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CapnKirk
02-19-08, 07:45 AM
I won't get into the details as to why I have to fix a 6 grand machine, but if anyone is thinking of buying one of these, do a google search on HP Blackbird support and quality control.
I'm sure some went out the right way, I got a mess, and tech support was of no use.
Returning it was not an option we could both agree on due to the lack of trusting anything they tell me.

The chip on the mobo is dead and cannot be replaced because Asus is now soldering them. This way you cannot fix your $300 mobo with a $30 replacement chip and are forced to buy a new board.
I see no other reason or advantage for this change.

Believe me when I say that I never thought I would have to touch what I was promised to be getting, a turn key Vista machine.

No problem, as I used to build custom gaming rigs that people loved.
But, due to health problems I stopped building.
That's why I bought a pre-built.

The past 5 weeks dealing with HP's Gaming Division has really been very stressful and that's why I won't go into more details.
I already typed way more than I was going to.

BTW, I just found the support review I read to show that I'm not the only one.

http://reviews.cnet.com/desktops/hp-blackbird-002/4864-3118_7-32592299.html?ctype=msgid&messageSiteID=7&messageID=2516234&cval=2516234


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I'm hoping this thread will help people who own a Blackbird.
I love this machine, the is case the last one I'll ever need.
The Sata back plane is an awesome feature and the air flow design is the best I've seen.
Why it needs to support a 600 pound person sitting on it beyond me. LOL!

I have an Asus Striker II Formula coming today to replace the Striker Extreme that I really think is garbage and the 680i chipset was a dud.
I have no need for crossfire support and can now use bios versions from Asus.
The 780i chipset works much much better with quad cores and the PCI-E 2.0 feature is another great change.

The chipset's on the Striker II Formula where reviewed as running cool.
I'll see what luck I have.

I'll take pictures from start to finish and post as I go.

I'm not sure if the CPU cooler will clear the caps that are around the CPU, other than that the water cooling is going to make things difficult because I just can't pull the vid cards out and put them out of the way.
But I have an idea or two that will at least protect them from any damage.

I need to get back to cleaning my old work area and hope to get a good mobo that's not crushed from UPS.

Any tips, suggestions are more than welcomed.

CapnKirk
02-19-08, 10:27 PM
Got my Striker II Formula today and I like the new layout for the IDE plug location and the cmos reset button in back is great.

Heat issues, Before I install it or any mobo, I go over it and make sure all the push pins are seated on the heatsinks and I see screws for the NB, make sure they are snug.
Do not use the fans provided for the heatpipe fins if you are using a cpu cooler with a fan.
Only use the asus fans if you have the cpu water cooled, otherwise it screws up the way heat is managed for the entire heatpipe.

This will cause the NB and SB to run hot.

So check the above and remove those fans if not water cooling your cpu.

Do not use q-fan in the bios, manually set all fans to 100%.

That's all I can say without installing it.
Oh, do not flash your bios from within windows, no time for details, but that is just insane and always causes a glitch even though it says flashed OK.
Even using ez flash and flashing from inside the bios is wrong because it may have a bad block or glitch somewhere.

Best and proper way is, boot to dos prompt using a boot disk or usb flashdrive.
And use the awdflash utility.
Some flash utilities offer command line options like /f which will force a complete erase and reflash the entire bios.

There are sectors of the bios that are like boot blocks that never get erased and a fresh flash unless you use the /f command and there are also 15 or more command options if the flash utility is fully functional.
DFI uses that type, last Asus version didn't have them.
Just type awdflash/? and hit enter.
You will see either a simple version or the full command type.

I will check out the new asus flash update that they use in windows and see if they have added an options menu.
Providing I get that far, if the cpu cooler fits over the caps, then the rest is stuff I can work with and fix some of the poor and sloppy wire managment.

If you are not having heat issues and the rig is running fine, do not fix what isn't broken.

These suggestions are just that. They always work for me, but use them at your own risk and only if you are having issues mentioned.

SLippe
02-19-08, 10:42 PM
You paid $6K for an HP machine?

slivski
02-19-08, 10:53 PM
6k...
if i may ask, what exactly was in that machine that was worth 6k?
to buy a top of the line machine now wouldn't cost nearly as much (air cooled). owell :(

you should just pop in a fan controller in the front so the pc doesn't sound like a constant wind-tunnel. better than having them at 100% 24/7!!

