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System won't start OS

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July 19, 2011 3:02:23 AM

Hello everyone!
So, I build my computer a long time ago, and it was running great, until one day. I came home, the power was off on it. I went to turn it back on, and nothing happened. Tried and fiddled away and my best guess was that the power supply shorted out. So, I grabbed another power supply that I had lying around, which outputs less watts (480 watts as opposed to the previous 550w... not sure if this is playing a factor or not as well), plugged everything in, and was able to power up. That was about as far as I got. Now it's been sitting for a while and I've been using my laptop and I'm on a mission to get it back up and running again. Here's what I'm running

ASUS M3A78-CM ACPI BIOS Revision 1002
AMD Phenom 2.6 Ghz 9850 Quad-Core Processor
Ganged Mode, DRAM Clocking = 800Mhz
4096MB Ram
Seagate Barracuda 7200 160 GB HD
Western Digital Caviar 120 GB HD
Western Digital Caviar 500 GB HD (SATA, the only one that the BIOS can detect)
ATI Radeon R4650 1 GB DDR2 Graphics Card

Windows 7 was installed on one of the smaller hard drives first, so the os isn't on the hd that can be detected

I can get into BIOS but the only thing that's showing up is in my SATA slot, which is either my 500 GB Caviar or a DVD drive.
It's not detecting my Primary IDE Master or my Primary IDE Slave
I've got 2 hard drives connected, both properly plugged in on IDE cables
It reads my legacy diskette A drive

Now when I boot, it's given me a number of errors.

Boot Manager missing

This message appears when I've got everything connected:
Reboot and Select proper Boot device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot device and press a key

I've tried plugging in the DVD drive and putting in the windows 7 cd but once it starts reading that the screen goes blank and the monitor shuts off.

Any help on this would be greatly appreciated
Thank you!

More about : system start

Best solution

a c 113 B Homebuilt system
July 19, 2011 7:11:21 AM

To recap:

You lost all power to the computer.
You replaced the PSU and got power back, but have several issues including missing drives.

So, I have to guess you had a cheap PSU that took out your hardware when it went. Not uncommon at all. That's why I wrote the PSU guide linked in my signature.

I would guess the MB is damaged and will need to be replaced. No way to know for sure until you replace it of course. First you'll probably want to get a decent PSU.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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July 20, 2011 12:46:41 AM

Recap is exact

Wish I had read your PSU guide.

I was thinking about that yesterday as I was tinkering, and was hoping that what you're suggesting wasn't the case... but in the back of my head I had a feeling. I think I'm going to start from scratch again and use parts that may still be good, ram and Video Card.

As I'm probably going to start from scratch... I'm probably going to want something crazy of a computer.
BUT, I don't want a repeat. I have 4 2GB memory sticks, and as I understand it, 32 bit OS do not support that much ram, but 64 bit does? That said I'm tempted to lean more toward getting 64. Any draw backs to going with 64 bit?

Also, I'm hoping, and assuming, that my video card is still good. I'm quite certain even though it was a 1GB card it wasn't all that great. I'd want to buy another, but still use the old. So... I'd want a motherboard with 2 slots for 2 Video Cards.

Just thinking out loud in all of this, if anyone has suggestions, recommendations, or if you see anything wrong with this idea, please, by all means, point me in the right direction. :D 
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
July 20, 2011 2:42:21 AM

No drawbacks at all to Win 7 64-bit. I'm occasionally a serious gamer and have very few issues. Only one I can think of is Duke Nukem Forever, which is not worth worrying about anyway :) 

Because you have DDR2 you are pretty much stuck with an AMD platform, and not a newer one.

If you can find another 4650 at a reasonable price that would be OK. You would need a bit more PSU than the one I linked.

However, I see absolutely no crossfire DDR2 boards on newegg. Not AMD, not Intel. you would have to hit ebay.
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July 21, 2011 5:41:52 AM

Ok, well than scratch using the old one. I think what I'm going to do is just buy a piece at a time every month. Start with a nice case, then grab a PSU, then line up a mobo and a processor, then graphics card/s then ram. If I am starting all over... and saying I want to spend about 200-300 typically per part... what would be the best to get the best performance. This would primarily be used for gaming and graphic arts, as I'm a graphic artist. What's the best mobo/processor combo out right now? That's not ridiculously priced, something that's reasonable but still really good? Best graphics card... finding just cause it was a 1GB card doesn't mean it was all that great. Best PSU's out there, something that's not going to fry my system again and give me ample watts.

As toward a case... I understand the idea of the pressures and all that, but I'm not 100% on setting that up to best optimize the best airflow and cooling for the case. Is liquid cooling any good?

