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How long do computers last?


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#1 clueless farm girl

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Posted 17 January 2005 - 11:29 PM

I was just wondering how long I should expect my computer to last. This is the first new computer I have had. Previous computers were hand me downs from sisters and cousin. I bought this computer in June, 2000, making it 4.5 years old. Last spring I had to replace the hard drive. One of the hand me downs motherboard went bad and it was only 3 years old. ( I didn't replace it because another sister had another hand me down waiting for me!! )
I have kids in 8th and 11th grades. I'm sure that this computer won't make it until the last one graduates. Does it depend on how often and how it is used?
One of my kids now has a digital camera so now we are using it for digital picture stuff. The kids use Word for school papers alot. They use the internet some for school work. I sometimes take online classes. My kids want a faster computer, but who doesn't!
My computer is a Hewlett Packard Pavillion. It has an Intel Celeron processor 566 MHZ. Is it obsolete yet?? Is it the dinosaur that my kids try to tell me that it is?

Edited by clueless farm girl, 17 January 2005 - 11:31 PM.


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#2 JEservices

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Posted 18 January 2005 - 12:41 AM

That is a great question!!

Computers will vary based on enviroment, personal usages, and even brand names. Typically, they will last between 4-5 years, without having to replace any parts. This does not mean that all of the components will not work anymore-this is based on when the first component goes out. Most are user servicable, meaning they can be replaced easily with a little research.

There are a few things that you can do to help keep your computer to live a long healthy life.

-Get a surge protector. Plug all of your electronic components in it, including the monitor. Spikes in electricity can cause havoc on your system, and more often then not, multiple things can be burnt out when a power spike happens.
An upgrade to this would be a UPS(Universal Power Supply). These have a battery back-up system.

-Clean out your computer on a schedule. When you do this, you open up the computer case and clean out all of the dust that has built up on the components with a can of compressed air. Some like to do it once a month like on the 15th or the 1st. By having a set day that you do it, you will not forget as often.

-When you bring up the computer from the clean up, boot up in Safe Mode to run mainteance programs. Directions can be found at Safe Mode Tutorial. Run your Anti-Virus, scandisk (if you have it), and defrag programs in this special diagnostic mode. If you have any other "cleaning" programs such as Adware, Spybot S&D, this is a good place to run them. One thing you should know about Safe Mode though, you may not have access to the internet. Reboot the computer normally after you finish.

My computer is a Hewlett Packard Pavillion. It has an Intel Celeron processor 566 MHZ. Is it obsolete yet?? Is it the dinosaur that my kids try to tell me that it is?


You computer would be considered obsolete to most people. Not to me though. Personally, if you have any use out of a computer, then it is not obsolete to you. I can tell you that you could probably pick up a 2.0Ghz computer w/ CD burner and DVD player, inlulding monitor for around $400. If you are in the market for another computer, let us know. We would be more then happy to look around for one in your price range :thumbsup: .
We are all curious like a cat. We wonder, we ask, we learn.
Please post back when a suggestion works, so that others may learn.

#3 twinsdad

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Posted 18 January 2005 - 06:10 PM

CFG: Yes, a really good question. :thumbsup: All I can offer is my experience with a six year-old Compaq that I purchased new, plus totally agree with what Jason previously posted. My monitor lasted about two years and I replaced it with a brand-x unit from Costco which has lasted since then. After about four years, my CD-RW unit quit (probably the laser failed as it sounded mechanically OK) and I replaced that with a really cheepo unit (almost free after a rebate) which is doing fine.

What you should be really concerned about is your hard drive. They can last for a long time, but when they die the failure will likely be catastrophic and your data is probably gone forever (there are recovery methods, but they are uncertain and usually expensive). So my advice would be for you to regularly backup your data. It doesn't take long to do it and you'll sleep a little better knowing that whatever happens to the puter, your documents, photos, music, etc. is safe. Post back if you have any questions about creating backups or other questions.
"Love to eat them mousies, mousies what I like to eat; bite they little heads off, nibble on they tiny feet". B. Kliban

#4 clueless farm girl

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Posted 19 January 2005 - 12:02 AM

Thanks for the answers! You know how kids are, they always want bigger and better!! The oldest gets a laptop when he's off to college in the fall of 2006 so I'll be asking for advice a year and a half from now!
I do have a surge protector and Sunday I did the dust cleaning, I hadn't done that in a long time. There was alot of dust in the fans. I will look into the safe mode tutorial and try to do the things JE suggested. (I have Norton antivirus and the adware and spybot)
What is the best way to back up stuff? Now that we are using a digital camera we have pictures. I don't really have anything that I couldn't live without on the computer, I don't use it for any bookkeeping or anything like that. When I lost my hard drive last spring I did loose everything but it wasn't anything that I couldn't live without.
Thanks again!

#5 Scarlett

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Posted 19 January 2005 - 12:38 AM

JE - If you have any other "cleaning" programs such as Adware, Spybot S&D, this is a good place to run them. One thing you should know about Safe Mode though, you may not have access to the internet. Reboot the computer normally after you finish.


Make sure that the programs that JE has mentioned above are updated before you go into safe mode. Because as he said you may not have access to the internet. The updating process requires this. :thumbsup:
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#6 setishock

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Posted 06 February 2005 - 03:23 PM

I know this thread is old but just wanted to add that I have a 7 year old p3 600mhz that continues to purr right along. I have to agree that regular maintance is a must.
I may be crazy, but I'm not stupid...

#7 paperghost

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Posted 06 February 2005 - 04:08 PM

Quite interesting to see this thread - i have an old, battered Pentium MMX which must be at least 7 or 8 years old, gathering dust in a corner, but if you plug it in it still works - never needed maintenence!




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