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thinking about restoring two older computers: what's my worse case scenario?


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#1 chromebuster

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 04:44 PM

Hi all,

I've got two computers, one is an older Dell Dimension E510 (2006), while the other is a Toshiba Portege S100 (2005)The Dimension, which is obviously a desktop, I'm going to put Windows server Essentials 2012 on to keep an eye on my other computers and the network (I looked it up, and it supports 64 bits.)  The Portege, I'm restoring mostly so that I don't have to clutter my primary computer (a Latitude E6530 from dell) with software that I do not use on a daily basis, or for demo purposes.  And also partially for old time's sake since the Toshiba was like the beginning of my technical life to put it straight, but there are a couple things I'm a little concerned about.  One, especially for the Dimension, which I believe is in our attic; has not been running since we took it out in 2011 and put my Dell PowerEdge server where it used to be.  You see, back then, I saw no reason to keep it running, but now I see a reason; it works, why not use it for something that takes less power than the PowerEdge has?  Well anyway, the attic is not necessarily temperature controlled, and so I'm wondering what my worst case scenario will be considering none of it's hardware has been altered since the day my father brought it upstairs for me way back in probably '06.  Seeing that I do live in New England, and the temperatures are kind of crazy around here, what are my chances with the Dimension at all? If the humidity has condensed inside there, what are my chances of it even turning on at all and components working properly?  And if not that, what are my chances that we'll have to scrap the whole thing due to acid leakage from the CMOS battery dying and then leaking?  My mentor says that I've got a 30-40 percent chance that's happened already. 

Now, the Toshiba is also a rather interesting case; I was not using it in around '08 or '09, so I gave it to a friend of mine since he needed a computer to use at the time.  according to him, the hard drive is totally dead, and he did not have another one laying around to replace it.  And also according to my friend, he had tried loading numerous operating systems onto it when it apparently gave his sister a blue screen of death and never booted properly again.  Since then, he gave it back to me since he didn't have any components and couldn't do anything with it.  I sort of forgot about it till I found it last month, on Easter, I pulled it out, didn't recognize it at first, opened it, checked to see if it would turn on, which of course it didn't; the thing hasn't run in years!  then, it hit me; that computer was the beginning of my tech life and the beginning of my real, true interest in technology , and the beginning of my times with some very close friends of mine, so I refuse to allow it to sit lifeless anymore.  So anyway, I'm wondering if after not running for so many years and being kept in the top drawer of my laderal file through New England conditions of alternating heat and cold, do you think I'll have more problems to contend with than just a dead hard drive?  I'm really curious, for if this turns out bad, I'm going to feel like a fool for not thinking about this when I had the chance.  and honestly, I don't remember very the specs of either computer, though I know that the Toshiba has a Sata drive while the Dimension has a Pentium 4 processor with an IDE drive, though it has some unused Sata connectors on the board, so I think I'll scrap the IDE drive after going over it a couple passes with a wiper program and getting a very special file off of it and use Sata all across the board instead.  What do you guys think?  Is this project poised to succeed?  Any disasters possible?  thanks a million, and sorry for ramling. 


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#2 lti

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 05:48 PM

The battery in that computer will be a coin cell, which almost never leak. Modern computers don't have many things that can fail in storage, although there are some capacitors that Dell has used that are known to fail in storage.

 

They will probably both work. Toshiba laptops from that time period are well-built (better than most modern laptops), but Toshiba hard drives have always been junk.



#3 chromebuster

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 06:14 PM

That's good to know; boy will me and the rest of the crew have some fun come the month after next.  I learn something new every day; I sort of figured that, but I wasn't sure.  About Toshiba hard drives being junk?  I sort of disagree with that; the one in the portege lasted from when I got it in '05 till mid '09, and the one in the modular bay of my Dell Latitude is also a Toshiba, the laptop is only six to eight months old, and the Toshiba in the modular bay is doing better than the Seagate boot drive.  according to the HDDHealth application which digs into the SMART monitoring technologies, anyway.  But I was unaware that coin cell batteries were that good.  Now if I find out that the CMOS in either computer is dead, will keeping them running for a while charge them back up?  I've heard of the clock battery being rechargeable in most modern technology, but how modern are we talking about?


The AccessCop Network is just me and my crew. 

Some call me The Queen of Cambridge





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