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Everything posted by bennt

  1. bennt

    Enabling DMA

    I've fixed that scenario before by first setting to "PIO Only", rebooting, then setting back to "Use DMA if possible", and then rebooting again. It seems to reset it or something.
  2. bennt

    LCD Display with accurate colors

    Slight exageration there xSTLx. A good 20" LCD is only about $600-650. A decent 19" LCD is about $300-350. While I agree with some of your reasoning, everyone has different priorities. I for one still have my trusty 19" Viewsonic CRT as my main monitor, plus a cheapo 17" CRT as a second display. The day my Viewsonic packs it in I will definately be going LCD. Having 2 CRT's on my desk takes up way too much room, and my office and desk are already cramped enough as it is. I also find that CRT's generate alot of heat, which actually causes my office to get uncomfortably warm, especially during the summer. Then there is my multimedia computer in the living room. It is hooked up to my tv and surround sound system, for use as DVD, MP3, and TV recording. However, I also have a 50' VGA cable that runs through the floor across the room and up under the dining table where I have an LCD screen and wireless KB/mouse so I can use that system as a regular computer. Imagine having a 17 or 19" CRT on the dining room table compared to a 17" LCD. I don't think the wife would be very happy. There are lots of other good things about LCD's but this post is already long enough.
  3. bennt

    LCD Display with accurate colors

    There are basically three types of LCD panels in the market: 1. TN - Have fast refresh rates, but poor viewing angles and colours. 2. MVA or PVA - Great contrast ratio and viewing angle, but poor real refresh. 3. IPS - Good refresh, good viewing angle, good colours (best all-round). Every panel out there will have one of the above panels inside of the bezel, but it is quite hard to find out which one has which type. For all round best performance including photography, IPS is the best. However, some of the MVA/PVA panels have good colour as well. The only problem with *VA panels is that they often have a purplish/magenta hue to them. Spend some time reading the following guide, it is very informative: And then look through this article which reviews some current 19" LCD's: Basically, stay away from the 8 and 12ms panels, as those will definately be TN. And, if you want to avoid the MVA/PVA panels, stay away from panels advertising 800:1 or better contrast ratios. Besides accurate colour, the most important spec of an LCD is the viewing angle (in terms of photography). There are some good panels out there for photography, but it'll take some effort to find them.
  4. bennt

    New SSD disk from Gigabyte

    Looks pretty interesting actually. It could be used for a number of things. Plus, if losing it was a big pain, you could easily create an image of it on a real HD. Backup or restore would only take a couple minutes max. At 4Gb (4x1Gb) it could easily contain Windows XP with a number of normal apps, making boot of the OS and launching of Apps much faster. Or, you could install your favourite game to it for nearly instant loading. Will be intersting to see some real specs.
  5. I believe with XP you can have up to 4 primary partitions per drive. I wouldn't bother with extended or logical drives in your case. As already suggested, the way you partition is completely up to you and the way you like to organize things. Some people like to have everything on 1 partition, some like to split things up. I'd say that for most novice users or setups where you don't know exactly what type of usage the computer is going to get, always keep it to 1 partition. For more experienced users that know exactly what their computers are going to get used for, by all means create multiple partitions if you want. Personally, I have 2 physical HD's and this is how I have them partitioned: 74Gb Raptor: C: 15Gb - OS and normal programs D: 15Gb - Data E: 40Gb - Images (photography) 80Gb IDE: F: 80Gb - Misc stuff, backups, etc. As for Raid0, I really hope you understand the substantially increased risk of data loss.
  6. bennt

    Hard Disk Space Disappearing

    Do you have Norton/Symantec System Works installed?
  7. bennt

    sata raid on a server

    We have a number of Supermicro SATA chassis running SATA RAID arrays. They have been running great with uptimes of up to 8 months (W2K advanced server) without a reboot (had to do critical updates). Most of the machines have 4 Raptors, running 2 RAID1 mirrors. One of the machines has the second mirror as a couple of 200Gb SATA drives though, and they have been fine too.
  8. Are you trying to restore from image files to the new disk? If so, I doubt you need to partition and format first. I use Ghost almost exclusively, but I hear Acronis is as good or better. With Ghost you don't need to do anything to the disk prior to restoring, so I'm not sure why Acronis would. If you are just trying to store images on a disk, then yes it needs to be formatted first, but FAT32 or NTFS should both work fine.
  9. 1. Hook up the drive to an existing W2K/WXP system and partiton and format in Windows. 2. You could try Seagate DiscWizard. I know you have a WD, but it is worth a shot. The Seagate tools allow you to partition and format in NTFS. You can download for free and create either bootable floppies or a cdrom. If it doesn't work the only thing you've wasted is a bit of time.
  10. Actually, I just noticed that Charles M. Kozierok. is listed as the author on both articles, so maybe it is legit.
  11. Here's the goods: Now read this: Who copied who?
  12. You are correct, there are only 40 pins. The other 40 wires in an 80 wire cable are all connected to a common ground.
  13. bennt

    PSUs to blame for HDD failures?

