Can I Just Buy a New Tower?

Posted on 2005-03-02
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I have a 4 year old Gateway that I have increased memory to 512MB RAM, bought a great monitor, added a new modem not long ago. I am running ME and I believe it has become very unstable. I have read that I should not just get XP and install it in the old tower. Is it feasible and practical to buy a new tower with XP installed on a nice new hard drive? Do I have to then lose all my RAM and my modem? Is it possible that a computer repair shop could get a case with the XP and all the other stuff and then reuse my modem at least if not the RAM? I know that computers are very low priced now, but I don't really need the monitor, printer, keyboard and mouse, etc. I hope I get someone who will be kind and answer this question. It ought to be interesting! Thanks!
Question by:Marj
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LVL 69

Assisted Solution

Callandor earned 800 total points
ID: 13443017
A computer that is 4 years old will probably not have compatible memory, will have a slow video card (by today's standards), and a small hard drive.  So much has changed in PCs that the suggestion to get a brand new system is a good one.  Your modem will be transferable, but like all the other things, technology in the form of broadband is making them obsolete.  Keep the monitor and other external devices and just buy a case with motherboard, cpu, RAM, hard drive, and OS installed.  They are very cheap now.
LVL 31

Expert Comment

ID: 13443256
On the other hand, getting a new hard drive and running windows 2000 on a 512 MB RAM machine sounds quite OK by me. Depends on what you want to do, of course... Normal internet browsing, e-mail, word processing and such can still be done on a Pentium II with 128 MB of RAM. I think I'd go for w2k and keep the machine for a while, possibly adding a new HD if the old one is on the smallish side. To be quite honest I'd go for a Linux distro, but that may not be an option here :)
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 13443399

Absolutely. You can get whatever you want. Many computer companies sell what they call "bare bones" PCs, which means they come with a new tower, motherboard, CPU, and optionally a new hard drive, memory (RAM), and operating system. You can order them online, or get them locally at a neighborhood shop.

I do agree with Callendor, your memory and a typical video card are not hugh expenses in the general scheme of things, and you would be better off replacing those with new than trying to save a few dollars by saving and transferring what you have. Instead, donate the older computer to a worthy non-profit, and take the tax write-off (assuming you itemize).

You can get a decent custom system from Dell.com, cyberpowersystem.com, ibuypower.com, and others.

Good luck!
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Expert Comment

ID: 13444554
If you find a buddy that is familier with computer systems, you could very well build your own computer with the parts that you currently own( a LOT cheaper).  A great place to browse around is newegg.com.  I've purchased a lot from them and even dealing with items ive accidently fried, i've gotten a replacement for free and fast.

If your interested in knowing more  about custom building a PC, feel free to e-mail me

David McGraw
LVL 15

Accepted Solution

davidis99 earned 1200 total points
ID: 13445951
What's the processor speed on your Gateway?  A 4 year old PC with 512MB RAM, if it was a new PC 4 years ago, should still be able to run XP comfortably - within the last few months, I've set up a 500 Mhz Pentium III with 512MB RAM running XP SP2, and an 800 Mhz Celeron with 512MB RAM running XP SP2, and both run standard office and internet applications without any noticeable slowness;  I've also set XP on laptops as slow as 333 Mhz with 160MB RAM, and while they're not very fast, they're adequate for basic tasks.
LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 13446541
As long as you have a 1.2 GHz system speed, with 512MB RAM and at least a 20-40 GB HDD, XP will work just fine -- and yes, you SHOULD install XP and get rid of ME.  ME was such an abomination, MS is still trying to forget it.  XP is 10-20x more stable than 98 or ME.


Use ME or 98 to format the 20-40GB HDD to FAT 32.  Install or leave ME or 98 on it, because this acts as a way to backup your new XP setup in case it fails (PS a new install of 98-ME is in order, in something other than the C:\windows directory, which you want to keep for XP).

After installing that, then install XP, it will find your original OS, and install it in the C:\windows directory, and now you have a stable OS -- PLUS -- a way to back it up completely by booting into 98/ME.

YOu can't ask for better than this with MS$.  YOu just need at least a 1.2 GHz CPU to make it bearable.

Author Comment

ID: 13452989
Thanks so much to one and all for your answers. It was rather difficult to choose! I would like to know how one can up the amount of points offered. I wanted to give my question 1000 points but it wouldn't work. I really do appreciate having this site to come to when I am at my wits' end. Thanks again for your excellent help. Marj
LVL 69

Expert Comment

ID: 13455003
You are only allowed to offer 500 points for one question.  Glad we could help.

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