Sunday, April 30, 2006

Software Installation - Part 1

So far the computer has been nothing but bad luck. It took me two hours to find my lost Windows XP cd, but Windows did install smoothly. After Windows installed the sound card was not detected, but everything else was. I installed all the drivers only to find that the video card would not display the native resolution of the LCD monitor I am going to be using. I installed powerstrip and found the custom timings to override Window's display settings (found here) so the display was looking good. Sound card still didn't show up, so, I shut down and went to what I thought was the source of my problems (two slot pci riser card). Looking at the directions provided by OPUS, the case manufacturer, I changed the pin settings on the card to work with my motherboard. This worked and the sound card was detected by Windows.

I began installing the sound card drivers and in the middle of installation the computer froze solid. I booted back up and right when the sound drivers loaded in the computer froze again. I booted into safe mode (done by pressing F8 at startup) and removed the sound card drivers and then the computer started up just fine. I went to the creative website and downloaded the drivers from there. Those drivers froze the computer as well, so I began to search for alternative solutions.

After a few hours of searching I found an alternative that looked promising, and would give me better sound quality. I followed the directions exactly (and even used some personal knowledge to clean the drivers further), but again, upon installation of the audio drivers the computer froze. I did everything I could to make the sound card installation work (updating bios, system drivers, etc.). With the software setup being planned as the simplest part of the process I was beginning to grow worried, so I deemed the sound card faulty and went to Best Buy and bought a Sound Blaster X-Fi in desperation. I installed this card to the PCI slot and then the computer would not post the bios.

Beginning to really worry I cleared the cmos and still no post from the bios. I then took the sound card out and the system posted again. I put the sound card into the top PCI slot and then moved the video one to the bottom and, aside from some new video issues, everything worked fine. I re-installed the video drivers and configured the display timings again using PowerStrip. Upon having the system stable again, minus the sound drivers, I put in the different sound cards driver cd. During the installation everything was going smoothly until at 76% the sound drivers began to install at which point the computer froze again. This time it was not as easy as going to safe mode and removing the drivers; I had to do a system restore to get Windows to start up again.

Presently I have downloaded the newest drivers from creative and I am about to install them. Taking a break to post this update was quite therapeutic because these sound card issues are quite stressful. There isn't an alternative to using this sound card, so I do not know what I will do if I can't get it to work. If anyone has any suggestions it is no longer required that you are a registered user to post comments.

All is not lost; I do have some good news to post! I still have not set up the GPS antenna, but I have set up the Bluetooth connection and the Cingular interface program. As of now I can connect to the internet using my cell phone as the modem. The cell phone connects to the computer via Bluetooth, so on top of being able to make calls from the computer I will have internet wherever I get cellular service. The display and touch screen are set up as well; I had a lot of fun playing solitaire with my finger.

What's left to do before the computer goes into the car?
1. Sound card must function
2. GPS program needs to be configured
3. Centrafuse (main GUI for use in car) must be configured
4. Important files from my desktop have to be transferred
5. I need to find where the computer is going to mount
6. I need a way to interface the disc drive
7. Case needs to be re-assembled


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