Advice for replacing 10yr old DVD player with something media/user friendly

THRobinson

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Our house is split in two, I'm on one floor, family upstairs.

Problem we're having is that I run an HTPC, and converted everything I have to MP4/MKV and store all my originals in the basement, out of sight out of mind. Works great and saves me a LOT of shelf space.

Problem is, can't watch my movies upstairs. DVD player is about 10yrs old, plays older DivX/XviD but that's about it.

Was looking at something like the LG BP330 but, I guess the past year or so Cinavia has taken over.

I was hoping for something easy and simple like another DVD/Bluray player, plays what they already have and can quickly drop a movie to USB and bring it up to watch. Looked at stuff like the WD TV, but no DVD drive and apparently the current model no longer has DTS decoding. Another HTPC I suspect would be outta my budget and too confusing for the family to use. And although I own the discs, I'm assuming the LG BP330 would probably not allow me to play anything.

The LG is about $88. That's pretty much my budget. Anyone got any suggestions? So far, seems that upgrading them won't really change the scenario.
 

danscan11

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Get a PS3 dvd-blueray. plays mp4 and mkv about $50 more than $88.00 but non-regional coding also it plays everything you want. You might get one for $100.00 somewhere or closer to christmas. Contains netflix and what not its pretty much entertainment in a box I doubt sony is planning on cutting support or any vendor so this is probably your best bet, oh and its easy to use. Sorry one more thing I'd check gamestop and ask the clerk behind the desk how much for a "fat boy" PS3. They are the first 2 or 3 gen. PS3's My slim burned itself up too much Darksiders 2, The "fat boys" they are not real pretty but no overheating and I've had mine for about 2 yrs which is 1 more than my slim. Have had no issues with this older model, if they have any at gamestop or could find you one from another store I bet you could get it for about $100. Its worth a shot at least other than getting stuck with an LG dvd player. Oh USB plug and play is part of it as well. Well hope I helped somewhat. Cheers man and happy hunting
 

THRobinson

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Had a PS3... sold it. Sat here for almost 2yrs covered in dust. Never played games, 0 interest in Netflix, and as mentioned, my library of movies was converted to MP4/MKV... which means the PS3 won't play most of them because of Cinavia.

If not for Cinavia, I'd get another LG in a heartbeat. We have a pair of LG LDA-530's that have been tanks, they just don't die. The LG BP330 plays more than the PS3, since when I had my PS3 they wouldn't play MKV files, plus LG doesn't force firmware updates, or requires a special remote to use... and no WiFi if I recall.

Looking at the WD TV Live, which unlike the WD TV Play, does have DTS decoding, plays all formats, no Cinavia... also around $88. Find a cheap 500GB external drive and I think they'll be fine. Sadly no DVD drive, but, with 500GB they can rip what they have to MP4 like I did.
 

danscan11

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Really? I swear I have played mk4 & mkv files on my ps3?!? Huh you gave me something to look into.I do enjoy me some LG products frig washer dryer my cell are all LG, was gonna buy a tv from them went samsung instead Ill get one of theirs eventually though.
I just bought a Barracuda 750GB HDD for $43.00 I believe it was on Amazon. Check this out and tell me what you think?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Marantz-DV6400-DVD-Player-SACD-Great-condition-/170686070280
That is about as close as I could find.
or
http://www.amazon.com/Version-Bluetooth-Android-Google-Dongle/dp/B00A1ZTQB8/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1383361361&sr=8-4&keywords=android+mini+pc
&
http://www.amazon.com/Blu-Ray-Player-External-Laptop-Burner/dp/B001TVAU0E/ref=pd_sim_pc_4

Just use streaming or shove a disc in there and you should be good to go anything you might be missing you can get. Hopefully I am at least leading you into the right direction.
 

THRobinson

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I think... may have changed now, but, when I was using the PS3 2yrs ago, MKV would not play on it... unless... you were using DLNA and streaming it from your computer and your computer have the proper codecs.

Looking briefly on Google, I see a lot of sites asking how to play MKV on a PS3 so, either old posts or still an issue. Gotta love the few sites that say yes you can... then show you how to convert the file to a different format. Of course once converted it's not an MKV.

