Help Me Build My PC Catch-All

You tried Disk Utility under OS X? I once successfully used it to move a Windows XP install to an external disk.

Rykin wrote:
You tried Disk Utility under OS X? I once successfully used it to move a Windows XP install to an external disk.

It won't allow me to make an image of Win 7 partition, it mount itself once I try to copy to another partition or my ext HDD.

Update: So I'm able to make the Super-drive bootable now with sudo nvram boot-args=”mbasd=1″ .

Unfortunately, I'm now get an the Apple logo with prohibitory sign if I boot to the win 7 cd. Should delete the Win 7 from the old drive or should physical remove old drive. Would that work?

Archangelrey wrote:
Hi Guys,

I finally installed an SSD 120GB into the macbook 2006. It's works great. I also moved the old drive to a cabby on the dvd side. Here my new problem, I CarbonCopy the mac os 10.6 to the SSD but I am unable to clone/true image the Win 7 to the other half the SSD drive. Currently the Win 7 is on the old drive but it won't allow me to copy it or move it. The only ext dvd drive I have to use a Xbox HD drive and a new superdrive and neither want to be boot drive. I don't know what to do. I try making a bootable usb, Kingston 4gb DataTraveler , but I can't load an iso to it or directly copy a cd to it without it erroring out at the last minute. True Image can't even target or Source the drive for some reason.

What size drive are you moving from? If its the same size (or smaller) Clonezilla will do it in the sector by sector mode. Also you have to be careful when cloning to a SSD because most cloning programs don't line up the partitions properly giving you degraded performance. There are ways to correct that though if you Google it.

Also, I'm a little confused. What are you trying to load on the 4GB thumb drive?

Edit: Also, don't bother with disk utility for Windows partitions. They may claim it makes an exact copy but I have found It doesn't play nice with other OS installs.

I'm not really sure it belongs in the PC building thread, but Dell just went private. Anyone with an idea for what this means, if anything, for gamers who might consider getting a PC from them?

Ooooh juicy.

Looks like the money is coming from Micheal Dell's fund (MSD Capital), Silver Lake, and Microsoft, among others.

Definitely a deeper commitment with Microsoft, since they're footing a $2bn loan to make the deal happen. But being private means they will no longer be beholden to the shareholders, giving a little more room for radical changes and adjustments.

I wouldn't be surprised seeing a reduction in their model lines, almost mirroring Apple's line-up from a consumer standpoint.

EvilDead wrote:
Archangelrey wrote:
Hi Guys,

I finally installed an SSD 120GB into the macbook 2006. It's works great. I also moved the old drive to a cabby on the dvd side. Here my new problem, I CarbonCopy the mac os 10.6 to the SSD but I am unable to clone/true image the Win 7 to the other half the SSD drive. Currently the Win 7 is on the old drive but it won't allow me to copy it or move it. The only ext dvd drive I have to use a Xbox HD drive and a new superdrive and neither want to be boot drive. I don't know what to do. I try making a bootable usb, Kingston 4gb DataTraveler , but I can't load an iso to it or directly copy a cd to it without it erroring out at the last minute. True Image can't even target or Source the drive for some reason.

What size drive are you moving from? If its the same size (or smaller) Clonezilla will do it in the sector by sector mode. Also you have to be careful when cloning to a SSD because most cloning programs don't line up the partitions properly giving you degraded performance. There are ways to correct that though if you Google it.

Also, I'm a little confused. What are you trying to load on the 4GB thumb drive?

Edit: Also, don't bother with disk utility for Windows partitions. They may claim it makes an exact copy but I have found It doesn't play nice with other OS installs.

I moved from a 160GB to a 120GB SSD. Trying to find a program that line up the partitions properly, any recommend?

I was trying to load Win 7 iso on the usb drive.

Success!

Thanks , EvilDead! Clonezilla was little confusing so I did a google search and found Casper 7.0 instead. It cloned the drive, set it to active and fixed the MBR boot. If you didn't suggested to me to do a search for the align program I won't have found the solution. I also need to delete the old copy of win from the old drive to complete the transfer. I check the aligned by look at Partition Starting Offset, it is divisible by 4096 and the partition is correctly aligned. Only question left if I also need to check it on the mac side?

