• Opal: The Update

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    HARDWARE DIY By Will Fastie It hasn’t gone as smoothly as I had hoped. Maybe I’ve just been lucky. Maybe I’m getting older and slower. Or dumber. What
    [See the full post at: Opal: The Update]

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    • #2409960

      Can it see the USB?  Maybe a windows bootable USB that you havd copied tne dvd to?

      • #2419825

        What I had in mind was to download the latest file nd mybe even slipstreaming if it get to be  right gnall’s up.

        Will, you then said you installed windows from a USB stick…  This is a real long shot, but I have had this actual problem before, just not with W10.  It turned out to be that I had to put the actual CD in the drive before windows would see it.  I was unable to ever get a straight answer with everyone blaming everyone else.  So for me it was just easier to go and dig the CD out.  Could you have discovered that the same problem is still going on, only in USBs instead of CDs now?


    • #2409964

      It’s ironic, I recently completed an Asus build using their Prime 7690 board and had a similar problem except Windows 11 didn’t recognize the onboard network card. When I wrote a review (at Asus request) about the new motherboard, I commented that their software delivery hasn’t changed since my first Z87 motherboard. This is 2022 and Asus needs to consider that USB delivery of software needs to become “a thing.” If I didn’t have another computer available with a optical drive (like many new systems) I would have had a problem. CD software delivery is dead, let’s put it to rest.

    • #2410030

      CD software delivery is dead, let’s put it to rest.

      Amen. It would have been much better had there been a USB stick in the ASUS box.

      Still, it’s annoying that my external DVD writer (which I do still need) isn’t recognized. BIOS yes, Windows no. And the USB ports are working; I installed Windows 10 from a USB stick.

    • #2410048

      Generally the CD’s that come with motherboards are old anyways.  You should be able to download and install the latest driver updates from the ASUS support site for your motherboard:

      You can download and install right in Windows, not sure you would even need a USB stick unless updating the BIOS (which I wouldn’t do unless you are having a specific issue).

      Happy Updating!

    • #2410051

      Are the updates on the CD not available on the Asus website?

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    • #2410055

      re the updates on the CD not available on the Asus website?

      Maybe. I had trouble finding BIOS updates for Onyx; I think the ASUS site is poorly done and disorganized. ASUS’ support documents led me away from ASUS to Intel, where I had trouble as well.

    • #2410092

      The Drivers section on ASUS page is poorly grouped.  You need this specific driver to solve the USB issue:

      Intel Chipset Driver V10.1.18634.8254 for Windows 10 64-bit—(WHQL)

      It’s located under the ChipSet section, which one would expect, but unless one EXPANDS that section to “Show All” you don’t see it.  Most sites list the most recent driver first, and expanding it would show older revisions.  ASUS does that  . . . differently.

      ~ Group "Weekend" ~

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    • #2410137

      You have an interesting collection of “gotchas”

      I just built two Windows 11 computers using similar components: M.2 SSD, Asus Prime H570M-Plus and a B365M-A. Both builds went flawlessly. Like you I did a lot of research before the builds.

      I would take a bare DVD drive, plug in the power & SATA cable and balance the drive on some books outside the case.

      Install ARMOURY CRATE off the included CD, you may be able to find it online too. ARMOURY CRATE will find all the drivers you need and let you know if the ones installed need updating.

      Keep the PC as bare bones as possible and add all the other hardware one at a time when the system is stable and up to date, rebooting in between.

      I skipped the W10 install, it’s not needed. Link your Windows 10 license to your Microsoft Account first. Rebuild a PC with new motherboard, SSD, everything and W11 will re-register when it calls the mothership with the new build info and make the OS legal. Install W11 using the Windows Media Creation Tool to make a bootable flashdrive. If you got the free W10 upgrade from W7 and didn’t link your license then enter the W7/W10 license key from the W7/W10 DVD, you kept it, right? I have read the PRO version works too, YMMV.

      With a new PC and new OS I bit the bullet and did a clean install and re-installed all the programs then moved my data to the M.2 SSD.

      The free Paragon Backup and Recovery is invaluable, use it often during the build.

      • #2410167

        Part 2

        “…if I’m having trouble getting the drivers I need for Windows 10, I can’t expect them to be available for Windows 11 yet.”

        Maybe, maybe not. I would be fearless and do a clean install of Windows 11. Upgrading W10 to W11 is making a kludge. I have a drawer of hardware with no drivers because I hate throwing stuff out. My solution has evolved to just throwing money at the problem until it’s fixed.

