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Ghot
Group: Member
Posts: 102,349
Joined: Apr 25 2006
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Aug 18 2013 01:09pm

There is much more to building and maintaining a computer these days. For folks new to this hobby, spend some time reading these. They will save you a lot of problems, down the road.





WINDOWS INSTALLATION AND SSD/HDD SETUP GUIDES

Best Windows installation - preparation Boot CD for SSD's or HDD's.

1. Get Mini-Tools Partition Wizard boot CD here: http://www.partitionwizard.com/download.html
2. Use IMGBurn here: http://www.imgburn.com/ ...to burn the Partition Wizard boot CD.iso to a CD or DVD (has to be blank)
3. Boot from the Partition Wizard Boot CD....delete any and all partitions on the Hard drive.
4. On the left choose: "Wipe" ...then select the top choice: Write Zero's / 1 Pass ...it'll take a while.
5. Then on left choose: "Create Partition" ...make it Primary, NTFS, and Default Cluster Size...don't give it a drive letter !!
6. Then just install Windows 7 (clean install). Afterwards you can use the same Partition Wizard boot CD to: shrink the OS partition or create other partitions if you so desire.



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Best Windows 7 Install Guides.

http://www.sevenforums.com/installation-setup/28712-tutorial-quick-reference-list-installing-windows-7-a.html

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Installing Windows on SSD/HDD.

First thing you need to do is download all necessary drivers, for motherboard and Vid card(s), Antivirus and Malware software, and save them to a USB Flash Drive or CD. This is so you do NOT have to go on the internet, before your computer is protected !

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[Single SSD/HDD]

First make sure to disconnect any other SSD's or HDD's, excpet the one you're installing Windows on, and that it is formatted as Primary, NTFS and Default Cluster Size

Install stuff in this order:

Unhook Internet
Install Windows
Install motherboard drivers
Install vid card drivers
Install sound drivers
Install Security programs


Rehook Internet
Install Windows updates
Install utilities like CCleaner, 7Zip, IMGBurn
Install w/e other games or programs you want.

Right after, you do all this and update everything, run all your cleaners and scanners, and tweak Windows w/e, to however you want it...MAKE A BACKUP. Use either Windows built in backup (make the recue CD too) or free 3rd party Backup software like Macrium Reflect(make the bootable CD too).

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1. The reason we unhook the internet during the Win 7 install is, that with today's always on connections...your brand new Win 7 install can get infected before Windows even gets it's OWN firewall set up.

2. The reason we install all the drivers with NO internet connection, is that Windows will (in the background) start downloading Windows updates...and some of them wiill be GENERIIC drivers...that will conflict wiith the proper drivers.

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Proper Backups will save you tons of hassle.

First, get these two programs...they will work on any windows version.

Easeus Partition Master: http://www.partition-tool.com/personal.htm
Macrium Reflect: http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.asp

Second, if installing a new SSD/HDD that you want to use as the "system partition", format and partition it BEFORE using it. This makes everything easier, down the road.


For Comps with ONE HDD:

1. Install both of these programs.
2. Use Easeus or [diskmgmt.msc] to "resize" (shrink) your system partition, to somewhere between 80-100GB
3. Then with the remaining space, create two more primary partitions. One at 100GB and the other with w/e is left over.
4. Run all your cleaners, scans, reg cleaners...etc, then run disk defragmenter a few times...till it won't defrag any more.
5. Now use Macrium Reflect to create a FULL Image backup of your system partition and save it on the 100GB
partition you created in step #3.
6. When using only one HDD, backing up or restoring from backup...take about 15-20 mins.
7. Lastly, make the Rescue CD with Macrium Reflect, so you can access your backups, even when Windows won't boot.

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For Comps with more than one HDD or SSD/HDD combo:
1. Install both of these programs.
2. Use Easeus or [diskmgmt.msc] "resize" (shrink) your system partition, to somewhere between 80-100GB
3. Now, since you have TWO HDD's...you have the option to store backups of the system partition on the 2nd HDD.
4. This is a GOOD thing, as it cuts down the backup or restore operation to 3-5 mins, because it's not reading and writing
from the same HDD.
5. Use Easeus again to do your partitioning...generally with 2 HDD's you will want to store your system backups on about a
100GB primary partition on the 2nd HDD.
6. Run all your cleaners, scans, reg cleaners...etc, then run disk defragmenter a few times...till it won't defrag any more.
7. Now use Macrium Reflect to creat a FULL Image backup of your system partition and save it on the 100GB
partition you created on your 2nd HDD, in step #5
8. Lastly, make the Rescue CD with Macrium Reflect, so you can access your backups, even when Windows won't boot.

