VOGONS


First post, by dr_st

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So, I have this Socket 775 C2Q desktop (originally bought in late 2008, all components but motherboard, CPU and case upgraded since):

ASUS P5Q PRO (Intel P45/ICH10R)
Core 2 Extreme QX9650
Scythe Mine Rev.B SCMN-1100 Heatsink
OCZ Reaper 8GB DDR2-1066 (4x2GB)
Zotac GTX 660 PCI-E
Seagate 1TB + 2TB hard drives
2x LG BluRay burners
Wifi & USB 3.0 PCIe x1 cards
Gigabyte 3D Aurora 570S full-tower case
Enermax Modu 82+ 625W PSU
Running Vista Ultimate 64bit

A few years ago I started getting the classical dying mobo symptoms: intermittently doesn't POST, doesn't exist standby, random lockups, sometimes does not detect SATA ports on boot, etc. I got a replacement board of the same kind, but also gave the original an ultrasonic bath and decided to keep it until the symptoms become frequent enough to make the machine unreliable. Well, it recently got to this point, so I finally got around to swapping that board out. Also got to clean most of the components a bit before putting them back in the case.

The case with the board removed (just looking forward to working through that cable mess upon reconnecting):
M-20191020-165923.jpg

For the new board I decided to get one of those third-party coolers (Enzotech MST-81) for the MOSFETs directly above the CPU socket; there are holes for it on the board, but ASUS skimped on the actual cooler (the more expensive board in the P5Q line had them).

Enzotech MST-81 MOSFET cooler / Scythe Mine Rev.B Heatsink
M-20191020-170553.jpg M-20191020-171431.jpg

The OCZ Reaper RAM. I got them as matching pairs, but a few years apart, and OCZ change the heatsink design in between (but the chip specs are the same):
M-20191020-171241.jpg

The new motherboard with CPU, RAM and MOSFET cooler installed:
M-20191020-171919.jpg

With the monstrous HSF installed:
M-20191020-175840.jpg

Despite the size, the SCMN-1100 is very light and so has no backplate, and so it only uses the atrocious Intel-designed pushpin mechanism for installation. It's easier on one hand, but sometimes struggling with those pins is a nightmare. Once I tried doing it with the board in the case - never again. This time 3 of the 4 pins went in easily, but the fourth one gave me hell.

I decided to first test the board outside the case (would be annoying to put everything together to find out it's DOA). For this I used a spare Enermax 525W PSU, a spare 8400GS PCI GPU, and connected it to the keyboard and monitor normally used by the Thinkpad T60 laptop:
M-20191020-180942.jpg

It's alive! (and BIOS is at latest version)
M-20191020-181126.jpg

One of the Reset switch pins was bent - good thing I found out before putting it back in the case and trying to plug the Q-Connector:
M-20191020-181219.jpg

Installed back in the case with everything connected: #CableManagementIsOverrated
M-20191020-190757.jpg

Temperatures are OK, all sensors normal:
M-20191020-185109.jpg

Front view of the case:
M-20191020-191127.jpg

So far the computer works, and appears stable, but of course only time will tell. Fortunately, Socket 775 P45/X48 boards should be available for a long time in case this one also dies:
M-20191020-192821.jpg

Last edited by dr_st on 2020-09-26, 16:19. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 1 of 54, by chinny22

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Why you running Vista? or is that the whole point of the build?

I get that 775 is new enough that it can be considered boring but I have a soft spot for the it. Can be made to run Win98 (which I still need to try) Make great WinXP machines and not quite old enough to be written off as a daily driver depending on your needs.

Reply 2 of 54, by dr_st

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chinny22 wrote:

Why you running Vista? or is that the whole point of the build?

Cause that's what was available when this build (2008) was made and I rarely if ever upgrade my operating systems. Yes, it's still running the original install.

I am getting close to breaking point on this one, though, and have been contemplating to do an in-place upgrade to 7, because more and more programs just drop Vista support (either deliberately or as a consequence of Microsoft dropping support in their tools/libraries).

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Reply 3 of 54, by dr_st

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Well, this is it. I finally bit the bullet and did something I haven't done, well, ever before - upgraded the operating system on a computer that's been a daily driver.

The 12-year old Vista install on the system that's the subject of this thread has been upgraded to Windows 7.

I really liked Vista, and this build has been super stable. I have enough other systems running modern versions of Windows, and this is my only 'real' Vista system, so I liked having it around. However, some recent changes put me in a situation where it's often easier to use this desktop than another PC, and I've finally become fed up with running into software compatibility walls due to application developers (starting with Microsoft) abandoning the OS.

Although a Vista kernel extension project has kicked off recently, which looks very promising, at this early stage the added SW compatibility is somewhat limited, and requires a good deal of manual fiddling. I am sure it will get better with time, but it is not likely it will ever become perfect. Besides, what's the point? If you hack the kernel enough to make programs "think" it's Windows 7, and hook Windows 7 APIs - might as well just upgrade and run the real deal. Clever mods that make Win7 look like Vista exist, if one has a particular attraction to the visual style or other elements of the design.

