Guide

How to install and activate a new SSD or HDD with Windows 10

The first step is going to plugging your drive into the PC, we’ve popped a quick video at the bottom of this blog from GGPC Instagram showing where the cables usually are for this 🙂

Once you’ve plugged your new SSD or HDD you’ll need to activate the drive and assign it a name or letter.

The good news is, it’s super easy to do!

With the new storage now installed, turn the PC on and let it boot into windows as normal. The new drive won’t be usable until we activate it.

Press/Click the windows key and type in ‘partition’ then press enter/click

This will make the ‘create and format hard disk partitions’ tool pop up.

You’ll see your new M.2 SSD in here but it will be coloured black to indicate it’s not currently active.
Right click on the black drive and select ‘new simple volume’ 
The tool will then pop up, click next to begin!
The first thing it will ask us to do is to specify the volume size

The default number that appears here automatically is the max storage available (yep, 500GB becomes 476B when formatted..) so just go with what pops up and click next.

Now choose a drive letter
Now name your new SSD
All done! Your new SSD will now be usable on your PC.

The same process can be used for all types of storage, HDD and regular SSD too.

GAME ON!

AMD Rewards Raise the Game 2020 with Resident Evil 3

UPDATE: This promotion has now ended, see the latest AMD Rewards here!

AMD have a new RAISE THE GAME bonus offer for gamers in New Zealand!

For a limited time (and while code stocks last) you can register to redeem a BONUS AMD Rewards Key with select AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT, RX 5600 XT, RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT Graphics Cards or Gaming PC featuring this hardware!

This promotion is valid only on qualifying AMD purchases from February 4th 2020 – April 25th 2020, and only from authorised retailers (PB Tech in NZ)

Eligible models for Radeon RX AMD Rewards Raise the Game:

AMD RX 5500 XT
AMD RX 5600 XT
AMD RX 5700
AMD RX 5700 XT

This new AMD Rewards Key offer unlocks an awesome game!

Resident Evil 3: Prepare yourself for a horrific survival experience, the game is a remake of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (from wayyy back in 1999), and follows Jill Valentine as she attempts to escape a zombie apocalypse while hunted by an intelligent bioweapon known as Nemesis. Based on the success of the awesome Resi2 remake we enjoyed in 2019 this one is going to be awesome!

PLEASE NOTE: Resident Evil 3 is set to release on 03/04/2020

In addition to coming with Resident Evil 3, if you get the AMD RX 5600 XT, AMD RX 5700 or AMD RX 5700 XT you’ll also score another code for MHW: Iceborne!

Monster Hunter World Iceborne: The title calls out the latest expansion but worry not if you don’t own the original, this AMD game bonus redeems the Monster Hunter World + Iceborne expansion so you’re in for both!

And even more awesomeness awaits with the excellent AMD Rewards Xbox Game Pass subscription offer (limited time) on too!, which gives access to a curated library of over 100 high-quality PC games on Windows 10, available to download and play. Xbox will continue to add more diverse titles to the library, including new games from Xbox Game Studios and well-known PC game developers and publishers on the day the games are released.

GAME ON!

How to create a second Admin account in Windows 10

The pre-setup account for all GGPC systems allows you to jump in right away, but sometimes you’ll want to create another Windows 10 account for another user, to keep programs organised, or other reasons.

To access your account settings, press the start button and type “other users”, clicking the “other users” option when it appears.

The first thing to do is to create a local user, following the steps below.

Select Add someone else to this PC.

Select I don’t have this person’s sign-in information

Select Add a user without a Microsoft account.

Enter a user name, password, password hint or choose security questions, and then select Next.

Now, if you want to turn that local user into an admin, select the account owner name, then select Change account type.

Under Account type, select Administrator and OK.

You can now press start, sign out of your current admin account and sign back in with the new administrator account. While logged into the new account, you can now create and remove additional accounts as needed.

AMD Wraith Prism RGB Cooler Setup & Software

Today we’re taking a look at the AMD Wraith Prism CPU Cooler and its RGB connection cables + software controls.

