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WIN: Asus Xtreme Global Summit Competition Week 2

Discussion in 'ASUS' started by Sifter3000, 7 Aug 2009.

  1. flibblesan

    flibblesan Destroyer

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    CMOS jumpers. Nothing annoys me more than anything when I've spent a long time setting up a new build and making it all tidy, to find it won't boot up. After checking that things are plugged in correctly I eventually notice that the CMOS jumper has been set to clear. I've had this happen on a few boards now. You would think I'd check this first but you don't assume the problem to be so simple and obvious.
     
  2. n1k_

    n1k_ Ex Lurker

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    For me the number one issue with my builds has been RAM, right from day one. My first build, a super budget one back when just half a gig of the ultra cheap generic stuff cost almost £60, developed a pretty nasty fault where a heavy load on the memory caused a BSOD.

    Of course, as is the case when you're 13 years old and try to inform the man with the credit card of your predicament...:
    “Look dad, memtest says the RAM has faults! It keeps crashing! Look! Dad! Dad! Dad! DAD!!!”
    ...I was given no response other than an apathetic “Meh”.

    However as the issue was only under really heavy load, I managed to persevere with said faulty stick for around a year. Until the computer destroyer that is Oblivion came out. Even under the bare minimum settings that my Athlon XP 2500+, 9600 Pro and 512MB RAM could provide (wow, this game sure is... foggy) within around 5 minutes each and every time I loaded up the game it would tragically BSOD.

    At that point my endless wailing to my father made rather epic win, and I was given a princely sum of cash to spend on a brand spanking new rig.

    And all was well in the land of my computer's memory. Until one fateful night, where a game of BF2 decided to commit harakiri and send my computer into a rebooting frenzy. Upon removing a single memory module and having the computer spring back to life, I realised the curse of the RAM was back upon me. Upon understanding the only way to get a replacement was to actually send both of the matched pair I had bought back, I was faced with a horrible realisation. The only other DDR module in the house that could get my computer back on it's feet was none other than the faulty generic stick.

    Skip forward to last month, where I finally decided that my measly 2x1GB of RAM just wasn't cutting it any more. Solution? Buy two more sticks of the same 2x1GB stuff and put it into my motherboard. Why, my motherboard has four memory slots, what could possibly go wrong?

    Well, apparently in some cheaper motherboards two of the slots are there just for decoration, as I found out the hard way. No amount of attacking the voltages in the BIOS with my arrow keys would let me boot up with anything more than 3 sticks in place, and even then I had massive instability problems on stock settings, let alone the 3.0GHz overclock I had my e2140 sitting at. I ended up giving up and returning the two sticks, and in their place bought 2x2GB sticks which seem to be happy running happily so far. It was less a RAM issue and more a motherboard and a me being an idiot issue, but nonetheless RAM was involved, so it still counts.
     
  3. harveypooka

    harveypooka Fond of rumpots and crackpots

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    The trickiest problem I had was making an EFiX Mac. While the procedure was relatively simple in the end, there were no manuals or tutorials. It was a process of scanning the EFiX forums, trying to install, failing to install, fiddling around with the mobo settings, scanning the forums, resetting the device, trying to install, failing.

    I learned a few things on my first build: don't buy the cheapest case you can find. I used to think a case was just a case, but nooooo, that's wrong. There's a threshold for case price. If you go below, you might as well try and install your PC in a box of noodles. The other thing I learned: building your own is a lot of fun (and stress, at times!), something that many Mac users won't experience.

    Oh, and then there was the issue of the GPU taking a dislike the one of the PCI slots, which Bit-Tech forum-goers resolved for me! :)
     
  4. Argonaut123

    Argonaut123 New Member

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    I had my previous PC for 4 years before building this one. For the first month it worked fine, although sometimes it seemed a little slow running everyday tasks in windows. After that it would crash after entering Windows and would continue to crash at an earlier point in the boot process until it got to the point where the monitor didn't even have the chance to show any information.
    Me and my dad tried everything we could think of to repair it. Things like moving the RAM into different slots, trying each RAM stick separately, checking BIOS settings, reducing the load on the PSU (and other things) but nothing worked. Eventually we conceded that it needed to go to a computer shop (PC World). Unfortunately the news wasn't very positive 4 days on. Although they had performed exhaustive tests on all of the components they couldn't identify the underlying cause of the problem.
    I was gutted as I am an avid gamer and when it would have only cost £200 more to buy a Core i7 system off the shelf I regretted ever starting this. However like the weeks gone by I decided to try 'just one more thing' (I felt like Columbo everytime I said it). I entered the BIOS and decided to see what my RAM timings were set at rather than leaving the motherboard to auto. To my surprise it had slightly overclocked it instead of 5-5-5-18 it was 5-5-5-15. I altered it but but there wasn't any immediate improvement. However over the next few days the PC became stable and I have rarely had a crash since.
    I later read on the internet that sometimes the RAM will run quicker if it think it can (although I don't pretend to understand this). Looking back, this was an awful experience but I still feel that I made the right decision on building this myself and saving money compared to a pre-built one. As I type this on the very PC in question (oh crash, just kidding) I would recommend self building but only if you accept that you could run into problems.
     
  5. doggeh

    doggeh New Member

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    The most frustrating experience I've had was building a new system for my uncle. I've built MANY systems in my time and am experienced in troubleshooting. On this occasion I spent a particularly long time putting all the components together and making the cables as neat as possible as the system would almost never be turned off. Having got all the cables perfect I plugged it all in and hit the power button...

    Nothing happened.