One thing that's been holding me back is all the software I have installed here and all the custom settings I've accumulated over 12 years (at least half of which this PC has been my primary system). I don't particularly enjoy wasting my time reinstalling things, so I decided to do something that most people would tell you not to do - perform an in-place upgrade on a Windows system with 12 years of accumulated bloat.

TL;DR - I am almost shocked how remarkably well everything went.

Step 1 - Do a full up-to-date backup of the existing Vista install. I use Acronis True Image for that. Compressed it was about 60GB (not including games).

Step 2 was to get a fairly recent Win7 image. I didn't want to have to go through 10 years worth of updates. Fortunately, Heidoc's Windows ISO Downloader currently can get an image from August 2018 (you have to provide your own license, of course). When I started the setup, it even checked online to see if it can find some update packages and download them prior to the install. Although it never showed whether it found anything, I think it did, due to the number of hotfixes that SystemInfo shows.

Step 3 (the mandatory Compatibility Report) found only one piece of software that was downright not compatible and I had to uninstall first - an old version of PerfectDisk 2008. No biggie - since newer versions exist and work just as well. It also warned me that the SPTD drivers (for virtual CD/DVD drives) will have to be reinstalled after upgrading (which was true), and that the Windows Ultimate Extras that were discontinued will stop working. Even that has workarounds, and the Sound Schemes actually migrated flawlessly without me having to do anything.

Step 4 - The upgrade process itself - took about 5 hours. The last part was the longest - transferring files, settings and programs. Is 2,037,569 "files, settings, and programs" a lot? 🤣
Upgrading-W.jpg

Step 5 - After the upgrade was complete, I got two more messages about incompatible drivers, both for CD copy protection - TAGES (which I updated) and StarForce (which I just removed, since there are currently no StarForce games on this machine).

Step 6 - Fetching the remaining Windows Updates. This was relatively easy; most things installed without a hitch. For the last couple, I needed to manually install the March 2019 Servicing Stack Update. It's strange that WU does not offer it automatically, but I've been through this before on a different system.

The result - everything seems to be working; the upgrade was practically seamless:

  • All programs got transferred successfully. Some were uninstalled/reinstalled, others stayed with their original install (judging from the dates displayed in the control panel applet).
  • All desktop and start menu settings remained intact. As part of the upgrade, Windows dumped all game shortcuts it found in the Start menu under "Games", while also keeping them at their original location. I just erased the extra shortcuts.
  • Most custom settings in the registry and elsewhere remained intact, including Classic Shell. Desktop Restore had to be "repaired" to get the entries back into the shell context menu. File Sharing for LAN needed to be re-enabled (although the shared folders themselves stayed).
  • Haven't found a game or application yet that is not working as should. I expect only minor issues from this point on.
  • Bonus: it boots about twice as fast now. The things that actually affect Windows boot time have always been a mystery to me.

I'll give this build a couple of weeks, and once I verify things are indeed stable, will make a full system image of this one as well.

Final point about security updates: from obvious reasons, there is no ESU license on this system, so Windows could only be updated to January 2020 end-of-support date. The Vista build I just upgraded from was fully patched including the September 2020 rollup, by manually installing Server 2008 SP2 updates. Why? Because the code that checks for ESU license (and rejects those updates if it isn't found) was apparently never added to Vista. Oh the irony.

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Reply 4 of 54, by mastergamma12

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Nice rig

c98bnZn.png

The Tuala-Bus (My 9x/Dos Rig) (Pentium III-S 1.4ghz, AWE64G+Audigy 2 ZS, Voodoo5 5500, Chieftec Dragon Rambus)

The Final Lan Party (My Windows Xp/7 rig) (Core i7 980x, GTX 480,DFI Lanparty UT X58-T3eH8,)

Reply 5 of 54, by pentiumspeed

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Since you are using Core 2 CPU processor type, and will drag on latest websites and online gaming go draggy;

I strongly recommend get Intel Pro/1000 PT 1 port x1 PCIe card, about 25 from chinese seller.

This off loads the IP processing onto card instead of CPU, this what allowed me 1 more year out of my Core2 duo E8600 3.33GHz before I saved up enough to get HP Z220 workstation.

Driver supported from XP, 7, 8.x and 10.

Cheers,

Great Northern aka Canada.

Reply 6 of 54, by dr_st

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Thanks for this advice; however, I use Wifi in this system, and the broadband only goes up to 65Mbps anyways, at which rate even the puniest 20-year old CPU should perform more-or-less OK. Also, don't confuse Core 2 Duo with Core 2 Quad. The two extra cores add a lot.

Plus, I think essentially any network adapter from the last 15 years performs these TCP/IP offloads you mention.