So, might need to build something of a household file server. Music, pictures, etc.–you know the drill. My wife's MBP has 3.6 gigs available. The family iMac, with a larger drive, has a little more room. I'd like to centralize our media anyway, make backup a little more straightforward.

So, I was looking on Craigslist for some old P4 Dell mid-towers. I thought perhaps I could just put a couple 1TB drives in it, run it headless, probably with Slackware. It's what I know. What I don't know is how likely I'll run into severe network bottlenecks or CPU-boundedness going that route. Recommendations?

muraii wrote:
So, might need to build something of a household file server. Music, pictures, etc.–you know the drill. My wife's MBP has 3.6 gigs available. The family iMac, with a larger drive, has a little more room. I'd like to centralize our media anyway, make backup a little more straightforward.

So, I was looking on Craigslist for some old P4 Dell mid-towers. I thought perhaps I could just put a couple 1TB drives in it, run it headless, probably with Slackware. It's what I know. What I don't know is how likely I'll run into severe network bottlenecks or CPU-boundedness going that route. Recommendations?

Wouldn't it be cheaper to just get a router capable of plugging in an external drive? You can get crazy large external drives these days. Like 3 terabyte.

Archangelrey wrote:
Success!

Thanks , EvilDead! Clonezilla was little confusing so I did a google search and found Casper 7.0 instead. It cloned the drive, set it to active and fixed the MBR boot. If you didn't suggested to me to do a search for the align program I won't have found the solution. I also need to delete the old copy of win from the old drive to complete the transfer. I check the aligned by look at Partition Starting Offset, it is divisible by 4096 and the partition is correctly aligned. Only question left if I also need to check it on the mac side?

I haven't put an SSD into a Mac yet so I'm not sure about the Apple side.

Yeah Clonezilla can be a bit overwhelming at first but after using it a few times you get used to the text interface. I will have to check out Casper as we do allot of disk cloning at my company and are always looking at stuff to make the process easier.

Clonezilla is nice in a way, because it forces you to take things stage by stage, and doesn't just infodump on you and ask for everything at once, which is good when you're dealing with data you don't want to mess up.

Gaald wrote:
muraii wrote:
So, might need to build something of a household file server. Music, pictures, etc.–you know the drill. My wife's MBP has 3.6 gigs available. The family iMac, with a larger drive, has a little more room. I'd like to centralize our media anyway, make backup a little more straightforward.

So, I was looking on Craigslist for some old P4 Dell mid-towers. I thought perhaps I could just put a couple 1TB drives in it, run it headless, probably with Slackware. It's what I know. What I don't know is how likely I'll run into severe network bottlenecks or CPU-boundedness going that route. Recommendations?

Wouldn't it be cheaper to just get a router capable of plugging in an external drive? You can get crazy large external drives these days. Like 3 terabyte.

YMMV doing this, but in my case it kinda sucks--I do this with my router and the transfer speeds are slllllllllooooooooooowwww as freak all. About 24-28Mbps from network drive to PC, and not more than 4-5Mbps in the other direction. The cheapest option I'd consider is a NAS that supports Gigabit Ethernet, which will do the job if it's only to store and play media. If you also want to back up your media, there are others here who know more about set that up.

EvilDead wrote:
Archangelrey wrote:
Success!

Thanks , EvilDead! Clonezilla was little confusing so I did a google search and found Casper 7.0 instead. It cloned the drive, set it to active and fixed the MBR boot. If you didn't suggested to me to do a search for the align program I won't have found the solution. I also need to delete the old copy of win from the old drive to complete the transfer. I check the aligned by look at Partition Starting Offset, it is divisible by 4096 and the partition is correctly aligned. Only question left if I also need to check it on the mac side?

I haven't put an SSD into a Mac yet so I'm not sure about the Apple side.

Yeah Clonezilla can be a bit overwhelming at first but after using it a few times you get used to the text interface. I will have to check out Casper as we do allot of disk cloning at my company and are always looking at stuff to make the process easier.

Casper was ready quick and allow me to do alot with just the demo.

I also just finish enable AHCI mode for win 7. Is that already enabled on the Mac side as well? Is there a way to check?

