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This chapter is from the book

Powering Up

Now, at last, you're ready to fire up your new PC. Rather than just diving willy-nilly into the operating system install, however, there's a procedure I like to follow to ensure the BIOS, motherboard, and processor are all working in harmony. Follow these steps:

  1. Connect a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to the PC, and then turn on the monitor.
  2. Connect the power cable to a wall socket and then to the power supply unit.
  3. If the PSU's switch is off (0), turn it on (1).
  4. Open the bezel door and press the power switch on the front of the case. Make sure the case fans and CPU fan are all working.
  5. Press Delete to enter the motherboard's BIOS configuration program, which is called CMOS Setup Utility.
  6. Make sure your devices are working properly by checking the following:
    • In the Main screen, check the date and time and set them to the correct values, if necessary.
    • In the Main screen, check the SATA headers to make sure you see two devices listed: one is the hard drive and the other is the optical drive.
    • In the Main screen, check that the Installed Memory section shows 2048MB.
    • In the Boot screen, select Boot Device Priority, select 1st Boot Device, highlight CDROM, and press Enter.
  7. Press F10 to save your changes and exit CMOS Setup. The program asks you to confirm that you want to save changes:
    • In the Main screen, select System Information and check the Processor section to make sure the Intel Core 2 Quad appears. Also, check that the System Memory section shows 2048MB available.
    • In the Boot screen, select Boot Device Priority, select 1st Boot Device, highlight CDROM, and press Enter.
  8. Press F10 to save your changes and exit System Setup. The program asks you to confirm you want to save changes.
  9. Press Enter and then press the power switch to shut down the PC.
  10. Replace the case's side panel.
  11. Connect the computer to your network by running a network cable from the back panel's network port to your switch or router.
  12. Press the power switch on the front panel.
  13. Open the optical drive and insert your operating system disc. (For my build, I installed Ubuntu, a really nice—and, appropriately for a budget PC, free—Linux distribution.) The computer will now boot from the disc and install the OS.
  14. If you install Windows, be sure to update your version—particularly by installing all available security patches—immediately. Also, use Device Manager to check for device problems (see Chapter 17) and install drivers for any device Windows didn't recognize.

    See "Updating Device Drivers," p. 519.

  15. Update the motherboard's BIOS, as described in Chapter 17.

    See "Updating the Motherboard BIOS," p. 507.

When the OS is installed and running, insert the ASUS 690G Chipset Support DVD that came with the board and run the install program. This contains all the drivers you need for the board's devices.

If you decide to install Linux as I did, you need to follow these steps to start the program that installs the Linux drivers:

  1. Insert the disc and navigate to the /LinuxDrivers/Chipset directory.
  2. Copy the file in that directory to the desktop. (In my version, the file is called ati-driver-installer-8.35.5-x86.x86_64.run.)
  3. Start a Terminal session and change to your user account's Desktop directory (that is, enter cd /home/user/Desktop/, where user is your username).
  4. Make the .run file executable by running the command chmod a+x file, where file is the name of the .run file. Here's an example:
    chmod a+x ati-driver-installer-8.35.5-x86.x86_64.run
  5. Enter the command sudo ./ati-driver-installer-8.35.5-x86.x86_64.run, and enter your password if prompted. If the install program runs, skip the rest of these steps. Otherwise, you'll see a message similar to this:
    Detected version of X does not have a matching 'x130' directory
    You may override the detected version using the following syntax:
         X_VERSION=<xdir> ./ati-driver-installer-<ver>-<arch>.run [--install]
    The following values may be used for <xdir>:
        x430         XFree86 4.3.x
        x430_64a     XFree86 4.3.x 64-bit
        x680         X.Org 6.8.x
        x680_64a     X.Org 6.8.x 64-bit
        x690         X.Org 6.9.x
        x690_64a     X.Org 6.9.x 64-bit
        x700         X.Org 7.0.x
        x700_64a     X.Org 7.0.x 64-bit
        x710         X.Org 7.1.x
        x710_64a     X.Org 7.1.x 64-bit
  6. Determine which version you need to install (for example, I'm running Ubuntu 7.10, so I need x710).
  7. Start a super-user shell by running the command sudo -i.
  8. Enter the command X_VERSION=xdir ./file, where xdir is the version number from step 6 and file is the name of the .run file. Here's an example:

    X_VERSION=x710 ./ati-driver-installer-8.35.5-x86.x86_64.run

    You should now see the installer, as shown in Figure 14.27.

    Figure 14.27

    Figure 14.27 Run the Linux Driver Installer to install the chipset drivers.

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