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I have an old 20Gb, 128Mb RAM Vulcan 2000 sporting an ASUS P2B-F Motherboard and wish to start upgrading but have my worries.....

I have an old 20Gb, 128Mb RAM Vulcan 2000 PC, sporting an ASUS P2B-F motherboard and wish to start upgrading the aging hunk of silicon. At the moment I have installed a Philips CD-RW optical drive and network card.

I'm now looking to upgrade the system memory to at least 384Mb and the OS from Win 98SE to XP. Can the old hunk keep up? Does the new DIMM (the old one is a PC100 SD-RAM made by Hynix Semiconductor) have to be from the same manufacturor and model, or will any DIMM of the right specs work? And what if I want to install a new HD or Video card (say a good 64bit one, I'm not that fussed about 3D graphical power on this particular machine) any probs?

I know enough to realise updating all my old drivers would probably help make for a smoother upgrade, but I'm getting slightly irritated at the complexity of that task, i.e. the high number of updates I actually have to do. I recently visited the 'Drivers Headquarters' site at http://www.drivershq.com/ and was wandering if it is worth signing up to, or are there other better options (preferably free!)

The reason I worry is that whilst doing some of my own research I've come across incidents of motherboards crashing & burning, PCs having all sorts of reboot  problems and such. A case of  overworry perhaps?

Your help would be much appreciated, thank you
PapaDoz

P.S. Would I need a new power supply and/or fan/cooling supply to accomodate all of these proposed upgrades? how do I find out what the specs of my current power supply is?
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PapaDoz
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PapaDoz
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5 Solutions
 
nobusCommented:
Ram : you can update it, in most cases it will accept different makes and speeds, but i suggest if possible to stay with the same brand. Another issue can be that it does not accept double sided sticks, then you must update with 128 Mb sticks.

Upgrades : get them from ASUS :

http://www.asus.com.tw/support/download/item.aspx?ModelName=P2B-F

A general thought about the upgrade : what processordo you have? if it is 300Mhz or lower, it will run but very slowly
and i think upgrading will cost you nearly the same as buying a new mobo : old sdrams cost more now, than the ddr ones; and the 20 Gb disc will be filled up quite quick
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dxf224Commented:
If you're going from win98se to xp, xp will usually be able to pick up and automatically install your drivers for you .   Download EverestHome Edition ...freeware...http://www.snapfiles.com/get/everest.html .....gives you a snapshot of your system .... you could maybe make a note of your modem manufacturer and model number before you reformat if you're going to be using dial-up.   .. I;ve upgraded a few older machines from 98 to 2000 or xp before and that was the only minor glitch I had for drivers.  ...but if all your hardware is a few years old, xp should automatically install your drivers.

Check on the back of your psu  ..the power specs are usually but not always printed there. (not that you can believe them too much ...there's a lot of puffery going on by those guys.)  .... but usually, you can add a second hard drive and second cd/dvd rom  to one of those guys with no problems.

Re ram ...same deal as nobus said.

And if you reformat, create a second partition.... handy as heck if you ever develop os problems or if you ever need to reformat and reinstall the os.
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PapaDozAuthor Commented:
I have a PIII 600MHz. So the memory DOES need to be the same brand huh? Might be a bit tricky but OK thanx. Any ideas on the other issues?
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dxf224Commented:
...and win2000 would probably be a better choice for your upgrade .... unless you find that watching paint drying is an entertaining pastime.
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nobusCommented:
>>    So the memory DOES need to be the same brand huh    << NO, but there is no yes or no answer :
some motherboards don't like the ram to be mixed, or accept only one kind (compaq likes kingston memory, and refuses many others)
BUT many others work with different Ram types; you can check out the ASUS site for it, if they have listed the different ram types it takes, but in my experience with ASUS, they are rather tolerant.
So my guess would be that in this case you can (but it's only a guess, since i don't know what types you want to mix)
The safest answer is  do not mix (if you have the choice)
the cut and try method is also good in this case : if it does not work, too bad.
For your upgrading : upgrade one thing at the time, and test it before changing other device !
on a PIII-600 XPshould run well, but win2000 will use less system resources.

a last hint : backup everything you need before starting to play !
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dxf224Commented:
and there's always plan b   ....http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/category/category_tlc.asp?CatId=31


...I was in one of the local computer shops in town yesterday and they had a boatload of machines like your going for 99 dollars canadian.
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stockhesCommented:
Hi papaDoz

>>
P.S. Would I need a new power supply and/or fan/cooling supply to accomodate all of these proposed upgrades? how do I find out what the specs of my current power supply is?
>>
Normally there is a sticker on the Power supply stating wattage and amps on the different rails

You do not reveal the purpose of the machine, only its not intended for 3d so assuming its mainly used for office things, internet stuff. You can really cope with a that is totally crap seen from a gaming perspective.

However most of the processing power is used for antivirus /firewall these days.

you do not mention which processor you have ?

The board supports anything from celeron 266Mhz to p3 800Mhz.

If you have anything above 500Mhz it might be worth an upgrade.
If you do the upgrade remember most of the stuff you need is available second-hand, most people have it lying around, because its not used anymore(Sdram, cpu etc) and they are quite pricey as new.  

Otherwise I would adwise against it and do a real upgrade.

New PSU, MOBO,CPU,RAM, GFX unless you choose onboard graphics
All newer boards will have onboard sound and Network
If you are unsure about compatibility most suppliers have upgrade bundles

Might reuse the case, depends on capabilities(form factor)

And definitely reuse all drives
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PapaDozAuthor Commented:
$99 canadian, ouch! Whats that in pound sterling I wander?

By the way stockhes if u scroll up you'll see my cpu is a PIII 600MHz, so probably worth the upgrade. I've found someone on the net who's sold me some cheap SD-RAM DIMMS (2x256Mb).

I think I'll wait on the video card issue, i'm really not assed.

Good to know I can use Win XP, and it'll install the necessary updates, tho I'm still curious as to the usefulness of that website I mentioned.

Cheers for the help guys
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stockhesCommented:
Hi Papadoz

when I started typeing, only post was from you and nobus, however I was interrupted(lovely daughter) , so I did not see the CPU answer.

Mainly you run into issues with RAM, because of Number of banks supported by MOBO or high density RAMS,
Singlesided(SS) will only use one bank, Double sided( DS ) will use 2 banks, and normally Mobo's your class/ age MOBO supports only 4 banks.

Should be some info in MOBOmanual about this.

This a good driver site and its free

http://www.driverguide.com/
 
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PapaDozAuthor Commented:
Thanx for the extra info stockhes. Luckily I've got the right type.
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