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Alereon
Feb 6, 2004

Dehumanize yourself and face to Trumpshed

College Slice

This thread is for short questions that don't require much background or troubleshooting. This is NOT the thread for upgrade/purchasing advice or more involved troubleshooting:

Post in the PC Building & Parts Picking Megathread instead for advice on if you should upgrade or what parts or computer to buy.

If you need help troubleshooting an issue, post a thread in the Haus of Tech Support forum. Make sure you use the template in the sticky Rules thread!

Anything not about computers (cellphones, tablets, TV/audio) goes in the Inspect Your Gadgets forum.

Alereon fucked around with this message at Dec 2, 2014 around 19:06

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Wilford Cutlery
Mar 19, 2005

Stick a fork in me, I need to check my blood sugar.


For anybody looking for the old thread, here it is.

SlayVus
Jul 10, 2009


Grimey Drawer

How do I go about reinstalling Windows 8 on a laptop that came with it preloaded? Windows Update is completely non-functional on the laptop and neither Reset or Restore in the advanced before boot menu have fixed it. Neither has Microsoft's Windows Update Troubleshooter.

Volcott
Mar 30, 2010


Hello. I posted on the last page of the old thread. I was trying to get back into PC gaming with a computer that was sitting idle for 3-4 years. Long story short, one of the video cards has failed outright and the other is getting there.

So, now I'm shopping for a new computer. How's this for a prebuilt?

http://www.dell.com/us/p/xps-8700/p...del_id=xps-8700

This is what I was working with.

http://imgur.com/WXwNj4i

How do the processor and video card compare?

future ghost
Dec 5, 2005

det er noget at leve for

Bread Liar

SlayVus posted:

How do I go about reinstalling Windows 8 on a laptop that came with it preloaded? Windows Update is completely non-functional on the laptop and neither Reset or Restore in the advanced before boot menu have fixed it. Neither has Microsoft's Windows Update Troubleshooter.
It depends on the laptop. Some of them have restore partitions that you can access at bootup and some of them have reinstall media that you can use. I'd check the drive out with the portable non-anime version of CrystalDiskInfo before trying a re-installation though as it could be dying early and breaking things like Windows Update, in which case a reinstall wouldn't help long-term.


Volcott posted:

Hello. I posted on the last page of the old thread. I was trying to get back into PC gaming with a computer that was sitting idle for 3-4 years. Long story short, one of the video cards has failed outright and the other is getting there.

So, now I'm shopping for a new computer. How's this for a prebuilt?

How do the processor and video card compare?
You'll probably get better advice on this in the Parts-picking thread as this is a rebuilding question:
http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...hreadid=3623433

You need to figure which model the videocard is specifically to compare it, as the "4800-series" includes 4830s-4890s, but the 720 card in the PC you linked wouldn't even come close no matter which 48xx model it is. The processor would be alot faster than what you have now, but the parts thread could point you in the right direction whether the Dell combo is worth it or not.

future ghost fucked around with this message at Sep 13, 2014 around 19:52

Volcott
Mar 30, 2010


Thank you, I'll ask there.

Stall_19
Jan 2, 2013

Prodigy of Victor von Doom


Not sure if this is the right place to ask but...

This is my current computer
http://h20565.www2.hp.com/portal/si...44892.492883150

I bought it in 2008 and have used it ever since but there are some annoyances that come up. Firefox can occasionally crash and at sometimes I get very slow performance when I first start firefox as well. It can also stall after it comes back from power-save mode, especially if I left a program open. Long story short I'm considering buying a new computer if it's not too much money. I'm thinking something like this that I found on Ebay

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-Dual-C...=item4185a3ec77

Is it worth it? Is it better enough than the one I currently own to pay $175 for a new one? I don't necessarily need a new one but I'd like one if the price is right.

Alereon
Feb 6, 2004

Dehumanize yourself and face to Trumpshed

College Slice

Stall_19 posted:

Not sure if this is the right place to ask but...

