Sunday, May 08, 2016

The Trump

No, this isn't a political post. It's about the successor to "The Big Honker" purchased on Christmas Eve 2009.  I'm calling the new tower PC "The Trump" because it's HUGE!

Newegg had an Asus M32BC-B01 for $400 (incidentally the same price as "The Big Honker"). It came with an 8-core AMD processor, 8GB of RAM and a 2TB HDD. I wanted something that would go up to 32GB, hold an SSD to boot from and a second 2TB HDD for mirroring.

I researched the Asus as much as I could but couldn't find the answers to the RAM and disk bays. I finally signed up for a free trial of Newegg's Premier to get no restocking fee returns and ordered it.

I wasn't disappointed. There were 4 DIMM slots with one populated with an 8GB DIMM so it would hold my desired 32GB. There was an internal 3 1/2" bay and one external facing 5 1/4" bay. I added 8GB of memory, found a 250GB SSD and had a spare 2TB HDD sitting around so I was ready.

The Asus came with Windows 8.1 Home. I upgraded it to Windows 10 Home but wanted to go on to Windows 10 Pro. I had a Windows 7 Pro key that had not been used.

This post explains how to do that but it starting with "All you need to do is swap your current Windows 10 Home product key for the default Windows 10 Pro one..." is a little misleading. Who has ever heard of "the default Windows 10 Pro key?" That's just the start of it. The upgrade process took about 15 minutes, most of that after the screen said "100% complete." But it worked and I was on the way. When it finished it complained that it wasn't activated and asked for a Windows 10 Pro key. I input the Windows 7 Pro key and it worked.

Working with the UEFI firmware was new to me. After I had upgraded to Windows 10 I used diskpart to "clean" all the drives (knowingly wiping all the data) and converted the SSD to GPT. (The "clean" drives will come up again in a later post.) Then I installed Windows 10 on the SSD from a USB drive created from Microsoft's Media Creation Tool. Windows 10 retained its activation and Pro upgrade.

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