Hardware problems. Should I buy a new computer?

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kjl13

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Joined
Dec 19, 2005
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I'm not even sure what to title this. I have a Dell Optiplex G1 that I bought back in 2000. I was running Win98SE until about two weeks ago. I lost internet access when I upgraded my Zone Alarm firewall. I got my internet access back for about a week, then lost it again. After talking to techs at Dell and my broadband access company, the concensus was that I had lost my network drivers. Because I didn't have internet access to download any drivers, I upgraded to Win XP, thinking this would fix the problem. HA! I still didn't have internet access. After numerous more calls to companies, someone suggested that my network card was bad. I plugged in a new one and had internet access.

But I could not play my music files or listen to the radio. I had sound (I could hear sounds when I ran diagnostic checks), just not usable sound. Turns out that the sound card sold with this computer is not XP compatible. It looked like I had the following options: buy a new sound card--which I didn't want to do because I really don't want to put any more money into this machine; buy a new computer--what a waste of what was a perfectly operational computer (the one I have now); or re-install Win 98SE, since the sound and internet had worked just fine before the zone alarm/network card crashes.

I haven't had any trouble with 98 and it allows me to do all I want to do on my computer, so I uninstalled WinXP and re-installed Win 98. Now Win 98 opens every time saying that I have a plug and play device that needs to be installed (my Sohoware ethernet card). I don't have a disk with drivers for this card and apparently the drivers that are on my Win98 disk aren't the right ones or aren't recognized or something. I keep running through the install wizard and can't get this installed. I can't download any drivers of course, since without the ethernet card, I once again don't have internet access (I would like to add a piercing scream of frustration here but don't know how to spell it). I can't download anythng at work, so I really don't have access to a computer where I can download things. I also don't have a modem installed (do I need one to run the ethernet device--I didn't think so, but I have pretty much lost confidence in anything I knew about computers since the zone alarm/network card things).
Since XP recognized and installed this ethernet card, is it possible for me to reinstall XP, find the driver on that software package, copy it over to my other hard disk and then copy it back when I reinstall 98 SE again? Or is that a really convoluted approach to the problem? I could just buy a new computer--what do you think?
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2001
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1,869
If the machine does everything you want, we just need to find you the drivers. What model is the SOHO card? ND4300 or SFA110A or something else? What kind of sound card? These answers can tell us what we think is the best way to go.

Let us know
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2002
Messages
13,404
you are going to have to find out what mobo u have so we can look for your mobo drivers, sound card, nic etc. I'll assume you would like to have xp however it sounds like you bought an upgrade copy which can be problematic.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2005
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3,390
Good Morning kjl this Puppy linux I am using comes in the form of a Live CD, it is free as an internet download but can also be purchased and mailed to you on CD.
The smaller 60 meg version is best for intermittent useage.
As a live CD system it loads an operating system complete with all programs to memory and runs from there. (the CD can then be removed)

The beauty of all this is that it easily recognises system components and can have you on the net in a few minutes, without a lot of technical "gobbledegook".
It is very useful in this application and can download files or whatever to a flashdrive etc., and can also see windows drives.

As a tool this is very handy, but once you start using it, it does tend to make windows look a bit sick. There are many benefits including low possibility of viral or malware effect, ability to run well on older machines and its similarity to Windows for use.
There are substantial sources of help available and a load of free programs covering incredible areas even though the 60 meg version already comes with an included full spectrum of user programs.
Have a look. http://www.goosee.com/puppy/

If you had it you could have been online and downloaded your required drivers or whatever, and on rebooting your machine after removing the Puppy CD it would be in the original state with windows as was previously the case.
Cheers, qldit.
 
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