        Hopefully Onyx continues to work until W8.1 <span class=”ILfuVd”><span class=”hgKElc”>Extended Support ends on January 10, 2023<b>.</b></span></span>

        Maybe you are trying to do to much at once. The first step might be getting W11 installed and stable on the M.2 drive then work on Raid 1

        Setting Up RAID When the Operating System is Already Installed

    • #2410247

      re the updates on the CD not available on the Asus website?

      Maybe. I had trouble finding BIOS updates for Onyx; I think the ASUS site is poorly done and disorganized. ASUS’ support documents led me away from ASUS to Intel, where I had trouble as well.

      If you haven’t updated the bios, I would do that first before anything else.  It may solve your “optical drive not being seen by windows” problem.  When I do a new build, bios update is almost always the first thing I do because out-of-the-box, the motherboard bios is usually a few versions old.  If you’re not sure how to navigate to the correct support section of Asus’ website, here is the link to go directly to bios updates for your board:


      Download the latest one (looks like 1203) and unzip it to the root of an empty, working usb flash drive.  Go into the bios and look for the instant flash section (or whatever Asus calls it) and update the bios from there by selecting the bios file from your USB drive.  It would be a good idea to back up your existing bios before you start updating.  There should be an option to do that.  Good luck.

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    • #2410264

      Upgrading W10 to W11 is making a kludge.

      It’s something I need to do to understand the process.

    • #2410272

      I remember back in the days of DOS. To use a CD drive it was necessary to use drivers located on, you guessed it, the CD. Work arounds involved using floppies. That such problems still exist is a slap to the industry.

      First thing I do when building a system is to get the network working. In today’s environment that generally involves using USB. I do not concern myself with any other driver issues. Once the network is working I then update the rest of the drivers. Generally seems to work.

      I built one system that the USB did not work at all without drivers. I had to get the USB drivers from the vendor site using another computer, burn to a CD, temporarily install a SATA DVD drive. Unacceptable in today’s environment.

      I also read your information on building a new system. I question the use of air cooling rather than water cooling. The water cooler block is much smaller and easier to install on the CPU with no clearance issues. Water cooling is very quiet. In my system I cannot hear any sounds. Even maxing out my I9 11900 at 100% for over 30 minutes the fans (two fan radiator) were still inaudible, and the CPU temperature never exceeded 85C. Water cooling, in my opinion, is the way to go for quiet operation.

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      • #2410283

        Regarding catch 22 situations – I did a test Linux install, openSUSE.  Most things worked out of the box, but not the wireless network card.   The wiki gave an easy fix and a hard one.  The hard one I still don’t know what it was saying to do.  The easy one involved reading the boot messages with something like dmesg | less , and finding an error about the wireless that gave a command about how to auto-fix it.  But, guess the hurdle – fixing the wireless can only be done an active internet connection.  Fortunately in my case I was able to find a wired option and a cable and string it to connect the Linux computer temporarily.  Then run the auto-fix command, something like install_bcm43xx_firmware

        If I couldn’t temporarily connect by wired, I would have had to try to find a USB wireless dongle that had a built in driver.

        Updating bios is a good idea, and then finding out exactly what raid software is needed from the Intel site.  Sometimes when a site is unreadable, the “wisdom of crowds” – posting on some forum and getting a reply is the easiest.  I would post somewhere, maybe subreddit techsupport asking what files are needed for certain motherboard and also listing any other possibly relevant information like CPU.

    • #2410278

      I question the use of air cooling rather than water cooling.

      Call me crazy – I just have this thing about liquids inside my PC. Maybe it was my daddy telling me that water and electricity don’t mix.

      Although I didn’t write about this in the series, I did explore liquid cooling because it might have affected my choice of case, allowing me to get something smaller. A big reason for the big case was the big air cooler.

      Liquid cooling is a lot better today than it was when I built Onyx. I rejected it out of hand then. At least I considered it for Opal. Of course, I still have an old Linus Tech Tips video burned into my brain, one in which the cooling failed …


      • #2410279

        I wouldn’t sell modern AIO (All in Ones) short.  The system on the right is using an older Corsair H100 AIO water cooling unit and has been in continuous 24/7 use for almost ten years without a problem.  The system on the left is my Windows 11 test bed with a newer Corsair H115 AIO.

        Most of these units are rated for about 5 years before perfusion drains the water in the system.  Of course it can, as in this case, last much longer.

