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Upgrade? And if so, what?

 
 
Freewheeling
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-23-2006
Hi folks. I've got some problems watching video and DVDs on my system
and I'm wondering what I need to do to get watchable performance? I
like to use the system to watch DVDs because of the high resolution of
the digital screen, and because I have the computer set up so I can see
the screen when I do my indoor rowing. What had originally been some
minor problems have lately become severe... though I'm not sure why.
The video was never stunning, but it used to at least be watchable.
I'll describe the problems below, but first here's how my system is
composed:

System parameters:

Motherboard: ASUS A7M266
Processor: AMD Athlon 1400 MHz
RAM: 2GB
Video Card: ASUS AGP-V7100 DVI SDRAM v44.03 (GeForce2 MX Chipset - no
memory)
Sound Device: CM18738/C3DX PCI Audio Device (this is the onboard audio)
DVD Player: Toshiba DVD-ROM SD-M1502
Monitor: Samsung Syncmaster 205BW (Digital 1024 x 76

(Note: Video, audio, USB, and wireless card all use IRQ 9. I have
replaced all of the fans on the inside as well as the heatsink and the
power supply, within the last year. Processor runs at about 47C. )

Symptoms: When listening to sound alone it tends to periodically
"stutter". This appeared to get worse after I installed the Belkin N1
wireless card. Video, especially when using DVD (and to some extent in
general) is irritatingly jerky. The jerkiness when watching a DVD movie
on the Toshiba isn't just mild, but can make some movies nearly
impossible to watch. And the jerkiness corresponds to sound
interruptions that make it all but impossible to hear what's being said.
I use Cyberlink PowerDVD software to watch DVDs. Whether I use
Version 4 or Version 7 doesn't seem to make any difference to
performance. As soon as the DVD starts to run and there's something on
the screen besides a still image, I notice that the hard drive is
accessed continuously, and the access seems directly related to the
sound and video faltering.

I normally run in 32-bit color mode, but switching to 16 doesn't smooth
anything out. Just as jerky and stuttery either way.

Question: Short of buying a completely new system, which changes would
tend to produce adequate video/DVD performance? New sound and/or video
card? Video memory? New DVD Player? Some adjustment to things
assigned to IRQ9? Is there some way I can use that 2GB RAM to
substitute for the hard drive access? Any other ideas?

BTW, is it possible to upgrade the processor in this system, and would
that help?
 
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Geena Phillips
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-23-2006
Freewheeling wrote:
> Hi folks. I've got some problems watching video and DVDs on my system
> and I'm wondering what I need to do to get watchable performance? I
> like to use the system to watch DVDs because of the high resolution of
> the digital screen, and because I have the computer set up so I can see
> the screen when I do my indoor rowing. What had originally been some
> minor problems have lately become severe... though I'm not sure why. The
> video was never stunning, but it used to at least be watchable. I'll
> describe the problems below, but first here's how my system is composed:
>
> System parameters:
>
> Motherboard: ASUS A7M266
> Processor: AMD Athlon 1400 MHz
> RAM: 2GB
> Video Card: ASUS AGP-V7100 DVI SDRAM v44.03 (GeForce2 MX Chipset - no
> memory)
> Sound Device: CM18738/C3DX PCI Audio Device (this is the onboard audio)
> DVD Player: Toshiba DVD-ROM SD-M1502
> Monitor: Samsung Syncmaster 205BW (Digital 1024 x 76
>
> (Note: Video, audio, USB, and wireless card all use IRQ 9. I have
> replaced all of the fans on the inside as well as the heatsink and the
> power supply, within the last year. Processor runs at about 47C. )
>
> Symptoms: When listening to sound alone it tends to periodically
> "stutter". This appeared to get worse after I installed the Belkin N1
> wireless card. Video, especially when using DVD (and to some extent in
> general) is irritatingly jerky. The jerkiness when watching a DVD movie
> on the Toshiba isn't just mild, but can make some movies nearly
> impossible to watch. And the jerkiness corresponds to sound
> interruptions that make it all but impossible to hear what's being said.
> I use Cyberlink PowerDVD software to watch DVDs. Whether I use Version
> 4 or Version 7 doesn't seem to make any difference to performance. As
> soon as the DVD starts to run and there's something on the screen
> besides a still image, I notice that the hard drive is accessed
> continuously, and the access seems directly related to the sound and
> video faltering.
>
> I normally run in 32-bit color mode, but switching to 16 doesn't smooth
> anything out. Just as jerky and stuttery either way.
>
> Question: Short of buying a completely new system, which changes would
> tend to produce adequate video/DVD performance? New sound and/or video
> card? Video memory? New DVD Player? Some adjustment to things
> assigned to IRQ9? Is there some way I can use that 2GB RAM to
> substitute for the hard drive access? Any other ideas?
>
> BTW, is it possible to upgrade the processor in this system, and would
> that help?



