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A gaming and technology blog by TWHL admins Penguinboy and Ant. A music blog by TWHL users Ant and Hugh.

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15 comments | 15th March 2018, 18:54 PM

I had been considering the acquisition of new computer equipment.

But there's one thing I had completely forgotten: Windows 7 will refuse to run on Skylake processors or newer. Seeing as I'll be forced to go to Windows 10 (or, okay, Linux) and I can only find negative opinions online, I figured I'd ask those who have more experience with it: Is it still an awful mess of half-assed design? Has it seen any improvement?

Stojke is not welcome to post here. Everybody else, your experiences or comments are welcome.

7 comments | 8th March 2018, 06:28 AM

This is a followup to an older journal post.

I decided to finally do something and got me a 1TB WD Blue.

I knew I didn't want to lose several days of work doing a clean Windows install followed by hunting down drivers and installing all the stuff I already had, so I decided to take a different route - cloning the old drive into the new one.

I looked into the suggestions posted and also had a look out there in the vastness of the internet. It looked like dd was an easy enough option.

I borrowed my dad's desktop and plugged both drives to it (and unplugged his because it didn't have any more SATA cables). Booted up a Linux Mint live disc and thought, why not use GParted? So that's what I did instead. I copied all the partitions into the new drive with GParted, set the same boot flags, put the disk back in the laptop and... nothing. A measly blinking cursor welcomed me.

Five hours of messing with it later, turns out it was failing because I didn't copy the MBR. So I copied it using dd and NOW I FINALLY HAVE A WORKING DRIVE.

So if anybody finds themselves in need of doing this too*, here's a summary of the process:

1. Plug both drives into the same computer
2. If said computer doesn't have Linux on it already, boot a live disc.
3. Run GParted, triple check which drive is your original drive and which drive is your target drive.
4. Copy every single partition from the original drive into the new drive.
5. Make sure the boot flag is set in the exact same partition (and any other flags the original drive may have). This still won't boot yet because the MBR hasn't been copied.
6. The MBR is located at the first 512 bytes of the drive. Assuming your original drive is /dev/sda and your target drive is /dev/sdb (otherwise replace accordingly), fire up the console and copy it with this command: dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb bs=512 count=1
7. Put the new drive back in the target computer and leave the old drive in the back of a drawer until the end of time.

After this I only booted up Windows from the new drive and created a new partition in the unused space. Now the most I have to do is move some files over to balance the free space. The great thing is that the new drive is a lot quieter than the old one! Noise drives me mad.

As a side bonus, I now have a complete backup of the entirety of my files on this computer including Windows up until today.

I may also move my Steam installation to the other partition. Haven't decided yet.

*I'm also writing it here to save myself a future search.

13 comments | 26th February 2018, 02:59 AM

100/4
120/4

4 comments | 21st February 2018, 19:08 PM

As a follow up to my recent journal, here's what I'm arriving at.

I decided I will acquire new equipment soon. Some people suggested I go for AMD setup but it appears to be less available than Intel gear. So after considering my options and seeing what's available near me, I am considering the following setup:

Processor: Intel i5-7400 3.0GHz (7th gen/Kaby Lake) socket 1151
I might go for an i7-7700/4.2GHz but I believe I read somewhere it's generally not worth it. I don't remember what how where or why, so if anyone can point me in the right direction that'd be great because I couldn't find it.

Mobo: ASRock B250M Pro4
(I was offered the other two, but from what I read on several sites this appears to be a better option and it's also available)
Downside: Neither seem to be compatible with 8th gen processors.

RAM: 2x ADATA U-Dimm DDR4 8GB 2400 (for a total of 16GB)
I kept getting offered fancy "gamer" models that cost twice as much just because they're red and have speed stripes and wings and headlights. Thank you, it's a computer not a race car.

Storage: Probably a 1TB WD Blue + a 250GB SSD. "Possibly" a second 1TB drive.

GPU: I haven't yet decided. Suggestions more than welcome. I am also considering dual screens, so anything with two outputs sounds like a good idea. Considering. Depending on whether I can afford it on top of the already crazy number I'm going to spend.
EDIT! I'm leaning towards a GTX1050 because it's the least stupidly-expensive card. FFS graphics cards didn't cost this much the last time I got one!

Power supply: From what I've read this setup should do well with 450-600W.

Case, while I'm at it: Whatever that doesn't have windows and neon lights inside. It's a computer not a strip club FFS

For those knowledged enough in the subject: Does this setup look right? Is there anything that looks blaringly wrong and I should change course ASAP? Do you have any suggestions or alternatives I might have overlooked? Can you help fill in the blanks where I don't know what to get yet?

8 comments | 2nd October 2017, 03:59 AM

Someone suggested I try this thing. Does anybody have any experience with these?

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