What to do with Two Dell dimension 8400s

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Thread Starter
Aug 22, 2009
Hi I recently bought a new PC leaving me with two extra dell dimensions as the title mentions. My personal dell, I consider to be the better one (well in its you it was) but for the sake of the post Ill refer to that one as Computer A and the other one will be Computer B. They're both desktops an both running windows XP. Yes I do realize the thing about Microsoft Stopping support for that OS..
So my question is..What to do with these two towers? My son has been using computer B to watch Movies an cartoons. Id like to possibly blend the best parts of these two desktops, get the rebuilt desktop online an possible OS system upgrade if the machine an handle one..
Computer A has several problems an is kinda on its last leg. I was told that the Hard drive was dying out back in December 2013. After being told that I never installed anything new or downloaded anything unnecessary to try an stretch its life. Luckily it is still alive :) USBs don't work, The only way I can run anything USB is through the Add-on card I installed a buncha years back. Its lets out the most horrible loud Humming noise especially when using anything big like hulu or virus scans.

System properties:
Windows XP
Home edition 2002
32-bit (SP3)

Pentium (R) 4CPU 3.00Ghz
2.99 GHz, 2.00GB of RAM

Additional Notes:
298 GB space on HD
SoundMAX Integrated Digital Audio
NVIDIA GeForce 8400 GS

Computer B was given to me by my family. Its not online an my son has been using it so as far as I know the only problem we have with it is the screen being so fuzzy you cant read small text. like in the windows explorer. Its connected to a big screen TV so im guessing I probably need a better video card or possibly a better connection as I have it connected through an S-video cable at the moment. While writing this I actually tried to get to system properties and couldn't cause I couldn't see and it must be different from Computer A cause right clicking "My computer" didn't bring up the information I was looking for. Im going to connect a small monitor and see if I can find more info about this tower an report back.
Aug 12, 2003
I would take both of them to bestbuy......they will recycle them for free


Trusted Advisor
May 12, 2002
With that Dell Dimension 8400 desktop having an Intel Pentium IV 3.00 GHz processor and the devices(graphics, audio, ethernet) it has, it's very capable of running Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 32-bit for basic computing use.

Unfortunately, the cost to make the upgrade is cost-prohibitive for it.

Between the cost of the DVD disc(if you can still find a legitimate one) and the cost of 4 GB of RAM, that money would be better spent buying a more modern and faster refurbished Dell desktop with Windows 7.


Just because Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP SP3 in April 2014, that doesn't mean you need to stop using it.

As long as you're not doing anything sensitive in it(on-line banking, credit card purchases, etc.) and you have safe and responsible computing habits and you keep it maintained and up-to-date, you can keep using it.



Dec 26, 2002
S-Video is probably the worst connection to use, if you used VGA, HDMI, or DVI you would have a much sharper picture.

That said, I agree with Replay, recycling the computers is probably the thing to do. Those systems were prone to motherboard capacitor issues are are very old. They cannot run anything beyond Windows XP well unless you switch to Linux and it would have to be a light weight version.

You can pick up dirt cheap dual core Windows 7 computers at local stores or site like Kijiji or Craig's list, the result will be much better than anything that could be done with these.


Thread Starter
Aug 22, 2009
Thanks for your inputs!
The dells would only be used for little kid games an watching Hulu an Netflix an other videos or dvds as I plan to give it to my young son.
I tried to use a DVI connection to the TV but it showed me the screen in 6 pieces...? Like on start up Id see the Dell an windows screen six times on the TV.
I refuse to pay for cable when theres nothing on anyways so we are stuck with the S-video for now I guess.
Out of curiosity though where could I find a cheap refurbished Dell with windows 7? Ive checked Craigslist in my area and I couldn't find any that didn't need money put into them to get them running.
**Im in the US.
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