NOTE: The BEST backup system is done using 2 HDD's, or SSD and HDD combo. By using TWO drives, backups and restores are MUCH faster AND safer, because the likelihood of BOTH drives failing is small.

Generally, I make new "system partition" FULL Image backups after I have done a few program upgrades or installs. This procedure is the best solution because when restoring your comp from a FULL Image backup (pre-cleaned)...it completely OVERWRITES the system partition with your previously saved CLEAN backup...thus erasing all the cooties you
may have picked up since you made the last backup.

Never forget to make a Rescue CD, which you can make from within the Backup Software. This is so you can access your backups, even when Windows won't boot.


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How to transfer your whole Windows install from old HDD to new SDD or HDD
This only works if you have changed no other hardware BUT the HDD.

Put ur new HDD or SSD in comp. Then do this....


First, get these two programs....

Easeus Partition Master: http://www.partition-tool.com/personal.htm
Macrium Reflect: http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.asp

1. Install both of these programs, on ur OLD HDD
2. Use Easeus or [diskmgmt.msc] to "resize" (shrink) your system partition, to the smallest size you can. It needs to FIT on the new HDD or SSD.
3. Then with the remaining space, create another primary partition. On your OLD HDD
4. Run all your cleaners, scans, reg cleaners...etc, then run disk defragmenter a few times...till it won't defrag any more, on your OLD HDD
5. The new HDD or SSD has to be formatted: as Primary, NTFS, and default cluster size. It also has to be large enough to take all that Data from the OLD HDD.
6. Now use Macrium Reflect to create a FULL Image Backup of your system partition and save it on the 2nd partition on your OLD HDD
7. Again use Macrium Reflect to Restore the backup you just made...on your NEW HDD or SSD.
8. Alternatively, you can just use the Clone option in EaseUS Partition Master.

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How to Install Windows on a new computer from a Windows .iso Image File

Preparation:

1. Save the Windows Image File to your desktop.
2. Get IMGBurn here: http://www.imgburn.com ...from Mirror #7, install IMGBurn.
3. Put a DVD in the optical drive and run IMGBurn ...choose the option: "Write Image File to Disc", and browse to the Windows .iso Image that you saved to your desktop.
4. Set the burn speed to 2x or at the most 4x...any faster and you run the risk of corrupting the Windows files.
5. After you have created the bootable Windows DVD, place it in the optical drive of the new computer you wish to install Windows on.
6. Either through the BIOS or the Boot Menu, set the new computer to boot from the Optical Drive.
7. At top left of your screen watch for a message: "Press any key to boot from CD.......", and hit ...any key (like g or h or something safe)...if the installer wants to reboot, let it.
8. DO NOT "hit any key" again as this will start the install process over again, which we do NOT want.

Install stuff in this order:

Unhook Internet
Install Windows
Install motherboard drivers
Install vid card drivers
Install sound drivers
Install Security programs

Rehook Internet
Install Windows updates
Install utilities like CCleaner, 7Zip, IMGBurn
Install w/e other games or programs you want.


Notes:

Windows XP can no longer receive Windows Updates, unless you have Service Pack 3 installed.

ALWAYS install the Motherboard CD drivers and the Video Card drivers (or pre-downloaded drivers), before doing Windows Updates.

It's always better to download all necessary drivers, for motherboard and Vid card(s), Antivirus and Malware software, and save them to a USB Flash Drive or CD. This is so you do NOT have to go on the internet, before your computer is protected.

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Windows 7 - SSD Tweak Guides..Your milleage may vary ^^

http://www.overclock.net/t/1133897/windows-7-ssd-tweaking-guide

http://www.overclock.net/t/700470/tutorials-real-world-windows-7-ssd-tweaks-and-optimization

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/70822-ssd-tweaks-optimizations-windows-7-a.html

http://www.tech-forums.net/pc/f128/ssd-tweak-guide-236563/

http://thessdreview.com/ssd-guides/optimization-guides/the-ssd-optimization-guide-2/

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Guide for preparing a bootable Windows installation - USB Flash Drive, on a computer running Windows XP. Method works for all versions of Windows.



http://www.intowindows.com/how-to-install-windows-7vista-from-usb-drive-detailed-100-working-guide/
Ghot
Group: Member
Posts: 102,349
Joined: Apr 25 2006
Gold: 10,765.00
Aug 18 2013 01:10pm



