Make my old PC a DAW

Discussion in 'Computing' started by Wizbang, Jan 20, 2005.

  1. Wizbang

    Wizbang Guest

    I need some help please....

    I am computer near illiterate, and wish to make my old PC machine a dedicated DAW, and make an old PC I yanked out of the garage my internet and all other crap machine.

    So, I'm running Win XP home, don't have a disc but a sticker on the back of my machine for XP.

    I think I'd like to "wipe" the DAW machine, optimize the machine for DAW, then start plugging in my new toys ( RME multiface w/PCI card), mixer, Presonus Firestation, etc.

    Should I 'wipe' it? Truth is, I have no idea how to wipe it,... I assume 'wipe it' means erase everything and start over.

    Another question is, if I never connect my DAW box to the internet (ideal) , then how do I get new drivers, etc? Do i download on my Internet PC and burn the drivers for transfer?

    Any and all help, point to links etc VERY much appreciated...I really want to do this right.... David
    PS -I'm terribly exited- I'm about to have 37 LED's!!! I'm on my way!!! Heeheehee!!!
  2. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    Was that David referrring to me? If so, Don Mundt (Big_D) is the mod around here. He, along with randyman, BladeSG, and i'm sure others know more than I do. With that said, i'd be more than happy to help you out, but I think we'll be needing some more information. What else does you computer consist of? A fresh OS install is definitely a good idea but did I read correct that you do not have an install disc? I think you should pick up a copy of XP pro also. Yes, you should download everything to the internet machine and transfer.
  3. Wizbang

    Wizbang Guest


    Mine name is David, too...and thanks for the help Mr French...

    I'm pretty sure I don't have a Windows XP disc...bought the PC at Best Buy over a year ago, they installed Win XP home ed. in the store, and put the sticker with a product key number on back of the PCU.

    Also is an OEM number in the 'MY Computer" section...

    So, if that helps....I'll be checking this thread every few minutes for the next 3 hours or so. Thanks again....
    The PC is Intel Celeron @ 2.6g
    RAM 512
    80G Maxtor HD
    Intel Motherboard??? that a motherboard number for intel??? I shore is IGNERT!!!!
    Please help this fool....
  4. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    hahaha! don't I feel stupid! :lol:
  5. Wizbang

    Wizbang Guest


    Naw.....I done grew up in Arkansas, and I is WAY stooopider !!!!

    If you would be so kind as to throw some of them DAW moderators my way I shore would be appreciatin' it Mr David French......Thanky!!!
  6. golli

    golli Active Member

    Apr 17, 2003
    Put in another harddrive, for audio.

    Other than that, you're good to go.
  7. Wizbang

    Wizbang Guest

    Another HD? How big should it be? If I understand correctly, one for programs, one for wav that the audio part?

    Also, if anyone can point me to a link about HD "wiping" or tell me how I would really appreciate it...

    and the Win XP disc, so can I reload window after a 'wipe' with the OEM # and product key #? Why XP PRO vs Home ed.?

    and will this freakin' newbie EVER stop asking stooopid questions????
  8. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    Wizbang, you crack me up :)

    Get a rather large HD for your audio files; it will fill up quicker than you might think. The reason for having a dedicated audio drive is for speed opptimization. You can read from both drives simultaneously. Make sure to get a HD with an 8 MB buffer. I like Seagate Barracudas personally.

    Wiping your harddrive, aka formatting, is typically done during a windows installation. You will need a disc, though. When you run the windows install disc, you will be asked if you would like to do a clean install. That's all there is to it.
  9. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2004
    Quakertown PA
    Hi Wizbang, Sorry I didn't see your post until now. I was up to my elbows in computer parts until a few minutes ago.

    I agree with David and Golli, I would add a larger hard drive (120MB or larger) and do a fresh install of XP. I assume your drives are IDE so I'd keep your 80GB drive as primary master and make your new drive secondary master. You would then have to make your CD or CD/RW a slave on either the primary or secondary IDE port (just move the jumper on the CD/RW from master to slave).