I'm no expert by any means, but a couple things stand out for me:

Is your DVD playback using software or hardware decoding? Hardware
decoding would be preferable, and would use less of your system's
resources. If your video card has no onboard memory, that would increase
the burden on the rest of your computer to process the video data.

What processes are running? Hit CTRL-ALT-DEL and see what Task Manager
shows you. You'd be amazed how many programs that aren't active will
still have processes taking up resources. If you're unsure about the
nature of a particular process, just type the complete name of the
process into Google, and it will almost always point you to a
description on the first page of results.

Are you routinely checking your computer for adware/malware using Spybot
Search&Destroy and Ad-Aware? Both programs are free, and can find and
eliminate the vast majority of nasties that might have installed
themselves on your system. Given the recent increase in the severity of
your problem, I suspect this might be part of it.

--
--
Well, whaddaya know? War WAS the answer, after all. Go figure.

A lone Micronaut lost in a world of Star Wars action figures,
(The Excessively Parenthetical) Geena-- Worrier Princess

"Reciprocity... is the key to every relationship."
--LAPD Capt. Dudley Smith (James Cromwell), in L.A. Confidential

"Andy Warhol once said that everyone would be famous for fifteen
minutes. The unfortunate corollary is that everyone will also appear in
a Freddie Prinze, Jr. movie for fifteen minutes."
--me

"This is like driving a Rolls Royce, naked, in mink underpants."
--Tony Bourdain

"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it
helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons,
but at the very least you need a beer."
-- Frank Zappa

"I'm not sayin' it's the best thing in the world FOR ya; I'm just sayin'
it's the best thing in the world."
-- Alton Brown

"The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is
that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes,
wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their
prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet
this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all
the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in
all history."
-- Robert Heinlein
 
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Wes Newell
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-23-2006
On Wed, 23 Aug 2006 12:16:30 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:

> Hi folks. I've got some problems watching video and DVDs on my system
> and I'm wondering what I need to do to get watchable performance? I
> Motherboard: ASUS A7M266
> Processor: AMD Athlon 1400 MHz
> RAM: 2GB
> Video Card: ASUS AGP-V7100 DVI SDRAM v44.03 (GeForce2 MX Chipset - no
> memory)
> Sound Device: CM18738/C3DX PCI Audio Device (this is the onboard audio)
> DVD Player: Toshiba DVD-ROM SD-M1502
> Monitor: Samsung Syncmaster 205BW (Digital 1024 x 76
>
> Question: Short of buying a completely new system, which changes would
> tend to produce adequate video/DVD performance? New sound and/or video
> card? Video memory? New DVD Player? Some adjustment to things
> assigned to IRQ9? Is there some way I can use that 2GB RAM to
> substitute for the hard drive access? Any other ideas?
>
> BTW, is it possible to upgrade the processor in this system, and would
> that help?


Yes, It's possible to upgrade the CPu, but I don't think that's your
porblem unless it's the lack of SSE instructions on the Thunderbird 1400
CPU. A newer video card (non MX) may help. Also, splitting those irq's up.
But first, get a copy of one of those Linux distros that run from cd (like
Knoppmyth) and boot it and play the DVD with it and see if it plays ok.
That will verify it's not a hardware problem and I really don't suspect it
is. It doesn't take much in the way of cpu power to play a dvd. I imagine
you probably have some rouge software running, but it could be the irq
sharing. those are the 2 spots I'd check first.