This is my current computer
http://h20565.www2.hp.com/portal/si...44892.492883150

I bought it in 2008 and have used it ever since but there are some annoyances that come up. Firefox can occasionally crash and at sometimes I get very slow performance when I first start firefox as well. It can also stall after it comes back from power-save mode, especially if I left a program open. Long story short I'm considering buying a new computer if it's not too much money. I'm thinking something like this that I found on Ebay

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-Dual-C...=item4185a3ec77

Is it worth it? Is it better enough than the one I currently own to pay $175 for a new one? I don't necessarily need a new one but I'd like one if the price is right.
No, that is only marginally better than the one you have now, if not worse (they don't actually provide real specs, the ones they do provide are generic for machines that could be from half as good to twice as good). You really do need to get a new, decent quality machine if you want a good experience. That doesn't necessarily mean spending a lot of money, but if you cut too many corners you end up with a machine that gives you a frustrating experience with a short lifespan. Check out the PC Building & Parts Picking Megathread for advice on buying a new machine.

Stall_19
Jan 2, 2013

Prodigy of Victor von Doom


Alereon posted:

No, that is only marginally better than the one you have now, if not worse (they don't actually provide real specs, the ones they do provide are generic for machines that could be from half as good to twice as good). You really do need to get a new, decent quality machine if you want a good experience. That doesn't necessarily mean spending a lot of money, but if you cut too many corners you end up with a machine that gives you a frustrating experience with a short lifespan. Check out the PC Building & Parts Picking Megathread for advice on buying a new machine.

Hmm, not really looking to actually build a computer. I don't really intend to use it for gaming, I just want something that handles things like firefox/streams like hulu or twitch/ and programs such as Photoshop better than the computer I'm using now. Like 2x better than mine seems ideal if I can get it for a good price. It's not like my current computer can't handle that but I'd just like something with a little more power and consistency that doesn't crash as often as mine. I've gotten a little too use to things like firefox not responding or flash crashing.

I guess my problem is that I don't know enough about computer specs to get the ideal one for me. I mean I saw that listing and thought that it having 4x as much HDD space as mine as mine (1 TB to 250GB) 2x the processor speed (Dual-Core 3.20 GHz to Dual-Core 1.60GHz) and 4x the memory (4GB RAM to 1GB RAM) would be a good deal for that price. I really don't know what else I should be looking at.

I was hoping that being mine is over 6 years old and with the continuing advancement of computers that I could find a superior one than what I have right now that does what I want it to do for around $200. If there isn't anything that fits then I'll just keep using what I have now.

Rexxed
May 1, 2010

Dis is amazing!
I gotta try dis!


Stall_19 posted:

Hmm, not really looking to actually build a computer. I don't really intend to use it for gaming, I just want something that handles things like firefox/streams like hulu or twitch/ and programs such as Photoshop better than the computer I'm using now. Like 2x better than mine seems ideal if I can get it for a good price. It's not like my current computer can't handle that but I'd just like something with a little more power and consistency that doesn't crash as often as mine. I've gotten a little too use to things like firefox not responding or flash crashing.

I guess my problem is that I don't know enough about computer specs to get the ideal one for me. I mean I saw that listing and thought that it having 4x as much HDD space as mine as mine (1 TB to 250GB) 2x the processor speed (Dual-Core 3.20 GHz to Dual-Core 1.60GHz) and 4x the memory (4GB RAM to 1GB RAM) would be a good deal for that price. I really don't know what else I should be looking at.

I was hoping that being mine is over 6 years old and with the continuing advancement of computers that I could find a superior one than what I have right now that does what I want it to do for around $200. If there isn't anything that fits then I'll just keep using what I have now.

The thing is that you bought a pretty meh PC before and you're looking to replace it with another terrible PC that's slightly better but still old and not very good. The clock speed being double doesn't mean much for performance. If you can stretch your budget a little there will be some inexpensive machines available on sites like the Dell outlet that will be perfectly capable and completely blow away what you're looking at.

http://outlet.us.dell.com/ARBOnline...s=22&l=en&s=dfh

Ideally you want at least an i3, but the cheapest one at the time of posting is $409. That's not the best pricing and you will see a lot of flucuation in their stock. The great part about the Dell outlet is that you get a standard warranty against parts failing and you don't have to build anything. The parts picking thread is a better place for "what PC should I get" discussions in general, however, even if you're buying a prebuilt system. Get some more information and advice before you put your money down (but in the parts picking thread).