So I ran into an issue I hadn't anticipated (read that properly researched). Bought some new components before Christmas and just now have had a chance to swap in:
AsRock z77 Pro 4 mobo
i5-3570K LGA 1155 CPU
Sapphire HD 7850 graphics card.

The issue is that I was planning on keeping my X-Fi sound card. However, the mobo manual says that the only way to achieve PCIE Gen 3 speed is to use the slot right next to the only slot capable of taking the X-Fi sound card. The sound card won't fit with the graphics card in place. There's another PCIE slot, but it supports only PCIE Gen 2 speeds.

I have absolutely no idea of the real world implications of this choice. Better to opt for Gen 3 speed and use the onboard sound (I only use the PC for gaming and computing; I listen to music off of it, but I'm not a musician, not mixing, recording, etc)? Or is the difference between Gen 2 and Gen 3 so little right now as to not matter?

I find it odd they placed the higher end slot close to the only slot that will take a sound card, but I've already demonstrated how little I know. Any guidance is, as always, greatly appreciated.

What are you plugging your into whatever provides your sound? I assume analogue. I'd say give the onboard a try, at least to see if it gets on your nerves with noise.

As for PCIe 2 vs 3, I'd say it should make minimal difference. You might see loading take fractionally longer as it can't load textures up as fast.

Moving things around in different slots doesn't seem like a difficult thing to experiment with.

Archangelrey wrote:
EvilDead wrote:
Archangelrey wrote:
Success!

Thanks , EvilDead! Clonezilla was little confusing so I did a google search and found Casper 7.0 instead. It cloned the drive, set it to active and fixed the MBR boot. If you didn't suggested to me to do a search for the align program I won't have found the solution. I also need to delete the old copy of win from the old drive to complete the transfer. I check the aligned by look at Partition Starting Offset, it is divisible by 4096 and the partition is correctly aligned. Only question left if I also need to check it on the mac side?

I haven't put an SSD into a Mac yet so I'm not sure about the Apple side.

Yeah Clonezilla can be a bit overwhelming at first but after using it a few times you get used to the text interface. I will have to check out Casper as we do allot of disk cloning at my company and are always looking at stuff to make the process easier.

Casper was ready quick and allow me to do alot with just the demo.

I also just finish enable AHCI mode for win 7. Is that already enabled on the Mac side as well? Is there a way to check?

I believe its enabled by default on OSX.

EvilDead wrote:
Archangelrey wrote:
EvilDead wrote:
Archangelrey wrote:
Success!

Thanks , EvilDead! Clonezilla was little confusing so I did a google search and found Casper 7.0 instead. It cloned the drive, set it to active and fixed the MBR boot. If you didn't suggested to me to do a search for the align program I won't have found the solution. I also need to delete the old copy of win from the old drive to complete the transfer. I check the aligned by look at Partition Starting Offset, it is divisible by 4096 and the partition is correctly aligned. Only question left if I also need to check it on the mac side?

I haven't put an SSD into a Mac yet so I'm not sure about the Apple side.

Yeah Clonezilla can be a bit overwhelming at first but after using it a few times you get used to the text interface. I will have to check out Casper as we do allot of disk cloning at my company and are always looking at stuff to make the process easier.

Casper was ready quick and allow me to do alot with just the demo.

I also just finish enable AHCI mode for win 7. Is that already enabled on the Mac side as well? Is there a way to check?

I believe its enabled by default on OSX.

I believe that Macs are AHCI only past a certain point. But for sure it is the default on Intel Macs.

Tangentially PC building related.

*sigh*

Why do (predominantly eastern?) manufacturers still feel they need to put CGI women on the box covers of hardware? For example this thing that I'll probably order tomorrow.

edit: and then I had to go and stumble upon 'details' for the 88x0 "Oland" cards from September. I can't help thinking the "never settle" deal is to clear stock a bit before they release proper details.

Scratched wrote:
What are you plugging your into whatever provides your sound? I assume analogue. I'd say give the onboard a try, at least to see if it gets on your nerves with noise.

As for PCIe 2 vs 3, I'd say it should make minimal difference. You might see loading take fractionally longer as it can't load textures up as fast.

