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  • FIRST POST
    • hampshirebabe
    • By hampshirebabe 13th Oct 18, 8:09 PM
    • 597Posts
    • 152Thanks
    hampshirebabe
    Updating desktop
    • #1
    • 13th Oct 18, 8:09 PM
    Updating desktop 13th Oct 18 at 8:09 PM
    Is there a website I can use to check my desktop to see what upgrades I could do to make it a decent pc again, or if its just better to get a new one? Its about 5 years old, I've already upgraded the memory.
Page 2
  • archived user
    I know it needs a new graphics card
    Originally posted by hampshirebabe
    Why? Unless you are a gamer or do 3D CAD you will notice absolutely no advantage to upgrading your graphics card at all.

    Given the rest of your posts it appears you have a very old PC and would benefit from getting a newer one. I would go on Ebay and buy a refurbished Dell Optiplex 790 or similar with a Core i5 CPU. Get it configured with a SSD drive if that is an option available.
    • psychic teabag
    • By psychic teabag 15th Oct 18, 3:31 PM
    • 2,782 Posts
    • 1,638 Thanks
    psychic teabag
    You might want to google for "lightweight linux" for distributions that work better on older computers.

    I think the biggest difference between the distributions is the default desktop -- of course that can have a big influence on how well you get on with it. (I'm very old-fashioned and use a window manager rather than a "desktop".) The other difference is the package management. Ubuntu and other debian derivatives use "apt", which I find works well. I don't know much about the others.

    One caveat with trying out a live CD is that the slow access gives a poor first impression. Using a USB stick should be better.
    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 15th Oct 18, 6:57 PM
    • 5,589 Posts
    • 12,885 Thanks
    onomatopoeia99
    Why? Unless you are a gamer or do 3D CAD you will notice absolutely no advantage to upgrading your graphics card at all.
    Originally posted by Tarambor

    The OP is correct and it's nothing to do with their usage.


    The Intel graphics controller on the motherboard of that PC last had a driver update released in 2005, which supported up to Windows XP. Vista and later versions of Windows completely changed the driver model so drivers run at ring three not ring zero, so XP drivers are always going to struggle on anything later (some can be kludged to work on Vista and occasionally 7, but for something like graphics it's far from ideal). It's so old that there were drivers for Windows 98.





    To the OP, your PC is fit only for the bin at this point and is too old to be sensibly upgraded.
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek. Home is where my books are.

    5.2kWp system, SE facing, >1% shading, installed March 2019.
    • stphnstevey
    • By stphnstevey 15th Oct 18, 8:38 PM
    • 3,000 Posts
    • 494 Thanks
    stphnstevey
    Well you download the software from ms, and get the official key from ebay for 2.97
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/WINDOWS-10-PRO-64-BIT-OFFICIAL-PRODUCT-CODE-KEY-GLOBAL-INSTANT-DELIVERY/202470100680?epid=1353442741

    you can buy 32/64 version for 3.77

    The whole windows installation software with key for 5.38, from Australia
    Originally posted by that
    Thanks for the tips, didn't realise it was as cheap as this!
    • stphnstevey
    • By stphnstevey 15th Oct 18, 8:41 PM
    • 3,000 Posts
    • 494 Thanks
    stphnstevey
    And to answer the other question ... most Linux distros have a Live CD option where you can boot from CD/DVD (or USB pendrive) and run a fully-working "demo" of the distro. You could do this with several different ones to find which one you prefer ... once you've selected it then the Live CD will let you install it on your PC. (Make sure you've backed up all your data beforehand ... and remember that your Windows programmes won't run natively on Linux).
    Originally posted by DoaM
    So no Microsoft Office?
    Will Linux generally run and boot a lot faster?
    • that
    • By that 15th Oct 18, 9:50 PM
    • 1,048 Posts
    • 601 Thanks
    that
    An SSD will certainly make it start faster...
    Originally posted by John Gray
    Probably it wont

    I had a look on ebay and then I saw the case and realised that I had one of these, and it was all pata, and think the model after this think supports sata.

    Checked on ebay and there are 2 pata ports on the boards and no sata Think these PCs are around 10-12 years old

    Of the opinion what ever you will buy for this, you will be throwing your money away.