BurritoJustice
Oct 9, 2012



I've been having pretty weird performance issues with my PC.

I have a 3570k at stock currently with a TC14PE on it, a MSI 780ti Gaming, 16GB of 1600MHZ C8 Ram, and the only drive in my system is a 1TB 840 EVO. I've been slowly upgrading my system to remove every bottleneck I can, but I still get REALLY lovely performance in games. Games that my 780ti should be handling with ease are really chuggy. I get around 30FPS in Borderlands 2, 40~ in Far Cry 3, 200 down to 70~ in TF2 (!), less than 60 on occasion in minecraft for Christ's sake. Really inconsistent, droppy framerate too. The CPU runs at around 40C under load, the GPU 65C. I just can't see what could be causing such terrible performance. Could it be somehow related to my motherboard? I have a Asus P8Z77-V, and if I run a DPC latency checker it is over 1000μs which is like 10 times what reviews say it should be.

Alereon
Feb 6, 2004

Dehumanize yourself and face to Trumpshed

College Slice

BurritoJustice posted:

I've been having pretty weird performance issues with my PC.

I have a 3570k at stock currently with a TC14PE on it, a MSI 780ti Gaming, 16GB of 1600MHZ C8 Ram, and the only drive in my system is a 1TB 840 EVO. I've been slowly upgrading my system to remove every bottleneck I can, but I still get REALLY lovely performance in games. Games that my 780ti should be handling with ease are really chuggy. I get around 30FPS in Borderlands 2, 40~ in Far Cry 3, 200 down to 70~ in TF2 (!), less than 60 on occasion in minecraft for Christ's sake. Really inconsistent, droppy framerate too. The CPU runs at around 40C under load, the GPU 65C. I just can't see what could be causing such terrible performance. Could it be somehow related to my motherboard? I have a Asus P8Z77-V, and if I run a DPC latency checker it is over 1000μs which is like 10 times what reviews say it should be.
I'd suggest updating to the latest motherboard BIOS, loading default BIOS settings, and ensuring you have the latest Intel Chipset and Rapid Storage Technology software installed. Background software can also cause high DPC latency, so remove anything you're not using. If you still need help, a Haus of Tech Support thread would probably be most appropriate.

Edit: I'm not sure if the DPC latency is necessarily the cause of what you're seeing but I think it's related.

Alereon fucked around with this message at Sep 15, 2014 around 13:14

BurritoJustice
Oct 9, 2012



Alereon posted:

I'd suggest updating to the latest motherboard BIOS, loading default BIOS settings, and ensuring you have the latest Intel Chipset and Rapid Storage Technology software installed. Background software can also cause high DPC latency, so remove anything you're not using. If you still need help, a Haus of Tech Support thread would probably be most appropriate.

I have the latest BIOS from Asus, I reset my CMOS when I put the new cooler on, and I have a very recent install of Windows 8.1 64bit so I've got the latest INF/RST drivers etc and very minimal installs.

My DPC latency was also absurdly high (1000+) on my last windows install on a HDD. Can DPC latency cause the sorts of performance issues I am seeing?

Thanks for your help, I'll probably cobble together a Haus thread tomorrow.

future ghost
Dec 5, 2005

det er noget at leve for

Bread Liar

I had really inconsistent performance on my fileserver/htpc at one point and it had over 1000ms DPC spikes when that was going on. Turned out that an out of date network driver was causing problems and needed to be replaced. So it might be related - I kept seeing weirdly high network CPU time usage in process explorer when that was going on.

Maybe try stripping out all non-essential cards, components, and drop to a single RAM stick to see if it improves & work up from there? Especially if you're using a third-party wireless card or something as I'd look at that first.

