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Discussion Starter #1
Well here I go again. There is something very cathartic about building a PC to me. I'm not sure what it is, but hey... We've been using the first PC I ever built as our HTPC for 4 years now, and it's getting a little long in the tooth. I've got some more bits and pieces laying around, so I thought maybe I'll throw another one together. My budget for this one is somewhere around $0, so it won't be as fancy as the last one. (Nor does it need to be.) I got a case the other day from a client who was just throwing away an old PC. I stripped it down, and it seems to be a pretty good case. It's very solid and HEAVY. The only issue I see is that it doesn't really have a way to mount a front fan, so there will be a bit of modding there. Pics will be posted!

Now for the first dumb question. Can I just pull my old HDD out of my existing HTPC and plug it in to the new one? Is MS going to get mad at me? I did this once before and got some license BS from MS.

Specs so far:

Case: Basic Black Case?
MOBO: MSI X79A-GD45
CPU: I7-3930K
Memory: 16 gig DDr3 1600
GPU: GTX760
Storage: Not sure yet
PSU: FSP650-80UMP (Why? Because I have it)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgrote View Post

Now for the first dumb question. Can I just pull my old HDD out of my existing HTPC and plug it in to the new one? Is MS going to get mad at me? I did this once before and got some license BS from MS.
If it's a boot drive, generally no. If it's just at data drive (storage drive) then yes.

As for no, it depends on what version of windows, whether it's a Retail copy or an OEM copy, and how different the new computer is from the old one.

According to MS's EULA a retail copy can be installed or transferred (and activate/authenticated with it's key) as many times as you want. But generally not more than 4 computers at once (with the same key).

An OEM version is "locked" to a specific motherboard (or the computer's configuration in some versions of Windows). Though often MS will allow a transfer or reinstall with the same key by doing a "phone activation".
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It's Win7 Pro, so I guess it will be a problem. I guess my next option is to buy another copy of Win7. But that's going to throw me over my budget. Time to find stuff to sell...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgrote View Post

It's Win7 Pro, so I guess it will be a problem. I guess my next option is to buy another copy of Win7. But that's going to throw me over my budget. Time to find stuff to sell...
Don't start selling yet!
It makes a difference whether it's Win 7 Pro Retail or Win 7 Pro OEM.
Win 7 Retail will activate
Win 7 OEM should be able to be phone activated if you have the original key.

It's on a sticker like this one:



Or, there is software that can find it on your computer:
https://www.magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder/
 

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This comes up on the forum often. You are not supposed to transfer the OEM copy to another motherboard but you can do a phone activation with the key still. It is against Microsoft's EULA to do this though. It's up to you on what your opinion is on this wether you want to buy a new copy or not. If it's a retail copy then it is fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So the case is all cleaned up and modified. All I had to do is remove the drive holder so I can mount a front mounted fan. The fan is in and now I'm ready to start putting components in it. Hopefully I'll have a little time to play once the minion goes to bed tonight. It seems though that I am only going to have 2 120mm fans in this one though. One in front pulling air in, and one in back pushing out. The side panel has a hole/duct, but no fan. Would you recommend any ducting or another fan, or do you think 2 decent quality 120mm pwm fans will be enough?
Here's what was in the way:

I removed the bottom cage and mounted the fan:
Front view:

From inside:
 

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1.) That's not a "decent quality" fan. It's to thin to generate much pressure at all. And that "grill" will render it near useless.
2.) In a project like this you need data (temps) to be able to tell if the cooling is adequate.

Put it together as best you can, hope, but plan on modifications to your plans.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I would rather deal with cooling now than put it together and "hope" . I have a tendency to over-build and under use things. My last build was a PC for my son to play Minecraft on. It has 32gigs of ram.
redface.gif
So this is what it looks like with all of the components in it.

With the side cover on, you can see there is a hole that lines up with the CPU perfectly, and a hole just below the GPU.

My question is this; Since there is sooo much empty space, would you recommend ducting to vital parts, more fans, both, or??? Since this thing is in the living room with us, I'd like it to be somewhat quiet. Our current HTPC is quite loud, but has a ridiculous amount of fans in it. The only thing missing at this point is the HDD/SSD.
(And yes, I will clean up the wiring once everything is in for the last time.
smile.gif
)
 

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Instead of ducting you could add a fan (or fans) inside the case to direct the air to where it's needed, and since it (they) will be completely inside it will be much quieter on the outside.



No one thinks about venting the underside of the motherboard. There's the old overclockers trick of the hole in the motherboard tray just under the CPU socket with a fan there too.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I like it. Thank you. My only question about your example is that it's blowing directly at my WiFi card. Is that really a good spot for it, or did you place it theye to cool something else?
 

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Just wacked it an anywhere as an example. Thought that was a video card????. Choose the best place(s) for you.
 
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