I actually though about an external... I have 2 drives here, and a DVD external case is pretty cheap... but read that the WD TV Live/Play doesn't read external DVD drives and also read that it does... maybe only certain brands? externally powered? I'll post on the WD site and see if I get a response.
 

THRobinson

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Nope... WD HD Live does not work with external DVD Drives... rare time it reads apparently it's glitchy, stutters, can't use FFW/RWD and such.

Oh well, WD TV Live and an external hard drive... old DVD Player still works so keep it hooked up but, hopefully start converting to MP4 because when the old LG finally dies, I don't want to buy another.
 

danscan11

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yeah sorry man The best way to go would be mini pc probably 10"x10" all in 1 with VLC run about 150-200, unfortunately you gotta "go native" to do what you want anymore especially with that stupid copy write protection stuff even guys like you and me who bought the material and use back-ups r getting screwed. Im in the process of a regular HTPC instead of the hybrid gaming HTPC I got going now. Im going to b messing around w/ linux on it as well, with linux support rising I wanna stay up-to-date and hopefully move away from windows(I doubt I will unless they really start getting ridiculous or bring out another terrible idea like win 8. Im liking your GPU btw. Did you check the mini android pc sorry you didnt mention that?
 

THRobinson

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I have the computer listed in my signature with an HDMI cable connected to a 42" Sony Bravia, and works great. Actually, just upgraded 2 weeks ago, use to have a 1GB ATI HD 5670, and a Core2Duo E6600 but, wanted a better video card for the occasional game and someone locally sold the CPU for about 60% cheaper than anywhere else I saw so... quick upgrade. That being said, even the old Core2Duo and 1GB video card worked fine as a media centre, and I could watch a 6GB MP4 and play World of Warcraft or use Adobe Photoshop CS6 just fine without any noticeable lag.

Eventually this will be a devoted HTPC, change it to a nicer computer case, like a SilverStone LC10-E case. Holds a full sized ATX motherboard and space for 7 hard drives. Been saving for a used MAC Pro Tower but, anything newer than 2008 (x64 architecture) is over $1200CAD.

I'd love to grab a used SFF desktop PC, I still have the Core2Duo E6600 CPU here and the HD5670 card so, get something used for $75 like a Dual Core and upgrade it... but... like I said, I think for the family they'd be confused.... unless maybe I had XBMC in the startup folder, and they never see the desktop when turned on, else they'd be clicking anything and everything. I'd have to make a Ghost image of the C:\ because likely would have to reinstall it every 3 months.

The mini-android confused me at first what it was, had to watch a YouTube video. So small, though was some sorta WiFi dongle or something. :D

Looks neat but, soon as I saw it had no remote, and most people are using a keyboard in the YouTube reviews, I dunno... if can work with a regular remote it would be good, but, if keyboard then the family would hate me for it. :D Though, XBMC can install on it so, definitely piqued my interest. Still looking into it... cheaper than the WD... just not seeing as much info about codecs and such.
 

THRobinson

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Damn... was so happy when I 'knew' I was getting the WD TV Live, but, the MiniX Neo X5 Android based system, will allow XBMC to be installed... just hard to figure out which is better/easier, since hard to know what will confuse the less tech people in the house, plus... so many features but likely will never get used.

Old house, heavy dense walls... likely no WiFi will connect anyways and unlikely I'll be running ethernet cable through... plus we'd never pay for stuff like Netflix, since we have cable and I probably have more movies than Netflix at this time anyways. :D
 

danscan11

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http://www.amazon.com/G-Box-Midnight-MX2-Android-Streaming/dp/B00CH643A8/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1383444157&sr=8-7&keywords=android+mini+pc