1gnoirents
Jun 28, 2014


Yeah that DPC is broken-bad. It's a telling symptom but unfortunately so much can affect that... I'd put memtest on a usb stick or cd and run its course (which would be embarrassing since it was my ram and I already did that but still ). How are Australian return policies on motherboards? Because all the parts seem right, and after a fresh Windows install with drivers the next thing I would do is find a donor motherboard.

Duskfiend
Apr 5, 2011

Awwwk! Awwwk!


Hey, I'm posting from the library but my tower at home was turning off and I'm pretty sure the problem was the power supply. The prongs were melted into the power cord and there was evidence of burns and melting and bad poo poo. I took apart my computer to extract the power supply and I was wondering what I need to know when I buy a new PSU? I'm not looking for recommendations right now but do I need to match the new PSU to the other components or can I just buy the best one I can afford? If I need to take compatibility into account, what specs do I need to look for?

1gnoirents
Jun 28, 2014


Duskfiend posted:

Hey, I'm posting from the library but my tower at home was turning off and I'm pretty sure the problem was the power supply. The prongs were melted into the power cord and there was evidence of burns and melting and bad poo poo. I took apart my computer to extract the power supply and I was wondering what I need to know when I buy a new PSU? I'm not looking for recommendations right now but do I need to match the new PSU to the other components or can I just buy the best one I can afford? If I need to take compatibility into account, what specs do I need to look for?

Nice almost had a house fire. Seasonic, xfx, and match the wattage on the outside of your burned psu since I can pretty much guarantee you it's inaccurate but yes in general you want to match the wattage with what you need. If you have specs

future ghost
Dec 5, 2005

det er noget at leve for

Bread Liar

Duskfiend posted:

Hey, I'm posting from the library but my tower at home was turning off and I'm pretty sure the problem was the power supply. The prongs were melted into the power cord and there was evidence of burns and melting and bad poo poo. I took apart my computer to extract the power supply and I was wondering what I need to know when I buy a new PSU? I'm not looking for recommendations right now but do I need to match the new PSU to the other components or can I just buy the best one I can afford? If I need to take compatibility into account, what specs do I need to look for?
What power supply was it that melted on you? Sounds like you had a bad short and either OCP or OVP didn't kick in, assuming the PSU even has it. Hopefully it didn't kill anything else in the system, although if any of the cables inside are torched or have melted insulation it's unlikely stuff connected to them will emerge unscathed. If it's an AMD board with naked VRM chips the board might be toast if it was overclocked too high but you'd need another PSU to check.

The Parts thread has some good PSU recommendations in the OP for different price/wattage ranges. Something around 500W-600W is probably good enough if it's a high-quality unit and you aren't using multiple graphics cards or a highly-overclocked processor. If you're not sure what you need from the OP, post your system in that thread and they should be able to help you find a good replacement unit.

future ghost fucked around with this message at Sep 15, 2014 around 23:11

HalloKitty
Sep 30, 2005

Adjust the bass and let the Alpine blast


cisco privilege posted:

What power supply was it that melted on you?

I would also be interested in this, but let's be honest, it's probably some generic fire hazard; and we're just waiting to wheel out the line about not skimping on PSUs. Be interesting anyway, as an anecdote, or cautionary tale.

karmaconfetti
Dec 22, 2009

Wie vuur eet, schijt vonken.

Is there a preferred external hard drive? (Just for like, back-up and music/movies 'n poo poo)

future ghost
Dec 5, 2005

det er noget at leve for

Bread Liar

HalloKitty posted:

I would also be interested in this, but let's be honest, it's probably some generic fire hazard; and we're just waiting to wheel out the line about not skimping on PSUs. Be interesting anyway, as an anecdote, or cautionary tale.
I was thinking that there's a tiny chance it was something reputable that went wrong that had warranty coverage or a US customer service # to call and yell at about it of course there's not it's probably a Leadman, although the chances are of course slim.

karmaconfetti posted:

Is there a preferred external hard drive? (Just for like, back-up and music/movies 'n poo poo)
I usually just grab a separate hard drive and enclosure when I need backup USB drives. If you're going to be using it regularly you'll want either an enclosure+drive with a fan or an external drive with a fan so it probably won't melt itself. I'd avoid external WD drives since the pins on the drives don't allow for recovery if the enclosure itself dies. Every other external drive is going to be just about the same other than minor differences in USB/eSATA chipsets. Depending how much space you'll need and the portability required you can also look into a NAS.

