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Procedure for bench testing?

Last response: in Systems
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January 3, 2013 11:50:42 AM

I have the following components for a new build:
Asrock Z77 extreme4
Intel i5-3570k
Intel 330 SSD 120GB
Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB)
Lite-on dvd burner
Corsair case, psu
No discrete video (using on-chip graphics)

Wondering if there is a procedure for initial checks anywhere? I was thinking along the lines of this:
1. Install ram as directed
2. Install CPU, heat sink, fan
3. Attach SSD
4. Attach monitor to on-board VGA port
5. Connect mouse, keyboard
6. Connect power, turn it on

How much work do I do in the BIOS before attempting to load an OS? Wondering if it should be updated via a thumb drive before proceeding.

Then after I load Windows 7 64 bit onto the SSD, which drivers/utilities should be installed off the motherboard's CD?

I do have a WD caviar black 1TB drive that will be installed as well, to be used for data only.
January 3, 2013 1:01:22 PM

It sounds as if you have limited experience so it would be wise to do a little reading first. Two approaches can be taken. 1. put all components in case and proceed with installing OS, or assemble components out of case and ensure they power up to bios. Your choice.

After you know the system powers up it makes sense to visit all the BIOS setting to gain an awareness of what its available for settings [read about them in the ASUS manual].

When loading the OS the most critical first driver to load first is the chipset driver. Then you should load any LAN, AUDIO, VIDEO, etc. drivers. The 1TB drive can be formatted and initialized at any time.

I recommend you use windows 7 "backup and restore" to create a system image and backup before loading any other software. This will give you the opportunity to start over from scratch should something go wrong or you change your mind about software installations.

Have fun
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January 3, 2013 1:01:47 PM

Here's a good checklist. Your BIOS should not need any tweeking to load Windows. I'd recommend downloading the drivers from the motherboard's web site and using them. They're more up-to-date than the ones on the CD. Don't install the WD drive until after the OS is loaded. Good luck...
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-perform-ste...
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January 3, 2013 1:14:50 PM

t53186 said:
It sounds as if you have limited experience so it would be wise to do a little reading first. Two approaches can be taken. 1. put all components in case and proceed with installing OS, or assemble components out of case and ensure they power up to bios. Your choice.

After you know the system powers up it makes sense to visit all the BIOS setting to gain an awareness of what its available for settings [read about them in the ASUS manual].

When loading the OS the most critical first driver to load first is the chipset driver. Then you should load any LAN, AUDIO, VIDEO, etc. drivers. The 1TB drive can be formatted and initialized at any time.

I recommend you use windows 7 "backup and restore" to create a system image and backup before loading any other software. This will give you the opportunity to start over from scratch should something go wrong or you change your mind about software installations.

Have fun

It has been about 12 years. My last build was the 1.4 GHz single core Athlon I am still running today. A lot has changed in 12 years.

My concern about putting everything in the case to begin with is adding/removing RAM and other connectors. The MB is not terribly thick and I don't want to damage anything.

What does the "chipset driver" do?
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January 4, 2013 12:23:34 PM

You can "breadboard" your build before you put it in the case. Just put the motherboard on a non-conductive surface. Install everything and try it out. The power supply will ground the motherboard. Chipset drivers tell your motherboard how to use the hardware, especially the hard drives.
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January 4, 2013 2:21:29 PM

zdbc13 said:
You can "breadboard" your build before you put it in the case. Just put the motherboard on a non-conductive surface. Install everything and try it out. The power supply will ground the motherboard. Chipset drivers tell your motherboard how to use the hardware, especially the hard drives.

Thanks. I did some of what you wrote yesterday, just to get into the BIOS and make sure it saw what it should have (memory, SSD, dvd). Did some prelim testing and all was good.

Am I correct in assuming that the chipset driver (as well as others) will be installed using the CD that came with the motherboard, and can be upgraded by going to the Asrock download page? It is the third item in the drivers table.

Appreciate all the tips.
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January 4, 2013 3:18:22 PM

The drivers will usually be installed using the CD that came with it but as so many state it's worth downloading the full range of drivers (and any utilities that you want) from the download page over at Asrock.
If you have a USB thumb drive or something similar available (I actually used my phone's memory for this) download and unzip the drivers into orderly folders on your USB drive and then simply pop it in after you install Windows and run through the folders one by one until you have everything installed.

Good things to stick on the USB drive are the chipset drivers, any network and necessary SATA drivers, the latest graphics drivers and of course your sound drivers). You can usually get everything you need except for the graphics drivers from the motherboard manufacturer's website.

I also noticed you're using an Ivy Bridge CPU, it may be worth flashing your BIOS either from the USB drive (if that's supported with that board) or after you install Windows (there should be instructions in the manual or on the website for how to do this properly - I'm not familiar with the Asrock methods). Can help avoid some weird headaches with the i7 3k series CPUs later down the line.
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