View Full Version : Advice Needed from DIY PC builders or overclockers

2010-02-12, 10:00 AM
Howdy all,

I recently purchased the components necessary to build a new machine and this is my first time starting from 'scratch' so to speak. Any other PC I've owned was an off-the-shelf or built by Dell type, so there was always a certain amount of 'safety net' available.

I have everything put together and it seems to run just fine (all fans, cooler, CD/DVD drives seem to function) BUT...I can't get it to boot successfully to Windows 7.

Here's my scenario:
New Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P mobo
6GB OCZ Reaper DDR2-9200 (3x2GB sticks) the 4th wont fit under the cooler.
Intel QX6700 Extreme processor
Ultra TEC (Peltier cooler)

The HDDs and CD/DVD drives are from my previous machine.
I have (2) 750GB HDD's that were RAID-1 (mirrored) on my Dell.
The new mobo supports RAID, but in the RAID config, they show up as Non-RAID on the new system. I didn't want to create a new array for fear of wiping the data on both and having to reinstall Windows, apps, etc.

So...I get 1 solid 'beep' at POST and everything seems fine, but when it gets to the 'Starting Windows' screen I see a quick blue screen flash and it crashes.

I did have to mess with the multiplier and FSB settings to get the BIOS to show the chip running at 2.66GHZ, but didn't mess with timings or CAS latency or anything since I don't thoroughly understand all of this yet.

I'm just hoping someone can point me in the right direction as far as where I should be focusing my adjustments in order to get a stable boot to Windows.

I realize this is TTD, but I've not frequented the forums pertaining to PC builds and thought I might get a better response from my peers.

Thx in advance for taking a minute to read this and for any info!


2010-02-12, 10:48 AM
you have 3 sticks of memory. some boards require memory in pairs.
if you cant fit the 4th chip - pull the 3rd chip.
make sure the 2 are in the correct slots.

dont overclock / use standard settings until you have a stable system.

2010-02-12, 11:06 AM
oh wait, you're trying to boot your old OS on a new systemboard?!

dude, you'll have to boot in safe mode a rip out all the previous drivers from device manager.
do yourself a favor and grab a spare HD - install a fresh OS

**still on first cup of coffee :coffee: g'morning

2010-02-12, 11:07 AM
Thx for the quick reply, Wolf!

The board supports 3 sticks in slots 2, 3 and 4 according to the literature and I wouldn't have messed with the BIOS settings except that it was reporting the chip running at like 2.18Ghz rather than 2.66 which is it's default speed. It was also indicating the RAM running at 800Mhz when it's 1150 out of the box. (the mobo will support 1200+)

After reading further I think the problem might be that Windows 7 Ult x64 on the (2) HDDs I'm trying to use is an OEM Dell install. Looks like I have to make a image of one of em and reinstall Windows (non OEM) with the drive on the new board then restore the image once I can get Windows to boot....at least I hope. (really don't want to reinstall all apps again :(

The first thing I'll try though is to change the BIOS to Safe Defaults to see if it'll boot with no overclocking.

2010-02-12, 11:08 AM

Still sharper than I am! ;)

Thanks man.

2010-02-12, 11:13 AM
dunno about that, but I do know the OEM disc you have should be fine. (activation is another story).

fresh system = fresh install. yeah, I know its boring, but you'll save a lot of time in the long run.
+ zero chance of old system driver code messing with ya.

you'll be playing space invaders on mame64 in no time :D

2010-02-12, 11:34 AM
I agree with wolf on a fresh install. existing OS waking up to a new home - that's a lot a of plug and play for the OS. How would you like to wake up in a strange home? You don't know where the bathroom is or anything!

Additionally, when you install a new OS, just boot with 1 stick of memory. Once the OS is stalled and all is OK, then add a second, then third, then fourth.

2010-02-12, 08:14 PM
I also agree about a fresh install.
By trying to run the old installation on that hard drive, you will be carrying along any registry errors you already might have, as well, as probaby creating a whole bunch of new ones.

