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Skavenger
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      4th Jan 2006
Hello;

I am just about to do a bit of upgrading and spring cleaning on my ASUS
A7N8X Deluxe

Upgrade consists of installing:

2 x 512MB Kingston DDR Ram CL3.0
Maxtor 200GB 7200RPM IDE HD
LG Double Layer DVD RW

I currently have:

1 x 80GB Maxtor 6Y080L0 ( 2 x Partitions C: & D
1 x 40GB Segate 340015A
AOPEN CD RW
BTC DVD RW
2 x 256MB DDR Ram CL3.0
GeForce TI4200 8xAGP
Windows XP Pro

Couple of Questions:

1. Due to a couple of problems I need to carry out a repair install of
the OS to save the hassle of reinstalling everything I might leave the Boot
Drive as the Maxtor 80GB get rid of the Seagate and install the 200GB Maxtor
as additional storage, I will not see much speed benifit in using the 200GB
as a boot drive?

2. Both Hard Drives are connected using an 80 Conductor ATA 133 cable
should I also get one for the CD & DVD? as the existing ones are using a 40
conductor?

3. I need to update the BIOS any problems with the latest verion?

4. Where can I find information on the optimum BIOS settings?




 
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Paul
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      4th Jan 2006
In article <dpgv9c$kic$(E-Mail Removed)-infra.bt.com>,
"Skavenger" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> Hello;
>
> I am just about to do a bit of upgrading and spring cleaning on my ASUS
> A7N8X Deluxe
>
> Upgrade consists of installing:
>
> 2 x 512MB Kingston DDR Ram CL3.0
> Maxtor 200GB 7200RPM IDE HD
> LG Double Layer DVD RW
>
> I currently have:
>
> 1 x 80GB Maxtor 6Y080L0 ( 2 x Partitions C: & D
> 1 x 40GB Segate 340015A
> AOPEN CD RW
> BTC DVD RW
> 2 x 256MB DDR Ram CL3.0
> GeForce TI4200 8xAGP
> Windows XP Pro
>
> Couple of Questions:
>
> 1. Due to a couple of problems I need to carry out a repair install of
> the OS to save the hassle of reinstalling everything I might leave the Boot
> Drive as the Maxtor 80GB get rid of the Seagate and install the 200GB Maxtor
> as additional storage, I will not see much speed benifit in using the 200GB
> as a boot drive?
>
> 2. Both Hard Drives are connected using an 80 Conductor ATA 133 cable
> should I also get one for the CD & DVD? as the existing ones are using a 40
> conductor?
>
> 3. I need to update the BIOS any problems with the latest verion?
>
> 4. Where can I find information on the optimum BIOS settings?
>
>


1. To use the 200GB drive, you should be using WinXP SP1 minimum.
You can construct a Windows install CD with SP1 slipstreamed on
it. (There is a program you can download off the net, Autostreamer
or the like, that can do that for you. I tried making a
slipstreamed disk, and it worked OK. Depending on when you
bought your WinXP product, SP1 may already be included).
Otherwise there is a registry hack. In any case, you have to
be careful where you plug that 200GB drive - plugging it into
a machine that just has original WinXP on it, could corrupt it.
I mention that in case you plan on moving the 200GB disk from
machine to machine.

http://www.48bitlba.com/faq.htm (don't buy their BIOS!)

I don't know how well this would work, but you could copy the
80GB to the 200GB drive, and then run the Repair Install. I
have an old copy of Partition Magic I use for such adventures,
but I don't know how messed up that product has become since
Symantec bought PowerQuest. Perhaps the disk manufacturer
has a utility to do a simple copy for you. Before installing
the 200GB disk, make sure you have installed at least SP1
first on the 80GB boot disk. Then, when you copy the 80GB
to the 200GB, your OS will be prepared to run the 200GB
without corrupting it.

Disk drives have faster sustained transfer rate at the beginning
of the drive, versus near the end. Using the 200GB drive, means
more of the files will be near the "60MB/sec" end of the disk,
instead of at the "40MB/sec" end of the disk. But eventually the
200GB disk will fill up too...

Make sure you have a backup strategy. The bigger the disk,
the bigger the crash.

The biggest visible difference with disk drives, would come with
a change in RPMs. A 10K RPM disk has a lower seek time than a
7200 RPM disk, and if you were searching for a file, the 10K
disk would be faster. The only time STR becomes an issue, is if
you are copying really big files from disk to disk. I don't
do that very much, so STR is not that big a factor for me.
If you do disk-to-disk backups, a good STR would reduce the
backup time, for a sector by sector copy.

2. You can use an 80 conductor cable for your CD and DVD. With
recent hardware, in fact, two devices on the same cable can
run at their own transfer rate, without impacting one another.
The 80 conductor cable will make more performance available,
if you had a hard drive and a optical device on the same cable.
The OS is actually able to detect the presence of the 80
conductor cable, and knows when the faster IDE transfer rates
can be used.