This specific cooler is a little hard to find as a standalone option, instead, the AMD Wraith CPU Cooler is included with the following AMD Ryzen CPU.

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
AMD Ryzen 7 3800X

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

It’s a remarkably good looking cooler, with unique connection options that include both a 4-pin RGB Header and a USB 2.0 Internal Header cable to enable control of the colours.

The LED layout is split into 2 main zones.

– The RGB Header cable controls only the fan.

– The USB 2.0 Header cable controls both, with additional A-RGB options for the outer ring, but the fan colour controls are overridden if the RGB header cable is attached.

This becomes important when you want to match the colours with other RGB components within your Gaming PC – right now static colours are no problem but getting a colour flow effect to sync between the outer ring, central fan and case fans can’t be done easily. (we’ll update when it works again)

That’s not to say you can’t have some awesome RGB colours though! So let’s connect the cables and install the software for testing 🙂

Starting with the CPU Cooler installed into our PC, we’ll now attach the cables required to control the RGB.

Quickly removing the Graphics Card to give us easy access to the two ports on the bottom of of the CPU Cooler we first connect the RGB Cable to an RGB Header, and then the other cable to the USB 2.0 Header on our motherboard.

With the two cables now connected our build instantly syncs the AMD Wraith CPU Cooler to our case fans, and while the outer ring does at first appear to be matching the flow as it proceeds the colours will slowly de-sync.

With everything looking good it’s time to move onto software install, the easiest way to find the latest version is by visiting the AMD CPU Cooler Solution website and clicking the button shown below.

This will take to the Cooler Master software download page, simply click the button here and a compressed software package will begin to download.

Please note: At the time of writing this, our software download was Wraith Prism v1.18

Unpack the zip that’s now in your download folder and run the program to install the software – the most difficult steps are done!

OK, now you can start playing with the 3 tabs to control the two separate RGB zones, RING LED and FAN LED, the third is just that little AMD logo top left.

IMPORTANT: Remember that you can’t change the fan LED with using these software controls if the RGB header cable is attached.

Looking specifically at our B450 Aorus Motherboard, you can see we connected the RGB header just below the CPU Cooler.

Simply pop the RGB Header cable out, and the Wraith Cooler Software controls will now let you tweak and change everything to suit 🙂

We can now use a combination of Aorus FUSION RGB software and the Cooler Master AMD Wraith Prism Cooler Software to align the colours on everything.

All the various brands’ RGB software can be found on the product page download section for your specific motherboard, with AORUS you can also get it from the dedicated website they’ve set up at https://www.gigabyte.com/MicroSite/512/rgb2.html 🙂

Quick tip: If you’re running AORUS RGB Fusion on your PC be sure to get the Android APP as it adds even more controls options, smart features and settings.

With the motherboard software set to static orange for our test, we can now return the Cooler Master Wraith Prism Software and configure this to match.

And we’re all done, with the RGB header cable detached, and our two software packages configured individually to match, we can set our whole system, or individual parts, to our own colour preference for the perfect look.

We choose orange because of the subtle orange highlight on our Aorus Motherboard but it looked pretty awesome in blue too 🙂

You can configure the various parts, then uninstall the software/remove cables and it will retain the last known config – this is pretty good as the cables that come out the cooler are pretty big and can be tricky to hide.

LED ON!

Guide: Fixing the “This site can’t be reached” error message in Chrome

Today we’re taking a closer look at network connection issues, and some quick fixes that might work for a bunch of error messages that appear only sometimes… making the actual cause often tricky to find.

DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NX_DOMAIN

ERR_NAME_RESOLUTION_FAILED

ERR_NAME_NOT_RESOLVED

Generally, the error appears when you first launch your browser, or visit a website you often visit. Pushing CTRL + F5 to force re-cache a few times will often get you past the issues if and when they do appear.

If that’s the case, and you’re able to bypass the error with a few cache clearing key presses, try these options, one by one, in order.

Clear the browser “On Startup” options

Open up chrome and either click the three little dots top right to access the settings menu, or visit chrome://settings/onStartup to jump straight to the menu.