--
Want the ultimate in free OTA SD/HDTV Recorder? http://mythtv.org
http://mysettopbox.tv/knoppmyth.html Usenet alt.video.ptv.mythtv
My server http://wesnewell.no-ip.com/cpu.php
HD Tivo S3 compared http://wesnewell.no-ip.com/mythtivo.htm

 
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Freewheeling
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-24-2006
Wes Newell wrote:
> On Wed, 23 Aug 2006 12:16:30 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:
>
>> Hi folks. I've got some problems watching video and DVDs on my system
>> and I'm wondering what I need to do to get watchable performance? I
>> Motherboard: ASUS A7M266
>> Processor: AMD Athlon 1400 MHz
>> RAM: 2GB
>> Video Card: ASUS AGP-V7100 DVI SDRAM v44.03 (GeForce2 MX Chipset - no
>> memory)
>> Sound Device: CM18738/C3DX PCI Audio Device (this is the onboard audio)
>> DVD Player: Toshiba DVD-ROM SD-M1502
>> Monitor: Samsung Syncmaster 205BW (Digital 1024 x 76
>>
>> Question: Short of buying a completely new system, which changes would
>> tend to produce adequate video/DVD performance? New sound and/or video
>> card? Video memory? New DVD Player? Some adjustment to things
>> assigned to IRQ9? Is there some way I can use that 2GB RAM to
>> substitute for the hard drive access? Any other ideas?
>>
>> BTW, is it possible to upgrade the processor in this system, and would
>> that help?


First, regarding Geena's thoughts I scan for that pretty routinely using
Adaware and Search&Destroy, and I just finished a scan using Trend
Micro's online process, although that's the only time I've been online
in months. However, my antivirus software (PCCillin2000) seems impacted
by something. It might be that it just hasn't been updated with a new
"engine" in several months, but I've been offline during that time so
it's hard to see how a virus could have gotten in. The only contact
with the outside has been through my thumb drive from work, and that's
scanned pretty regularly. Plus, no virus problems at work. The
background monitor for PCCillin still runs, but I can't open the main
program. I'm going to try an installation of some new software from a
CD, and if that gets halted or starts acting strange I'll know something
is up.

There are a lot of things running in the background, but I stopped most
of them (except essential services) and it didn't seem to make a lot of
difference. Far more likely that there's some IRQ interaction. Problem
is I don't know how to reassign IRQs. I tried assigning one of them in
the BIOS, and the computer wouldn't boot. It might also be time for a
new video and even audio card, but I'll try the IRQs first since that's
the cheapest. Well, actually the antivirus stuff is cheapest.

Problem is, I don't have any idea how to reassign the IRQs. Is there an
online tutorial, or something?

I do have a Linux distribution, although it's a few years old: Lycos
Desktop/LX, which is now defunct. But it won't play the CDs, possibly
because it doesn't have the necessary codexes, and I can't update since
Desktop/LX is now defunct. The one possibility left is that the DVD
software in Linux has been assigned to the wrong region, so I might
fiddle with that a bit.

>
> Yes, It's possible to upgrade the CPu, but I don't think that's your
> porblem unless it's the lack of SSE instructions on the Thunderbird 1400
> CPU.


What are the limitations on upgrading with that MB? What are the
options? Would I need to change my power supply? I think I recently
went from 300 to 350 amps, so it's a little more robust than originally,
but it supports all the necessary voltages.

A newer video card (non MX) may help. Also, splitting those irq's up.
> But first, get a copy of one of those Linux distros that run from cd (like
> Knoppmyth) and boot it and play the DVD with it and see if it plays ok.
> That will verify it's not a hardware problem and I really don't suspect it
> is. It doesn't take much in the way of cpu power to play a dvd. I imagine
> you probably have some rouge software running, but it could be the irq
> sharing. those are the 2 spots I'd check first.


Thanks, will let you know how it goes.

One more thing, I noticed that with the DVD image reduced in size the
faltering wasn't nearly as bad.
 
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Wes Newell
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-24-2006
On Thu, 24 Aug 2006 08:59:15 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:

> Wes Newell wrote:
>> On Wed, 23 Aug 2006 12:16:30 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:
>>
>>> Hi folks. I've got some problems watching video and DVDs on my system
>>> and I'm wondering what I need to do to get watchable performance? I
>>> Motherboard: ASUS A7M266
>>> Processor: AMD Athlon 1400 MHz
>>> RAM: 2GB
>>> Video Card: ASUS AGP-V7100 DVI SDRAM v44.03 (GeForce2 MX Chipset - no
>>> memory)
>>> Sound Device: CM18738/C3DX PCI Audio Device (this is the onboard audio)
>>> DVD Player: Toshiba DVD-ROM SD-M1502
>>> Monitor: Samsung Syncmaster 205BW (Digital 1024 x 76
>>>

> Problem is, I don't have any idea how to reassign the IRQs. Is there an
> online tutorial, or something?
>

Normally you can assign IRQ's via the bios somewhat. So start there. IRQ's
are usually assitgned to the pci slots in the MB. Some bioses may or may
not let you reasssign them. You'll have to check yours.

