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Help with Window 7 install and CMOS setup

I apologize for what may be considered very basic questions but I want to make sure what I'm doing is done right and I don't screw anything up.

This is my first PC build and I was able to hook up all my components and everything just fine but now I'm at the CMOS setup have a few questions. My motherboard is a Gigabyte GPA-890-UD3H.

1. There is a new BIOS version for my mobo. Should I upgrade to it first or load my Windows 7 OS first and then upgrade after? When updating the BIOS version does it revert back my settings in the CMOS to default settings or keep the profile I have them save under? Can I even upgrade my BIOS prior to OS installation if I don't have a 3.5 floppy drive or a FAT32 USB flash drive?

2. I'm running a OCZ Vertex 2 SSD as my boot drive and I've read that to optimize it I should be running on AHCI instead of IDE. Is this the preferred way and do I need change the OnChip SATA Type on my mobo to AHCI, the Onboad SATA/IDE Ctrl Mode, or both?

3. I also have a 1.5TB Caviar Green HDD.that I will be using for my data storage. Since this is a SATA drive I shouldn't have any problems with the AHCI setting should I?

4. I have 3 120mm fans (2 system/1 CPU) plugged in to my mobo, if I don't want them all running at max what and how should I be adjusting that. I have a Smart Fan Mode I can set to Auto, Voltage or PWM.

5. When I go to load Windows 7 and I select the SSD as my boot drive it only shows with 55.9gb vs the 60gb advertised capacity. Now I know HDD capacity isn't the total that it is advertised at but I didn't think this was the case for SSD. I thought, at least when the drive is completely brand new, I'd have 60gb. Do I need to format it first? Can I do that from the Windows 7 install?

6. Does Windows 7 distribute its files the same was as previous Microsoft OS? Meaning will I basically have a C: drive with all my windows files, program files, my documents, etc..

Again I apologize if this are simple questions but I'd rather look like a noob who questions everything he does, than be a noob who just thinks he knows it all and messes up his PC when there are resources like this forum available to him.
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  1. Best answer
    1. Yes, it keeps most settings or can default to defaults.
    2. AHCI on everything for better performance.
    3. See No.2
    4. Leave on auto unless motherboard start complaining and beeps and then set to PWM.
    5. Thats normal, you always loose capacity when drive is partitioned and formatted. Win7 also creates a small recovery partition.
    6. Yes and no, you will get the normal Windows and Program Files, but also Users, which holds user profiles (My Documents, Temp Folder etc) and if your x64, you get also get Program Files (x86) for 32-bit application compatibility.

    May I also point you to, a guide on how to move the user folder onto a second hdd, handy when your using a SSD and don't want to reduce its life span, also stick your swapfile on the Caviar.
  2. Wow, thanks for the excellent answers.

    I think you answered CMOS defaults but I'm still a leary on when I should update the BIOS firmware.

    I am running 64bit. Thanks for the link, I'll be sure to check that out.

    Love the avatar!
  3. Best answer selected by thrice.
  4. You can flash the BIOS at any time even after installing WIN 7.The latest BIOS version is FE. Use the BIOS update version utility (@BIOS) that came with the CD
  5. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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