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First timer facing BIOS and OS install - how to test & optimize

Last response: in Windows 7
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April 21, 2012 8:28:46 PM

I have recently completed the process of gathering components for my first ever homebuilt system, and I feel fully prepared to put the machine together. Having observed my friend who is also building a system (his is a dual-boot hackintosh - mine, just 7 home 64-bit) go through endless testing, configuration, kernal panics, resets and reboots - and still not near fully operational - I am nervous about moving forward with my BIOS and OS preparations. Specifically, I am looking for individual steps worth taking to test, retest, and optimize all of my components and settings before I can consider the operating system to be 100% fool-proof stable. I would like to set everything up correctly from the beginning to avoid major headaches in the future.

My build:
Intel Core i7 2600K cpu
ASRock Extreme 3 Gen 3 mobo
Hyper 212 Evo cpu cooler (w/ 1x factory-installed fan)
16GB (2x 8GB) DDR3 ram
180GB Corsair SATA3 ssd (boot drive)
Sapphire 1GB HD 7770 gpu
560W Sea Sonic SS-560KM psu
LG 22x DVD-RW drive

I have yet to purchase, but will eventually have:
1x SATA 6.0Gb/s HDD
3-4 more 120mm PWM case fans

Things I am concerned about setting up include:
- Optimizing storage on the SSD (& later the HDD) - this is intended to be a boot drive that will also have many of the programs that I most heavily used and other high-demand programs. all other media and file storage will take place on the hdd
- Controlling PWM fans on the psu, case, etc.
- Hardware testing
- Software/OS testing

I would prefer to be absolutely certain that my system is stable and ready to operate for months or years on end without issue. This might be a lofty goal :lol:  but I figure it will be a bit easier to set up system settings for a windows-only system compared to my friend who's currently setting up a hackintosh.

* If someone would be kind enough to provide me a sort of step-by-step outline of how to go through these configurations in the best way, I would really appreciate it. But any information at all would be great!
a b $ Windows 7
April 21, 2012 8:32:04 PM

Hi :) 

So you expect us to type in hours of tying because you dont know HOW to build a machine....

Go pay a Custom builder or shop to do it for you....

OR put it together and come back when you get problems...which you will...

All the best Brett :) 
April 21, 2012 9:12:05 PM

Do your build.
Boot to BIOS with only the SSD connected.
Do read whatever settings are necessary for your SSD.
In GENERAL, set the BIOS to optimized configuration, then go back and make changes you understand.
Start with ACHI mode, required for SSD. you will have to set boot order, and keyboard /mouse settinPS2(ps2USB usb).
I usually set S3 mode too, but I have not done an SSD yet, and some dislike it.
All other setings involve research on your part.
Install windows on SSD. You may have a Microsoftcrosoft patch to install (if using a flash drive I think).
Set "trim" deactivate disk check, I think.
Choosing software to install on SSD, and how to keep HDD and SSD how you want them is another research project.
At this point you can connect and use your HDD.
At this point you can fiddle with BIOS choices. Basics are turn off unneeded/unwanted power saving.
Make changes one at a time and use them if you have the patience. Sweeping changes are for the knowledgeable. Know what to fix.
When satisfied all is stable and functional, overclocking can commense.
Every configuration is a little different, each manufacturer uses different terms, definitions setting menus.
The good news is BIOS and CMOS are space limited, and you can almost always start over.
Related resources
April 21, 2012 9:13:58 PM

I'd put $20 on saying the only reason your buddy is having any issues at all is due to OS X.
April 21, 2012 10:05:17 PM

Thanks walterm.

otherwise, my mistake for figuring this part of the process would be as well documented and straightforward as the process of researching parts and compatibility. i really have done my homework on that topic, as well as optimizing windows 7 once i have it running in a stable environment.

pretty clueless about bios and general configuration, however
April 21, 2012 10:10:02 PM

In general, there's really not much to do. Most stuff is auto-detected these days (memory speed and timings, CPU frequency/features, voltage, etc). The only thing I can see you having to change is "Native IDE" -> "AHCI" in the BIOS. Most BIOSes are smart about configuring things for you, like going from integrated to PCIe automatically when you add a discrete GPU.
April 22, 2012 2:43:26 AM

More or less what I meant. use standard settings till there is reason to change, or a failure. Then look for answers.
When there is a specific problem, you need specific answers.
Some BIOS make it difficult to find advanced menus or setting.
Some settings are just strange.
a b $ Windows 7
April 22, 2012 3:18:11 AM

Putting together a Hackintosh is a lot more involved than building a Windows only PC. Getting OSX stable on standard PC hardware requires a lot more thought and planning.

Find a good guild on how to build your PC print it and follow the guild and you should be good to go. Then if/when you have a problem come back and ask for help then.
!