> Desktop/LX is now defunct. The one possibility left is that the DVD
> software in Linux has been assigned to the wrong region, so I might
> fiddle with that a bit.
>

You can download about any versio you want and burn the cd, assuming you
have a cd burner.

> What are the limitations on upgrading with that MB? What are the
> options? Would I need to change my power supply? I think I recently
> went from 300 to 350 amps, so it's a little more robust than originally,
> but it supports all the necessary voltages.
>

You would not need a new PSU. 300W is plenty for any K7 cpu. The only
limitation you have with that MB is the FSB speed. It's limited to 133MHz,
so you can run any /266 model XP cpu. Even with an older board I had that
was limited to 100MHz (Abit KT7) I ran a 2100+ clocked at 24x100 for
2400MHz. When AMD started hard locking the multiplier it presented
problems, so you need an older one that's not locked, an XP-M, or have to
modify a newer XP to make it an XP-M. But off the shelf, any /266 model
will work. If you have never upgraded the bios, you probaly should first
to the latest. There's lots of info about upgrading the CPU in the My
server link in my sigline. Another very informative link is this one.

http://fab51.com/index-e.html

> One more thing, I noticed that with the DVD image reduced in size the
> faltering wasn't nearly as bad.


Less pixel movement that way. Maybe a newer video card is needed, but I
still think it's a software problem or irq conflict. it doesn't take that
much cpu/video power to display a standard DVD image. HD is a different
story. It takes a lot to decode an HD (1080i, 19200x1080) mpeg2 stream,
but the DVD is only 480i (576x480 IIRC).

--
Want the ultimate in free OTA SD/HDTV Recorder? http://mythtv.org
http://mysettopbox.tv/knoppmyth.html Usenet alt.video.ptv.mythtv
My server http://wesnewell.no-ip.com/cpu.php
HD Tivo S3 compared http://wesnewell.no-ip.com/mythtivo.htm

 
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Freewheeling
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-24-2006
Wes Newell wrote:
> On Thu, 24 Aug 2006 08:59:15 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:
>
>> Wes Newell wrote:
>>> On Wed, 23 Aug 2006 12:16:30 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:
>>>
>>>> Hi folks. I've got some problems watching video and DVDs on my system
>>>> and I'm wondering what I need to do to get watchable performance? I
>>>> Motherboard: ASUS A7M266
>>>> Processor: AMD Athlon 1400 MHz
>>>> RAM: 2GB
>>>> Video Card: ASUS AGP-V7100 DVI SDRAM v44.03 (GeForce2 MX Chipset - no
>>>> memory)
>>>> Sound Device: CM18738/C3DX PCI Audio Device (this is the onboard audio)
>>>> DVD Player: Toshiba DVD-ROM SD-M1502
>>>> Monitor: Samsung Syncmaster 205BW (Digital 1024 x 76
>>>>

>> Problem is, I don't have any idea how to reassign the IRQs. Is there an
>> online tutorial, or something?
>>

> Normally you can assign IRQ's via the bios somewhat. So start there. IRQ's
> are usually assitgned to the pci slots in the MB. Some bioses may or may
> not let you reasssign them. You'll have to check yours.
>
>> Desktop/LX is now defunct. The one possibility left is that the DVD
>> software in Linux has been assigned to the wrong region, so I might
>> fiddle with that a bit.
>>

> You can download about any versio you want and burn the cd, assuming you
> have a cd burner.


Downloaded and burnt KnoppMyth R5C7. Not sure what to do with it. Can I
just replace/overwrite Deskto/LX? That's not much good to me anymore.

>
>> What are the limitations on upgrading with that MB? What are the
>> options? Would I need to change my power supply? I think I recently
>> went from 300 to 350 amps, so it's a little more robust than originally,
>> but it supports all the necessary voltages.
>>

> You would not need a new PSU. 300W is plenty for any K7 cpu. The only
> limitation you have with that MB is the FSB speed. It's limited to 133MHz,
> so you can run any /266 model XP cpu. Even with an older board I had that
> was limited to 100MHz (Abit KT7) I ran a 2100+ clocked at 24x100 for
> 2400MHz. When AMD started hard locking the multiplier it presented
> problems, so you need an older one that's not locked, an XP-M, or have to
> modify a newer XP to make it an XP-M. But off the shelf, any /266 model
> will work. If you have never upgraded the bios, you probaly should first
> to the latest. There's lots of info about upgrading the CPU in the My
> server link in my sigline. Another very informative link is this one.
>
> http://fab51.com/index-e.html


Thanks! The other thing I like about upgrading is that the tax charge
for an "upgrade" is considerably less than for a new system. Just
another way to stay ahead of the guhmint.
>
>> One more thing, I noticed that with the DVD image reduced in size the
>> faltering wasn't nearly as bad.