I remember trying that years ago with Win98SE.
Yeah, it worked, and I didn't have to reinstall all my programs.
But it caused no end of headaches. As half my programs never associated properly and wouldn't open when they should, etc.
As well, as all kinds of goofy issues.
Ended up wiping the drive and starting from scratch.
Time consuming and tedious. But that investment of time at the begining saves tons of headache in the following months.

2010-02-13, 11:54 AM
Thanks for the input, gentlemen. I'm making sure I have fresh backups of everything then I'm gonna give Acronis Universal Restore a shot. (supposedly you can do a complete backup of apps and everything independent of hardware configuration and restore it to a completely different machine) So, I'll see how that works and worse case scenario...start completely from scratch.
Thanks again...it's nice not to think I'm completely alone.

...not that it matters, but I'll post results here when/if I migrate to the new machine.

2010-02-15, 01:40 PM
I would start by removing one ram stick to have a pair. That is dual channel memory and a dual channel board. Make sure you have the two sticks on the same color RAM slots on the board. The one beep in POST probably means a RAM problem. (usually one long is followed by a certain number of short. not one long by itself. depends on your BIOS manufacturer).

It is common to have to adjust the speed of RAM. Almost all of the higher speed stuff nowadays is overcloaked slower stuff. The labeling is kind of misleading. There are probably many people running RAM at a slower speed than capable.

I've never had to set the CPU speed. Kind of surprised that is showing up. Maybe I was lucky. Makes me wonder about your BIOS chip on the mobo but it's too soon to question it really. I have built maybe 4 with that exact chip and never had to set it. What brand of BIOS?

fresh install is the way to go.

you might be able to remove the ram heatsinks, since you have a cooler, to get it all to fit.

2010-02-17, 04:05 PM
[Update] btw...thanks again to everyone who's tried to help!

Since the popular consensus was to do a fresh install I picked up an OCZ Vertex Turbo 60GB to use as a boot drive and for apps. This way I can mess with this new build while still having a functional machine. Once it's up and running and OC'd stable I'll move the 2 Seagates over to use as a storage array running RAID-1.

Got Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit installed and updated last night...there's nothing else on the machine so I decided now would be the time to mess around with overclocking (which I know VERY little about). Using the Easy Tune app just for sh*ts and giggles I bumped the processor to 3.2Ghz without an issue.
[ @<hidden> ] ...I'm pretty sure the beep I'm getting is normal. It's just one short beep at POST then all seems to boot just fine.
Where I'm really lost is the RAM...the BIOS shows it at 800Mhz, but it's DDR2-9200 and is rated at 1150 (many have reported 1200+) but I'm not sure what things to tweak in order to increase FSB and RAM. It seems changing the CPU Host Frequency accomplished the higher GHz for the CPU, but it's my understanding that unless the RAM is tweaked as well, I may actually be slowing things down.
Here's a link for RAM specs: http://www.ocztechnology.com/products/memory/ocz_ddr2_pc2_9200_reaper_hpc_4gb_edition

Since I haven't yet installed any benchmark tools on this machine I just ran the 'Windows Experience Rating' to see how this new setup compares with my old Dell...not too bad I suppose...6.9 as it sits...my Dell only got a 4.9.

I know that's not the same as using Everest or PCMark, I just wanted to see the difference. Although I'm baffled as to why the lowest score (the 6.9) was for my HDD...it's an SSD and not a slow one so it should have gotten a pretty high score.

Any additional info or direction is greatly appreciated. I've joined a couple of OC forums, but some of those guys are getting way more into than I think I want be. I'd just like to push it as far as it can go while remaining stable...maybe 3.8-4.0 on the processor with the RAM running at it's most efficient level. Mobo is to be capable of up to a 1600Mhz FSB...chip is 1066 and RAM mentioned above...should be the ingredients for a decent machine....???

Thoughts? Suggestions?

Thanks guys.

2010-02-17, 09:51 PM
The BIOS setup program should allow you to go into their "MB Intelligent Tweak" utility (first option in the BIOS screen). In there you can configure your memory (look around page 42 in the mobo manual).