Lots of questions, I know... but any wisdom on any of this that can be shared would be greatly appreciated :D 
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 21, 2011 6:09:39 AM

yummy yummy fried PC with a side order of defective PSU, perhaps a slice of surge protector next time? dine with some extra fans on the newly constructed sandy bridge, but don't be so hasty , our recommended speed limit is 1333MHz, not that we enforce it anyway. for extra relaxation, and perhaps watch your favorite movie of Crossfire:6950. and to round it all up, we give you a asrock z68 as a gift to your stay here.
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
July 21, 2011 7:37:06 AM
July 22, 2011 4:49:17 AM

Checked out all the links, looked around at all the specs, and from what I can tell it looks great. ;) 
You guys obviously know a little bit more about all this than I ;) 

Love the sniper ram
Now, you guys both suggested the ASRock? Why is this one coming recommended from both of you?
I am excited for the i7 processor. I'm a little behind, so forgive me if I sound ignorant, but it looks like the i7 has on board graphics?
Integrated Graphics Intel HD Graphics 3000
If I'm using all of the Adobe suite a lot and gaming on occassion the latest and greatest, is this going to be enough? Or do I need to snag up a PCI Graphics Card?
The cooler and the HD also look good to me.

All these options, these just kind of baseline options? Cause I have more money budgeted out for new parts... I obviously don't want to just throw money away at unnecessary improvements... but if this is going to cover all my needs than... sounds great ;) 

Again, really appreciate the input and taking the time to help
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July 22, 2011 5:08:17 AM

....and on the Crossfire:6950...
It looks good, all I could find were 2.1 PCI's, that make a difference if I've got a 2.0 PIC slot on the ASRock?
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
July 22, 2011 6:11:10 AM

While ASRock doesn't have the best warranty, we find it a good budget-friendly choice and the boards are usually quite reliable.

The onboard graphics of the i7 are not capable of any decent gaming. Good for a backup though.

If you intend to crossfire 6950s you will need more PSU and more board.

Board choices
ASRock
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Asus
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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July 23, 2011 9:24:28 PM

Ok, looking at the boards, I'm noticing a few differences... but overall, which one is better as far as reliability and is more suited to what I'm wanting? Will probably getting the extended warranty with it.

Now I keep seeing crossfire this and crossfire that, and I know that it's good and I've barely scratched the surface of knowing how to set it all up and what it all entails to get it running the way it's intended to run.

PSU looks legit, I was thinking I'd want a little more oomph.
I've read pressure of the case plays a role with keeping your hardware cooled correctly. Is that going to be based on what case I get, or will it be based on the actual hardware I get?
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
July 24, 2011 2:34:36 AM

The air pressure in the case is secondary and a function of the design of the case. The main thing you want is air flowing through the case.

You need to be clear about what you want here, and what your budget is. Otherwise you are going to get a lot of conflicting ideas.

I was under the impression this build was primarily for graphics arts, and a great GPU is not going to make any difference. For gaming, yes you can get crossfire or SLI cards, but it will cost more both for the motherboard and PSU to support that.

Crossfire 6950s is absolutely the strongest GPU solution that still makes sense. It's more than the vast majority need or want. A single 6950 2GB, or GTX 560 Ti, is quite a bit at a resolution of 1920x1080. GTX 570 or Radeon 6970 is a great single card solution.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,...
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July 24, 2011 5:08:03 AM

I knew air flow is primary, I just didn't know which is better, negative or positive pressure. Seems as though people are pretty mixed about it.

Budget isn't really an issue. I'm going to buy one part a month, starting with case, then psu, then motherboard, processor, ram, video card/s. So, over the next 6 months I'll have built this computer. So... the money isn't an issue, I just don't see any value in spending 1,000 for a graphics card. I want good parts, that are going to last, and may be a little above what I need so I don't have to worry about rebuilding within the next couple of years. So good, a little above what I need, but nothing outlandish. I don't have a price ceiling per say... just yeah.

It is primarily for the entire Adobe Suite. A great GPU is more for the gaming end. I want to be able to go out and buy a game and not worry about whether or not my GPU can handle it or not.... for the next couple of years ;)  So, some excess power to be able to handle some hardcore games yet to come.

So... thinking.... I would be good with one 6950 for starters but with the capability to up it in the future if I want to.

I know this doesn't really give set in stone criteria, but I hope it helps a little more to understand what I'm looking for?
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
July 24, 2011 6:21:39 AM

Absolutely, that helps a lot. The 750W I linked is enough for 6950 CF, but not what I would recommend. I generally recommend 850W in that case.

When you are piecing together a PC over months, there is always going to be some regret. No matter what order you buy parts there will always be something that comes along that makes you wish you bought another part later.

Having said that, there are some clear choices to start. Case and PSU are not going to change too much. HDD is probably another one that can be bought early.

Intel will release a new high-end platform towards the end of the year, so perhaps wait on the RAM, MB, and CPU until last.
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July 24, 2011 6:57:05 AM

Best answer selected by NorCalLion.
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