    What will work lightning fast on this is Puppy linux x32, but could be of limited use, but will surf and type letters (unsure if it will print them), and a few basic games were included. A modern disto of linux will struggle too
    • psychic teabag
    • By psychic teabag 15th Oct 18, 11:00 PM
    • 2,782 Posts
    • 1,638 Thanks
    psychic teabag
    So no Microsoft Office?
    Will Linux generally run and boot a lot faster?
    Originally posted by stphnstevey
    libreoffice is a free alternative to MS office. The web-based alternatives (google docs ?) should also work fine.
    • psychic teabag
    • By psychic teabag 15th Oct 18, 11:11 PM
    • 2,782 Posts
    • 1,638 Thanks
    psychic teabag
    (re requiring a new graphics card)

    The OP is correct and it's nothing to do with their usage.


    The Intel graphics controller on the motherboard of that PC last had a driver update released in 2005, which supported up to Windows XP. Vista and later versions of Windows completely changed the driver model...

    To the OP, your PC is fit only for the bin at this point and is too old to be sensibly upgraded.
    Originally posted by onomatopoeia99
    Perhaps there's no support in newer windows, but linux tends to be pretty good at running on old hardware. The more popular the hardware, the more likely that someone went to the trouble of supporting it. There are various web pages listing hardware compatability for linux, but perhaps simplest just to try it.
    • EveryWhere
    • By EveryWhere 16th Oct 18, 4:11 AM
    • 1,738 Posts
    • 895 Thanks
    EveryWhere
    Is there a website I can use to check my desktop to see what upgrades I could do to make it a decent pc again, or if its just better to get a new one? Its about 5 years old, I've already upgraded the memory.
    Originally posted by hampshirebabe
    As you know know, it is nothing like five years old. It's actually from 2006.

    You can pick up a second hand model that will be streets ahead and do the job comfortably for you. Something like this is ok for 60 squid; https://www.encore-pc.co.uk/dell-optiplex-960-core2-duo-e8400-3-00ghz

    I'm sure others can find even better value.
    • EveryWhere
    • By EveryWhere 16th Oct 18, 4:35 AM
    • 1,738 Posts
    • 895 Thanks
    EveryWhere
    If you want to persist with upgrading your current PC, here are the Drivers for Windows 7; https://laptop-driver.blogspot.com/2014/01/dell-dimension-1100-drivers-for-windows.html

    If any issues with the Graphics, try this modified Driver; www.mediafire.com/file/cvyyhjeon5eubyj/Intel+865G+Modded+Driver+A10.zip

    You can just install Windows 7 without a key, using the trial licence at no cost to see if it works first.

    But a cheap second hand PC, especially one fitted with a solid state drive is the way to go.
    • hampshirebabe
    • By hampshirebabe 16th Oct 18, 9:03 PM
    • 597 Posts
    • 152 Thanks
    hampshirebabe
    Thankyou all. I cant believe its that old, then again my daughter just turned 11 and I've no ideas where those years went. I really dont like throwing away things if theres a chance I can fix them, so I'll try the drivers and try windows 7, if that doesn't work I'll try and figure out Linux, but probably will need a new one, 60 is doable. :-)
    • EveryWhere
    • By EveryWhere 17th Oct 18, 12:18 AM
    • 1,738 Posts
    • 895 Thanks
    EveryWhere
    Thankyou all. I cant believe its that old, then again my daughter just turned 11 and I've no ideas where those years went. I really dont like throwing away things if theres a chance I can fix them, so I'll try the drivers and try windows 7, if that doesn't work I'll try and figure out Linux, but probably will need a new one, 60 is doable. :-)
    Originally posted by hampshirebabe
    Let's get this straight.....it will never be a decent PC again.

    There are too many factors against it. The Internet is far more media rich than it was twelve years ago.
    As a minimum you will need to upgrade the RAM to 2GB for Windows 7 to be able to function within normal parameters on that device; https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Memory-Ram-4-for-Desktop-PC-DDR-400-PC-3200U-184-pin-DIMM-Non-ECC-2x-GB-Lot/232472723461
    2 x 1 GB for 6.49

    Then you have the horribly slow mechanical storage about which you can do nothing but perhaps to buy a PCI SATA or RAID Controller card at further expense.
    If you did that, then perhaps you could fit an SSD. But finding a Controller card that allows you to boot from it, could just be another headache.

