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Old 12-10-2008, 09:18 PM
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Default Need Computer help

The wife has a generic desktop PC (about 5 years old) that uses a standard tower CPU and is running Windows XP. The hard drive crapped out and in the process of removing it I knocked a capacitor off of the video card. No biggy, I went to Best Buy and got a EID HD and PCI video card. I slapped the HD and video card in, put an XP boot disk in the dvd drive and hit the power button. The dvd drive is running but I cant get the video card to work, so of course I cant see to be able to load stuff on the HD, etc. So I took the components back for a refund and decided I would just buy a new CPU. Only problem is, they all come with Windows Vista. My wife has about 10K worth of SW for her special sewing machine that wont work on anything newer than XP. So, here are my questions:

1-Anyone here willing to take a run at fixing this existing machine? I'm glad to pay a fair price for the work and of course for the components.

2-Or, does anyone have a late model CPU running XP that they want to sell? If it doesn't have a 3.5 floppy in it, it has to be capable of using our existing one in an expansion slot as her sewing machine uses 3.5 disks.

Give me a call at 303-319-8976 if you can help. Thanks-Randy
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:44 PM
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If nobody else chimes in, I may be able to help you here. Do you know what your motherboard specs are? I probably have enough working parts in my bone yard of machines to frankenstein something together for ya. Final exams are next week for me, and being the holiday season I'm also working a lot.

Post up a response or shoot me a pm, I'm hesitant to call because I don't know that I'll have very much spare time.
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Old 12-10-2008, 10:07 PM
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Lot of the newer video cards have power connectors you have to hook up from the power supply.


I never buy computer stuff at Best buy unless I can help it. Microcenter is my favorite place for computer parts near I-225 and Tamarac.

If you get a deal on a Vista machine, you can always wipe the drive and load XP


I assume when you say CPU you mean a complete desktop. To me a CPU is the processor which you then have to match with the right motherboard and powersupply etc.
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Old 12-10-2008, 10:08 PM
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I can sell you a laptop (w/external USB floppy) or a desktop built with Xp for pretty cheap. I'll call you tomorrow.
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Old 12-10-2008, 11:46 PM
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Where are you located?

I have at least one other video card laying around you could have for free. The video card should always at least support VGA mode in the initial BIOS boot. Make sure that video card is hooked up and seated correctly. If it still doesn't work, try another video card even if you don't want mine.

Since Romer is correcting you, it is an IDE drive, not EID.

And finally, you can get USB floppy drives pretty cheap (~$25) that will work with whatever you end up with.
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Old 12-11-2008, 08:06 AM
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Thanks for all of the responses guys! To answer some of your questions:

1-Ken, you're correct my bad, I should be saying I want to replace the entire tower not just the CPU. My point was we have a newer flat screen monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc so we just need the box.

2-I read the instructions carefully and looked the video board over closely and there was no place for an additional connection for power. I think they gave me the wrong type of card because the edge connector would seat in a MB socket where a modem would mount, but not back into the same socket where my original board came from.

3-My plan was also to buy a new computer, wipe the HD and install XP. I was told that if it's a new machines, built to run Vista, you may lose some functionality and have other problems if you use XP on it. I don't know enough whether to say that is BS or not.

4-I thought your choice of component bus type was EID versus SATA? I learn something new every day.

5-Right now, I think I'll work with Jade Runner to see if we can get a new machine put together.

6-If I do get a new one, and once you guys have time, it would be cool to work with theboomboom and pmccumber to get this one fixed from spare parts. If we can get it running I would be willing to donate it either to a member that has a real need for it, or maybe we can donate it to some other group that benefits the club. I think I have a CRT style monitor and keyboard laying around, then we would just need a mouse.
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Old 12-11-2008, 08:41 AM
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Sounds like you had a AGP type board and not PCI. APG is a dedicated Video card slot that use to be popular.

The current standard is PCI-e that wont work in a PCI slot either.

Item 3 is BS. You can wipe a Vista machine and run XP. A lot of companies do that because they don't want to use Vista. Vista takes more memory so you cant always go the other way

I would still suggest you go to microcenter. They have great deals on towers and very knowlegeable people. I build all my own computers and thats where I buy the parts from.

When ever I go to Bestbuy I find they try and BS me because they dont really know the answers and want to look like they do
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Old 12-11-2008, 12:55 PM
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I have older PCI and AGP cards laying around. For what you're doing, ie not gaming, these cards would get the display up and running.

I've been to one of the meetings and have meant to get to another. Unfortunately, the last couple months I've been getting a pretty expensive resource from 6-10pm and I have to be there. So maybe at your next meeting we can chat it up and see what you want to do.

But, I could get that thing booting again, I'm sure, in 15 minutes at home. And you could probably upgrade the thing in a couple of different ways if you wanted. For example, I got a version of a Pentium 4 that doesn't completely suck (not all the same - some are not thermal pigs built in bogus processes) for $15 on eBay. A little thermal grease (wonder if it has moly? ) and you're off and running, faster. A couple gigs of RAM, even in DDR which is out of the sweet spot in pricing, is only $45.

I'll be in Golden tomorrow morning if that is closer than Boulder/Longmont and you want that PCI graphics card.

Paul
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Old 12-11-2008, 01:03 PM
pmccumber pmccumber is offline
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4) IDE versus SATA? About 4 years ago all computers started coming with SATA interfaces. For the most part, computers now have both interfaces as the optical drives (CD, DVD) have typically been IDE. That said, even the optical drives are SATA now.

The most compelling reason for going SATA is they are cheaper per gigabyte because that is where all the R&D and process improvements have gone in the factories for the last 5 years.

I'd say the only reason not to use SATA is that your system doesn't have a SATA port.

And Romer is right about #3, you can run XP, Vista, Linux, I have a copy of Leopard that runs on virtually all of these systems (not that I'd know).
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Old 12-11-2008, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnTrucker View Post
6-If I do get a new one, and once you guys have time, it would be cool to work with theboomboom and pmccumber to get this one fixed from spare parts. If we can get it running I would be willing to donate it either to a member that has a real need for it, or maybe we can donate it to some other group that benefits the club. I think I have a CRT style monitor and keyboard laying around, then we would just need a mouse.
Sounds good with me. Let me know when you've made your plans, and we'll see about breathing new life into that old junker and passing it on.
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