Moving things around in different slots doesn't seem like a difficult thing to experiment with.

You're right, of course. Switching out cards isn't the issue. Its a beast of a heavy case that I'd just prefer to get set up, wired up, and let live under my desk without having to unwire it, lug it to the kitchen table to work on, then reverse the process. I was just wondering if those in the know could give me the inside scoop to allow me to set it up and forget it until the next upgrade.

Chairman_Mao wrote:
Gaald wrote:
muraii wrote:
So, might need to build something of a household file server. Music, pictures, etc.–you know the drill. My wife's MBP has 3.6 gigs available. The family iMac, with a larger drive, has a little more room. I'd like to centralize our media anyway, make backup a little more straightforward.

So, I was looking on Craigslist for some old P4 Dell mid-towers. I thought perhaps I could just put a couple 1TB drives in it, run it headless, probably with Slackware. It's what I know. What I don't know is how likely I'll run into severe network bottlenecks or CPU-boundedness going that route. Recommendations?

Wouldn't it be cheaper to just get a router capable of plugging in an external drive? You can get crazy large external drives these days. Like 3 terabyte.

YMMV doing this, but in my case it kinda sucks--I do this with my router and the transfer speeds are slllllllllooooooooooowwww as freak all. About 24-28Mbps from network drive to PC, and not more than 4-5Mbps in the other direction. The cheapest option I'd consider is a NAS that supports Gigabit Ethernet, which will do the job if it's only to store and play media. If you also want to back up your media, there are others here who know more about set that up.

Is it on the order of stupid to think I'd get a commodity machine with a fast network card and maybe maxed RAM, put one or two big harddrives in it, and use it as a home server? I guess, alternatively, I could achieve something simple with a Raspberry Pi, which hardware I've been wanting to play with anyway. I don't know the market, but "NAS" maps to "many moneys" in my head. A quick search on Newegg at least suggests I'm justified in this impression. There are a couple of items, like the Western Digital My Book with gigabit network, and this Iomega with similar specifications. I'm just not sure what to expect from 'em.

As I think this through, if either of these is reliable, they're cheaper and perhaps better overall (power consumption, for instance, should be far lower) than an old Dell Optiplex jammed in a closet somewhere.

muraii wrote:

Is it on the order of stupid to think I'd get a commodity machine with a fast network card and maybe maxed RAM, put one or two big harddrives in it, and use it as a home server? I guess, alternatively, I could achieve something simple with a Raspberry Pi, which hardware I've been wanting to play with anyway. I don't know the market, but "NAS" maps to "many moneys" in my head. A quick search on Newegg at least suggests I'm justified in this impression. There are a couple of items, like the Western Digital My Book with gigabit network, and this Iomega with similar specifications. I'm just not sure what to expect from 'em.

As I think this through, if either of these is reliable, they're cheaper and perhaps better overall (power consumption, for instance, should be far lower) than an old Dell Optiplex jammed in a closet somewhere.

You can definitely go with a commodity PC and a fast network card - the only thing to watch out for would be how many hard drives can the motherboard on the commodity PC support.

I guess I'm not sure what you intend to use the device for - you said music, pictures etc. but that's a fairly broad swathe of functionality. Is it mainly for backup? Do you want to have media streaming capabilities built in? Are you looking for something small and quiet that might be out in the open or are you okay to go with a mid tower that sits in your man cave?

If it's just backup and music streaming - a Raspberry Pi with a powered USB drive could work. I would suggest finding a way to connect the RPi via hardline ethernet as trying to do backups to a USB device over wifi will be rage-inducingly slow.

If you want a small CE type device, then you could look at the WD MyBook or maybe the D-Link Shareport range. The tradeoff here is that the devices are quite often underpowered and you will have no ability to extend their functionality.

I personally wound up building my own NAS in mini-ITX form factor as the cost of increasing storage capacity on commerical NAS devices is crazy expensive compared to the cost of purchasing additional had drives.

avggeek wrote:
muraii wrote:

Is it on the order of stupid to think I'd get a commodity machine with a fast network card and maybe maxed RAM, put one or two big harddrives in it, and use it as a home server? I guess, alternatively, I could achieve something simple with a Raspberry Pi, which hardware I've been wanting to play with anyway. I don't know the market, but "NAS" maps to "many moneys" in my head. A quick search on Newegg at least suggests I'm justified in this impression. There are a couple of items, like the Western Digital My Book with gigabit network, and this Iomega with similar specifications. I'm just not sure what to expect from 'em.