COMPUTER CLEANING AND DISINFECTION GUIDE

1.... Go here, get SuperAntiSpyware (free): http://www.superantispyware.com/ ...save it to desktop.
2.... Go here, get TDSSKiller.exe http://usa.kaspersky.com/downloads/tdsskiller save it to ur ...desktop.
3.... Install and update SuperAntiSpyware.
4.... UN hook Internet cable from back of comp....Reboot into safemode and run a FULL scan with SuperAntiSpyware...remove w/e it finds.
5.... Reboot back into normal mode and run TDSSKiller.exe following the directions where you downloaded it. Do w/e fixes/cures it suggests.
6.... Using Internet Explorer go here: http://www.eset.com/us/online-scanner/run ...and run a FULL scan...remove w/e it finds.
7.... Get CCleaner here: http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/download from the Prirform link. Install it and run both the CLEANER and the scan for ISSUES, remove w/e IT finds.
8...Get Malwarebytes (free) here: http://www.malwarebytes.org/ ...from the GREY Download Now button....install it, update it, and run a full scan...remove w/e it finds.
9...Get Spybot Search & Destroy (altho the link changes a lot) here: http://www.safer-networking.org/en/home/index.html ...update it and make SURE you do the Immunizations, which are the real reason for having this program. They will protect your browsers from becoming infected.

For more serious Infections and/or Specific Infections, see the link below

http://forums.d2jsp.org/topic.php?t=57598269&f=276


Currently (2011, summer) the best paid - for antiviruses are: Norton, Kaspersky, Bitdefender and ESET NOD32. So far no one has been able to crack these paid versions...so pony up or go for the free AV's

If you have AVG Anti-Virus, (which is both over zealous and has been shown to have problems with Win7 on many occasions)...download either:

BitDefnder free Antivirus from here: http://www.bitdefender.com/solutions/free.html
Avast! AntiVirus from here: http://www.avast.com/en-us/free-antivirus-download

Unhook internet cable from back of comp.
Reboot comp into safe mode, and completely UN-install AVG antivirus.
Reboot into normal mode and install BitDefnde Antivirus or Avast! Antivirus.
Turn comp off....rehook internet cable to back of comp. Turn comp ON.
Update BitDefnder OR Avast!, then do Windows Updates....then run a full scan with BitDefedner OR Avast!.

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The program: HiJack This from Trend Micro. [ONLY for Windows XP]

Get the 2.0.4 version here: http://free.antivirus.com/hijackthis/

Getting Started

1. Download the executable version of HiJack This v2.0.4 (See link above)
2. Create a Folder in C:\Program Files, called HiJack This ...place the Executable file in that folder.
3. Right click the HiJack This.exe file and create a shortcut on your desktop. Rename the shortcut to just: Hijack This
4. Once installed, double left click the short cut to run the program, a large white text box will open, you may just close that. Then you will see a GREY box..the program itself.
5. Click the bottom-most button named: "none of the above, just start the program"
6. When the program starts, click the "SCAN" button in lower left corner. When the scan is complete (approx. 1 minute or less), click the "Save Log" in the lower left.
7. The log will automatically open in your default text editor. Choose: Edit > Select All ...then right click the highlighted text and Choose: Copy. Leave the Program open.
8. Open your browser and go here: http://www.hijackthis.de./index.php ...and in the large white box, click your cursor and the Ctrl + V to paste your log. Then click "Analyze".
9. Here you can see the BAD entries, one of which will be your Toolbar that you are trying to remove...simply switch back to the "still open program" and checkmark the corresponding box.
10. You may also choose other entries that are KNOWN to be BAD...then just click: Fix Checked: at bottom left of the Hijack This Program.

Note: Improper use of this program can cause Windows to become UN-bootable. Use with caution !

If you are unsure of these instructions you can also go here: http://forum.networktechs.com/forumdisplay.php?3-Spyware-Central ...and after reading the Sticky called: 'Read Me First Before Requesting Help" ....then follow the directions therein and post your log in the "I am not a Geek" forums, and the experts there will walk you through the process.

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The Wonderful World of PC Decrapifier (free)

Got a ton of old, unused programs clogging up your HDD and your registry, or a new prebuilt comp filled wiith bloatware, well then, PC Decrapifier will solve your problems.

http://pcdecrapifier.com/


PC Decrapifier KNOWS about a LOT of programs...and will first find the ones it knows....





Then, as with any good program it will also then list ALL the programs on your PC...and leave you the choice of what to remove and what to keep.