Comes with a remote, say's it plays just about anything. Does 1080p streaming signal must be strong.
This was the one I was looking at for myself instead of doing the HTPC thing. But I have a mini-atx board with a i3 sandy bridge 750 GB Barracuda HDD an external 3T HDD 1GB ethernet card 8GB of ddr3 a 7750 gpu sitting around so I think Ill just stick with the HTPC thing for now.
I have a Toshiba 42" 60hz LEDTV sitting in my closet, Im currently using a Samsung 50" 120hz LEDTV, i7K Haswell, 24 GB ddr3, and a GeForce 770 GTX MSI ROG edition. Win8 pro installed. Still searching to find the "general PC settings" so I can turn off signature needed for drivers so I can manually Override my TV to run at 120hz at all times. Dont want to have to call microsoft Ive already sent them 2 scaulding e-mails about their stupidity concerning the 8.1 update, I deleted the webstore on my PC because I would never use it since I could just dl everything from their website or windows would automatically dl it for me. Or so I thought well I could not dl the free upgrade from the website nor would windows update dl it for me, I HAVE TO USE THE WINDOWS STORE METRO APP to get it. Useless propaganda for a useless app. Maybe I shouldn't have deleted the store app but the question remains why would they let me delete it? Because they want me to feel like I have choices right? Well if I have choices on what my PC has on it or runs then why would you be so stupid to NOT give me choices on where I can get a free upgrade? Sorry soapbox time.
The features thing I get thats why I went with this TV SIMPLICITY no SMART functions, No Apps, No 3D even though it could run 3d considering its 120hz(Yes this is a true 120hz TV). No WiFi. just 2 HDMI's and a USB. Im planning on getting a 55" Sony HTX 120hz or 240 hz HDTV that is 3d ready so I can override it and get 2x less motion blur due to the HTX tech inside due to a strobe light effect built in to the panel. Probably in February. Anyways thats down the line For what its worth I'd go android if you r lookin' at that vs the WDTV thing. I just feel like more people r using them and there will always be more support and newer features with less constrictions with the 'droid.
 

THRobinson

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Ya I saw something similar

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856178003&Tpk=MiniX%20Neo%20X5

Guess there must be a few different brands of Android based systems out. I like the idea of everyone using XBMC here at home because then I know for certain that if it works on my system it'll work on theirs, since XBMC uses it's own built-in codecs pack, not the systems.

i3 would be a nice HTPC... often wish on my last upgrade I went mini-atx since seems more case options. I'm old-school I guess... when you needed a full atx boards because I had a video card, sound card, usb card, network card, and at one time a SCSI card for a burner... now, a video card slot is all I need, the rest is just wasted slots. Few of those mini-atx boards are even designed specific for an HTPC so the onboard video card is more than enough. I'd still get the same SilverStone case, since I like that model.

I have right now a pair of 3TB drives, 1 for movies and 1 for TV series. Plus my C:\... running dangerously close to being full. I also have 2 external 3TB drives as a mirror backup. Ideally, I'd like 4x3TB drives internally running a RAID as a 12TB drive, and get a 4-bay external enclosure and have a 4x3TB raid setup as a mirror copy. I use FreeFileSync once a month to mirror the changes and keep my backup in a closet.

Again, I would love to just take a used system, like an HP RP5700, Core2Duo and 2GB ram, can get from one of those PC stores off-lease for $75. Add 2GB ram, my 1GB HD5670 low profile card... done. Win7x64 with XBMC, or been looking at UBUNTU which I think would run faster maybe... I have Win7x64 so, thinking same OS would make networking simpler. Also region free DVD player built in. SFF case... perfect...

... but, if the system is harder to use than a basic 10yr old DVD player... they're screwed. Basically... imagine getting something for your Grandparents in their 70s... it's gotta be THAT simple. :D

HTPC is the way to go though... if you're in debate... it scrapes movie data from TMDB and TV series info from TVDB. That's what I like, because when I flip though my movies, I get a nice big movie poster on screen, it tells me what the movie is about, who is in it, I can even click an actor's name in a movie and it'll show me all movies/shows in my library that they're in. Lot's of stuff I looked it, basically just listed the files and nothing else. The WD TV Live scrapes some info, but I don't think posters and artwork. XBMC uses it's own list of codecs, you don't add/update them until a new version of XBMC is released, but in 2yrs I think I've encountered maybe 3 files that wouldn't play, and all were very old .mov files. Also, can download different skins so, changes the look and some skins are designed to be 'simple'. And being a computer, unlike a WD TV Live or Android, you can upgrade it whenever you want.