Duskfiend
Apr 5, 2011

Awwwk! Awwwk!


Yeah, this was a prebuilt machine and the power issues began almost right when I bought the thing two years ago. I was looking for a brand name on the unit and I couldn't find a single marking! Everything but the power supply has a brand name printed on it.

Leperflesh
May 17, 2007




Hell Gem

It's entirely possible that you just had a small arc inside the power supply plug. That produces heat, melting, and scorching.

For a prebuilt machine, the manufacturer likely sourced power supplies wholesale and who knows who actually made it. I would certainly trash that one though.

redstormpopcorn
Jun 10, 2007
Aurora Master

Hopefully it's not one of HP's newer machines with the proprietary dogshit 8-pin motherboard PSU connection.

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

cisco privilege posted:

I'd avoid external WD drives since the pins on the drives don't allow for recovery if the enclosure itself dies
This only applies to the 2.5" mobile drives, FYI.

whiteshark12
Oct 21, 2010

How that gun even works underwater I don't know, but I bet the answer is magic.

Do USB3.0 to Ethernet converters work very well with little loss? Any drawbacks? I have access to considerably faster wired than wireless internet but my tablet only has USB ports.

Flipperwaldt
Nov 11, 2011

Won't somebody think of the starving hamsters in China?



Star War Sex Parrot posted:

This only applies to the 2.5" mobile drives, FYI.
I may be mixing up HDD manufacturers, but wasn't it als WD who had external drives that encrypted the data with a random key on the usb to sata bridge by default, leaving you hosed if that board gets fried or a connector breaks off?

fakest edit: Google suggests WD Mybook stuff, even in relatively recent links.


vvvvvvv edit: Wouldn't mind so much if this was an advertised feature of a separate product line. Now you just don't know before you buy unless you Google pretty well.

Flipperwaldt fucked around with this message at Sep 16, 2014 around 20:03

Star War Sex Parrot
Oct 2, 2003



Muldoon

Don't know about every MyBook since the models change regularly. The MyBook I use the drives aren't encrypted, and I've actually swapped and upgraded the drives in the enclosure several times.

sleepy gary
Jan 11, 2006



Star War Sex Parrot posted:

This only applies to the 2.5" mobile drives, FYI.

My lab just bought two USB 3.0 Seagate 2.5" portables that are in their entirety the same size (roughly) as a bare 2.5" SATA drive, so I don't imagine there are any SATA connectors on them, either, for whatever that is worth.


edit: set yourself up such that losing an external drive is just an inconvenience, not a data loss event.

sleepy gary fucked around with this message at Sep 16, 2014 around 20:06

Aphrodite
Jun 27, 2006



whiteshark12 posted:

Do USB3.0 to Ethernet converters work very well with little loss? Any drawbacks? I have access to considerably faster wired than wireless internet but my tablet only has USB ports.

Do your research first since there's a lot of crappy ones, but they work pretty well.

I assume this is a Surface or some other Win8 tablet, right?

whiteshark12
Oct 21, 2010

How that gun even works underwater I don't know, but I bet the answer is magic.

Aphrodite posted:

I assume this is a Surface or some other Win8 tablet, right?

Yeah a Surface, I'd never heard of such a thing before now.

Aphrodite
Jun 27, 2006



It'll work fine then. As long as it can install drivers you're good.

I use one for my XPS12 because at work our wifi is a different subnet. I've never had any problems. USB3 adapters can get over 600Mbps on gigabit.

Enourmo
May 20, 2009

I CAN'T BELIEVE THEY SMOKE THE DEVIL'S LETTUCE IN COLLEGE!!!


Following on from this post in the last thread, I swapped in the new fans and oh my god they're so quiet, I'm loving it.

