible, having to deal with long and arduous rma procedures etc etc etc.

I built my first system around 18 months - 2 years ago and ever since ive had nothing but problems. i got around 6 months of gaming out of my system and then one day i went to turn it on to be met with a bleep code that apparently meant faulty graphics adapter. So i rma'ed my graphics card only to be told there was nothing wrong with it and i would be getting charged for the privilege of testing.

i got the card back and it worked for a couple of months, then i got the same code again. So this time i went on a few forums and asked what it could be, played with ram configs, messed with different psu's and eventually i got it working with 1 stick of ram - for around 2 weeks, my system then died again. it should be mentioned that at this point i have owned the system for a year and its been in use for around half of that.

just in case i get accused of using crappy components etc here is my original spec

asus m32 - sli deluxe
2gb corsair xms2 667
am2 3500+
maxtor 250 gb
hiper 580w
xfx 7900gt

so this christmas after reading hundreds of forum entries on my components it seemed like my motherboard had a known issue and was duff. after trying to contact asus in the uk (impossible) i decided screw it i'll just get a new one.

so imagine my face on boxing day when i put my new system together:

as above but gigabyte GA-P31-DS3L and intel e4500

only to find that the fans spin up but it will not post! having asked a number of very nice people on here it would seem that my ram may be incompatible (C4 rather than C5), so i have had to order some more.

now my question is this, i love computers (i study them) and i love games, but how can you be bothered with the many thousands of varibles that can go wrong with a homebuilt. If i buy a pre built system it may cost me slightly more and i may not know every component that goes into it but i am buying ONE product. if that product goes wrong i take it back and say "it doesnt work" and that is then the retailers problem.

if i buy the components for a homebuilt im buying around 15 very complicated things that could go very wrong, and when one of them does go wrong i personally have to try and work out which of them it is, and that can be very difficult.

dont get me wrong i have built systems before that have worked perfectly FOR OTHER PEOPLE :fou: 

My new ram arrives tomorrow and i sincerely hope it works, because you see my friend has an xbox 360, and ive been watching him playing all the latest games for around 6 months now whilst i've had no system, and its been driving me mad (and they wonder why pc gaming is dying ;)  ).

Ive spent a fortune and i still dont have a reliable pc, next time im getting a Dell.

More about : sick

January 6, 2008 2:55:52 PM

If I read you correct, you've only been building systems for less then 2 years? It actually is a little more complicated that a lot of people will tell you. I've been building systems for about 10 years and it took me a while before I got the hang of it. However in the late 90s there was much less standardization which both made things harder but also forced you to learn a lot more. If you want to build systems you're going to have to put some time and money into it. If it's too much of a hassle for you then like the above poster said “buy a Dell”.
I’ll be honest with you as somebody who’s a true PC building enthusiast it’s kind of insulting that so many people think they can throw a system together with little knowledge of what they’re actually doing and then get upset when it doesn’t work. I spent some time working for the Geek Squad last year and had the opportunity to see just how poorly some people try to build or upgrade a system. It always brought a smile to my face to charge somebody $100 to plug in a cable or change a jumper. Then there were those systems that I refused to even check in for a diagnostic because of how poorly they were built. I’ll always remember the one guy with a system that would post. When I plugged it in and hit the power but there was a humming noise that sounded like power lines. I looked inside and realized he hadn’t used any posts in installing his motherboard- just screwed it straight onto the inside of the case.
Anyways I’m not trying to discourage you from system building, but if you want to you’ll have to put some time into it. Buy some books, magazines, read forums like this and accept that things will go wrong and learn from your mistakes because most of the time it will be your error not defective hardware.
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January 6, 2008 3:11:15 PM