CapnKirk
02-20-08, 12:30 AM
You paid $6K for an HP machine?

6k...
if i may ask, what exactly was in that machine that was worth 6k?
to buy a top of the line machine now wouldn't cost nearly as much (air cooled). owell :(

you should just pop in a fan controller in the front so the pc doesn't sound like a constant wind-tunnel. better than having them at 100% 24/7!!

Sup guys,

Not exactly.
It's a new hybrid division of HP and VooDoo.
DT has one.
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/member.php?u=44153

I have the Dedication Edition which they only made 518 of.
Still overpriced as was the dell which was $6200
It's not air cooled and is very quiet with the fans on full.

This thread and my advice is for the most part, a Blackbird.

Actually it was $5500 give or take, still overpriced, but it has some very innovative and unique features and the rig is 80 pounds.

The case is top quality, no plastic junk and the Striker Extreme was modded to run both SLi or Crossfire on the same board.

The SE and that mod was the big mistake, everything else is awesome.

VooDoo machines are 7 to 10 grand, Falcon Northwest are 5 grand and up.

Dell's POS XPS 720 water cooled, and just the cpu is water cooled is 5, 6 grand.

Blackbird
http://h20435.www2.hp.com/#/home/

Video showing the details.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjhEKx4gcZA

And I didn't pay them anything yet, and at this point I have no intentions of doing so.
My lawyer is taking care of them and their BS.

So the simple answer to your question would be a big fat NO! :)

Sazar
02-20-08, 01:04 AM
Cap'n, the Dell POS, as you say, would have been replaced for you and the service would have been both dedicated (XPS dedicated line), prompt and complete.

Congratulations on your boutique system. However, given the issues your numbered system gave you and the fact that, apparently, you PAID to replace your motherboard on your 6 grand system gives you very little license to trash other boutique systems which would have dealt with the problem in less than 5 weeks and covered the cost of the motherboard.

Digital_Trans
02-20-08, 01:11 AM
My hp blackbird 002 is running perfect. I've not had any problems other then Windows Vists x64 which was software related not hardware. It's been the best system I've ever owned. I'm completely water cooled on the CPU and video cards. As for the bios, updates can only be done threw HP. If you use a 3rd party bios from Asus it will toast the board or sure as hp warns. I overclock my memory and cpu and it's been great since day one! I payed a hell of alot less then you did because I work a part-time job seasonal for hp last year which allowed me to get a huge deep discount. I could of built my own sweet setup but since the discount was there it made since to just go with that plan since it costed less to buy it then for me to build it. These days it's better to have the advantage on buying anything. These large companies don't give a rats ass about anyone just as long as they can milk you for everything! That CNet review is really bad and HP needs to get their act together if they plan on selling computers that cost as much as a good used car. Hp can't just go off their name and then provide **** faced service to customers in their gaming devision. You should post that review link in the voodoo PC forum lmao!!!! :D I know Dell would of been better for the customer support and warranty issues. However their XPS doesn't touch the hp blackbird 002. Cnet gave higher reviews on it then Dell's XPS. The hardware speaks for it's self but the level of service hp is providing doesn't sound good for new comers seeking their services. Good luck! and hope you get it all fixed.....

Digital_Trans
02-20-08, 01:36 AM
Let me know how you're video card configuration works out. I also have two 8800 Ultra in SLI both water cooled. My only future concern is that the waterblocks on the 8800 Ultra won't fix onto future NVIDIA cards. I know it won't fit the NVIDIA 9800 GX2 but it very well could fit the next card after that one. I hope we can still use the waterblocks and tubing on future NVIDIA cards besides the 8800 Ultra. That's going to take some work moving around those cards and cpu black which are all connected into the watercooling loop. I would suggest use a towel and lay the cards on it and place the case on it's side on a well protected surface. If you can buy some foam then that would work great. As for me, I'll wait for the 790i motherboards to come out along with a better 9-series SLI configuration besides the 9800 GX2 solution. I have to be very selective and do alot of research before I buy the newer cards because I want to make sure I can still use the same waterclocks not only for the cpu but also for the SLI configuration.

CapnKirk
02-20-08, 01:42 AM
Cap'n, the Dell POS, as you say, would have been replaced for you and the service would have been both dedicated (XPS dedicated line), prompt and complete.

