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Building a PC for the first time. **** HELP ****
rsierra Apr-25-01 09:43 PM
Hello to all,

I will be putting a PC together for the first time. I know that I need a bootable disk so I can install the OS. How do I go about doing so since it is going to be a new hard drive. Keep in mind I have never done this before.

Thank you all for your time.


1. RE: Building a PC for the first time. **** HELP ****
copperpipe Apr-26-01 01:36 AM
In response to message 0
I recommend that you find someone to help you do this if you are totally unfamiliar with the process.

You should be able to boot up directly to your Windows program CD by temporarily making the CDROM drive the first bootup drive in your BIOS Setup. You get into your BIOS setup menu by usually pressing the F1 or DEL key when the computer first powers up (look for the screen prompt).

After your computer boots up from the windows CD, you will have to select the option to run the computer w/CD ROM drive support. From that point, you will be in DOS mode and can run FDISK to partition your new hard drive. Reboot the computer and run D:\winXY\FORMAT c: where XY = per your version of windows (this assumes that D is your CD ROM Drive and C is your only logical hard drive).

From that point you can run setup from the CD to install your windows OS.

2. RE: Building a PC for the first time. **** HELP ****
Jim P Apr-26-01 04:07 AM
In response to message 0
Press Start, Settings, Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs, Startup Disk and follow the instructions - nothing complicated.

When you boot the floppy, select "With CD ROM Support" and a driver will be loaded so you can access your cd drive.

Plan your hard disk partitions first - If you're not up to speed on fdisk, read up on it (primary, extended and logical partitions) before you install Windows.

A couple of other suggestions -
If you've got a large hard disk and you're not planning too many drive letters, then you could set up a logical partition (at least 700MB) and copy your Windows CD to it. Then install Windows from that drive, and you'll never have to insert your Windows CD again. (This is worthwhile if you expect to fool around a lot with your hardware - if not, don't bother with this.) To copy the Windows cd to your HD, you'll need to copy XCOPY.EXE to your startup floppy. You can find XCOPY in C:\Windows\Command. Boot to the floppy with cd rom support, at A: type this:
xcopy Y:\*.* Z:\*.* /s (where Y = your cd drive letter and Z = the drive letter of the small partition of your hard disk.) (there's a space before the Y, before the Z, and before the /.)

Check the motherboard and chip set makers' web sites for up to date instructions on which mb drivers to load for your operating system. It can vary. The cd that comes with the mb may not explain it, or may be wrong.

If you're using an older graphics card, check their web site for the latest driver for your os.

After you've istalled Windows, install the mb drivers, then install the graphics card drivers. Reboot after each of these driver installations, even if you're not prompted to it.

Leave the bios at the default or auto-detect settings, at least until you're satisfied that your hardware is working ok.

You'll learn a lot building your own. And don't worry about getting it wrong - as long as you don't break anything you can always fdisk, format and start over (speaking of not breaking anything, be sure to read Larry's posts about improperly installed cpu heat sinks).
Have fun. Jim

3. RE: Building a PC for the first time. **** HELP ****
lbyard Apr-26-01 07:33 AM
In response to message 0
LAST EDITED ON Apr-26-01 AT 07:35 AM (GMT)

There are detailed, step-by-step instructions with comments and pictures for building Socket 7, Pentium II, Pentium III, Athlon Slot A computers on this web site. Instructions for an Athlon Socket A computer are presently being published in serial form. The first six parts have been published. Instructions for making startup floppies and installing Windows are also available on this site. Just click How to in the menu to the left for an index of these articles. Larry

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