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EricM 11-09-2005 06:45 PM

First Time Build
I am getting ready to build a PC for the first time and I am a bit confused with the boot disc and bios configuration parts of the set up. I have read a few sites but I still dont really understand what they are talking about. Could someone explain this stuff at a beginners level? It seems a bit advanced on most of the sites Ive read. So what is the boot drive disc for and where can I get one? What are the common things I would have to configure in the bios? What about installing the CD ROM Drive... do I need a disc for that? And could some one possibly give any helpful links for installing hard drives...I cant seem to find any explaining how to set up raid. And for the Operating System... What is the difference between a normal copy of Windows Xp and an OEM version?

ISOwner 11-09-2005 10:54 PM

Re: First Time Build
A boot disk will allow you to boot off of a disk instead of your hard drive. This disk can be used to fix issues as well as can be used to help load MS-DOS games (old school stuff). Use this site to help you create a boot disk in Windows XP:

You don't mess with BIOS usually. Default settings will work or should work fine. They are usually used to change boot order, enable or disable motherboard specific features, overclocking. CD ROM are very easy to install. You just slide that in the drive bay from the outside of the case, plug the power cord and data cable in. It usually comes with a CD if you buy retail. They are generally software burning programs for DVD and CDs, and drivers too.

Here's a simple guide from Seagate on how to install a SATA hard drive:

It proves very helpful. Windows XP Pro OEM is usually combined with hardware you purchase. Plain Windows XP Pro are usually stand alone retail full or retail upgrade versions.

EricM 11-10-2005 10:36 AM

Re: First Time Build
So is a boot disk necessary? And I still dont really get the OEM and retail version of windows. On many sites they sell windows as OEM versions... whats the difference? And say at retail stores they sell retail versions of Windows with service pack 2. And what about installing drives in RAID?

Stormin 11-10-2005 06:04 PM

Re: First Time Build
An OEM version is one that was purchased with hardware. Generally they sell you a $5.00 splitter cable and then give you a $5.00 credit. It's the same software as the Retail version sans a bunch of in the box stuff (mine has no user manual... It's freakin Windows....) The manual is available for download for those that may need one but that is probably a short list, most computer savy people (and generally anyone familiar enough to build their own even once) already are pretty familiar with the OS.

gaming_freak 11-10-2005 06:26 PM

Re: First Time Build
u dont really need to worry about the bios to much when ur building a pc, just put it all together and make sure that in the bios its set to boot off the cd drive first, then just put the windows xp disk in and restart then just install windows and thats it, as for OEM and retail theres no difference at all except they wont give u all the extra stuff but all u need is the disk anyways so it doesnt matter

gaming_freak 11-10-2005 06:28 PM

Re: First Time Build
oh and also i dont think its really worth having raid because ive seen results of having it and not having it and theres barely any diff if any at all, just get a nice fast hard drive and it will all be good

EricM 11-10-2005 07:10 PM

Re: First Time Build
Ok thanks for the info :D. I think I understand it all except for the boot disk..Do you need it on the initial boot up or how does it all work? I guess ill have to do some more research. And one other question. So something like OEM harddrives... do they just come with say the driver disc and cable and thats it no manual or anything? Thanks for the help. I think I am going to post my specs soon :cool:.

ISOwner 11-10-2005 10:53 PM

Re: First Time Build
No, boot disk is not a must have item. Don't worry about that. You don't need it. OEM hard drives comes with the drive only. No cables or easy install disc to guide you. Just the barebone hard drive. When you buy a new motherboard, it will come with plenty of hard drive cables.

EricM 11-11-2005 04:02 PM

Re: First Time Build
Ok thanks for the info so very briefly ..I install everything first then the cd rom , hard drive and install windows using the disc? And what is the diff between SATA and SATA 2.

ISOwner 11-11-2005 04:54 PM

Re: First Time Build
Get the motherboard, CPU, RAM, case wiring, video card first and then mount to case. Hard drive and CD Rom can go in in no particular order. Then install Windows. I'll usually turn on the PC right after the CPU is setup just to see if the fan turns.

As far as the SATA spec goes, SATA II drives offer an interface speed of 3.0Gb/sec as compared to the 1.5Gb/sec offered by SATA I. Of course, we don't expect to see real world performance close to that.

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