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Throw it away or try to squeeze out what I can?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Black Panther, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. Black Panther

    Black Panther Senior Moderator™ Staff Member

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    :cry: Honestly I need opinions here. Because I don't know what I can do.

    You see, I've had been using a P4 with an FX5500 and 768MB RAM (of which a 256MB stick died) for over 7 years.

    Last year I decided that I want new stuff so I got the parts and assembled the rig in my system specs and now am quite satisfied.

    The only problem is that I passed on my (then still working) P4 as a 'toy' to my 6 year old daughter. At that time it was already causing problems. For example, it kept rebooting and never loading windows, until I removed the original old 256MB RAM module and left it with 512MB. If I left the 256MB module in there the pc wouldn't even post or beep. Nothing.

    A couple of months later it started losing data, newly installed programs appeared as corrupted, I'd re-install them, they'd work for a day or 2 and become corrupted again. I'd install games for my kid and the next day the icon would vanish from the desktop and they wouldn't even be visible through the search function.

    So I ran the SMART utility which told me the drive was only 18% fit due to the Reallocated Sector Count of 395 which meant that my HDD is in its last throes there.

    Now I can't afford to spend more on pc stuff. After I got all the stuff for my present pc I already upgraded from an 8600GTS to an 8800GT and purchased a widescreen 22" instead of my 19"... I'm at the limits now.

    I have to get or make some pc working for my daughter, so far it was a 1.6Ghz Willamette on a socket 423 with DDR 512MB which some 5 years ago I upgraded from an MX400 graphics to FX5500, always on a P4VXMS ECS (Elitegroup) motherboard. And believe me at her age she already realised that my pc is much faster than 'her' pc.... :wtf:

    What would be your ideas. I cannot really afford to spend much money. Should I keep 'patching up' perhaps getting new stuff like a new HDD? English is not my first language but I guess it is a PATA IDE? I don't know the correct terminology which is a disadvantage.

    Should I throw the whole tower into the rubbish?
    Thinking of it, if I were to buy new stuff, it'd be more worth if I hand over the pc in my specs... and get something better..... :confused: it'd cost more but be more worth, especially for me, at the end..
     
  2. keakar

    keakar

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    you can buy a IDE hard drive but it will cost like $45 new or maybe you find an old IDE hard drive in the "for sale" threads for $10 but IMO to do something with that computer it would be worth less than what it would cost to get it working again. to be brutally honest IMO its not worth spending even $10 on. i would save pull the cpu and ram out and sell it in "for sale" threads and toss the rest.

    you have the 19" monitor and the 8600gts so you should give her your cpu and motherboard and get yourself a quad core and P35 or better motherboard so for her you will only need to buy ram, HDD, and dvd player to go with them. IMO this is the way you should go.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2008
  3. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    If she still uses the PC, it is not a lost cause.
    Go to the FS/FT area and ask for stuff cheap. People will understand that you do not want to spend hardly any money on an old system that you just want to keep running.
    Most people will probably give you older parts if you are willing to pay the shipping. Most people here have a ton of old crap laying around (at least I do).

    If you cannot afford to get her a new system, I think we here at TPU can keep it going for a while longer for you, and maximize what you get.
     
  4. zOaib New Member

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    I AGREE
     
  5. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    Come on guys,

    If a TPU'er needs to keep his daughter gaming with a little help from us, I think we have the heart to make it happen until he can afford something better.
     
  6. keakar

    keakar

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    someone was giving old stuff away for free a while back, can anyone remember who had that thread? maybe we can get his help.
     
  7. lemonadesoda

    lemonadesoda

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  8. Black Panther

    Black Panther Senior Moderator™ Staff Member

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    I had sold those.


    I had some time to kill this morning and decided to play around with this pc again.

    Btw, the reallocated sector count has increased from 395 to 399.

    I thought it had been working normally after my last clean install. I even downloaded all updates, however I couldn't get the AC97 to work by loading the mobo drivers...

    A day or 2 later, the pc wouldn't load windows. Kept restarting itself in an endless cycle just before showing the blue loading windows screen it would BSOD with a little message of only 2 lines, so brief it gives me no time to read.

    So today I tried clean installing again. I think I've done it about 3 or 4 times now, nearly learnt the coa by heart...

    Funnily enough I can't complete the install. No matter if I partition the disk, or if I do quick NTFS format or do it the long way.

    Here are some of the errors I keep getting. I don't get them all during one attempted install. Sometimes I get one error, other times I get 2 of them, all at random:

    An error has been encountered that prevents setup from continuing. Setup failed to install the product catalogues. This is a fatal error. The setup log files should contain more information. Press OK to view the setup log file.

