I did it, you will be pleased to know – but how? The next few blog posts in the “We Must Rebuild” story will be about how I built the new beast and the problems I encountered along the way – so that if you are looking at building your own computer, maybe you won’t be as scared as you see it is possible. I tried to take many photos as I built so that, for example, if you were looking at buying an OCZ 600w PSU like mine, you know and can see exactly what comes in the box, and it may help you make a more informed decision for if you want to go for that exact product, or something a bit different.
Today the case came! Hoorah! It was the right case, it wasn’t damaged, and all the bits came with it – all of which I was fearing. In the morning I had already got up to update the SSD firmware and maybe start getting the board ready for when the case arrived. However, I didn’t count on the SSD update being so fiddly.
On the OCZ site, it tells you to download this little program (OCZ Toolbox), that will detect the drive and update its firmware. Bingo, I thought. No. I plugged in the SSD to a SATA port (had to unplug my data drive (not OS!)), so I could still boot my normal Windows – (you can’t update the drive you are booting off this way, incidently). I ran the ToolBox, and it did not detect the drive… problem #1. A short time later, I found that my board had to be set in AHCI mode. A long time later, I eventually came to the conclusion that my board did not HAVE a AHCI mode :(, and thus that option was out of the window. The other option from OCZ is a “linux-based” firmware updater tool, however this is not a little bootable image or anything – its like a linux program that you untar and run. Okay fair enough, so I booted my virtual Super Ubuntu in VMWare Player. Gave it full access to the OCZ SSD, and downloaded the file and decompressed it. I wasn’t quite sure what the device was called (should have looked in the linux version of my computer – hover over it and it tells you – mine was sdb1 I think). Even using the commands off the guide, and other ones I found on the internet, still no luck. I don’t have ubuntu installed on my PC – and I could not use my netbook as you can’t use a USB to SATA adapter… problems #2 and 3.
Solution? I remembered I had an installation of BackTrack 3 (UNIX) on a flash drive, and booted my pc up with that. Perfect – it recognised the SSD, could use the little OCZ program, but.. problem #4 – you need internet. Where I currently live, there is no wired LAN – we use wireless, and I did not have the driver (for linux) for my new TP link wireless adapter. After some rooting around, I found a pair of Belkin adapters that I had bought for use with BackTrack3 (investigating WEP network security). Popped one in, then the other (first one was dead – but I think windows likes it) and it worked! I could see networks – so I hit our home network and connect… could not connect.
Recommendations: Check whether your board has AHCI. Be competent with Linux if not. And unplug any non-vital hard drives! Also back up Always backup.