IMPORTANT: Clicking the link above should cause the error we’re trying to fix!

You can cut and paste the link and it will work.

Step #1: Highlight the text by left-clicking and holding the button down, then drag to highlight all the text.

Step #2: Press CTRL + C to cut the text to your clipboard

Step #3: Press CTRL + V to paste into the search bar

Now that we’re in settings, set the menu to “Open the New Tab Page” as shown below, once confirmed that everything is working as it should again you can update to either of the other two options.

OK, now reboot and test your PC to see if the error re-appears, if it does we continue on with the fixes below.

Clearing the browser cache – completely.

Open up chrome and visit chrome://history/ to access the menu below.

Once you’re there, click the “Clear Browsing Data” option and a pop-up box will appear.

IMPORTANT: Be sure to select “Advanced” up top, the time range only needs to back as far as when the error first started appearing, but if unsure “All-Time” is a great safe option. You might need to scroll down to see all options too.

Once everything is selected, click the blue “CLEAR DATA” button on the bottom right.

That generally works for a cache related issue, but if the problem persists we can also try more options below.

Resetting the network adaptor settings and or resetting the network settings using command prompt in windows 10 wise, there is a seriously good guide for both at https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/help/10741/windows-fix-network-connection-issues which covers everything and the best bit is they got links in the article – so as you’re going through the guide you can click links to open up the settings menu you need, like this one which will open your network settings in windows 10 ms-settings:network-status 🙂

Good RGB – Installing A-RGB fans with a non RGB motherboard

Today we’re setting up some ARGB fans with a motherboard that doesn’t have any RGB or ARGB headers to see what’s involved. We’ll also be controlling these via software, so we can enjoy all the customisation options that come with the latest addressable RGB kits!

For this we’re going to be using our favourite Cooler Master ARGB 3x Fan Kit as it has a fan controller included, before we get stuck into the install we’ll just take a quick look at what comes inside the box.

– A-RGB LED Small Controller
– SATA & Thermal Detection Cable
– 1 to 3 A-RGB Cable & Cable to sync MB
– 1 to 3 Fan Power Cable Splitter
– Thermal Detector
– 3x 120mm A-RGB Fans
– 12 Fan Screws
– User Manual + Warranty Information Booklet

OK let’s get into it! (insert great pic from manual)

First, we connected the ARGB Cable (it’s got 3 pins, shown below) and the Fan Power Cable Splitter (ignoring the Asus and Gigabyte connectors) to the appropriate connectors on the fan cables. The ARGB and Fan Power connector types are clearly marked on the cables with white tags. The green arrows below show the little triangles that match up.

We then connected the ARGB Cable 5 pin connector and the SATA & Thermal Detection Cable 4 pin connector to the controller.

Finally, we connected the SATA & Thermal Detection Cable into the Thermal Detector and SATA power connector from the PSU.

When turning on the PC we had success, the fans were running fine and the LEDs lit up – able to be controlled through the buttons on the ARGB controller.

The ARGB controller is easy to mount into the case as it is magnetic, and with you’ll have a few effects and the beautiful ARGB rainbow mode

The Manual that comes in the box states you can download software on Cooler Master’s website. This is a fairly easy process but you’ll need to get your own MicroUSB cable and internal USB Header adapter for it to look super clean 😛 (cowboy mode plugging the micro USB cable into a USB port on the outside of your PC work though)

Once you’ve connected the Cooler Master ARGB controller via USB, head to the CM Download page to grab the latest (This will be newer than ones we’ve pictured below when we tested, which was v1.0.0.1)

Now, onto connecting the Fans and Controller through the software 🙂

Here we opened up the detected controller and then navigated to the configuration page.

Once on the configuration page, we added the single MasterFan ARGB option (indicated by the double light bulb icon) via the + symbol. (The MasterLiquid options also work but aren’t really needed since the controller only has one port to control.)

This will add the fan into the top left-hand corner, next, we click on the light bulb icon of the added fan.

Then connect that to the first controller port by clicking on the light bulb icon with the A1 next to it.

