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Building xiO 2.5

As some may know, I am a hardware enthusiast. Some might also know that my pc is historically named xiO.

I saw an offer on Ebay for an Athlon64 FX-55, one of AMD’s VERY high-end CPUs, around December 14th and this set in motion a system upgrade. I was trying to hold out for DirextX 10 compliant graphic cards, but figured “heck, why not” I got myself a Radeon X1950 pro, one of ATI’s (now owned by AMD) high-end graphic cards and expected to have myself a gaming beast for Christmas. So, why the heck am I only writing about such exciting news now?

There were some “unfortunate delays”, the CPU only arrived last Friday, and my holiday gaming marathon was postponed. Naturally, as soon as I got back from CUTC, I rushed to get this baby running. Usually, something like this isn’t too hard. All I had to do was remove the mobo and all my hardware, clean the heatsink/cooler of the existing thermal paste, place the CPU in the new MOBO, carefully apply a new layer of thermal paste to the Athlon FX, connect the hardware to the new motherboard, and do a quick windows XP repair install (because XP hates motherboard changes). Total time should be 1-2 hours max, and I would be in bed by midnight.

As it usually does at the most inconvenient time, Windows decided to make sweet sweet love to me (F*** me from behind) all night long. The install kept failing at the device install section, and it took a few hours to find a fix: start the install in Debug mode. Why it works, I have no idea but I tried everything and this worked. Windows loaded and I hit the hay, figuring I would continue this the next day. I start off by installing the motherboard drivers from the CD that comes with it, and here, we see Murphy’s Law come into play.
Naturally, the CD-ROM can’t read the CD (I’m not sure why yet, but I think it’s a bad image somehow) so I had to take it to school and hope that the CD-ROMs there worked. They did, sort of. I was able to get the Ethernet driver off the CD.

After class, I ran back home to finish this fiasco. With the Ethernet card installed, I was able to find the motherboard chipset drivers online. Of course, I was given a crappy download speed of 4.7 kbps. With the motehrboard chipset installed, it was about time to test the raw power, at last. 3D Mark05 scored a wopping 9743. I was amazed. I stared, mouth agape. I… noticed that my flash drive wasn’t showing up in My Computer. Neither was my card reader. In fact, it seems that NO Mass Storage USB Devices are appearing in my computer. I know Windows is seeing them because they DO appear in Disk Management.

As of yet, I haven’t solved that one. I’m able to do homework, surf the net, and play games. At this hour, that certainly qualifies as good enough. That’s it for tonight.