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Author Topic: Mega 865PRO - Things to know before building...  (Read 3808 times)

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StuTopic starter

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Mega 865PRO - Things to know before building...
« on: 07-October-05, 19:00:37 »

Hello there! :laugh:

Following on from the success of the previous stickies on the Mega 180, 651 and 865, we present to you a new sticky on the most recent addition to the MSI Mega PC range: the 865PRO.

Unfortunately, I have no first-hand experience of using one of these, and as no-one else has bravely stepped forward to do the honours, I think we have enough already for me to start a sticky FAQ anyway.

If you have any valuable info that needs to be shared with other Mega 865PRO users, then please feel free to post in this thread, and at some point, I will integrate it into the main FAQ post.

If you want to ask a question, or need help, then start a new topic, please don't clutter this thread with useless or irrelevant posts. You will always get much better help by starting your own topic, and it keeps this thread useful.

Intervideo's InstantOn is a small Linux-based OS that allows fast booting to an environment where you can listen to music, radio, watch TV and DVDs, without booting up into Windows.

You must install InstantOn to a clean, unpartitioned drive. In other words, if you built your 865PRO with a brand new hard drive, you must install it before you install Windows.

We still don't have a definitive answer on what card the Mega 865PRO TV Tuner card is, but a look on Intervideo's website, tells us that the program supports TV cards based on the following chipsets:

  • Conexant 2388x
  • Bt878
  • Philips SA713x

which to me appear to be most software-based analogue TV tuners out there. InstantOn does not support DVB-T cards, only analogue.

InstantOn will also only work with the onboard Intel 865G chipset, so you won't be able to use it with an nVidia or ATi add-in AGP card. (It does work with other graphics chips but they are only solutions you will find in other integrated chipsets, such as SiS 650 and Via CLE266.)

InstantOn will also only work with the integrated audio, however you could use an addin soundcard, provided it was one of the following:

  • Advance Logic
  • Aureal Vortex
  • C-Media
  • Creative Sound Blaster Live
  • ForteMedia
  • ESS
  • Yamaha
  • Crystal

which does narrow your options somewhat.... :undecided:

CPU Support
Mega 865PRO is designed to support most Socket775 Intel Pentium 4 and Celeron CPUs. You can find the latest CPU support list here:

Please note that if you intend to use a Pentium 4 6xx CPU which includes EMT64 64bit instruction set, then you will need to upgrade your BIOS to remedy a random crashing issue, addressed in BIOS version 1.1 (110). If your system already has this BIOS version, then you do not need to update.

Installing Windows to C: partition
Same as with the other Mega PCs, if you go to install Windows, the text setup program automatically allocates C: and D: to the card reader devices, and E: to the optical (CD/DVD) drive. Which leaves Windows to install on the F: partition which you will create on your hard drive. Not normally much of a problem, as Windows will work wherever you install it, but some programs are not happy if they can't find your Windows directory on the C:, most notably Intervideo software :undecided:

So how to get round this? If you aren't using a USB keyboard, then you can just disable the USB controller in the BIOS setup, then you can re-enable it at any point following the first restart after Windows has created and formatted the partition and copied the installation files.

However if you need to use a USB keyboard during the text-based setup stage, then you will have to open your case and locate and disconnect the card reader connector from the motherboard. Do this with the power off, and reconnect when powered off also. You can do this at any point, when you start your PC, Windows will find the new hardware and automatically install the drivers for it.

The LED Display
The LED panel on the 865PRO is very different to the earlier Megas. It doesn't use the same Bluebird module, and doesn't have a 'Hi-Fi' mode. Therefore it is impossible to use Nathan's Girder plugin, to program the remote to work with programs other than Intervideo/MSI Media Centre II

However Digest and Kane81 have both been investigating methods of getting alternative information onto the LED display.

According to Kane81 in this thread, the LED display already displays some information, when running Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 (MCE2005): Mega865 LED display support in MCE

And Digest is working on his own utility to be able to display other information on the display, you can follow progress by reading this thread: 865PRO LED (VFD) panel, again

And this thread gives more info about configuring the System Control Manager utility:

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Re: Mega 865PRO - Things to know before building...
« Reply #1 on: 31-October-05, 06:36:33 »

I have BIOS 1.0 installed in my 865 PRO, and i also have the known problem. BUT, when i try to do an automated download of the new BIOS, 1.1 hopefully (I´ve seen 1.3) the software do not find any new BIOS for me. Tried to use the console, but that was to complex. I have the lastest version of the software. Help please!

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