As I think this through, if either of these is reliable, they're cheaper and perhaps better overall (power consumption, for instance, should be far lower) than an old Dell Optiplex jammed in a closet somewhere.

You can definitely go with a commodity PC and a fast network card - the only thing to watch out for would be how many hard drives can the motherboard on the commodity PC support.

I guess I'm not sure what you intend to use the device for - you said music, pictures etc. but that's a fairly broad swathe of functionality. Is it mainly for backup? Do you want to have media streaming capabilities built in? Are you looking for something small and quiet that might be out in the open or are you okay to go with a mid tower that sits in your man cave?

If it's just backup and music streaming - a Raspberry Pi with a powered USB drive could work. I would suggest finding a way to connect the RPi via hardline ethernet as trying to do backups to a USB device over wifi will be rage-inducingly slow.

If you want a small CE type device, then you could look at the WD MyBook or maybe the D-Link Shareport range. The tradeoff here is that the devices are quite often underpowered and you will have no ability to extend their functionality.

I personally wound up building my own NAS in mini-ITX form factor as the cost of increasing storage capacity on commerical NAS devices is crazy expensive compared to the cost of purchasing additional had drives.

The main thing is to put all music and pictures in one place. I have two macs with two separate (if mostly overlapping) music libraries, very disparate photo collections across iPhoto and elsewise, my wife's harddrive has about 4GB of space left. I want to make a central repository, then back that up somehow.

I might get some headaches with filesystems. Maybe iTunes won't care if there are some songs locally stored in HFS+ and some stored in FAT32 or ext3 or whatever on the box. I have no idea how much, if at all, that complicates things. One step at a time, though.

I may want to stream down the road. We don't have many DVDs, but on the occasion we'd like to watch maybe it would be nice to stream. It's not a deal-breaker for now.

I'll keep looking at more bespoke solutions rather than off-the-shelf MyBooks and the like. Thanks for the input.

muraii wrote:
I don't know the market, but "NAS" maps to "many moneys" in my head. A quick search on Newegg at least suggests I'm justified in this impression. There are a couple of items, like the Western Digital My Book with gigabit network, and this Iomega with similar specifications. I'm just not sure what to expect from 'em.

I have a Seagate GoFlex Home network drive that I like somewhat. As suggested on the reviews, 3 stars is a very fair score based on my experience as well. Setting it up wasn't as easy as it should have been, but it wasn't a the worst thing in the world. Transfer speeds aren't as fast as they probably should be on a gigabit connection, but they're fast enough that I'm not compelled to find something better.

Ultimately it's convenient to have a bunch of media accessible on a network share that doesn't depend on my desktop sucking 200W of power 24/7 for it to be available. It supports time capsule wirelessly which is a big plus for Mac users (though I don't use it for such), and can easily stream media to my PS3 if the file is already in a compatible format. There's a USB port on the back which allows you to share the contents of another USB2 external hard drive over the network as well. The main reason I like it above other similar things on the market, is that all the network functionality is provided by the base, and the drive itself can be popped onto another one of Seagate's docks for direct data transfer. (Most importantly, that docking interface is just the bare SATA connectors, so you can pull some connectors out of your tower or get something a little more make-shift if push comes to shove.)

Nice. Yeah, I guess having a full PC doing this kind of server duty does make for significantly more power consumption than is really warranted.

Thanks for the pointer.

muraii wrote:

I might get some headaches with filesystems. Maybe iTunes won't care if there are some songs locally stored in HFS+ and some stored in FAT32 or ext3 or whatever on the box. I have no idea how much, if at all, that complicates things. One step at a time, though.

I have my music stored on the NAS and mapped as a network drive via Samba. iTunes doesn't care about the underlying file system (ext4 in my case) as long as it can read and write to the files.