Congratulations on your boutique system. However, given the issues your numbered system gave you and the fact that, apparently, you PAID to replace your motherboard on your 6 grand system gives you very little license to trash other boutique systems which would have dealt with the problem in less than 5 weeks and covered the cost of the motherboard.

The Dell was my first pre-built.
http://home.comcast.net/~toeoshea/DSCF3131.JPG

I will continue, but want you to see I have more "license" than you know to trash what was not one, or two, but 3 POS.

Yep, mobo was sent.
http://home.comcast.net/~seven333/DSCF3437.JPG

5 weeks?
I have all the chat logs, pics of parts, invoices, everything.
I realize had you known I went through Dell hell, you would have not taken my post the wrong way.
As far as this Blackbird, I made it clear that it will cost me the price of the new and non-proprietary motherboard which makes me very happy.
I cannot possibly explain the Dell issue from start to finish at this time.
The HP issue is another one that I just want to forget for now, but mostly, I want to fix it, or at least try my best and not post here when I feel like working on the Bird.

When I need a break from working on it, I'll post the Dell pics that prove I'm not the bad guy.
http://home.comcast.net/~seven333/DSCF3711.JPG

Forgot I posted some details in another thread.
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=1562713&postcount=7

CapnKirk
02-20-08, 02:36 AM
Digital_Trans,
Did you get the Dedication edition and there were 2 versions of the SE.
1.00G and 1.03G.

And don't you post on the VooDoo forums under a similar name?
I posted there and Ryan is either really dumb or just being a jerk.
Go there under the BBird section, CapnKirk_SFC is me and you will see the frustration I went through.

Thanks for wishing me luck and I'm happy that your Bird is what they are supposed to be.

And we think alike, my idea was to put the cards in static bags, then lots of bubble wrap around them, the cpu block will be protected as well.

Don't forget I said I'm taking pics.
Once again, thanks and I'm sure we can help each other out.

Ok, hope I cleared some things up.
I'm going to start on taking pics of all the connections before anything, so I'll be updating daily.

Digital_Trans
02-20-08, 02:47 AM
Digital_Trans,
Did you get the Dedication edition and there were 2 versions of the SE.
1.00G and 1.03G.

And don't you post on the VooDoo forums under a similar name?
I posted there and Ryan is either really dumb or just being a jerk.
Go there under the BBird section, CapnKirk_SFC is me and you will see the frustration I went through.

Thanks for wishing me luck and I'm happy that your Bird is what they are supposed to be.

And we think alike, my idea was to put the cards in static bags, then lots of bubble wrap around them, the cpu block will be protected as well.

Don't forget I said I'm taking pics.
Once again, thanks and I'm sure we can help each other out.

Ok, hope I cleared some things up.
I'm going to start on taking pics of all the connections before anything, so I'll be updating daily.

No, I have the 1.00G version I've never seen version 1.03G anywhere as I've used the Asus Striker Extreme 680i before in the past 3 to 4 times and the version number never changed even when I purchased the boards retail directly from Newegg.com Yes, on the Voodoo PC forum board I go by the name COCO...just kidding it's Digital_Fuzion the hp blackbird has been great to me. Infact, I found that the bios on the Asus that hp took over to be more stable then what Asus could of ever done with the 680i chipset series. Anyway, I sure want to see some cool pics of how you're planning to work it all out. Bubble wrap is a great idea along with towels to lay them all on. Foam is also good for the weight factor when going to lay the 80 pound bird on it's side. It will be hard project indeed one which will want to make you have 4 hands. Okay, can't wait to see the progress in the making..........knowledge is power! :D

CapnKirk
02-20-08, 02:54 AM
No, I have the 1.00G version I've never seen version 1.03G anywhere as I've used the Asus Striker Extreme 680i before in the past 3 to 4 times and the version number never changed even when I purchased the boards retail directly from Newegg.com Yes, on the Voodoo PC forum board I go by the name COCO...just kidding it's Digital_Fuzion the hp blackbird has been great to me. Infact, I found that the bios on the Asus that hp took over to be more stable then what Asus could of ever done with the 680i chipset series. Anyway, I sure want to see some cool pics of how you're planning to work it all out. Bubble wrap is a great idea along with towels to lay them all on. Foam is also good for the weight factor when going to lay the bird on it's side. It will be hard project indeed one which will want to make you have 4 hands altogether working.

