Installing a gaming PC

After four years I had again a PC assembled, but this time as a gaming PC for Kamen (and for the rest of the family, too 😉 ).

At work we have a PC department that assembled the PC according to my wishes. The installation of the OS I like to do myself; I chose Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE) over XP Pro, because it’s less expensive but has almost all features of XP Pro. The Media Center itself I don’t need; the PC hasn’t got a TV card.

The first problem surfaced during the installation, when the MCE install requested the Windows XP Service Pack 2 CD. MCE comes with two CDs but neither is labeled SP2. It took me some time to find a Service Pack 2 CD but it wouldn’t work. Later I found out that Microsoft in their infinite wisdom just meant to feed the first MCE CD again, because the SP2 is slipstreamed into the installation CDs and they just forgot to reword the prompt that requests this disc…

The second problem was to find an antivirus protection that works with the Windows Security Center and the personal firewall of my choice, Kerio Personal Firewall. I have got a free one year license for Kaspersky Anti-Virus Personal and tried the version 4.5. This version has some problems with the Data Execution Prevention (DEP) available with the Athlon 64 CPU. I upgraded to Kaspersky Version 5.0, but with this combination I had to disable the firewall to get internet access (!). The internet didn’t tell me what to do in this situation, so I finally installed AntiVir Personal Edition.

Another thing still doesn’t work: DVDs can’t be played with the Media Center. But that is not important, because they work with Media Player and the DVD player that came with the ATI Radeon 9600 card.

Now the PC works fine except some occasional crashes during games. We just have to learn to save the game quite frequently (as I did fifteen years ago when writing texts). I hope these problems will be gone with the next version of graphic driver.

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