If you have the parts and obviously you know computers... HTPC is way better.

My only problem is, remotes. I have one of these (below) but would love something bluetooth. Same basic remote, just no iR line of site stuff.

http://wiki.xbmc.org/images/e/e2/Hpremote.jpg

If I went for a HTPC for the family, I'd dismantle the iR receiver and drill a hole in the front of the HTPC and mount the iR LED there instead of having this clunky receiver sitting on top.
 

danscan11

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Yeah that IR is pretty big, remote looks similar to the one I used to have. Everytime you talk about xbmc I think about my best friends old project he did for a similar system just like xbmc, Media Portal his app is called moving pictures he designed it and he also did their "radio" app as well. To be honest I liked his part but I hated MP it was confusing didnt know where anything was that I was looking for some features I couldnt find on it. He's a programmer and he knows his stuff thats why his part was easy to use and understand. I remember mentioning xbmc to him and he told me it was the same principle as media portal but has been out longer so more support and doesnt have as many kinks that mp has since it has been around so much longer. I felt bad telling him I was going to use it so I deleted it and havent looked at it since.
Well I dunno if this might be an option for you but I am going to take my old cell phone which has bt and turn it into a remote for my system.
Those are good points for HTPC. I understand about simple I still get calls from my mom to come over and get it started for her, lol. You have what Im working towards but kind of the opposite, I want 4x3T externals, again 1 for movies 1 for TV and 1 for music and concert stuff. Having them plugged into USB 3.0 and honestly I don't worry too much about back-up for my OS I do but not for media with that stuff Im just like That I can replace and easily. OS stuff too much time and energy to get it set up the way I want it with all the programs and apps I use. Oh and external so if need be I can just grab it and go. Right now I have a RAID-0 going on right now 2 250 GB SSD's and 2x1T HDD's. On this new HTPC Im going to have linux and windows 7 running on it, linux like I said to play around with and windows 7 cause I have the disk also dont know how well linux and windows will play together. Not into streaming cause all Im gonna have to do is change the source on my TV. I mean its that or having to mess with the wifi every once in awhile because its having trouble streaming and or sync issues. Streaming just doesnt get me excited, it probably will in the next 5 years but not right now.
Whelp I better get started on this HTPC project, talking to you has got me going again. I like building and figuring stuff out with PC's its an intelligent hobby and keeps you on your toes. Oh I have a full AXT mobo in my PC an Asus z87-Pro the more expensive one there's 2 out there and Im bad at remembering model #'s also all the retailers seem to get them mixed up as well. I just noticed there's a sabertooth LG1150 board how did I miss that one. Oh well theres always next build :) But Im going Maximus vi or the gigabyte sniper m5 "big foot" model. I have a crush on gigabyte products, them and Corsair. with an i5HaswellK for just straight solid gaming performance. I'm probably gonna put it together and sell it after a week just to enjoy the fruits of my labor.
Oh the IR thing dont know how heavy that thing is but I took some sticky putty and stuck it on the side of one of my open shelves right below my tv so when I pointed at the tv it picked it up. Anyways just throwin' out some ideas. Just realized that gigabyte board is a mini-ATX but you can still x-fire or SLI with it. Im not into cases really if it fits Im good, I feel like I have a pretty nice system compared to a lot of guys on here its all in a $40 case. Im one of those I don't care HOW fancy your case looks whats inside of that $100-600 case. When I start getting into custom builds for people Ill take cases into consideration. I just look at how many USB's does it have mine has 4 3.0's and 2 2.0's and will my system fit. I have an AMD case whch I am embarrassed to own considering Im an Intel-NVidia guy that Im using for the HTPC(Im gonna switch it out when I build my AMD fanboy dream machine lol). and a generic that I chopped up for a test bench.
 

THRobinson

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One downside to XBMC is the support, sometimes you get lucky and get some friendly good answers off the forum, but otherwise, it seems like 75% of the users are programs and they expect you to be a programmer as well. Last time I asked for help with an issue I was told to open an MySQL editor and alter the database. I worked in IT for 10yrs, desktop systems so I'm not bad with tech but... programming and databases are different and it's odd that they'd simply assume everyone knows it.