You got what Chris assured me I would get, a perfect system.

So, did you read my posts there then? On the DooDoo forum? :)


BTW, Have you seen this?
http://forums.techarp.com/overclocking-cooling-modding/23627-ati-crossfire-asus-striker-extreme.html

Digital_Trans
02-20-08, 10:13 PM
You got what Chris assured me I would get, a perfect system.

So, did you read my posts there then? On the DooDoo forum? :)


BTW, Have you seen this?
http://forums.techarp.com/overclocking-cooling-modding/23627-ati-crossfire-asus-striker-extreme.html


Yes, I did lmao! (lee63)

Ristogod
02-20-08, 10:57 PM
I read an advertisement lately in PC Gamer where that no-talent ass clown Greg Vederman (who used to work for PC Gamer as a clueless hardware advising moron), reviewed himself in a poor attempt to justify why we should pay premium prices to own one of those Blackbirds. After reading his constantly poor advice in his hardware column, it didn't take much to determine that I wouldn't be recommending those to anyone.

CapnKirk
02-20-08, 11:00 PM
Hmm, didn't someone who got a DeadBird try and tell Ryan that flashing from within windows was asking for trouble?
Yeah, me! LOL!

Anyway, a clean dos flash is the best way, but here's an Asus post that I just found. Aside from them using the ez flash feature in the bios, it's pretty much what I tried to tell the Bird people.

Never flash from your OS. There is alot to do and not do when flashing your bios. And that's why people run into problems.

Here ya go, print it out and use it.

http://vip.asus.com/forum/view.aspx?id=20070215223109668&board_id=1&model=P5B+Deluxe%2fWiFi-AP&page=1&SLanguage=en-us

Digital_Trans
02-21-08, 02:41 AM
Did you try flashing the hp Blackbird bios with hp's blackbird bios version: 5.05 while in Windows? It appears to be the only way to do so. My hp blackbird 002 came with bios version 5.05 There isn't any new updated bios versions available only version: 5.05 The only way to update the bios is in Windows not any other way. I sure hope my system doesn't get toasted doing this once the newer bios version is available.

CapnKirk
02-21-08, 04:30 AM
It shipped with 505, but after a bad crash I was forced to reset the CMOS and it wasn't saving all the settings, so I reflashed it with the BIOS they have on the support *cough* page.

It seemed to fix that issue.
The strange thing is that on the support CD they sent with the drivers and apps has a 501 version and the awdflash utility which is used at the dos prompt.
So I asked tech support why they gave me an older version with a dos flash utility.
He thought I was making this up because he had no clue.
We only use the flash program that you run from your OS he said.
I asked why they flash from the OS and was told it was policy and not going to change.
What's the advantage of this I asked?
He said, "I'm not really sure"

I asked if there was another tech I could speak with.
He said they were all busy.
So now I was like well, what if the user can't boot into windows due to a BIOS issue, how would he flash it?

His answer was, it would have to be shipped back for repair.
I was getting pissed now because I said well that's pretty damn stupid. And Asus is now making the chips non-removable.
You should be asking for mobos that have the chip in a socket in a rig like this. And using that type of flash procedure for reasons you don't know, HP should be not using these soldered on CMOS chips.

What would be a simple fix with no shipping involved is now a major issue.
He said I understand your point and will look into that.

This was the start of all the BS and lack of support and techs that should not be building a 6 grand rig.

So yeah, my BIOS finally would not save settings and lost the default feature that was once there.
There are so many more lies and BS that was said, but they can't be trusted and change what they say from one email or phone call to another.

I saved so many DFI and Asus mobos by hot flashing corrupted chips and now if you hose that BIOS you just lost what was a good SE, because it's a 50 50 chance of getting a good one.
And that flash procedure will eventually glitch during a flash update.

And Blackbirds are advertised as using off the shelf parts and have no proprietary issues.
That's a lie, the BIOS is proprietary and is the one thing that should not be!

I type to damn much and hate talking about what I went through, but people should know.

Don't flash that board if it's running that good.
Later man..