    In the log file I find:

    initpki.dll couldn't be registered.

    Error 800b001 The signature for XP Home is invalid.


    Another one:

    Windows could not load the installer for Diskdrive. Contact your hardware vendor for assistance.

    and another two similar errors to the above, but saying CDRom or Battery instead of Diskdrive.

    And another one, which I think happens after I input the product key (the ones above happen before):

    Cannot install this hardware:
    System.
    The data is invalid.


    System??? :confused:

    Well, I'm not going to get my hopes high, I've got the impression that working on that pc is like flogging a dead horse... but I'd love your opinion.

    Probably next Monday I'll take the pc to a friend of mine who has a lot more pc parts than I have, and we can then try replacing the ram, try another hdd etc... Which reminds me, I do have 2 hdd's to test, but I don't know their condition...

    Edit: NVM that... I got 2 museum pieces there... their capacity is 1200MB!
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2008
  9. jpierce55

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    If that is ddr1 I can sell you two 256mb sticks for $5 plus shipping (like 3-4) if you get it running and want more ram, it is 266mhz.
     
  10. laszlo

    laszlo

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    put the HDD in other sys make a full format also a disk check (with the option to repair the errors on) and is a chance you can use it again.
     
  11. Black Panther

    Black Panther Senior Moderator™ Staff Member

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    Just discovered that I can't do that.

    On the rig in my system specs, I can't run a disk check.:twitch:

    It was a problem also on the pentium, but in that case I thought it was because of the hdd...

    I get this message:

    "The disk check could not be performed because the disk check utility needs exclusive access to some Windows files on the disk. These files can only be accessed by restarting Windows. Do you want to schedule this disk check to occur the next time you restart the computer?"

    If I click yes and restart, nothing happens and if I try the disk check again I get the same message above.
     
  12. laszlo

    laszlo

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    can you make a full format in your rig?
     
  13. Black Panther

    Black Panther Senior Moderator™ Staff Member

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    I guess so.

    Also, I found out that I can run the disk check but only if I leave the 'automatically fix errors' and the 'scan for bad sectors and attempt recovery' boxes not ticked.
     
  14. laszlo

    laszlo

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    do you have more partitions? important data on?
     
  15. Black Panther

    Black Panther Senior Moderator™ Staff Member

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    Uhhh, do I really need to format this rig to solve the problems of the pentium?

    Sorry Laszlo, don't take it as an offence, I know you're trying to help.

    But the thing is I checked this disk with s.m.a.r.t., it's in very good condition. I don't mind that windows doesn't want me to check it. I didn't mind that windows didn't want my dvd drive to burn either, I just use a third party program... lol get what I mean?
     
  16. novacheck

    novacheck New Member

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    I had a problem like this once. Not identical, but similar. When trying to install xp, I kept getting bsod's. It turned out to be my ram, and harddrive. Just a thought for you. I would like to see a fellow pc man get some help. Let us know what kind of motherboard you have. I may have some ram for you. I have 1gb of ddr2-667 (which is probably NOT the kind you need, though I am not sure), and a 128mb stick of pc-133 sdram, plus various other sizes. I did just get rid of my old ddr1 set. Plus, I have several old ide hdd's, that I would be willing to let go of for next to nothing. I have 2x 80gb, 4x 10gb drives and a 30gb drive. I am not sure if I can help with what I have, but I am here if you can use it. Good luck.
     
  17. DanishDevil

    DanishDevil

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    Want a 120GB IDE for free? If you pay shipping, it's yours. I was going to sell it for $35 or so, but if it's for your daughter and she needs a working PC, I'll let it go.
     
  18. novacheck

    novacheck New Member

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    Sorry, forgot you already posted the mobo. I am checking right now if I have what you may need. Yeah, my ram would work for you. Again, I am not saying that is what YOUR problem is, just that I had close to the same symptoms as you a while back. If you would like to try my ram, It would be free of charge. Just PM me if you are interested.
     
  19. novacheck

    novacheck New Member

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    That is better than what I can offer. :D
     
  20. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Set up a thin-client network between your PC and hers. When your PC is not very busy, her PC can use the processing power and system resources of yours and best part is, boot from your PC using network boot, you minimise the need of a hard-drive on hers. If only the clustering features of Linux was with Windows, you could go a step further and use her PC's resources when its idle and give yours a healthy boost.

    append: http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/db2luw/v8//topic/com.ibm.db2.udb.doc/start/t0007233.htm
     

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