Quote
You will be guided through the process with a "wizard" style series of questions. You will have the choice to pick and choose what you want to remove. It will not begin removing anything without asking you first!  Could it get any better....well....yes it could....once you have check marked things you want removed...it will remove them all at one time  !!

Ghot
Group: Member
Posts: 102,349
Joined: Apr 25 2006
Gold: 10,765.00
Aug 18 2013 01:10pm



HARDWARE & DRIVER & THINGS NOT TO DO


When building a comp...any comp...the 3 MOST important parts are these:

1. Case...whether you are air cooling or water cooling get a case with room for growth, great cooling, and case exterior connectors where you are going to want them.
2. Power Supply ...this runs the show...get a PSU that will easily drive w/e you have in comp or MAY decide to add to comp. Consider wattage AND amperage.
3. Motherboard ...EVERYthing ur comp does, it does on or thru the motherboard circuits...you skimp here, you WILL regret it, down the road, or from day one.

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As you build ur 1st comp...take the time to write down: MAKE / Model Number / Serial Number of every part before you put it in comp...if it has a version number like some RAM and motherboards...write that down too. Then when you DO have questions to post...you can just copy paste your system info, and make it much easier for others to help you. (do not include the serial numbers when you post) Like this:

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1

AMD FX-8350 Vishera 4.0GHz (4.2GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 125W Eight-Core Desktop Processor
ASUS SABERTOOTH 990FX R2.0 AM3+ SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Motherboard ( 1302 BIOS)
EVGA 06G-P4-2791-KR GeForce GTX TITAN 6GB 384 bit GDDR5
CORSAIR Dominator Platinum 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3 1866Mhz RAM (factory settings)
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 CPU Cooler (push/pull)

WD 500GB Velociraptor - SATA III
WD 1TB Caviar Black FAEX - SATA III
WD 1TB Caviar Black FAEX - SATA III
LG GH22LS30 CD/DVD Burner

PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750W Quad EPS12V

DELL Ultrasharp U3011, 30" monitor
Klipsch Pro Media 2.1 THX Speakers (Black)
Ducky DK9008 Shine II Blue LED Backlit Mechanical Keyboard (Cherry MX Black)
Logitech Optical M-100

Coolermaster ATCS 840 Full Tower Case
3x230mm, 1x120mm, Optional: 3x Scythe S-Flex SFF21G 120mm (installed)

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Properly Air Cooling Your Computer

1. You are going to need more CFM of Intake than you will for Exhaust. This is due to the fact that the CPU Cooler and Vid Card(s) Cooler(s) will be "starved for air" if you don't.
2. This is how I've set up my system and added "Cold Air Cooling" by way of Comp's location compared to the Windows A/C Unit.



3. Keep in mind that you need to find the best solution for your environment, this is what works best for mine.

4. The CPU Cooler can face towards the top or rear of the computer, and can have a single fan or two fans for a push-pull operation.




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Quickie Guide to setting GPU fan speed with MSI Afterburner (free program)

In MSI afterburner...

1. Just to the right of the fan speed slider... un-click the Auto
2. Then, move the slider to 40-60% or until the noise gets on your nerves :)
3. Then click: Apply
4. Then a tad further left, click: Apply overclocking at system startup




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Things NOT to do:

1. Do NOT rely on System Restore...it has never worked well on any version of Windows.
2. Do NOT let Java and/or Adobe Flash Player update themselves....Flash CAN install on top of the old version, Java can also...but it won't ever work properly again. You need to uninstall older versions of JAVA.
3. Do NOT use the online installers for either Java or Flash....download the offline installers for both.
4. Do NOT download and JUST open or install...ANYthing without first scanning it at: https://www.virustotal.com/ For files over 64MB, you'll just have to use your installed scanners for those. Virustotal has a 64MB file size limit.
5. Do NOT use Windows update/rollback to install hardware drivers.
6. Do NOT click on ANY link to a program that promises a one stop fix, for all your computer problems.
7. Do NOT buy cheap-ass crappy computer parts, spend a little extra for well known, QUALITY parts.
8. Do NOT just update games, drivers, Windows, or browsers, unless you make a new clean backup FIRST.
9. Do NOT update or flash your BIOS unless some new hardware absolutely requires it.


Azenor
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Joined: Jun 29 2009
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Aug 18 2013 01:10pm
First
Ghot
Group: Member
Posts: 102,349
Joined: Apr 25 2006
Gold: 10,765.00
Aug 18 2013 01:11pm



USEFUL PROGRAMS AND HOW-TO GUIDES


Get HWMonitor here: http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html ...install it and post a screen shot of the main page of this program with ALL the temps showing, when posting a problem on these forums.