But, depending which skin you use (it's more than a colour scheme change, a skin will alter the entire appearance of everything in XBMC) some are harder to work with than others, different layouts, features etc... but about a dozen or so to pick from, I'm using "confluence" which is easy and visually better looking than most. Use to be another one that looked closer to the PS3 interface but the people who designed it seem to have stopped updating it and no longer works on XBMC v12.x.

That being said, I flip-flopped... started looking at the WD TV Live/Android and well... all the wires, no DVD, a box for the player and a box for the HDD, and if I used the Android I'd probably have XBMC on there anyways.... will start to look a mess and at least with XBMC I can fix it fast because been using it for 2yrs and know it so, gonna find a SFF computer, Core2Duo or higher and space enough for a 2nd drive and build them an HTPC instead. Then I know how to fix it, will network to mine more easily, and what plays on mine will play on theirs without any problems.

I'll play with UBUNTU first since always wanted to try something like Linux/Unix... likely end with Win7X64 so I can enable hardware acceleration in XBMC, and then probably stick XBMC into the startup folder so when they turn the system on it goes directly into XBMC, setup the remote so the power button auto shuts off the unit. Though will keep the HP as a spare and try to map the buttons to their current universal remote first.

Sounds like a good system you have starting there... I'm between jobs right now hence the tight budget, else I'd love to build a new system specifically for HTPC and well, one for myself (well, Mac Pro since I went to school for design/photography) but would definitely dual boot it because of a few games. That way I could leave the HTPC on 24/7 and let people in the house access the music/movies/tv videos off it whenever they wanted not just when my system is on (though on almost 24/7 as it is).

Case wise, I've have 3 systems and numerous updates now in the same case for I think 10-12yrs. Old ASUS case, super plain matte black without a tonne of lights and neon.... kinda like something simple that is hidden away. For the HTPC though, I like those SilverStone cases simply because they're designed to look like AV equipment like a receiver or something. The one I want in particular, room for 7 drives... be perfect for my 'endgame' of having a small C:\ drive to run the software, and 4x3TB drives as a raid. I'd have it as a single drive, but would have a folder for music, movies, tv series, various... the problem with having a drive for each, is when a drive gets full... then you spill onto another drive, so for stuff like movies, you'll have to start backing in/out of drives searching for the movie you want. That's where I am now... my movie drive of 3TB has maybe 100GB free space left, and I don't want to start dumping movies to other drives and have to go searching.

Well, if you decide to go XBMC and need any help give me a shout, same username on here as on XBMC's forum. Their forum is ok for help, just make sure if you post any quests, keep it simple, short, and start by saying 'new to xbmc and have no programming skills', :D
 

danscan11

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I hate it when Progs get proggy with people. I'll check it out when i get this i3 up and running. I put it together last night and I tried posting it today. Got nothing I believe its the mobo Checked the seating of everything perfect, I've tried 3 different PSU's on it no go, I tried the screw driver start up again no go. Everything is new on it except the mobo and the cpu itself nothing physically wrong with the cpu, so its gotta be the board. When I troubleshooted to that conclusion I just rolled my eye's thinking I didn't want to friggin' spend ANY money on this endeavor, Im going to clean it again I noticed something on the bottom that I must've missed the first time if that doesn't work new mobo will be ordered tonight. When it gets to that point of choosing spill over I would get an adapter for the usb and start moving by genre like have comedy/drama on 1 HDD and action/horror on the other. Basically keep more family friendly stuff on one and the more violent/bloody stuff separate.
Your talking about this case, right?
http://www.amazon.com/Silverstone-Tek-Acrylic-Mini-ITX-ML05B/dp/B00DU6RVK8/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1383502572&sr=8-10&keywords=silverstone+case
Looks very convenient and airy. When I get sick of walking by this tower that looks like a good replacement. I just put them behind my TV for now.
 