3. No idea. There were a couple releases of A7N8X family BIOS
that were bad, but they were pulled from the download page.
I use a "Trats BIOS", so cannot help you there.

4. http://www.nforcershq.com/forum/search.php is where I would
go for information on Nforce2 systems. forums.pcper.com is
another place. But in my experience, spending 30 minutes
playing with the settings yourself, is going to give you
a pretty optimal setup anyway. On my A7N8X-E, I run the
memory "sync" (set to 100%), tweak the memory timing to
its specced value (in case the SPD on the DIMMs holds more
conservative values than the chips are rated for). Try
setting things to "standard" or "manual", to make more
settings appear. It isn't hard to get a good setup.

The only trouble I ever had with my machine, was RAM. Use
both memtest86+ to verify the whole memory is still good.
Use Prime95 while in Windows, to verify there is real system
stability.

HTH,
Paul
 
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Fishface
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      5th Jan 2006
Skavenger wrote:
> 1. Due to a couple of problems I need to carry out a repair install of
> the OS to save the hassle of reinstalling everything I might leave the Boot
> Drive as the Maxtor 80GB get rid of the Seagate and install the 200GB
> Maxtor as additional storage, I will not see much speed benifit in using
> the 200GB as a boot drive?


Problems?! Hate those...

I would leave the installation on the 80GB drive.

Here's a MS KB article on moving an installation to new hardware, partially
in Netherlandic but with ample English, because that's all I could find.
http://support.microsoft.com/default...d=kb;nl;314070

I'm not sure how/if you might copy the installation, but I used Ghost
and ran into a problem. This archived message details the problem I
encountered (Win2K) when I tried to move my installation to a larger drive:
http://groups.google.com/group/alt.o...921f1e6580a45c
I believe you will find that the same is true under XP.


 
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Homer J. Simpson
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Posts: n/a
 
      5th Jan 2006
"Skavenger" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:dpgv9c$kic$(E-Mail Removed)-infra.bt.com...
> Hello;
>
> I am just about to do a bit of upgrading and spring cleaning on my ASUS
> A7N8X Deluxe
>
> Upgrade consists of installing:
>
> 2 x 512MB Kingston DDR Ram CL3.0
> Maxtor 200GB 7200RPM IDE HD
> LG Double Layer DVD RW
>
> I currently have:
>
> 1 x 80GB Maxtor 6Y080L0 ( 2 x Partitions C: & D
> 1 x 40GB Segate 340015A
> AOPEN CD RW
> BTC DVD RW
> 2 x 256MB DDR Ram CL3.0
> GeForce TI4200 8xAGP
> Windows XP Pro
>
> Couple of Questions:
>
> 1. Due to a couple of problems I need to carry out a repair install of
> the OS to save the hassle of reinstalling everything I might leave the
> Boot Drive as the Maxtor 80GB get rid of the Seagate and install the 200GB
> Maxtor as additional storage, I will not see much speed benifit in using
> the 200GB as a boot drive?
>
> 2. Both Hard Drives are connected using an 80 Conductor ATA 133 cable
> should I also get one for the CD & DVD? as the existing ones are using a
> 40 conductor?
>
> 3. I need to update the BIOS any problems with the latest verion?
>
> 4. Where can I find information on the optimum BIOS settings?


This might be of some help to you on your question 4. Yesterday Tom's
Hardware posted this story "BIOS from A to Z" at the following link:

http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/01/...s_from_a_to_z/


 
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Paul D. Motzenbecker, Jr.
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      8th Jan 2006
Skavenger,
Greetings and hallucinations from just north of Fantasy Land
(Washington, DC)!
Do you already have the hard drive? If you are looking for a faster
boot, may I suggest a RAID 0 array on the SATA ports. If money is no
object, get a pair of WD 74GB 10,000 RPM Raptors. ~US$170 each. That
kind of system rockets into orbit. I am so cheap that the last time I
spent money, the George on it was George III, so I make do with a
cheaper single SATA drive. Otherwise a pair of _IDENTICAL_ drives is
needed on the SATA port. In a RAID 0 set up you use two drives to speed
up performance at the risk of a less reliable system. Make backups. You
do get a drive array that is the sum of both drives. I.E. with the 74 GB
Raptors you wind up with an 148 GB array.

I do not know enough about your DVD-RW and CD-RW drives to know what
speed their interfaces are. If they are ATA-33 or less, the 40 wire
cable will do just fine. However, if they are ATA-66 or more, you need
the 80 wire cable. The cables are cheap. Why not try one and see?

Just why do you need to upgrade the BIOS? What version do you have?
Unless you have a problem that upgrading the BIOS is supposed to solve,
if it is not broken, do not fix it.
Peace,
Paul
Skavenger wrote:
> Hello;
>
> I am just about to do a bit of upgrading and spring cleaning on my ASUS
> A7N8X Deluxe
>
> Upgrade consists of installing:
>
> 2 x 512MB Kingston DDR Ram CL3.0
> Maxtor 200GB 7200RPM IDE HD
> LG Double Layer DVD RW
>snipped>

 
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