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Upgrade? Take The Hit And If So Where?


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#1 gichilders

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 01:03 PM

First post but lurking for sometime, so hello at last. Long winded but I think there's enough info to start.

Had spurious crashes for some time. Werenít identical problems posted here but similar enough to pin down with troubleshooting advice / resources given. Ended up replacing HD. New EIDE WD CaviarSE 160G. HD was recognized in BIOS at full capacity. No blue screens / restarts in more than a week so think I got it.

Able to reinstall Windows but unable to get into safe mode. I've never been successful using F8 on this machine. msconfig boot tab doesnít show up on this install but it was there before. Crashed once installing / formatting new HD but did install the second time so suspect something to do with that. Reactivated Windows, no problems with updates. A bit leery about trying repair install.

While inside noticed nearly all the large caps on mobo had some rust and white powder on top. All dry, no bulging ( Didnít notice when upgrading RAM but canít say I looked either). Needed the machine so went ahead and hoped HD was the major culprit. BIOS info seems ok for speeds / temps. Battery seems a bit low but havenít found spec yet. System is fine for my use. A kid built it for me Spring of 2000. Surprised to see specs are still somewhat respectable. Video stuff is slow but not worth $$ to make it better for that alone. No gaming, no plans to. PS will be replaced regardless due to age with increased capacity though calculator indicates Iím ok there.

OS - OEM Windows XP Pro SP2 32 bit

Mobo - Soltek SL-75DVR4 Socket A (Original)
VT-8366 / A-8233
(VIA Apollo KT266A)
Athlon XP 1800+

Ram - Kingston DDR Ė 333 Ė 184 pin (2@512) ( New this year. Had 2@256 )

HD - WD EIDE CaviarSE 160G ( Brand New )

Video - Radeon N-625 R6 DDRF SD64MB (AGP-4x) (Original)

Network - Realtek RTL-8139 (3 yrs)

DVD - NEC ND-3520AW (2 yrs)

Floppy drive


So, questions are:

1. Let it ride? If it ainít broke donít fix it? (Preferred due to resources or lack thereof) When mobo acts up or dies will it destroy anything else?

2. Time to upgrade mobo and OS (Vista or XP again)? CPU? Does it really save anything in the long run to reuse old style HD, RAM, PCI / AGP cards? Think I read something about adapter for ATA but not sure, reading too much without taking notes. Iíd rather not start over just yet, but if this is my best choice can I just back up frequently until it dies so I'm able to do some research and start accumulating parts?

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#2 tg1911

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 03:01 PM

If money was short, I'd go with your second option.
Frequent backups
Start accumulating parts

Mobo would be the first on the list, due to:

While inside noticed nearly all the large caps on mobo had some rust and white powder on top.

Sounds like your capacitors are leaking.

Think I read something about adapter for ATA but not sure, reading too much without taking notes.

You can get a mobo that supports both PATA, and SATA drives.
That way you'll still be able to use your older optical, and hard drives, for the time being, while still having the option to upgrade later.

Personally, I'd stay with XP for a while, until they get a few more of the Vista bugs worked out.
In the process of gathering parts, myself, and I plan on staying with XP.
Plus XP isn't as RAM intensive, as Vista.

As you're gathering parts, keep future expansion in mind, ....... SATA drives, a little larger than necessary PSU, DDR2 (possibly DDR3) memory, etc.

.
.

Edited by tg1911, 17 October 2007 - 03:05 PM.

MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P, CPU: Phenom II X4 955 Deneb BE, HS/F: CoolerMaster V8, RAM: 2 x 1G Kingston HyperX DDR2 800, VGA: ECS GeForce Black GTX 560, PSU: Antec TruePower Modular 750W, Soundcard: Asus Xonar D1, Case: CoolerMaster COSMOS 1000, Storage: Internal - 2 x Seagate 250GB SATA, 2 x WD 1TB SATA; External - Seagate 500GB USB, WD 640GB eSATA, 3 x WD 1TB eSATA

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#3 gichilders

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 03:46 PM

Thanks tg. That's exactly what I was looking for. As long as the motherboard doesn't take down anything along with it I feel ok. Looked on NewEgg at newer boards after posting and didn't know some had both new and old style slots. Had only looked at replacement Socket A's before. Not using the upgraded memory I already have seems to be a wash the way pricing is for DDR vs. DDR2.

#4 tg1911

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 07:24 PM

You're welcome, gichilders.
There is a little difference in the price, but not too much.
What did you pay for the 1 GB (2x512) of DDR 333?
You can get 1 GB (2x512) of 240-Pin DDR2 800 Dual Channel, for around $45 at Newegg.
And since you don't game, you can get 2GB (2 x 1GB) of some decent DDR2 800 Dual Channel for about $60.
$15 dollars, for an additional 1 GB of RAM, isn't a bad deal. :thumbsup:

Just a thought.
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P, CPU: Phenom II X4 955 Deneb BE, HS/F: CoolerMaster V8, RAM: 2 x 1G Kingston HyperX DDR2 800, VGA: ECS GeForce Black GTX 560, PSU: Antec TruePower Modular 750W, Soundcard: Asus Xonar D1, Case: CoolerMaster COSMOS 1000, Storage: Internal - 2 x Seagate 250GB SATA, 2 x WD 1TB SATA; External - Seagate 500GB USB, WD 640GB eSATA, 3 x WD 1TB eSATA

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#5 gichilders

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 09:33 AM

tg1911,

I walked into BestBuy one day so it wasn't close to a deal. Was there for something else so was pretty much an impulse buy. Being able to plan ahead makes all the difference. Agree that DDR2 seems to give a really good bang for the buck and getting a board supporting DDR really limits the choices. Haven't even looked over DDR3.

Need to start reading some more, as illustrated by not knowing what you meant with the gaming vs. not gaming RAM choice (American guy = more / bigger is always better), mobo's supporting SATA and PATA, various PCI platforms, etc. I'm not asking what the difference in RAM is though, no offense. Obviously time to hit the books because anything you answer would likely lead to half a dozen more questions. I really appreciate the time you took already and the answers are surely here anyway. Thankfully most everything online gets archived. Had fun reading about a six year old mobo and CPU. Not at all up on any of this stuff, just figure out what I need to along the way then dive in. This time I get to figure out nearly everything. Should be fun. Hope I have a bit of time before it dies though. Thanks again.




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