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Monday, September 17, 2007

System freeze and SATA Command Queuing

After building the new PC, I've been experiencing constant system freezes. Windows would freeze for about 30 seconds - all keys including CTRL+ALT+DEL or CTRL+SHIFT+ESC that usually switch to the appropriate utilities would work. 30 seconds later, the system would go back to its regular state, like nothing would happen. All actions that where queued up during the 30 second "freeze" would fire up. This was happing during performance intensive operations as well as when the computer was relatively free, on average around twice an hour.

After upgrading all drivers, motherboard BIOS and removing disconnecting all peripherals - I finally found a solution on Google that worked. Apparently - NVidia SATA drivers enable Command Queuing by default even though many drives do not support it. Disabling the option seem have fixed the problem. I've been "Freeze" free for 4 days now.

To see uncheck the option:

  • Right click on computer, select "Properties
  • Select "Device Manager"
  • Find "Storage Controllers"
  • For each "NVIDIA nForce Serial ATA Controller" select Properties, and uncheck "Enable Command Queuing" option

DeviceManager

SATA


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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Grouping emails by Conversation

When reading emails in GMail, they are organized by conversation so related emails are easy to see. Follow the following steps to create the same view in outlook.

  • Select View -> Arrange By -> Current View -> Define Views
  • Select "Messages" and click "Copy..." button
  • Rename the new view to be "Messages by Conversation
  • On the new view, select "Modify...", then "Group By..."
  • Select "Conversation" in the first group by drop down.
  • Hit OK to apply the view

 

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Asynchronous ForEach (Part 2)

I wrote about creating an asynchronous ForEach method before. Apparently, there is a going to be a TPL (Task Parallel Library) available that will do the same type of functionality (and more I am sure)

Parallel.For(0, 100, delegate(int i) { a[i] = a[i]*a[i]; });

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Building a new PC

Recently, the Hard Drive on my old Dell Dimension 3000 died, and I've decided to upgrade. Seeing that Scott Hanselman just recently got a PC upgrade, and Jeff Atwood wrote a few great articles on building that PC, I've decided to build a PC as well.

Here are the specs with NewEgg links (I got everything from NewEgg)

 

Mobo

MSI P6N SLI Platinum LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813130081

$139.99
CPU

Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 Conroe 2.33GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6550 - Retail
Item #: N82E16819115030

$176.99
Video

MSI NX8600GT-T2D256EZ GeForce 8600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
Item #: N82E16814127293

$109.99
Hard Drive

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Item #: N82E16822136073

$109.99
RAM

Patriot Extreme Performance 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model PDC22G6400LLK - Retail
Item #: N82E16820220144

$111.99
CPU Cooler

Scythe SCNJ-1100P 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler - Retail
Item #: N82E16835185038

$34.99
Case

RAIDMAX SMILODON ATX-612WBP Black SECC STEEL ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply - Retail
Item #: N82E16811156062

$89.99
 

Subtotal:

$773.93

 

Shipping:

$32.42

 

Grand Total

$806.35

Everything got delivered in 3 days.

The whole build took around 2 hours. I had a few minor hiccups - one is that I didn't expect the CPU cooler to be as big as it was. It really is a monster. After putting it on the mother board, I could not close the case since the heat-sink would hit the case power supply. I had to take CPU cooler off, close the side of the case with the mother board, and place the CPU cooler back.

The other hiccup was that the case came with a 4 pin power cord for CPU power. The motherboard had an 8 pin socket. However, after looking on the MSI website, I aw that you can use the 4 pin plug in one side of the socket.

Here are the final pics:

IMG_0998

 IMG_1005

 

Overall, computer rocks. Fast, stable, looks cool :) The whole experience was pretty painless (if you follow the directions)


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