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Is this computer any good?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Karenhaw, Aug 2, 2004.

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  1. Karenhaw

    Karenhaw Thread Starter

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    My sister recently bought a used computer from a friend. She's been having a lot of problems with it since she bought it. Like crashing, starting in safe mode, it gets hung up, takes a really long time to boot, won't shut down properly. (She's not very good at describing the errors, so I don't have much specific info to share here). She took it in to the repair shop once (and they said it seemed fine - I believe they replaced the power pack), but now it's acting up again and she doesn't want to spend the money on the repair shop again. Her question is whether to fix this one or buy a new computer. I am going to run some tests and try to figure out if the machine is worth keeping. I have some experience in this area, but not extensive by any means. Any suggestions on what to check/tests to run to see if a computer is basically solid and worth spending money to fix? (The operating system is Windows 98. I've thought about upgrading her to Windows 2000 thinking that might help).

    I appreciate any help I can get.

    Thanks!
     
  2. ~Candy~

    ~Candy~ Retired Administrator

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    Hi Karen, and welcome. We are going to need a lot more information on the computer before anyone can advise you as to fixing (or attempting to) or buying a new one.

    Has she thought about formatting the hard drive and starting fresh?
     
  3. cavtek

    cavtek

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    yo karenhaw, can you post more information on the system.
     
  4. DFresh

    DFresh

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    Everest is a great utility to determine what system components you have.
     
  5. Karenhaw

    Karenhaw Thread Starter

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    I will post more detailed info about the system tomorrow. Thanks for the Everest site DFresh! I will check her computer with that tonight.
     
  6. barfly

    barfly

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    Hi Karenhaw, welcome aboard, if you can give us as much information as possible, we will try our best to help (y)
     
  7. Karenhaw

    Karenhaw Thread Starter

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    Okay, so I tried to boot my sister's computer to get more specific info on the system. But it kept getting stuck. Here's the info that came up on the screen:

    American Mega Trends/AMIBIOS - 1996 Release 6/1/2000S
    Main Processor - AMD-K6 (tm)-2/166 MHZ
    Checking NVRAM - 93216 ok (couldn't read the entire number - it was too far left off the screen, so the RAM is probably bigger than that number)
    Trend ChipAwayVirus (R) On Guard
    Wait
    Auto Detecting Pri Master - IDE Hard Disk
    Auto Detecting Pri Slave - ATAPI CDROM
    Auto Detecting Sec Master - Not Detected
    Auto Detecting Sec Slave - Not Detected
    Pri Master - FA520S60 Maxtor 91531U3
    Ultra DMA Mode-4, S.M.A.R.T. Capable but Disabled
    Pri Slave - VER-3.30 ATAPI 48x CDROM

    Stops here each time. I tried to boot from a floppy, but it doesn't seem to be reading the A drive. I also put in a Windows 98 CD in the CDROM, but it wouldn't boot from that either.

    When I first turned it on it said BIOS battery low (but I'm pretty sure my sister said the computer repair place put in a new one a few months ago).

    I also hit "Del" to go into the set up screens, but I'm kind of in over my head on those screens, so I didn't change anything.

    That's all the info I have. Any advice on how to get it to boot up?

    Thanks!
     
  8. ~Candy~

    ~Candy~ Retired Administrator

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    The bios entries look fine, go ahead and pop into it, save changes coming out, even though you made none and see if it will boot the rest of the way.

    It's a pretty old system, I don't think I'd throw too much money into it, however, a cmos battery is about $3 at Walmart.

    Actually, while you are in the bios setup, turn on SMART.
     
  9. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I would seriously consider a new motherboard/processor, and I certainly wouldn't try to put Windows 2000 or XP on that machine!
     
  10. 1394

    1394

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    That machine is quite old, don't try to put anything newer than Windows 98 on it. Also, there is no way it would be worth it to spend much money on fixing it up if you are having a lot of problems. A system of similar quality could probably be obtained for $100, but even that would be a waste. If you can afford it, look into getting a new computer.
     
  11. Karenhaw

    Karenhaw Thread Starter

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    Thanks for all the advice and information. I'll tell my sister that she should invest in a new computer, and avoid all the problems that come with buying a used one.

    Have a great day!
     
  12. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Messages:
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    FYI, here's a typical ad, actually a bit more expensive than some due to the FP display, which shows just how cheap new computers have become. Many are below $400 now.

    Dell.com - Dimension 2400 With 2.8 GHz P4 Processor + 15-Inch Flat Screen LCD dislpay $474 After Rebate.

    Dell Small Business has the Dimension 2400 2.8 GHz P4 system selling for $524 with a $50 rebate making your cost $474 with free shipping. Click here and select the desktops link then the choose Dimension link and then click on the "Featured Systems" link under the Dimension 2400 column. Customize the $424 system and change the hard drive to the 40GB drive, remove the floppy, and select the 15" LCD upgrade. A great upgrade is the IntelĀ® PentiumĀ® 4 Processor with HT Technology (3.06GHz, 533 FSB) [add $20].
     
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