THRobinson

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Any beeps or noises? Maybe the CPU just didn't seat properly, or I remember once tearing my hair out trying to figure it out and ended up was simply missing one of the power plugs plugged into the mobo. :D

SilverStone makes a whole bunch of super nice HTPC cases... one I want that holds 7 drives and a full ATX board is this one...

http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=197&area=en

Though I think may be out of production since a few sites stopped carrying it. The full ATX board and need for at least 5 drives (4x3TB and a small C:\ for the OS and software) limits my choices, though always liked this one because very simple, not a bunch if lights to distract when watching a movie, etc...

http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=199&area=en

That one though, is also on my maybe list, since I never use the DVD drive anymore anyway... I'll still install it but, really no need for easy fast access to the DVD-rom or USB ports since everything will be on hard drives internally or copied over through the network.
 

danscan11

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Dang that is a nice case, wasn't expecting that. I like it but I enjoy the simplicity of that black one better. I'm pretty cure the mobo is unrepairable I noticed a syrupy type substance on the bottom of it. I think one of my friends spilled a coke and it somehow got underneath it. It was sitting in my chopped tower/bench. So when I tried to clean it with alcohol I started getting big white spots on the bottom of it. I posted a thread to see if anyone knows if its done for or not. Luckily I found a gigabyte micro-atx for $52.00 with guaranteed shipping by tuesday I love gigabyte mobo's if soda had spilt on one of theirs I dont think I'd be having this issue.I checked and triple checked everything my boy Tradesman got me to slow down and stay steady. I unplugged everything and just had the 2 main power plugs plugged in with the cpu fan in also I got no spinning not even a tease. Oh well if I can repair it I have another excuse to build another simple intel PC. Either way Im still going to be having fun building.
 

THRobinson

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Coke?

I once found a PS2 sitting on the side of the road in the garbage... grabbed it... covered in Coke inside and out. Inside reeked of pot as well. Took it apart, cleaned it all, the case I washed in the sink. CD drive when finally opened had a copy of Harold and Kumar in it. Ran a CD lens cleaner in it 3x, first time took almost 5min to start... far as I know that PS2 still works and that was 6yrs ago, gave it to my niece.

Was about to suggest rubbing alcohol... see you already tried it. The white may simply be it drying, but ya, if you cleaned it with that and still dead... sadly it may need replaced. That sucks.

I had a Pentium 4 board, new... totally killed it. Those horrible metal clips on the cooling fan that needed pliers to pull down over the motherboard clips... slipped and done. Smallest little resistor got cracked and I was out $120. :S
 

danscan11

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Thats cool about the PS2 I find it stereotypically hilarious that it reeked of pot and the last viewed movie was about pot smokers. I took a look at it a little bit earlier and I was able to rub off the white stuff the mobo looked good underneath it, tomorrow Im going to go buy some distilled water and use that to hopefully water down the white substance. I havent done that to a board but I did it with an AMD processor got this black edition on sale for 140 first cpu installation I put it in wrong and broke what looked like half the pins on it. I just shook my head in shame and looked for a replacement. Thats when I started doing my research and I have been an intel fan ever since. Though like I said I just have this urge to build an AMD PC again. I remember my first build and how much I enjoyed using it , it was an AMD. It was a dual core Phenom I dont remember having any issues with performance from it. Shoot about to fall asleep Ill let you know what happens with the board when I bench it again.
 

THRobinson

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Ya, I thought it was funny it stunk of pot, movie about pot smokers, and that (probably because of the pot) they were too lazy to fix it or even get their movie back. :D

I bought a cleaning kit for CPUs, which was annoying because when I opened the 2 bottles up, it's obvious that the cleaning solution is Goo-Gone, and then the 2nd bottle is just rubbing alcohol. Works though. Goo-gone to well, clean the goo and crud, then a wipe down with the alcohol.

CPU wise, man I am glad the pins are gone... I had a bent one they wouldn't take back despite being shipped bent... managed to get it straightened out without breaking and worked for well, until I upgraded that system.
 

danscan11

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Yeah me too about the pins, well my new mobo should be here around 2:30-4:30 tomorrow, filthy mobo sitting drying again. Man that stuff fights back in certain area's. I didn't realize goo gone would be ok for mobo's I have a lot of that laying around the house I'll give it a whirl.
 
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