>
> Less pixel movement that way. Maybe a newer video card is needed, but I
> still think it's a software problem or irq conflict. it doesn't take that
> much cpu/video power to display a standard DVD image. HD is a different
> story. It takes a lot to decode an HD (1080i, 19200x1080) mpeg2 stream,
> but the DVD is only 480i (576x480 IIRC).
>

 
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Wes Newell
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-25-2006
On Thu, 24 Aug 2006 16:40:04 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:

> Downloaded and burnt KnoppMyth R5C7. Not sure what to do with it. Can I
> just replace/overwrite Deskto/LX? That's not much good to me anymore.
>

KnoppMyth? Is that what I said? I meant Knoppix. KnoppMyth is
preconfigured to set up your system as a MythTV box. Don't run it unless
you want to wipe out everything on your drive. Knoppix is linux that runs
off the CD and doesn't use your HDD. With Knoppix, just set the CD as the
first boot device and boot. KnoppMyth won't do you any good unless you
have at least one TV tuner card and want to turn your PC into a HTPC. I
sure am sorry about that. I use Knoppmyth for frontend clientsoff my
mythtv server and just had it on the brain. It's Knoppix you want, or any
of the other so called live CD that run completely from the CD and don't
use your hard drive (unless you have a linux swap partition on it). If
you've already installed Knoppmyth, you'll have to reinstall XP or
whatever OS you were using. Knoppmyth won't play your dvd without
another library installed unless it's an unrpotected dvd. if you have one
of them it'll play it fine, or should. Wow, I'm really sorry for the
screwup in names.

--
Want the ultimate in free OTA SD/HDTV Recorder? http://mythtv.org
http://mysettopbox.tv/knoppmyth.html Usenet alt.video.ptv.mythtv
My server http://wesnewell.no-ip.com/cpu.php
HD Tivo S3 compared http://wesnewell.no-ip.com/mythtivo.htm

 
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Freewheeling
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-25-2006
Wes Newell wrote:
> On Thu, 24 Aug 2006 16:40:04 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:
>
>> Downloaded and burnt KnoppMyth R5C7. Not sure what to do with it. Can I
>> just replace/overwrite Deskto/LX? That's not much good to me anymore.
>>

> KnoppMyth? Is that what I said? I meant Knoppix. KnoppMyth is
> preconfigured to set up your system as a MythTV box. Don't run it unless
> you want to wipe out everything on your drive. Knoppix is linux that runs
> off the CD and doesn't use your HDD. With Knoppix, just set the CD as the
> first boot device and boot. KnoppMyth won't do you any good unless you
> have at least one TV tuner card and want to turn your PC into a HTPC. I
> sure am sorry about that. I use Knoppmyth for frontend clientsoff my
> mythtv server and just had it on the brain. It's Knoppix you want, or any
> of the other so called live CD that run completely from the CD and don't
> use your hard drive (unless you have a linux swap partition on it). If
> you've already installed Knoppmyth, you'll have to reinstall XP or
> whatever OS you were using. Knoppmyth won't play your dvd without
> another library installed unless it's an unrpotected dvd. if you have one
> of them it'll play it fine, or should. Wow, I'm really sorry for the
> screwup in names.


Oy. I got about halfway through the installation to where it had
apparently saved the configuration information and backed out. I
couldn't "quit" or even "go back" so the whole thing looked pretty
shakey to me and I just re-booted everything. I was afraid that my XP
box had been compromised, but it seems to work OK. Even the Desktop/LX
seems to still work... so far.

I'm not sure what KnoppMyth did though, so am still a bit worried. It
may have found a section of my main drive that was free and partitioned
it for the installation, possibly wiping out some data or something.
I'd like to repartition everything so that I can wipe out that Lycos
installation and use that for XP, but there isn't even a Lycos user
group any more. Whoever bought them out just killed everything, and
left all the users hanging. Bunch of jerks. Anyway, as a result I'm
not to friendly anymore to Linux.

BTW, I tried to update my BIOS but I apparently need to create a
"bootable floppy" to do it, and don't think I can with any of the later
Windows distributions. I'm not sure how to update, but the latest
version for the A7M is 1007 and I have 1004 installed, so it'd be a good
idea to update (if I can figure out how to do it).
 