When you changed the MB did you use the same hard drive, if you did. I would do a fresh install of the OS. You may be able to just delete all the drivers and start from there. What os are you using? Building systems can be challenge but take your time, double check components and connections, I've been doing this for yrs and still have problems once in a while.
January 6, 2008 3:32:00 PM

purplerats right, I have been building systems for 7 years and I am still learning everyday. Don't get discouraged and then again, don't blame the manufacture because you my not have checked to see if your memory or video card would work together that motherboard and if you are overclocking then everything changes. I can't tell you how many times I have seen a post about memory not running at the right speed just because they bought high speed or overclocked memory and don't know that you have to enter the bios and set the timings and voltage to get the right speed and sometimes to even get the MB to load Windows. So, before you decide to build something, do your homework and read the manual on the motherboard you purchased before you start your build.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 6, 2008 3:32:23 PM

^Agreed
January 6, 2008 3:37:30 PM

Custom built is the best IMO. You need to do your homework and take your time though.

I get so frustraded when people come here for help and the answer to most of their questions lies in their manual.

I love helping people, but it would be nice if they would help themselves first.

Dell is junk. HP and Gateway are pretty good. I use custom desktops that I build, and Gateway laptops for the road. I can't wait til building laptops custom gets more mainstream. To hard to find parts for custom laptops.
January 6, 2008 3:38:57 PM

ok thanks for that, first thing to say is that i never wanted to offend anyone, i guess i was just having a vent!

i consider myself to be a reasonably intelligent person and i certainly did not go into this head first. i know a number of people who build their own systems and it was a while before i took the plunge.

i pretty much constantly read hardware reviews and benchies on the internet and i can be found on a few different gaming and hardware forums so i wouldnt say that i decided to do this on a whim and chucked something together half heartedly.

i guess my main problem is with the hardware companies that i have come into contact with. asus for example: if i buy a product for £120.00 i expect to be able to return it within the warranty if its faulty without any trouble, no questions asked. i got so bored of being pushed from asus usa to asus europe and hearing people who are in a similar position to me with the same board and the same problem that in the end i just went out and bought another one. i think the quality control and customer support with pc hardware is just below par

anyways i think its a dell and a 360 for me, i'll just have to sell all this hardware first.....
January 6, 2008 3:42:11 PM

chuckm said:
When you changed the MB did you use the same hard drive, if you did. I would do a fresh install of the OS. You may be able to just delete all the drivers and start from there. What os are you using? Building systems can be challenge but take your time, double check components and connections, I've been doing this for yrs and still have problems once in a while.


i cant even get into the bios, let alone my hard drive
January 6, 2008 3:46:22 PM

You gotta love outsorced customer support. At least Dell will send someone to your house if you need help.
January 6, 2008 3:49:17 PM

/\ agreed
January 6, 2008 3:53:41 PM

thats the prob with homebuilds if something goes wrong you have to problem solve it i cant reneber how many times ive had to reintall windows and drivers to get my onboard sound working. if you cant get into bios rma your motherboard.
January 6, 2008 4:04:12 PM

Does the PSU power up, have got EVERYTHING plugged into the PSU? Not trying to make you feel bad or anything but I've done this myself and not had everything hooked up to the power supply.
January 6, 2008 4:06:33 PM

chuckm said:
Does the PSU power up, have got EVERYTHING plugged into the PSU? Not trying to make you feel bad or anything but I've done this myself and not had everything hooked up to the power supply.


yeah mate it powers up and everything is plugged in, including before you ask the four pin cpu plug

i have even tried the system with a spare psu

thanks anyway
January 6, 2008 4:10:34 PM

Have you reset the cmos the correct way?
January 6, 2008 4:11:17 PM

I really only built one system, the current one i own. I researched what I wanted and how to put things together and gained some hand on experience with my previous system which i had built and then i began taking it apart.. I had no problems or DOA's with this build everything went along quite smooth except my 8800gtx o/c's even worse with a hr-05 plus then with the stock cooler (really pissed me off). All in all i think there's some luck involved in it but you really do have more control of what is inside your case. Anyways I had a problem a lot like this before and i was because the psu wasn't connected to the cpu...
January 6, 2008 4:16:19 PM

ok ive reset the cmos in a few different ways:-

take out the batt for a couple of mins

take out the bat and hold a screwdriver onto the cmos pins for a couple of mins (my board does not have a jumper

take out the batt, hold the screwdriver on the cmos pins and push the power button to clear charge.