CapnKirk
02-21-08, 05:57 AM
OK, I'm pretty much at the point now where I have to pull the cards and CPU water block that have to remain connected.
It was no problem pulling the cooling fans out from under the radiator which gives me room I need to make the mobo exchange easier.

Got all the PICS but it's time consuming to upload them and I rather use that time to get more done.
May post one or two if I can, but all will be up eventually.

If the NB and SB run too hot, and I always use a handheld temp monitor with a temp probe to get a true reading, the BIOS can be wrong and software can be off also.

I have a small water cooling unit that I used for my last rig that had a Core 2 Quad Q6700 clocked at 3.5 GHz and 1.45v, ran no higher than 43c running 3dmark06.

The radiator case mounting holes line up with the holes on the Birds other side panel.
It's not an easy mod, but I made some weird mods in the past.
Not a mod I want to do, I didn't ever want to build a rig again.

Another option is high flow sunon 40 mm fans that worked well for me, but lets see if this even boots up or if the mobo fits and all that stuff first.

crainger
02-21-08, 06:30 AM
Are you related to CaptNKILL?

CapnKirk
02-21-08, 06:44 AM
Nope. :)

CapnKirk
02-21-08, 10:19 AM
Ok, just a few stock pics and a few of the parts that get removed.

http://img149.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dscf4600ve1.jpg

http://img182.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dscf4606lu3.jpg

http://img180.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dscf4608gp0.jpg

Finally made room in here to work on it.
http://img180.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dscf4611fl6.jpg

Rad fans take less than 2 minutes to slide out.
http://img180.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dscf4665fv4.jpg

Which is good because the radiator gets dusty fairly quick and things start getting hotter.
http://img99.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dscf4667go4.jpg

Plenty of room to switch mobos now.
http://img99.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dscf4665zi5.jpg

Later guys...

CapnKirk
02-21-08, 12:25 PM
DT?
You have to read this thread where I posted the bios flash warning from the Asus forum.

Now, after the fact, he reads that link and now Ryan says "well it's an obvious glitch in the boards"

And goes on to say he speciifcallyyyy (his grammer) eexplaineddddded thAT AND CLOSEDDIDIT THE TREADD. LOL!!
SORRY man it's just so sad that i was in tears from laughingaga lol!

They just make up this things that are not true and when the proof is in their face. They are like, oh yeah of course, thats just commmmonn cents. LMAO!

I have never delt with a company this out of control and has customers that know more than they do about their product.

http://www.voodoopc.com/boards/messages.aspx?topic=37908&forum=1036&Status=0

Sad, but funny at the same time.

Digital_Trans
02-21-08, 12:43 PM
Yes, that's just sad bro. It's like this... if you're going to be selling a $5,500 system then at least know the ****ing product from A to Z It's funny the sales reps pushing the blackbird don't have a good technical understanding of the internal hardware features. Yet, they try to sell.. Hell, give me a job there and I'll blow the socks off their sales force knowledge base and show them how it's done when they get a sales call for a new customer whom is wanting to order a blackbird. I'm sure they hate getting calls from guys like me and you when we know more then they do on the other end...LMAO! ;) Often times they fill their positions with guys that are not into computers or they have some kind of communications degree that justifies they can handle a complex call. Yeah right.............LMAO! I do computer repair on the side and make good when the work is available. I provide service and sales which I've found my customers really like. You have to know what you're doing out there and if you can sell them on better quality then you've got it made for a good profit.

CapnKirk
02-21-08, 11:36 PM
Hey bro,
Yeah, bad shape over there...

Anyway,

I'm about to pull the cards and CPU block, I hope there's enough slack in the tubes so I can try and put them over the side of the case.
I'll pull the radiator if needed, but the less I have to mess with the better.

Will post the pics of the good stuff you want to see when I take a break.

Just woke up, so I'm fresh and this new board is getting installed tonight.

Question for ya. What thermal paste would you go with on this setup for the CPU?
I usually use AS5, and a dab of it in the middle of the CPU the size of a BB as in BB gun.
They may have a pad type under there which I think suc.

Also with quad cores, AS5 guide says to do this.

Thanks.. or should I say Tanks! :)

Amuro
02-22-08, 12:15 AM
Use the MX-2, it's better than AS5:
http://www.arctic-cooling.com/further_prod2.php?idx=140
http://www.arctic-cooling.com/pics/mx2Chart_480.png