First timer facing BIOS and OS install - asking how to test & optimize


Mar 19, 2012
I have recently completed the process of gathering components for my first ever homebuilt system, and I feel fully prepared to put the machine together. Having observed my friend who is also building a system (his is a dual-boot hackintosh - mine, just 7 home 64-bit) go through endless testing, configuration, kernal panics, resets and reboots - and still not near fully operational - I am nervous about moving forward with my BIOS and OS preparations. Specifically, I am looking for individual steps worth taking to test, retest, and optimize all of my components and settings before I can consider the operating system to be 100% fool-proof stable. I would like to set everything up correctly from the beginning to avoid major headaches in the future.

My build:
Intel Core i7 2600K cpu
ASRock Extreme 3 Gen 3 mobo
Hyper 212 Evo cpu cooler (w/ 1x factory-installed fan)
16GB (2x 8GB) DDR3 ram
180GB Corsair SATA3 ssd (boot drive)
Sapphire 1GB HD 7770 gpu
560W Sea Sonic SS-560KM psu
LG 22x DVD-RW drive

I have yet to purchase, but will eventually have:
1x SATA 6.0Gb/s HDD
3-4 more 120mm PWM case fans

Things I am concerned about setting up include:
- Optimizing storage on the SSD (& later the HDD) - this is intended to be a boot drive that will also have many of the programs that I most heavily used and other high-demand programs. all other media and file storage will take place on the hdd
- Controlling PWM fans on the psu, case, etc.
- Hardware testing
- Software/OS testing

I would prefer to be absolutely certain that my system is stable and ready to operate for months or years on end without issue. This might be a lofty goal :lol: but I figure it will be a bit easier to set up system settings for a windows-only system compared to my friend who's currently setting up a hackintosh.

* If someone would be kind enough to provide me a sort of step-by-step outline of how to go through these configurations in the best way, I would really appreciate it. But any information at all would be great!

NEVER attempt to update the bios unless you are sure that you are fixing a specific known issue.


Mar 19, 2012

Aye, it was an accident. Didn't appear to successfully post the first time.

Brett, in general, please be more constructive. Your response on my other thread was equally unhelpful.

And keep in mind that by responding to this thread you bumped it to the top of the queue. If you bother to respond, I will not do the same.

Hi :)

If you dont like Toms rules....argue with the Moderators...

Or you COULD even read them first....

All the best Brett :)


Jan 1, 2011

Gratz on your first build.

Be careful with how many PWM fans you end up buying as I only see so many 4 pin connectors on your mobo. Although you will be able to plug the PWM fans into a 3 pin header, it will run the fan at full speed. And PWM fans tend to have really high top end RPMs as they're meant to fluctuate between low and high RPMs depending on different variables (typically temperature). For the 3 pin headers you can control them manually using a program like speedfan.

In regards to updating your BIOS. As long as you follow the instructions correctly and are comfortable performing the update you will be okay. If you bought the board recently it may even already have the most up to date BIOS version. Looks like for your board that would be 1.3.

In regards to testing your system before installing the OS. The best first test will be a successful POST. The only other thing I could think to recommend to test before the OS install is to run a RAM test with something like memtest86. You could use the "ultimate boot cd". That has a bunch of different pieces of software to run test if you really wanted to. Of course if you have things like a PSU tester/multimeter, or motherboard/CPU PCI card tester you could use them as well before the install.

So, get your parts, install them, double/triple check your connections, power the system on...

Don't forget to enter BIOS set to boot from CD (or usb if your installing your OS from a flash drive) and set your SATA controller to AHCI mode. Important first time tweaks.

Good luck man.


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