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Reply 7 of 54, by ODwilly

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I did the same thing with my grandfather's Inspiron 530 with a Q6600, adding in a spare Geforce 9500GT. Except went from Vista, to 7, to 10. Kept all of his original software and worked out great. Just used a ebay windows 7 oem key to activate it once Windows 10 was installed.

Main pc: AsRock x370 Killer SLI a/c, Ryzen 5 2600, 1tb WD black nvme ssd, 24g ddr4 2400 @2933mhz, rx 480 8gb reference card, 2tb Hitachi Deskstar.
Retro PC: Soyo P4S Dragon, 3gb ddr 266, 120gb Maxtor, Geforce Fx 5950 Ultra, SB Live! 5.1

Reply 8 of 54, by pentiumspeed

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I know, I said core 2 in general which applies to both Duo and Quad. Not Core 2 duo, I knew you mentioned quad.

Cheers,

Great Northern aka Canada.

Reply 9 of 54, by dr_st

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ODwilly wrote on 2020-09-26, 21:08:

I did the same thing with my grandfather's Inspiron 530 with a Q6600, adding in a spare Geforce 9500GT. Except went from Vista, to 7, to 10. Kept all of his original software and worked out great. Just used a ebay windows 7 oem key to activate it once Windows 10 was installed.

There's this video on Youtube of the upgrade sequence from 1.0 to 10. It's a little artificial, and it does show which kind of problems you can run to. However, Vista and Win7 are so similar, and for Win7 to Win10 Microsoft really worked hard to make the upgrade as smooth as possible, so it shouldn't come as such a huge surprise that it works.

This machine will stay on Win7, though. I don't see the point, since I have a Win10 desktop and a couple of Win10 laptops. Due to its popularity, Win7 got enough functional updates from Microsoft to keep on running any kind of software I expect wanting to run on the C2Q rig.

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Reply 10 of 54, by The Serpent Rider

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dr_st wrote:

Besides, what's the point? If you hack the kernel enough to make programs "think" it's Windows 7, and hook Windows 7 APIs - might as well just upgrade and run the real deal.

Well, you can buy Windows Vista box very cheap these days, while Windows 7 Pro and Ultimate boxed copies are still priced unreasonably high. That's if you want real and legit Windows copy, because OEM keys from ebay or practically any other shop is just a waste of money.

Plus, with modified Vista you can be true hipster =P

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Open up your hate, and let it flow into me

Reply 13 of 54, by slivercr

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Caluser2000 wrote on 2020-12-16, 17:09:

How come it took 5 hours to do the upgrade?

I was wondering about this too. OP says (s)he doesn't like wasting time reinstalling programs, and upgrading took 5h? 💯

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Reply 14 of 54, by dr_st

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Caluser2000 wrote on 2020-12-16, 17:09:

How come it took 5 hours to do the upgrade?

Likely because of:

dr_st wrote on 2020-09-26, 16:17:

transferring files, settings and programs. Is 2,037,569 "files, settings, and programs" a lot?

slivercr wrote on 2020-12-16, 17:49:

OP says (s)he doesn't like wasting time reinstalling programs, and upgrading took 5h? 💯

Somehow I feel that reinstalling 12 years worth of stuff would take a little bit more than 5 hours. 😉 And I would have to actively do things during that time, rather than just walking away and minding my own business until the process was complete. 😜

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Reply 16 of 54, by chinny22

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Um think you have your versions mixed up? your supposed to be upgrading from 7 to 10 not upgrading TO Windows 7.Will you be updating this post next year with your upgrade to Windows 8 😉

Personally I look forward to a clean install of my own PC's its like a big spring clean and just feels "fresh"
but I've done in place upgrades on work machines from Win7 to 8 or 10 as time is money and some programs (or users) are a pain to track down install files or configure and 9 time out of 10 works well.

Reply 17 of 54, by dr_st

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chinny22 wrote on 2020-12-17, 12:35:

Um think you have your versions mixed up? your supposed to be upgrading from 7 to 10 not upgrading TO Windows 7.Will you be updating this post next year with your upgrade to Windows 8 😉

No. This machine will stay on Windows 7 for as long as it lives. Windows 7 has gotten tremendous amounts of support, features, patches and backported stuff from Microsoft, and it has enjoyed such a big user base, that it will stay compatible with majority of software for years to come.

Anything that cannot work on Windows 7 is probably not something I want to run on this old system anyways. I've got plenty of Windows 10 machines. 😀

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Reply 18 of 54, by The Serpent Rider

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Give it few more years and you could just migrate to Linux with Wine/Proton for games.

Get up, come on get down with the sickness
Open up your hate, and let it flow into me

Reply 19 of 54, by Srandista

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Why he would use "retro" system for modern games, when he already started, that he have multiple Win 10 machines?

Socket 775 - ASRock 4CoreDual-VSTA, Pentium E6500K, 4GB RAM, Radeon 9500@9700, ESS Solo-1, Win 98/XP
Socket A - ASRock K7S41GX, AMD Athlon XP 3000+, 512MB RAM, GeForce4 Ti4200, SB Live, Win 98