        System on the right is an old Asus Z87 Sabertooth (Tuf), I use as a NAS with multiple 20 TB Seagate Mechanical drives.  The one on the left is a new Asus Prime Z690 with two M2 drives.

    • #2410297

      Call me crazy – I just have this thing about liquids inside my PC

      OK, you’re crazy, well not really. An opening has to be taken.

      I was hesitant about water, or liquid, inside a computer case. Fittings and connections that can leak, etc. But after getting an AIO cooler for my latest build I am converted. My old system had a larger Cooler Master air cooler, big sucker, took up a lot of room, difficult to work around.

      The AIO cooler is small, takes up little room and easy to work around. The radiator can mount on the top, back or front of the case as the case is designed for water cooling. Many new cases have that option. Two hoses with factory installed and sealed connections. I expect the connections to outlast me.

      I was significantly impressed by the quiet, complete lack of noise. The radiator fans are designed to be quiet, and they are. One connection to the MB for the pump and both fans. My case also has two fans blowing in, one fan blowing out, radiator fans blowing out, PS fan blowing out. All those fans are designed to be very quiet, and they are.

      Once a person has water cooled it is tough to go back to fan cooling. Your current fan sits on top of the RAM, my cooler does even come close to the RAM. You can move the one fan up by moving to different spots on the thermal pipe heat sinks. That reduces the effectiveness as some of the airflow is bypassed over the top of the cooler.

      The biggest downside to water cooling is cost. It is more expensive as there are more parts involved.

      To each their own. Build what you like the way you like. My advice ain’t worth what you paid for it, nothing.

      Yes, I really was operating that steam locomotive in my avatar. Awesome experience.

    • #2410338

      Happy New Year @willf !

      Thank you for this extended newsletter story of your Opal build, and especially the newsletter this week bringing all the sections/parts together into one newsletter.  I always build my own desktop computers, so your insights and experiences are VERY valuable.  I don’t have any of my own insights to add to this thread to try to assist you, since all my ideas have already been posted.  I hope you find the issue, or issues, once you get back to being able to spend time on this.

      My best wishes!

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    • #2410468

      My case also has two fans blowing in, one fan blowing out, radiator fans blowing out, PS fan blowing out.

      I would not use a mixture of fans (in and out) as you may be wasting fans if the in and out don’t have the same total capacity. I would use out only fans and let the case vents do the rest.

      cheers, Paul

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      • #2410546

        For non-overclocked systems, and for most systems with integrated graphics or budget video cards –  installing exhaust fans only is fine.


        I’ve found that carefully balancing airflow with intake and exhaust fans helps tremendously for “hot” systems (ex: overclocked K series CPU’s and high end video cards installed.)


        Was recently reminded of this when I “repaired” a system that was frequently shutting down with no warnings or errors.  Added two intake fans to the front of the chassis and solved it completely.  System had a great CPU cooler, but the GPU was not great at exhausting it’s own heat outside the box. Mainboard and RAM were getting quite warm.

        In general – I like moving air with matching fans (speed, size and quantity) from bottom/front towards the rear/top of a tower chassis.

        ~ Group "Weekend" ~

      • #2410674

        I would not use a mixture of fans (in and out) as you may be wasting fans if the in and out don’t have the same total capacity. I would use out only fans and let the case vents do the rest.

        I am not concerned. There is more than enough airflow through the case. Having all the fans blowing out and pulling air through the case vents is really no difference than having some blow out and a few blow inward. The fans blowing inward are only assisting what would be coming in from the case vents.

        I want the water cooler radiator fans blowing out to avoid putting warm air into the case. Others have claimed those fans should blow into the case to get cooler air in the radiator. Others have said all fans should blow into the case to force hot air out.

        There is no waste of fans as three fans came with the case. Power supply has it’s own fan, the AIO radiator has it’s own fans. There are two fans on the video card. The fans on the case and radiator are 140 mm fans that move a lot of air at lower speed.

        As configured the airflow is through the case, front to back. Keeps all the passive coolers cool. None are even warm to the touch.

        With an air cooled CPU that hot CPU heat stays in the case and needs to be exhausted. With water cooling that CPU heat is immediately removed and is never introduced into case. That alone makes case airflow less of an issue.

        To each their own, find what works.

    • #2410612

      Oh no.  Friends don’t let friends use motherboard based RAID.  Does one of your other systems use the same RAID?  If not what was your disaster plan if/when this mobo failed?

      Consumer motherboard manufacturers are also terrible at releasing BIOS updates and/or RAID drivers and firmware updates.