Get SPECCY here: http://www.piriform.com/speccy/download ...get the FREE version from the: Piriform Link ...Speccy is a really nice system hardware information Utility....simply install it...and run the program...then post a screen shot of the main page of the program, when posting a problem on these forums.

The following are other programs you will find useful, just Googling their names will find them for you.

1. CPU-Z
2. GPU-Z
3. Core Temp
4. Memtest
5. Prime95
6. 3DMark11 or Vantage or Extreme
7. Unigine (various benchmarks)
8. IMGBurn
9. 7Zip

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This program monitors every damn thing on ur comp, accurately too, even has built in CPU, Memory and Disk benchmarks...and a built in CPU-Z.

Go here: http://www.aida64.com/downloads
Download this: AIDA64 Extreme Edition...."Trial version, self-installing EXE package"

After installing, run AIDA64 and choose: File > Preferences...then use the images below, to "check mark" the necessary boxes for the way you want it to start and run.. When setting up the OSD (on screen display), you can set the: Font, color, Font Size and Label that shows on the OSD. You can also move the items you have checked, up and down the list, with the "Move Up" and the "Move Down buttons.

For the GPU Temp, choose the plain GPU Diode, not the shader or memory ones.

Further, once you have the OSD set up, you can right click it to open the OSD shown and choose: Configure to open the "OSD items" page.
You can also left click and drag it to anywhere on screen, to the side bar, and maybe to whatever they call the Task Bar in Win 7.

Lastly go thru all the items on the LEFT side...to see that this program really DOES monitor EVERYTHING.





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Ultimate Keyboard Guide
http://www.overclock.net/keyboards/491752-mechanical-keyboard-guide.html

Computer Building Guide (step by Step)
http://forums.d2jsp.org/topic.php?t=33861612&f=189

Everything PC Gaming Related
http://forums.d2jsp.org/topic.php?t=52288848&f=188&o=0

Everything Audio Visual Related
http://forums.d2jsp.org/topic.php?t=57557910&f=188

Latest Tech News
http://forums.d2jsp.org/topic.php?t=61949096&f=188&o=0

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Recovering deleted or corrupted files:
http://www.piriform.com/recuva

For seeing what takes up space on your HDD:
http://windirstat.info/download.html

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Maximum PC How -To's

How To Use Different Wallpapers On Different Displays Without Software

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/how-tos/howusedifferentwallpapersdifferentdisplayswithoutsoftware

How to Use Windows 7 Speech Recognition

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/how-tos/howusewindows7speechrecognition

How to Customize the Windows 7 File Browser Menu

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/howcustomizewindows7filebrowsermenu

Build It: The Ultimate Windows Home Server

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/builditultimatewindowshomeserver


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The Ultimate Windows 7 Book
http://www.annoyances.org/exec/show/book7 ..alternate link: http://tinyurl.com/dy32yvt

The Ultimate Windows Vista Book
http://www.annoyances.org/exec/show/bookvista ...alternate link: http://tinyurl.com/68xoyw

The Ultimate Windows XP Book
http://www.annoyances.org/exec/show/bookxp2 ...alternate link: http://tinyurl.com/fxux9

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How to make a RAM Disk on any Windows version.



For those who care...a RAM Disk is just a way of running certain programs on "some" of your memory( RAM )...which is WAY faster than running it from an SSD/HDD.

NOTE: I would NOT try this with less than a minimum of 16GB of physical RAM installed ^^
Ghot
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Joined: Apr 25 2006
Gold: 10,765.00
Aug 18 2013 01:13pm

Sorry, but I'll leave the Windows 8 Guides to someone else. :)
N3rd
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Gold: 2,468.00
Aug 18 2013 01:33pm
This is great, thank you for taking the time to put this together.
Ghot
Group: Member
Posts: 102,349
Joined: Apr 25 2006
Gold: 10,765.00
Aug 18 2013 01:35pm

We could also use a Linux Guide. A simple Linux Starter Guide, if someone feels up to the task.




Grillz9909
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Posts: 26,944
Joined: Nov 29 2006
Gold: 280.00
Aug 18 2013 01:44pm
i hate you
Azrad
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Joined: Oct 15 2009
Gold: Locked
Warn: 20%
Aug 18 2013 01:46pm
I see you are still telling people to binary wipe, and you still got your air conditioner hooked up backwards...
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