OK, now that tricky bit is done, we can begin changing the LED modes and individual LED colours! As we have our fans connected to the first port on our controller we can configure and customize through the overview tab.

From the overview tab, you can select the different patterns for the LEDs.

LED ON!

How to assign your audio ports with Realtek Audio Manager

With our GGPC you have a range of audio outputs available to you with which you can connect Gaming Headsets, Speakers and dedicated Microphones which have become very popular for game streamers due to the high audio quality and ability to configure directional audio filtering out the sounds from that glorious clicky mechanical keyboard 😛

You will now the Realtek Audio Manager via a chevron on the bottom right of the desktop, below is a quick guide on how to access this and assign different devices to the different ports.

OK so let’s begin!

Looking at the desktop below you can see a large red arrow pointing to the chevron, left click this and a secondary menu will appear with the icon for the Realtek Audio Manager.

Once open you’ll see all available ports options along the right-hand side, with headers stating the location as either Back Panel (this means on the motherboard) or Front Panel for those on the cases front IO. Connecting a device to one of these ports will highlight the exact port used and also activate a secondary menu allowing you to select what you would like the port to do 🙂

Once you’ve selected the ports desired effect, you’ll see the device now shows in the options along the top of the Realtek Audio Manager window, in our quick example we can now see the microphone and speakers have appeared as options here.

From this point, you can continue to configure various aspects relevant to each device for the perfect setup 🙂

We’ll continue adding to this guide with specifics as they come through, keep your eyes on the GGPC Computers Blog for the latest!

 

How to Clean Install Windows 10 from USB

For this guide we’re going to be erasing our hard drives, and clean installing our operating system from the Windows 10 Retail Edition USB Kit.

All GGPC systems include a recovery USB, even if the windows is OEM, but if this is missing you can download Windows 10 for free from https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/15088/windows-10-create-installation-media (you’ll still need your key to activate the licence of course, so we’ve popped guide at the bottom of this page)

Step #1 – Insert the USB Drive into a port on your PC

Step #2 – Turn the PC on and immediately start tapping DEL to enter the BIOS

Step #3 –  in the ‘Boot Menu’ (for high end BIOS you might have to click advanced options first) select the ‘USB’ drive as option Boot Option #1. Press F10 to save and exit BIOS.

Step #4 – Reboot

Step #5 – You’ll PC will now boot into the screen shown below, select the 64-Bit option

Step #6 – For New Zealand, change the keyboard option as shown to ‘United States-International’ and leave the language + time and currency as English (United Kingdom)

Step #7 – Click the big ‘install now’ button that has appeared 🙂

Step #8 – Select ‘I don’t have a product key’

Step #9 – Select ‘Windows 10 Home

Step #10 – Once you accept the terms you’ll reach this screen, select ‘Custom: Install Windows Only’

Step #11 – Click delete on all existing partitions, a warning will pop up for each one reminding you that once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Step #12 – Now you should only be left with a single option, per drive, that’s says ‘Unallocated space’ – click the one you want to install on to highlight it, then click next.

Step #13 – You’ve done it, now you’re installing Windows on a nice clean drive as though it was a brand new PC.

From this point it’s going to be pretty straight forward, it will progress through the menu then ask to reboot.

IMPORTANT! 

Remember step #1? When the PC reboots it’s going to boot from the USB if that’s still plugged in, so if you find yourself on step #2 or even #3 simple turn off the PC, remove the USB and turn it back on!

Now that you’re back up and running, you’ll need to enter the Windows 10 Key again.

Find Windows 10 Key here, it’s usually here, on the top front corner of the non-windowed panel of your PC.

Or, if it’s a custom creation you designed but we’ve built for you, it could be here, in the accessories box.

Open this up and inside the blue/white box you’ll find a little card with a picture of a key.

To enter it into a system that’s asking for this detail, follow the steps below

Press “START” and type “activate”

If the screen looks like above, click ‘change product key’ and enter your details from the licence sticker/keycard.

And you’re all done! Windows is activated and ready to customise.