My new PC Build - a tale of woe

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by r0adk1ll, Jul 1, 2018.

  1. r0adk1ll

    r0adk1ll Supporter

    My new PC is a bit of a beast. An air-cooled, totally fanless i7 system. gfx is a 'silent' 1050gtx. Heatsink like the radiator in our lounge. The CPU heatsink looks like a washing machine drum. It has an M2 drive for the system volume, and an SSD for the data volume. From choice I went for win7 pro x64. Still not keen on win10.

    I completed the physical assembly a while ago but yesterday at 11am I decided to bite the bullet & install the software. Turned into a bit of a drama.

    By 5pm I'd just about got win7, & office2010 running. A day out of my life I’ll never get back.

    I’d managed to avoid the ‘gotcha’ that the latest generation of Intel CPU chips (HoyLake?) have been ‘crippled’ to ensure that win7 won’t run, and managed to source a previous generation one (SkyLake).

    The win7 install disk doesn't know what USB3 is. That is no real problem because I can install the drivers off the motherboard utility CD afterwards. The big problem was the M2 drive.

    An M2 drive is exactly the same as a solid state drive (SSD) but looks like a RAM chip & is attached to the motherboard right next to the CPU. They are faster than even an SSD. See HERE

    Win 7 install disk can't even see them. Neither can the motherboard BIOS. The utility disk that came with the motherboard doesn't have drivers for them, even though it has M2 sockets on it. Looks like different makes of M2 drive have their own drivers. grmmph.

    I manage to find some drivers online despite Samsung's website being a real rabbit warren, and despite their 'SSD magician' software not recognising their own M2 drives (whaaat?).

    But I'm still screwed. I can't install the drivers until win7 is running, and I can't install win7 because win7 can't 'see' the M2 drive without the drivers being loaded.

    OK, time for some lateral thinking. Plan-A for the new PC is M2 drive for sys vol, plus a regular SSD for data vol. The M2 drives being faster than SSD. So I figure if I install win7 on the SSD, I can then install the M2 drivers for the motherboard & clone the win7 SSD install onto the M2 drive.

    But that brings me to cloning software. The one I have is the free version of Acronis software that you get
    with Seagate HDD, but will only work with Seagate HDD. Scouting around the internet I find a forum where someone is asking how to clone an SSD onto an M2 drive he just bought, to upgrade his system, and was recommended something I'd never heard of, called 'macrium'. There is a free version. Finally I catch a break. Just what I need

    I install win7 on the SSD drive, and quickly install 'never10.exe' from the GRC corp, to stop m1cr0s0ft sneaking win10 onto me by stealth. Interestingly that app now seems to include an option to stop win10 updating unless you want it to.

    Anyway, by the time I've installed that, win7 cheerfully announces it found 1.4Gig of essential updates & squillions of optional ones. I opt for just the essential ones.

    .....time passes
    .....a lot more time passes.

    Finally it finishes, does a reboot, and finds another 290MB of essential updates. Djeez.

    Then I get fed up of win7 telling me its not been activated so I click the activation link & get a '404' error. Microsoft have disabled the win7 activation page. I know they are desperate to get everyone on win10 but this is just mean.

    Thinking on my feet I tried the activation via phone method. Freephone number. Good job too because it was a lengthy, tedious, automated process. But it worked!

    When I had finished that I went into the BIOS. I can now 'see' the M2 drive in wondows device manager listed next to the SSD drive but I can't find the thing in the listed drives in the bios. After a few mins I realised it isn't listed by default in the HDD list, its on another page in the bios & once you select it THEN it appears in your available drives list. Which is somewhat important to be able to change the boot order. Absolutely no mention of this in what passes for a manual of the motherboard .

    Then I installed Macrium and did the cloning. Took just a few mins. Absolutely brill. Drive-to-drive speeds with SSD are amazing.

    Into BIOS & change boot order. Reboot from M2 drive & flush the SSD once I was happy the M2 drive was OK.

    By the time I'd installed office 2010 (the activation page for which DID work) which found some more essential updates I'd had enough for the day. All that is left now is all the smaller apps (winzip etc) which should pass without incident.

    All of this is the reason I chose a PC with such a hugely overkill spec because I'm hoping I'll never have to do another build from scratch in whats left of my lifetime. A decade from now this spec will probably be considered 'ordinary', but hopefully win7 (whilst unsupported) will still work OK.
     
    ThePartyGuest likes this.
  2. r0adk1ll

    r0adk1ll Supporter

    Here's a pic


    003.JPG

    OS = win7pro x64

    CPU = i7-6700 : It had to be 'Skylake', not the latest 'Hoylake' because they are deliberately 'crippled' to stop win7 running.

    GFX = amd1050gtx

    System volume = Samsung M2 drive

    Data volume = Samsung 850pro SSD

    Win7 Experience Index = 7.8
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
    ThePartyGuest likes this.
  3. Jigsaw

    Jigsaw Staff Member Administrator Founder Developer

    Speaking of PC building...my GTX970 burnt up last night. Just randomly started smoking. :)
     
  4. r0adk1ll

    r0adk1ll Supporter

    Hi Jigs, must be the season for GFX card burnouts. The 6670 in my old PC died recently and I had to fish out my 9400 to replace it. Sometimes being a 'squirrel' pays off :)

    This new PC of mine takes just 35secs to get from me pressing the 'on' switch to being fully ready.....and that includes the time taken for me to enter my password :)
     
  5. Killroit

    Killroit Best Mod NA Staff Member Moderator

    That Heatsink is interesting, never seen that before.
     
  6. r0adk1ll

    r0adk1ll Supporter

    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018 at 4:49 PM

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