      I changed to HP/LSI/MicroSemi cards a while ago.  They have good compatibility if you need to connect an old RAID to a newer card.  What I do is just buy a spare card on eBay a couple/few years after buying the first one.  For business applications, I buy two cards initially and put the spare in a safe spot.

      Just my $0.02.

      • #2410616

        I think motherboard RAID is fine depending on the circumstances.  Just like PCs one size does not fit all.

        I use RAID 1e in my home NAS unit and RAID 0 in my gaming PC.  Both have different requirements.  The motherboard in question is a 10 year old Asus Z87 “TUF” Sabertooth with a 4th generation i7-4770K and 32 GB of DDR3 RAM.  The RAID controller is the stock onboard Intel SATA controller.  I use three identical Seagate Firecuda SSD drives 500GB each for the raid.  The actual NAS storage is on a second SATA controller with multiple Seagate 20 TB mechanical drives.  If the raid fails I only lose the operating system and I’m comfortable with that.  I don’t think any RAID is practical with drives over 10TB so I don’t even bother with the storage drives just the operating system.  I used Thermaltake Toasters to backup the mechanical drives which rarely need updating (I also have Backblaze cloud backup).

        The gaming PC is different.  I used Seagate M2 NVME drives in RAID zero on the Asus Maximus extreme.  Again, these are the fastest available for gaming and if the RAID 0 fails, tough luck on me.

        Neither of these RAIDs is mission critical.  In these circumstances I think motherboard RAID is fine.

        For mission critical I wouldn’t even trust hardware RAID arrays with battery backup.  The incidence of failure on large drives for bit errors does not make it cost efficient, IMHO.  Unless you need insane levels of just “uptime” you’re better off with a good backup system.

    • #2410619

      If not what was your disaster plan if/when this mobo failed?

      That’s the beauty of mirrored drive (aka RAID 1). If a given PC dies, you can grab either one of the pair and read it just fine on any other computer.

      Consumer motherboard manufacturers are also terrible at releasing BIOS updates and/or RAID drivers and firmware updates.


      Just my $0.02.

      I think buying spares while they remain available is a decent strategy. I wish I had bought an nVidia Ti750 a few years ago, just before prices spiked.

    • #2410615

      Congrats, looks like a solid build with quality parts along with the ability to upgrade.

      A couple of observations for new builders:

      The Intel i5 11600K has a 125 W TDP and doesn’t come with a cooler so a big quiet aftermarket cooler would be required, the i5 11600K with the Noctua NH-D15 cooler costs about $350 together. The i5 11600K is Unlocked if you want to overclock.

      The Intel i7 11700 has a 65 W TDP, the included stock cooler works fine and is quiet too, I have one on this PC right now and can’t hear it. About $320.00 for processor with fan.
      A 65 W chip can also be used in a fanless computer case like a Streacom or HDPlex for a totally silent PC. I have one of those too.

      It’s the “K” that makes the difference between 65 W and 125 W. It all depends what you want to do with the computer.

      I built my computer in September 2021 and all the drivers and BIOS were updated and current at that time. I ran Armoury Crate today and 6 drivers and the BIOS were already out of date. Note: the suggested BIOS was old, I downloaded a current BIOS directly from ASUS. Windows 11 now seems faster and more responsive after the update.

      > Armoury Crate screenshot <

      • #2410675

        “…but Windows also can’t see my RAID array. This leads me to believe that I need some updates that are present on a CD that came with my ASUS motherboard. So all I need to do is pop that disc into my external drive and … oops.

        “Worse, it is clear that software from Intel is needed. ASUS points to the Intel site and I did find software, but it does not seem to apply to my system.”


        Armoury Crate is a good first step to identifying drivers that are out of date although the downloads from the ASUS site sometimes do not have the most current updates. But they do point you in the right direction.

        Entering the driver description and version numbers into Google will take you to the Intel download page to see the most current DHC drivers. In my case the recommended graphics driver was 5 versions too old, the latest version fixed a HDMI bug.

        I haven’t tried the Intel® Driver & Support Assistant (Intel® DSA)
        The Intel® Driver & Support Assistant keeps your system up-to-date by providing tailored support and hassle-free updates for most of your Intel hardware.

        As Windows 11 matures and is updated (there is an M.2 speed update coming sometime soon) there will probably be the same number of Intel driver updates. What fun!
        I always make a new backup image file of the C drive before exploring all these system updates. I’m fearless but not stupid.

    • #2422107
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