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How do I correctly set up Hard Drives for my use--First time builder

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June 10, 2012 6:39:11 AM

Hi all, I am building my first computer and am unsure of quite a lot. I've been doing a lot of research for this build, and have the majority of the computer built (motherboard, cpu, cpu cooler, ram, psu, fans). I am unsure on how to connect the hard drives (i.e. do I use the 6gb or 3gb SATA? RAID setup? which SATA plug to use). I have an AsRock z77 mobo which has four 3gb and four 6gb SATA inputs. I have an OCZ Agility3 120gb and a WD Blue 1tb,6gb/s,7200rpm,32. Currently, I mainly use my computer for the WeB , streaming movies, and I plan on doing some moderate gaming. Also, I will be taking some computer courses in college and may need to whatever will be required for that...one class I will be learning is UNIX, and I had considered doing a dual boot with LInux; however, I don't even know if this will be necessary since I may onlyuse LINUX for that class. My main OS will be Windows 7 64bit, which I plan on installing on the SSD. I've read that the OCZ's have had some issues and that a firmware update will address those issues. The fix called for installing a LINUX boot drive on a USB and doing the firmware update in that manner (not sure of the specifics, so I may be somewhat wrong with the boot procedure).

Also, I believe I run a POST test on the build once everything is attatched--I've never done this before and am a little confused on the process. I'm going to do some more research on the POST test to make sure I understand it (i.e. do I remove my video card? Some sites say to connect a VGA cable to the mobo--for what? Am I running a monitor on this too?).

Finally, Wndows 7 install. People recommend certain techniques to install Win7 on a SSD so as to optimize the space on the SSD. Any help on these issues would be appreciated.

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June 10, 2012 7:00:41 AM

Use the SATA 6 connectors .

Coonect the SSD and hard drive to the mb using SATA cables , an also connect them to the psu using the appropriate power connectors .

To make things easier If route the cables to the drives and then pull the power plug out of the hard drive .
That way there will only be one storage drive connected .

Once you press the power button the motherboard does the POST
[ power on self test] and should beep once [ or LED's ] if it detects all the hardware and finds no problems .
You need to enter the BIOS and change the boot order so the dvd drive is the first place the computer looks for an operating system . Then put the windows disk into the dvd and then cclick the reset or power button . The comp will post , and find there is a bootable disk in the dvd drive .
After that follow the instructions .

When thats done change the SSD to be first boot device

When you have windows booting put the driver disk that came with the mb into the drive and let the install run.

Then install your graphics card driver .

Then I'd turn off the comp and plug in the hard drive . The mb and windows should detect it , and let you format it
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June 10, 2012 7:01:21 AM

PS Ubuntu is free . Download and install using the Wubi installer .
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June 10, 2012 7:42:06 AM

Let me see if I am thinking about this correctly. The POSt test is just to make sure everything is working. I don't need to be connected to a monitor during this phase. Once it posts, I could just power off the computer without doing anything else. Would I leave the HDD and SSD plugged in during the POST test (i.e. Both power and sata to the mobo). Also, would I leave my DVD drive plugged in during post? And, should I attatch the dvd to the 3gb/s SATA or the 6gb/s SATA. It has blu ray read as well if that matters.
Should I set my hard drives in a RAID configuration during set up? Also, I read some posts and think I understand what you mean about unplugging the hard drive when installing windows. I leave the SSD plugged in and unplug HDD so windows only installs on one drive. Do I unplug both cables from the HDD? Also, I believe that I need to set my SSD to ACHI in bios. I don't have the Win7 disk ye, but I'd like to set some stuff up before it arrives just to make sure everythink is ok. Also, my RAM Corsair Vengeance 2x4gb @1.35volts (1600). I believe my mobo supports 1.5volts(AsRock z77 Extreme4). Will the volt difference work? I guess this is something I''ll discover in the post. And, I believe the mobo sets the ram at 1333 and I have to adjust it to 1600.
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June 10, 2012 7:49:57 AM

POST happens automatically every time you boot a computer . The motherboard is checking it has the proper components attached .
For instance if it checked and found there was no RAM it would sound a beep code to indicate that .

You need a monitor . It provides you with the feedback you need , and you wont be able to do any set up without one

RAM voltage wont be an issue .
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June 11, 2012 3:57:40 AM

Outlander_04 said:
POST happens automatically every time you boot a computer . The motherboard is checking it has the proper components attached .
For instance if it checked and found there was no RAM it would sound a beep code to indicate that .

You need a monitor . It provides you with the feedback you need , and you wont be able to do any set up without one

RAM voltage wont be an issue .



So far, so good. Just powered everything a little while ago and the computer posted :bounce:  .
Now, I need to update the firmware on the Agility 3 SSD....then install Windows when I get the disc....remembering to detatch the WD hard drive. Download Radeon drivers and install gpu and I should be good to go.

Not sure if I should attempt to update the BIOS on my Asrock z77 Extreme 4. It has an option to do an internet flash, which means I could connect the pc via my router and flash the BIOS before I do the windows install...not sure if this is a good idea since some people experience problems when flashing the BIOS....maybe leave well enough alone, or, since it is a newer board, it may need the latest firmware.
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June 18, 2012 5:41:59 AM

Updated the firmware on my OCZ Agility 3 ssd, disconnected my WD HDD and loaded Windows. Everything worked perfectly. Now, I just need to know how to best utilize a 120 gb SSD and a 1TB hard drive set up. I don't think that I want to load every program or utility that I download onto my SSD...
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June 28, 2012 3:52:44 AM

Best answer selected by willyj73.
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