Help with new computer from stratch


my 15 year old son has tried to build his first computer from stratch…he has used the following parts:

  • PC3-10600 DDR3-1333 DIMM RAM 4GB (x2)
  • iHAP122-19 Internal PATA DVD Writer - Black (x2)
  • 400W ATX Power Supply Unit
  • 3.1GHz AMD Phenom II X2 550 Processor
  • Asus M4N68T-M LE microATX
  • NVIDIA GeForce 7025
  • WD Caviar Green Hard Drive 1TB with 32MB of cache
  • Wireless 802.11b/g/n 32-bit PCI Adapter

he has got as far as connecting all the wires and switching on when it does an inital one bleep goes through everything and then says reboot and select proper boot device. we can’t install the operating system XP home (which is one that I had from my previous computer) as it keeps going round in circles to say select proper boot device…any ideas?

 I hope you can help as he wants to be able to do this as a future career and I dont want him to be put off

thanks Sonia

You probably need to buy a licensed copy of Windows.

If the disk you’re trying to install from is an OEM copy that was tied to the original machine you bought, it may not let you install.

But first, check the BIOS settings on the Motherboard and make sure that the WD Caviar is the PRIMARY DEVICE, as in, it’s installed in the FIRST SATA port, and is also the first BOOT DEVICE.

hi there

thanks for the quick response. he has tried the latter option. Is there a way of buying cheaper software because surely if you want to build computers for other people this works out expensive…what do other people do? Is there other OS that can be used?

Why can’t we use the reinstall disc you get with the OS if things goes belly up and you need to reinstall it

thanks Sonia

Try Linux! It’s free a free operating system :slight_smile: (I prefer Windows due to the many versions of Linux though).

And the retail disc can’t be used because it’s a “recovery” disc with an OEM-licensed version of Windows made specifically for the manufacturer of the original computer.

ok thanks will do…what is the best version to have? I was going to put it on a cd from my laptop…any decent links?

thanks for your support in this

best wishes


I use Ubuntu.  Just do an internet search.  It’s really common.

You can play around with all the “LIve” builds of Linux…



Ubuntu… etc… They all have them.   You don’t even need to install it; just boot the Live CD and see which one you like the most, then download and install the full installer.

I use Fedora 14 at home… 

Hey Tony,

Have you tried Ubuntu?  If so, what do you like about Fedora as opposed to Ubuntu?

Then save the Live CD it may be useful for data recovery in an emergency.


thanks for all your help…one quick question then I think its answered…I have read somewhere that if you use for example window OS 32 bit it doesnt recognise more than 3gb ram if you have it and so would need to use the 64bit version (is this correct?) …also do you have the same issue with any linux products??

thanks again and after this I am hoping my son will get his first all lights and dancing computer made!

best wishes


Yeah, it’s a 4GB limit, but different OS’s handle that limit in different ways.

But 64-bit releases have been around for so long now there’s generally no issue running them.

The issue is finding Drivers for older hardware – they may not have written 64-bit versions for older devices.