    I would like to agree, as I really think that a good PS is critical for system stability and reliability. However, up until a few years ago we used cheap cases with the included el-cheapo PS's. We then switched to Enermax PS's, which I'm confident are excellent. While random stability issues and file corruption definately improved, I can't say that HD failure rates have changed at all.
  14. We used to buy mostly Maxtor and Quantum drives. We then switched to mostly WD JB series for a couple years. Lately we've been buying mostly Seagate. Of course, we've had the highest failure rate of Maxtor and Quantums, as those are the oldest ones. We've had some WD's fail as well, and no Seagate's yet. Warrenty service from Maxtor and WD has been fine (in Vancouver, BC). We don't find any noticeable performance difference between any of the decent drives out there (for the average office workstations). So, quiet, reliable, and long warrenty steers us to Seagate these days. For our power users and servers it's a bit different, as performance is paramount. For those users we use WD Raptors. For servers it's either SCSI or Raptors.
  15. Might want to look at A friend pointed me to it today and I'm running it on a problem system right now. Spybot, Ad-aware, and Hijackthis haven't been able to cure this one yet, so I'm hoping this one will do it. So far it has found a few things that the others missed. It runs all the time to protect the computer, instead of just scanning and fixing. There is a 2 week full demo, which is what I'm trying right now.
  16. bennt

    SCSI vs SATA, Which is Faster?

    Are you refering to the interface type, the disks, or some theoretical limit with no spending limit? Of course, it depends on the application too. I skimmed through the article and somewhat agree with their conclusions but don't necessarity agree exactly with their reasoning. They fail to mention that until the most recent SCSI drives, SCSI was purely optimized for server type rolls, whereas SATA and IDE drives have always been optimized for desktop use. This is the main reason SATA outperforms SCSI for desktop use. This is why the 10,000rpm Raptor outperforms a 15,000rpm SCSI drive. It has nothing to do with CPU utilization which the article seems fixated on. The most recent SCSI drives actually have two modes that the user can choose between, one for server use and the other for desktop use, and this makes a large difference in benchmarks. There are many other things to consider too, and you can't just make a blanket statement that one is better than the other.
  17. bennt

    USB2 flash card reader transfer rates?

    Also, make sure it is actually USB2, and not just USB2 compatible. Many devices that say USB2 on the packaging or in the specs are just USB1 devices that will work with USB2 (which is always the case anyways). With my Asus USB2 card reader, I can definately notice a big difference in speed over when it is plugged into a USB1 port on the computer. Don't have numbers for you, but it is substantially faster when operating on a USB2 port.
  18. bennt

    Raptor reliability?

    Taking the side panel off the case doesn't guarentee better cooling. With many cases cooling is better overall with the panels on, as it forces the air to move through the case from front to back. Removing the panel allows air to leak in/out at the major intakes/exhaust points and you can end up with hot spots (like around HD's, video cards, etc.). Of course it depends on the case, how the cooling is configured, obstructions like IDE cables, and other factors.
  19. bennt

    Raptor reliability?

    We have at least 20 Raptors in operation, about 15 36's and 5 74's. They range in age from about 1.5 years to 6 months old. No failures or problems yet. All but 2 run 24x7 in servers. The other 2 are in workstations but stay on 24x7 as well. I personally have a 74Gb at home in my main PC and it runs 24x7 in a small cube case (definately warm).
  20. bennt

    Stuck in PIO Mode .... sort of

    I assume you are using standard cables. Rounded cables and cables longer than 18" have given me grief on a number of occasions in the past.
  21. bennt

    Removing the Dual Booting screen

    If you don't want to mess with the different boot options in the boot.ini file, you could just set the timeout to 0 seconds, in which case the default OS will boot immediately and you won't even see that screen.
  22. The point raised was "modern" and last time I checked, neither parallel or floppy were considered modern.
  23. To complicate matters, there is more to it than just saying USB is worse than Firewire. It is highly dependent on chipset. Some chipsets are much better than others regarding cpu utilization. Also, with firewire and USB there is a certain amount of overhead for error checking. This is actually where firewire wins out for speed, because it doesn't do nearly as much checking. USB2 is 480 Megabit/sec. Firewire is actually 400 Megabit/sec. However, in practice, firewire usually wins the speed race. I do agree that if set up properly, SATA and IDE can be pretty good. Make sure IDE devices are by themselves on the channel, unless you know that you'll rarely be using both devices at the same time. SATA performance and cpu utilization is another thing that is chipset dependent. When I put my P4 system together over a year ago, I researched quite a bit and went with the Intel 865 chipset, mainly because of SATA performance and low cpu utilization. Things will be different now, but it is something you should be aware of. If I was building today I'd be going AMD 64. At the time I put my last system together AMD wasn't an option for me due to chipset/motherboard limitations.
  24. Perhaps something like this: Supermicro 7033A-T 450W PS 120mm fan cooling (excellent) Dual Xeon DDR Dual Channel Registered ECC ram 4 hot-swap SATA RAID drives - RAID 0 and 1 - RAID 0,1,5 with purchase of extra ZeroChannel RAID card 2 5.25 bays Dual GLan AGP Pro slot (can use cheap AGP card) 1x 64-bit 133/100/66MHz PCI-X (3.3V) slot 1x 64-bit 100/66MHz PCI-X (3.3V) slots 2x 32-bit 33MHz PCI-X (5V) slots USB2 Throw 4 73Gb 10,000rpm Raptors in and you have yourself a very capable, very reliable, very affordable server. Set the drives up as 2 mirrors for reliability. The additional Zero Channel RAID card would only be useful if you were running RAID 5 (which requires much more cpu than RAID 0 or 1). Or, to save a few bucks, put 2x36Gb for the system, and 2x73Gb for data. We have a few of these setup as servers here and they have been great. Haven't had any stability issues with them at all. The only reboots they get are due to Windows updates or configuration changes. Our database server was up for 8 months straight until recently when I installed some critical updates (it's not exposed to the internet at all).
  25. bennt

    Atrocious SATA performance on Win2K3

    Sounds like a driver issue to me.