    I rechecked all the connections but still no joy. After a few choice words I began taking the components out and subbing them one by one into another system to determine which component at fault. Long story short, after a long time I found that the motherboard wasn't working. It turned out the chump in the factory (I'll not disclose which brand here) had left the CMOS reset jumper in the reset position and not the normal operating position!

    My suggestion is a simple one... better quality control so that this sort of thing doesn't happen! I was very close to RMA-ing the board when I spotted the problem and as a result I don't buy boards from that manufacturer any more purely because of the frustration it caused me that day.
     
  6. I-E-D

    I-E-D New Member

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    Choosing the parts. Then finding out they're crap. Then Finding a good one. Then finding it's out of stock. Then finding its too expensive. Then finding its been discontinued. Then the delivery is late. Then you go on holiday. When you get back you realise you've missed the OS. Then you order 32bit. Then you put it together that you've never done before. Then get virus's.
     
  7. Omnituens

    Omnituens New Member

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    I once dropped a screw behind the motherboard.

    Couldn't get the little b*****d out.
     
  8. hm1992

    hm1992 New Member

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    My most annoying pc maintenance moment was not a new build but an upgrade. Trying to find a new graphics card a few years a go for a crappy Dell with a PCI slot only. I hadn't done much PC stuff then and I accidentally bought a PCI-E card (they were just becoming common I think). Took it home really excited. I had to take it back and got the last PCI graphics card that was powerful enough to play games in the shop. (and as far as I could tell at the time, in the world).
     
  9. chocolateraisins

    chocolateraisins :D

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    Building it all outside the case, placing it in, then finding you have to bend your wrists in the most excruiating positions just so you can plug in a little fiddly wire, such as a HDD LED (if your motherboard doesn't come with a handy block thing). Why can't they just make all the sockets face upwards instead, of facing towards a drive bay where you only have 4cm of room to manauvre something similar to wet spaghetti to a socket you have to push it in to.

    So, basically, motherboards that go into cases that can cause you do induce RSI.
     
  10. scrimple3D

    scrimple3D New Member

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    The most annoying problem I've had with a PC build came from one particular motherboard which appeared to have an aversion to being stable, even at stock settings.

    I tried messing about with different memory, different settings, all sorts of timings and voltages, but something would always cause instability in Windows.

    In the end I had to return the motherboard for a refund and get an entirely new product..... which worked first time.

    I guess the biggest frustration was that it worked well enough to leave me believing I had made a mistake somewhere, but was perhaps broken or faulty in some way.

    Perhaps some sort of diagnostic port (like you get with cars) could be implemented so that the user is given some clue about the root cause of the problems they're experiencing.
     
  11. Top Nurse

    Top Nurse Member

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    An old carpenters adage is to measure twice and cut once.

    When building a custom water cooled computer it is measure a 100 times and cut once because failure is simply not an option when your case runs $300-$400 a pop. Even more annoying is figuring out that the stuff you just had shipped in from Germany isn't the right stuff or you need more of it.

    After months of measuring, cutting, and customizing the custom stuff you bought you finally get to turn it on. Getting it to work is a piece of cake in comparison. ;)

    BTW, does this ticket include airfare from Los Angeles?
     
  12. isaac12345

    isaac12345 New Member

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    My biggest problem would be similar to what's described in the article. I ordered the parts for a new pc(after 5 years!) and it didnt boot. i got really scared thinking that i blew up something.Me and my friend triedour best but couldn't figure out the odd combination of the led lights or beeps on the motherboard. we finally got our hands on the msi p35 neo2-fr manual and found out that there was something wrong with the memory. so I rma'ed it only to find out that the new memory wasn't working as well. i swapped the memory for some kingston value and was suprised (and a little insulted cause my expensive ram wasnt working) to find it working. I snooped around the internet for the problem only to find out that my ram ran at 2.1v instead of the standard setting in the bios of 1.8v. While replacing the ram, i read the sticker on the side which mentioned 2.1v. Stupid me!!
     
  13. malaroo978

    malaroo978 New Member

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    Ive had a few frustrating upgrade/build times!

    One of the most frustrating for me was when I was new to PC building and it was my first build! I was 12 at the time... and I was using the trusty old A7N8X, which was pretty amazing and pretty new at the time! To me anyway.

    My first problem came when I was plugging in the case connectors to the motherboard (the ones that connect case LED's and on/off buttons etc.) I couldnt figure out due to unclear instructions (or me not h aving experiance) which wire to plug where! I ended up spending days trying to figure it out with my new pc bits lying on the floor with not so much as a peep every time I tried to turn it on! Very very frustrating when Id just bought a new pc.

    I had also gone for a watercooling system... all the rage at the time! Which was incredibly complex for me to set up, I was running water through the system when.. it sprang a leak at one of the connectors! I was watching carefully so luckily I managed to pull the electrics out before water touched anything... another 3 days letting the internals dry out!

    The next problem I had was that for some reason.... (I have no idea why) I was led to believe that I could place the thermal sensor under my brand new water cooling heatsink and on the processor die... guess what.. My processor died and the watercooling block was pitted! I had to buy a new AMD XP2800+ and have the watercooling block polished and lapped to get rid of the pitting.

    To top it all off, once all these problems were sorted... the trust Geforce 4 Ti4800SE Id had form the previous pc decided to die! Well so I thought, the PC wouldnt so much as POST with it in. When I tried my old Geforce 4 mx 440 it worked, so I just left the Ti4800SE out while I got a replacement. After moving on a couple of pcs I tried the same setup again... and the Ti4800SE worked! Obviously a bad tempered graphics card.

    Overall lack of experiance and bad luck on my first build! Ive definitely learnt since... no more water and no obstructions between the CPU and heatsink... hmmm!
     

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