all with the power disconnected obviously

i have then tried each different stick of ram in each different slot clearing the cmos in between each change

is this clearing the cmos properly? if not what else can i do?
January 6, 2008 4:22:31 PM

Your cmos dont have a jumper? That could be your problem. Most look like . . . with a jumper on two pins for ready mode and you move it over to reset. If you do have 3 pins with no jumper I would find one and try it. Usually looks like _ . in the correct position.

Has your new ram arrived yet?

You could wilggle the 24 pin and the 4 pin and make sure they are all the way in.

I had a board once that I had to pull the batt out over night to get it to reset.
January 6, 2008 4:26:40 PM

in the manual there is no jumper mentioned, and it says to use a screwdriver to reset, it even shows a pic of doing this.

the new ram should be with us tomorrow, i sincerely hope it works.

to be honest mate i have taken this thing apart and rebuilt it twice, i have checked every connection and rechecked - twice.

will try pulling the batt out overnight thanks for that.
January 6, 2008 4:34:37 PM

Im pretty sure it will go when you get new ram.

Were you overclocking at all before? If you were you might of stressed the ram.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 6, 2008 4:51:38 PM

Man, I'll be totally honest with you, you learn what to buy and what to get. Personally, the best system I ever had lasted for about 5 years, all I did was upgrade the video card, changed a sound card here or there and a couple of modems, not that anything was wrong with them, just tweaking, or internet connection issues, etc.

You have the same problems with other systems sometimes as well. My dad once bought my mom an HP one time, and after about a year, hard drive failure. Bought a new one, works great. In fact, built her a new system for Christmas another year or so later, still after 3 years or so, it's still running. Example, you defrag your hard drive, what do you use it for? Is there adequate cooling, do you take the side off the case and clean out your heatsink, these all play a role. Only reason I got rid of my system I talked about was b/c it was so old. Nothing wrong with it, just old. Wanted something newer.

Best companies in my opinion to buy from are Biostar, had good luck with them, Sapphire for gfx cards, got a gigabyte board now, seems pretty decent. When you buy stuff, read reviews first, and do some google searches, that can tell you a lot. Also, on the tech support, I understand, try returning it to the retailer sometimes they do better. But it's so funny when you get a tech support person on the line, they are reading out of a manual, and you know more than they do. Oh that can be fun.

I am gonna go out on a limb here and say your 2 most important things in your PC are your Motherboard, and your Power Supply. Moreso the PSU. Make sure that is good quality as it can make or break your system. A nice mobo can help things as well. Other things, I would read the reviews and make sure I knew what I was getting. But buy a dell or an HP. I can almost guarantee they do NOT have as much cooling as they really should have. Right now I have 2 fans in my PC, but one blows right onto the mobo and is about the diameter of a very small box fan. So for pc cooling, it does well, then I have a fan right under my PSU to help pull hot air off the chip. I've seen some systems have one cooling fan in the back, and maybe one of those little ducts that goes over the CPU, and the fan may not have even been that powerful.

Moral of the story, watch what you buy, and know what your doing when you install stuff, I have been messing with computers since 97-98, building since about 2000, and I still learn new things.
January 6, 2008 5:35:22 PM

Nope, failure is the key to success.
January 6, 2008 5:45:50 PM

I've never really relied on getting support from a hardware manufacture. I try to only buy from retailers that will allow you to deal directly with them if there is an issue with a part. I love ASUS motherboards but I'll do just about anything to avoid having to deal directly with ASUS. Their website is attrocious enough.
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