Since you a mix of shared and unique music, you will probably need to leave the iTunes library file on the local PC and then add the shared music via File > Add Folder. The downside of this setup is that you cannot have iTunes organize your music for you as it will try to copy the files locally.

muraii wrote:
Nice. Yeah, I guess having a full PC doing this kind of server duty does make for significantly more power consumption than is really warranted.

Thanks for the pointer.

Yeah there's definitely a trade off on the power consumption front. I picked up a kill-a-watt and checked the power draw on my custom NAS. At idle with 4 "Green" drives spinning, it draws 1 kiloWatt per hour.

avggeek wrote:
Yeah there's definitely a trade off on the power consumption front. I picked up a kill-a-watt and checked the power draw on my custom NAS. At idle with 4 "Green" drives spinning, it draws 1 kiloWatt per hour.

Wow, that seems really high--you sure that's right? If I'm reading correctly 1kW/hr means its consuming 1000W of power, and most gaming machines won't draw that much even at full load.

Chairman_Mao wrote:
avggeek wrote:
Yeah there's definitely a trade off on the power consumption front. I picked up a kill-a-watt and checked the power draw on my custom NAS. At idle with 4 "Green" drives spinning, it draws 1 kiloWatt per hour.

Wow, that seems really high--you sure that's right? If I'm reading correctly 1kW/hr means its consuming 1000W of power, and most gaming machines won't draw that much even at full load.

WD specifies their green drives at 3.6W when reading/writing, 2.1W at idle, and 0.4W in sleep/standby. PC Part Picker uses a base value of 15W to account for a HDD in a system power requirement, so with 4 drives it would be equivalent to leaving an old filament light bulb on.

Power is a rate of consumption, an amount of joules of energy per second, so "a watt per hour" is useless. You might see the term "kilowatt-hour" which means "consuming at a rate of a kilowatt for an hour", and using that you can work out the energy consumed.

It's good to work out what the ongoing costs of it will be, but I think you need to go back to a blank sheet of paper with the calculations.

Chairman_Mao wrote:
avggeek wrote:
Yeah there's definitely a trade off on the power consumption front. I picked up a kill-a-watt and checked the power draw on my custom NAS. At idle with 4 "Green" drives spinning, it draws 1 kiloWatt per hour.

Wow, that seems really high--you sure that's right? If I'm reading correctly 1kW/hr means its consuming 1000W of power, and most gaming machines won't draw that much even at full load.

Not sure if I wasn't clear enough but I meant the total amount of power the machine used in 1 hour is 1 kiloWatt. So 1000 watts in 60 mins. Does that help?

Scratched wrote:
edit: and then I had to go and stumble upon 'details' for the 88x0 "Oland" cards from September. I can't help thinking the "never settle" deal is to clear stock a bit before they release proper details.

Phew

Saw this just after I ordered my 7850.

The HD 7000 Series will remain our primary focus for quite some time.

It's a "Of course they're going to say that" situation, but at some point you have to stop second guessing.

Scratched wrote:
Chairman_Mao wrote:
avggeek wrote:
Yeah there's definitely a trade off on the power consumption front. I picked up a kill-a-watt and checked the power draw on my custom NAS. At idle with 4 "Green" drives spinning, it draws 1 kiloWatt per hour.

Wow, that seems really high--you sure that's right? If I'm reading correctly 1kW/hr means its consuming 1000W of power, and most gaming machines won't draw that much even at full load.

WD specifies their green drives at 3.6W when reading/writing, 2.1W at idle, and 0.4W in sleep/standby. PC Part Picker uses a base value of 15W to account for a HDD in a system power requirement, so with 4 drives it would be equivalent to leaving an old filament light bulb on.

Power is a rate of consumption, an amount of joules of energy per second, so "a watt per hour" is useless. You might see the term "kilowatt-hour" which means "consuming at a rate of a kilowatt for an hour", and using that you can work out the energy consumed.

It's good to work out what the ongoing costs of it will be, but I think you need to go back to a blank sheet of paper with the calculations.

I've always thought of watts like speed (eg miles/hr), which is a rate as you say. Therefore watt-hours is the distance traveled. So if you used 1000 watt-hours in one hour, that means your device was running at 1000 watts does it not? I admit I could be misunderstanding the relationship between the two but that's what Wikipedia seems to say.