    So now we are at more RAM, a PCI RAID/SATA Controller card and a new boot/storage drive.

    If it all works you''ll have a PC with Windows 7 32 bit, 2 GB of RAM and perhaps a 120GB SSD and perhaps have spent 40 or more. But...then you have the CPU. Benchmark score of 374.
    That's not good. It's barely beyond a ten year old Netbook's processing power.
    So no multitasking for you.

    Without the storage upgrades, but just the RAM upgrade and Windows 7 32 bit installation, it will be painfully inadequate, even if it works. Is it worth spending 6.49 on? Perhaps, but no more.

    Even with a lightweight Linux distribution, the thing would still be barely functional. But it will still work for simple tasks.
    • EveryWhere
    • By EveryWhere 17th Oct 18, 12:57 AM
    • 1,738 Posts
    • 895 Thanks
    EveryWhere
    Update the BIOS by downloading and saving DE051A01.EXE and then running it as Administrator on the PC.

    To run a program as Administrator using XP, just right click on the downloaded file, choose 'Run As' and then sign in as Admin or choose Current User, but remove the tick from "Protect my computer and data from unauthorized program activity"

    The DELL installation media is in your inbox.
    • hampshirebabe
    • By hampshirebabe 17th Oct 18, 11:54 AM
    • 597 Posts
    • 152 Thanks
    hampshirebabe
    would something like this be ok? https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Fanless-Ultra-Mini-Silent-PC-AMD-1-6-Dual-Core-2GB-DDR3-SATA-SSD-DVI-USB3/253936105896?hash=item3b1fc579a8%3Ag%3AkgsAAOSw-K9ZHWve
    • that
    • By that 17th Oct 18, 3:16 PM
    • 1,048 Posts
    • 601 Thanks
    that
    I think I have some memory at home somewhere for an optiplex gx240/260 that may work. l can get hold of a radion card that was in the optiplex gx420/gx250. Think it is a half height card.

    Personally I would not want not invest the time in this, you may feel differently though. Also you will still be stuck on x32 where some of the software has move to x64
    • AlSto
    • By AlSto 18th Oct 18, 1:54 AM
    • 127 Posts
    • 63 Thanks
    AlSto
    No

    ..........
    • rmg1
    • By rmg1 18th Oct 18, 3:08 PM
    • 2,966 Posts
    • 783 Thanks
    rmg1
    If anyone is interested, I've got a few memory sticks at home. All the info is taken from stickers on the memory:-
    For PC

    DDR2 512MB 533 SLX264M8 T5C (2 sticks)
    1GB DDR2 533 (2 sticks)
    1GB 184-PIN UNBUFF DIMM 128MX6 (1 stick)
    DDR 512MB PC3200 400MHZ (1 stick)


    For Laptop
    1GB 1Rx8 PC3 85005 (possibly S) 07 10 81 (1 stick)

    You can have it provided you chuck a couple of quid in a charity tin on your way past.
    Flagellation, necrophilia and bestiality - Am I flogging a dead horse?

    Any posts are my opinion and only that. Please read at your own risk.
    • DoaM
    • By DoaM 18th Oct 18, 3:23 PM
    • 7,135 Posts
    • 7,064 Thanks
    DoaM
    1GB 184-PIN UNBUFF DIMM 128MX6 (1 stick)
    Originally posted by rmg1
    Typo/mis-read? I would expect that to say 8 (as in, 8 memory modules on the stick of 128 Meg each = 1 Gig).
    Diary of a madman
    Walk the line again today
    Entries of confusion
    Dear diary, I'm here to stay
    • rmg1
    • By rmg1 19th Oct 18, 2:16 PM
    • 2,966 Posts
    • 783 Thanks
    rmg1
    Typo/mis-read? I would expect that to say 8 (as in, 8 memory modules on the stick of 128 Meg each = 1 Gig).
    Originally posted by DoaM
    It probably is an 8.
    That will either my dodgy typing or dodgy eyesight.
    Thanks for the correction.
    Flagellation, necrophilia and bestiality - Am I flogging a dead horse?

    Any posts are my opinion and only that. Please read at your own risk.
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