    As far as XP, Pro is nice but Home is fine also, it really doesn't make a difference on a DAW. I would contact Microsoft and Best Buy about the OEM number you have and see if you can get a disk. I doubt you'll get one but it can't hurt to ask. You may have gotten a system restore disk but that would just reinstall all the garbage that came with the PC. That really pisses me off that these places like Best Buy sell PC's and don't give you the software disks that you paid for. That way when your system acts up because of a software problem you go back to them they tell you you need a new PC. Just one more reason to build your own. You can buy a copy of XP Home for $100 so if you can't find or get the disk it's really not too expensive.

    If you need any further help with what I or the others told you post again and you'll get all the help you can stand.

    One more thing and this is for everyone, please don't ever buy a PC from a retailer or mail order house that you intend to use as a DAW or any other serious computing for that matter. Either build your own or have a custom PC maker (not Dell or Gateway) make it for you. If your not sure what hardware to buy just ask. There are plenty of us here to help.

    Good Luck Wizbang and let us know how you make out.
  10. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Don't be too afraid of "wiping" your Hard Drive; it's not too scary. But you will need a copy of Windows. With your Multiface, it may be a good idea to download the latest drivers off the rme-audio website and have those on a disc for when you install the card. I had a heck of a time installing mine with the drivers that come on the CD in the box. When you download the driver package, take a look at the readme file that is in there. I believe it has a little different way of installing that worked for me. Cold boot and stuff. Select the drivers manually from your downloaded disc when Windows tells you "new hardware found".
    I second the 120GB Barracuda. Not too scary to install either (unless it doesn't default to UDMA Mode 5 (too long of a story for now)).

    BTW: I'm from south MO so if a simpleton such as I can figure it out, pertnear anybody kin lick it.
  11. Wizbang

    Wizbang Guest

    Thanks Big D.... good stuff. I need LOTSA help...I is WAY IGNERT!!!

    EDIT: I didn't see your post until after I posted this, Reggie...I think
    your tips will help alot....after a NAP!!! All my family is from Joplin...just down 44.....

    So here goes the tale of my evening....HOLD ON TO YOUR A**....

    I did find a back up disk, and reinstalled XP, but like you said Big D, lots of crap to go with it. I managed to get rid of alot of the crap step by step...we'll see. Thats the semi-good news.

    Bad news is BUTT UGLY!!! I've been up all night with this sumbitch trying to get it started...

    I got my RME PCI card installed, easy. I connected the firewire cable to the multiface box..piece of cake.

    I turned ol' Bessie the Best Buy POS CPU on and.....load the RME driver disc in.....and do ya know what 'ol Bessie did???


    She don't 'see' my card....Had to take her out and give her a good bitch slappin'......not really....but DAMN!!! I'ts been 9 hours!!! Try this, try that , there you go Wizbang...get it ALL good and fkd up!!!

    I go to the RME website, download updated drivers, try to follow directions in the manual and "read me's"...but at this point nuthin' is workin' and feel like reading THEM the "EAT ME'S"!!!!

    I left a message for the RME tech 'George"- I've heard he's good on an RME message board...

    Anyway, think I'll catch some shut-eye before I take a sledgehammer to my new toys.....

    Kinda feels like Christmas 5am...damn bicycle/dollhouse/swingset/fill in the blank just WILL NOT go together...every knuckle is bleeding...the wife is saying "Honey-you really need to hurry...the kids will be up ANY minute..."and she grins

    Quick check of my blood pressure reveals 230/130......

    Time to take 5 before the impending stroke nukes my brain....Christmas drooling and babbling in the ICU really blows...

    I know some of you Dads AND DAW builders have been here....
    Help me fellas!!!!!

    OK....shut the hell up, newbie.... you ain't got a single freakin' LED
    lit up yet.....

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