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Wes Newell
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-25-2006
On Fri, 25 Aug 2006 08:48:53 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:


> Oy. I got about halfway through the installation to where it had
> apparently saved the configuration information and backed out. I
> couldn't "quit" or even "go back" so the whole thing looked pretty
> shakey to me and I just re-booted everything. I was afraid that my XP
> box had been compromised, but it seems to work OK. Even the Desktop/LX
> seems to still work... so far.
>

It ask if it can wipe your disk and wrans you even after that before it
starts. So if you didn't tell it to, it didn't. You are safe.

> I'm not sure what KnoppMyth did though, so am still a bit worried. It
> may have found a section of my main drive that was free and partitioned
> it for the installation, possibly wiping out some data or something. I'd
> like to repartition everything so that I can wipe out that Lycos
> installation and use that for XP, but there isn't even a Lycos user
> group any more.


if you already got a linux distro install, it should have what you need to
watch a dvd. Linux programs for that include mplayer, xine, totem, and
a few more. Check the multimedia menu. the only difference in Linux
distros is manily packaging. They all use the same base linux kernel.
AKAIK, WXP can delete the linux partitions.

> Whoever bought them out just killed everything, and
> left all the users hanging. Bunch of jerks. Anyway, as a result I'm
> not to friendly anymore to Linux.
>

You can always overwrite that distro with another. just download the one
of your choice, burn the cd's or dvd and install the new one right over
the old one. Mandriva 2006 would be a good choice.

> BTW, I tried to update my BIOS but I apparently need to create a
> "bootable floppy" to do it, and don't think I can with any of the later
> Windows distributions. I'm not sure how to update, but the latest
> version for the A7M is 1007 and I have 1004 installed, so it'd be a good
> idea to update (if I can figure out how to do it).


Download Freedos.

--
Want the ultimate in free OTA SD/HDTV Recorder? http://mythtv.org
http://mysettopbox.tv/knoppmyth.html Usenet alt.video.ptv.mythtv
My server http://wesnewell.no-ip.com/cpu.php
HD Tivo S3 compared http://wesnewell.no-ip.com/mythtivo.htm

 
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Freewheeling
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-25-2006
Wes Newell wrote:
> On Fri, 25 Aug 2006 08:48:53 -0400, Freewheeling wrote:
>
>
>> Oy. I got about halfway through the installation to where it had
>> apparently saved the configuration information and backed out. I
>> couldn't "quit" or even "go back" so the whole thing looked pretty
>> shakey to me and I just re-booted everything. I was afraid that my XP
>> box had been compromised, but it seems to work OK. Even the Desktop/LX
>> seems to still work... so far.
>>

> It ask if it can wipe your disk and wrans you even after that before it
> starts. So if you didn't tell it to, it didn't. You are safe.
>
>> I'm not sure what KnoppMyth did though, so am still a bit worried. It
>> may have found a section of my main drive that was free and partitioned
>> it for the installation, possibly wiping out some data or something. I'd
>> like to repartition everything so that I can wipe out that Lycos
>> installation and use that for XP, but there isn't even a Lycos user
>> group any more.

>
> if you already got a linux distro install, it should have what you need to
> watch a dvd. Linux programs for that include mplayer, xine, totem, and
> a few more. Check the multimedia menu. the only difference in Linux
> distros is manily packaging. They all use the same base linux kernel.
> AKAIK, WXP can delete the linux partitions.
>
>> Whoever bought them out just killed everything, and
>> left all the users hanging. Bunch of jerks. Anyway, as a result I'm
>> not to friendly anymore to Linux.
>>

> You can always overwrite that distro with another. just download the one
> of your choice, burn the cd's or dvd and install the new one right over
> the old one. Mandriva 2006 would be a good choice.
>
>> BTW, I tried to update my BIOS but I apparently need to create a
>> "bootable floppy" to do it, and don't think I can with any of the later
>> Windows distributions. I'm not sure how to update, but the latest
>> version for the A7M is 1007 and I have 1004 installed, so it'd be a good
>> idea to update (if I can figure out how to do it).

>
> Download Freedos.
>

Thanks. I downloaded the "disk image" but have no idea what to do with
it. Do I need to run some Linux program that actually creates the disk
from the image? It's funny how a lot of these sites leave out the most
fundamental stuff. I guess I'm just supposed to know that... and I
probably once did, but have forgotten.
 
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