I also put my 5750 in, replacing the two 9800 GTX+ SLI setup. For the most part it's running smoother. However, a problem I was having in the old computer is rearing its head again, which is that newer versions of Minecraft seem to be incompatible with the card. In the old computer, it would lock up and crash; in this one, it's better (doesn't crash or fully lock up), but it still stutters badly enough every time I move the mouse as to render the game unplayable.

I asked in the Minecraft thread back in March or so. The consensus was that a certain game update changed the Java libraries, and that somehow made the game incompatible with the card, and until ATI released new drivers (on a 5 year old card... yeah) I'm SOL.

I have the latest official drivers; are there, perhaps, unofficial drivers or something like that that might resolve my issue? I know it's a long shot for the ages, but there's no harm in asking, right?

Alereon
Feb 6, 2004

Dehumanize yourself and face to Trumpshed

College Slice

Fucknag posted:

I have the latest official drivers; are there, perhaps, unofficial drivers or something like that that might resolve my issue? I know it's a long shot for the ages, but there's no harm in asking, right?
Here's a modded beta driver you can try.

Titor
Aug 26, 2014


I'm about to pull the trigger and buy a Western Digital 2TB Red to replace my current malfunctioning HDD. This is for storage purposes and Nvidia Shadowplay (1080p 60fps) only. Anything I should know beforehand or am I good to go?

Also the Calibration Retry Count on that HDD rose from 164 to 317 in only 10 days. How much of a short lifespan would I expect if this trend continues?

Alereon
Feb 6, 2004

Dehumanize yourself and face to Trumpshed

College Slice

Titor posted:

I'm about to pull the trigger and buy a Western Digital 2TB Red to replace my current malfunctioning HDD. This is for storage purposes and Nvidia Shadowplay (1080p 60fps) only. Anything I should know beforehand or am I good to go?

Also the Calibration Retry Count on that HDD rose from 164 to 317 in only 10 days. How much of a short lifespan would I expect if this trend continues?
Yes the WD Red is a fine drive, and there's no way to predict how long a failing drive will limp along but you should certainly copy off any data you care about before it does completely.

Experto Crede
Aug 19, 2008

Keep on Truckin'


I bought a HDMI-VGA adaptor from ebay for about 6, which whilst functional produces a pretty fuzzy picture.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a decent HDMI-VGA adaptor that gives sharp output?

EDIT: To be clear, I know I will never get a proper super-sharp digital experience, but I need a stopgap for the moment until I can upgrade my two VGA only monitors, and the one going through the adaptor was like using a super low quality cable that smeared the picture.

Experto Crede fucked around with this message at Sep 17, 2014 around 22:38

Nintendo Kid
Aug 4, 2011

Trophy-ko says:
~death to capitalism~

Hilalry is 45


Experto Crede posted:

I bought a HDMI-VGA adaptor from ebay for about 6, which whilst functional produces a pretty fuzzy picture.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a decent HDMI-VGA adaptor that gives sharp output?

What resolution are you running it at? VGA inherently tends to be fuzzy at high resolutions due to the analog design, and your cables can easily be manufactured poorly and introduce interference and fuzziness as well.

Experto Crede
Aug 19, 2008

Keep on Truckin'


Nintendo Kid posted:

What resolution are you running it at? VGA inherently tends to be fuzzy at high resolutions due to the analog design, and your cables can easily be manufactured poorly and introduce interference and fuzziness as well.

1080p, which my other monitor runs fine at (Though obviously not as sharp as pure digital would be.)

I think the issue mainly is that when I cracked this cheap one open I saw it has basically no shielding on anything and the soldering job is clearly janky as hell, so the hope is a pricier, and thus hopefully better put together one will be clearer.

Experto Crede fucked around with this message at Sep 17, 2014 around 22:43

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moller
Jan 10, 2007

Swan stole my music and framed me!


I'm moving house and don't feel like dragging the three (complete, working) SGI Octanes that have been in my closet for a decade with me. Any suggestions on something I should do with them besides leaving them out for the metal strippers or taking them to a recycling place?

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