Sunday, August 15, 2010


All software is installed and everything is working great. Need to order a new bluray drive and then install it. Here are some pics.

Mediacenter in action with Mediabrowser Plugin.

Mediabrowser Media Folders.

The only complete actor in India Cinema.

Music collection.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Last Free HTPC build continued....

Got windows 7 on thursday and put it in the drive and started the machine...showed the devices correctly, asked me to select AHCI mode and was jumping that it was booting up correctly.....turned out I celebrated too early...within a second....boom.."DISK BOOT ERROR. PLEASE INSERT SYSTEM DISK" and I was like WTF. Rebooted the machine a few more times after changing BIOS and BOOT settings and same result.

Started googling and there were so many possibilities...motherboard could be bad, RAM could be bad, power supply could be bad...hard drive could be bad...but no where was it mentioned or it did strike me that this one part could be bad...more on that a little later.

After wasting more than 2 hours, I decided to get one of my HTPC and open it up and did the following
1.Swapped the RAM from my machine...same result
2.Hooked up the new 1TB HD to my machine and it was recognized and good
3.Hooked up the new 2TB HD to my machine and it was good too
3.Pulled out the new video card and connected directly to DVI on the MB
4.Pulled out the wireless N card from the new machine

AT this point it was past 10p.m in the night and i was really frustrated. After dinner...i thought maybe this was the issue and pulled the new BD Drive out of the machine and hooked up my dvd writer. To get it out of my machine took a while...adding to the frustration. Who knew.......I hooked up my DVD drive, put in windows 7 and you guessed it started loading.

After windows finished loading, I put together back all the pieces i pulled, put everything in place and finished installing all the drivers. Here is some of the software I typically use in my builds. The only software I pay for is Windows 7 in the list.

1.Windows 7 O/s - 32 bit home premium typically.
2.Microsoft Security Essentials - Virus and Spam protection.
3.LM Remote Kepmap. I have profiles created for PowerDVD.
4.Virtual clone drive to load ISO's.
5.PowerDVD for bluray playback. Have not used total media theater till day.
6.Shark 7 codecs.
7.MPC home cinema latest build which uses DXVA.
8.Registry mod for MKV,MP$ playback.
9.DVD Fab Platinum hd Decrypter.
10.ultra Vnc server and viewer for remote connection.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

My last free HTPC Build

This is my sixth HTPC build in the last 2 years and my last free build for a friend. I am planning to start a home business building HTPC's and also do home theater installs for friends and anyone who is interested in my work. I will be revamping this blog shortly giving more detailed information on my builds till now and also on what we can offer our future customers.

The following components are used in this build.

Case - nMediapc 500B

An excellent case with lot of space to operate. The bottom front panel has inputs for I394 (Firewire), couple of usb 2.0 ports, an eSata port and a Card reader (CF,SD,microSD and all other types of cards). It also has a HD audio out in the front and a microphone jack.

Motherboard - Gigabyte MA785GM-US2H Micro ATX

The motherboard is called so for a reason. For the last four builds, I have chosen this board primarily for all the options that the board offers. It has a HD Radeon 4200 on board video with DVI and HDMI output. The audio and video on the HDMI work flawlessly. It also as Optical audio output and plenty of onboard connectors for extra usb 2.0 ports, I394 and everything else. It comes with 4 SATA ports.

RAM - 4GB Patriot Viper DDR2 1066 Mhz

Had lot of good reviews in newegg.

CPU - AMD Athlon X2 3.0Ghz Regor
This cpu is a 65w CPU. Pretty powerful, very inexpensive and does all the chores of a HTPC without any issues. AMD is the way to go for HTPC builds.

Powersupply - OCZ 550W Modular Power supply
This PS had 5 star reviews on newegg and also came at a good price. This is the first modular power supply that I have used in my builds and I should say I am very impressed. This one has a clear fan and looks like it might emit a red light when powered on. Have to check on that.

Hard Drive - Westerdigital 1TB Black and 2TB Green
Choose the 1TB black for O/s and also for DVR purposes. The 2TB Green drive will be used for media storage - DVD's, Photos, home videos and Photos.

LG Bluray Drive

Primarily to Play bluray movies using PowerDVD integrated with Windows media center. This is also a dual layer DVD burner.

The above picture was taken after all the parts were put in place. The video and wireless cards are on their way by USPS. I am yet to get hold of Windows 7 and will be updating the blog after the O/S install with more pictures.

To Be Continued.....