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    Post Just completed my first build, have some questions, seeking advice


    Normally I go to Hard Forum. But they are a little heavy-handed over there, by that I mean you get excellent help, are told exactly what to do, but nobody ever explains the why. You are supposed to just nod your head and say thank you. Secondly the site is down, has been for a day or so. Thought since I had an account here I would see how the Dev Shed Computer Hardware community is.

    So here is the backstory, in brief. Posted a few threads over a few years at HF requesting hardware suggestions. Each time things fell through and I never got my parts, or all of them, or something. This time I got my parts and just spend the last two days, including today, getting it all together. Now I do have some experience, on older computers, in a college class I aced (I think I just got A's in it) about 7-9 years ago now. But this time was my first with new hardware, flying solo. Just about to delve into the murky waters of the computer bios.

    OK, so on to the questions... First one is I have installed a Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo aftermarket cooler (heatsink and fan) onto my Intel 1155 socket i5 CPU. I used a ceramic paste, probably too much, and I was stupid and removed the heatsink once, so I may end up with bubbles. Hope not. Followed the included instructions, pretty sure I have it all on right, even if I used too much paste. But the thing was able to move around after I tightened everything down. I mean I could rotate it a little each way. Did I do something wrong here, or is that just how things will be until the paste hardens?

    Speaking of the CPU, I had to use a lot of force to snap that bracket in place. I could hear noises coming from the board. I had it dropped into place correctly, notches lined up, bracket pushing against that screw/nut thing. Never installed an Intel before, so I was just wanting to rest my mind about this.

    Fan placement... Using a $59.00 Lian Li PC-K65 case. Has 2 120mm fans in front, one in back, dust filters on the front fans, and a set of raised rubber rails over a vent/dust filter for the PSU. Installed the PSU with the fan towards the bottom. Installed the Cooler Master with the fan facing towards the front. Video card fans are also facing down. Hard drives are on the bottom, so the upper-most fan in front can blow on the video card. Do you think this is a good fan setup? Won't be overclocking, not using liquid cooling, so this is all the cooling the case will get inside for now.

    OK, that covers everything for the moment. The computer does not post beep. I think I dropped the speaker one too many times... The BIOS does load up however and a I get to the error looking for something to boot. The debug LED on the mobo says 38. Need to look that up. I'll attach a picture as a reference point if I can.

    I will be installing Windows 7 64 bit, followed by Windows XP SP3. I think that's how you have to dual-boot install. Newer OS first. Nothing fancy in my system like an SSD. But as I said I will be going over the BIOS first. If you have any suggestions here, I am all ears. My MOBO is an MSI 77A-GD65 gaming board.

    Appreciate your advice, feedback and help!
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    Last edited by Deathbliss; May 25th, 2013 at 04:25 AM.
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    If you're not overclocking you have quite a bit of leeway when it comes to cooling; ie: having removed the heatsink almost certainly isn't going to matter at all.

    Being able to move it around after having installed it seems somewhat odd (the brackets usually hold them down pretty tight), but if it's securely attached and not going to fall off then you don't need to worry about it.

    My experience with installing heatsinks is that it does require a huge amount of force to snap the heatsink into the bracket. I hate doing it because I'm always worried I'll break something, but I never have.

    The computer fan setup sounds fine. Normally ATX builds are set up to move air from front to back.

    The lack of a beep when posting isn't an issue. I doubt dropping the speaker would have damaged it unless by drop you mean you threw it at the ground. Either the speaker isn't connected correctly or the particular board you have just doesn't beep when it posts.

    I'm curious why you would dual boot Windows 7 and Windows XP. Do you have some software that doesn't work on Windows 7?

    Also you should install Windows XP before you install Windows 7. Since Windows 7 didn't exist when Windows XP was written, the installer for Windows XP does not know of the existence of Windows 7 and will clobber the bootloader (in a repairable way, but it's still easier to install XP first). Because the Windows 7 installer is aware of the existence of Windows XP, it won't cause the same problems.
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    I agree with Oreo on all of his comments. The heatsink itself shouldn't move, and as Oreo said, it's completely normal for it to feel like you're going to snap the motherboard putting the heatsink on.

    As long as you have constant airflow touching the components from front to back, you should be fine. I can't tell from your image, but is anything blowing hot air directly onto the HDD? If so, you may want to adjust that, or make sure one of the 120mm exhaust fans is near the HDD.
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    The HDDs have an entire 120mm fan to themselves, and whatever air is left makes it way over to the PSU.

    It was the CPU I had to use force to install. That's what I was talking about. The heatsink didn't require any force.

    Well I am more worried about the wiggle room the Hyper 212 Evo has. Are there any users here who have used this and can confirm if this is normal or not?

    I screwed up on the Windows 7 install. Checked my replies just now as I was installing it. So if I could get information leading me to how to fix any boot record issues Windows XP may cause I would appreciate it.

    Windows 7 will be my first 64 bit OS, used primarily for gaming. Windows XP SP3 is for 32 bit older games, and for my programming work.

    Depending on what works best where I will also be using modeling programs, Unity 3D, the UDK, possibly FarCry, and a few other things.

    I know there is a sort of virtual Windows XP available in Windows 7 but it is not for games, hence my decision.

    Thank you everyone for your advice and help. Wish I had checked here sooner. Oh well, jumping and hoping there is water below has its disadvantages...
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    Applying a lot of force on the CPU itself is normal too. Anyway, since the system boots you didn't break anything. The components of a CPU are so small that any physical damage a human could impart on it would render it totally inoperable.

    Here's an article that describes repairing the Windows 7 boot loader: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/m.../ee851681.aspx

    Virtually all 32 bit programs run fine on 64 bit operating systems. Some games from the 90's don't run well under Windows 7, but normally that's due to graphics driver or screen resolution compatibility problems.

    Also, just as a heads up, in less than one year Microsoft will stop releasing security patches for Windows XP.
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    Originally Posted by E-Oreo
    Applying a lot of force on the CPU itself is normal too.
    I have to disagree about that statement.
    Every "socket" type CPU I have ever dealt with will have some kind of locking/unlocking mechanism...with this mechansim in its "unlocked" state, the CPU [if aligned correctly] should pretty much just drop in with very little force.

    The socket's lock/unlock mechanism may require a bit of force to relock after inserting the CPU, but, the CPU insertion should not require much , if any, force.

    --------------------------------
    But, as was said,....
    Originally Posted by E-Oreo
    Anyway, since the system boots you didn't break anything.
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    Just some things I thought of while reading; sorry if I duplicate anything here, I didn't read the whole thread verbatim.

    The CPU itself shouldn't take any force beyond gravity to place it in the socket; the clamp that holds it down, however, does take some effort to push all the way down and lock into place.

    The heatsink on the CPU being loose could potentially be a big performance issue. My wife's computer was really dogging out during particularly intense action sequences in a game (Left4Dead 2 panic events specifically.) I discovered that heatsink was loose. The in-depth answer is that modern processors have a stepped approach to their speeds with automatic thermal monitors. What that means is that if the CPU gets too hot, it steps its speed down to prevent overheating. So double check the heatsink. Especially with one that tall it may flex some but it shouldn't *twist* at the point where it contacts the CPU by more than a millimeter or two
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