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I need help on quite a few things for an old, custom computer

Last response: in Windows XP
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August 9, 2010 4:00:44 AM

Hello everyone,
First off, sorry if I'm posting in the wrong place, I'm not too familiar with the site yet.

I've tried to use an old custom computer that was built for a friend's business, to be used as a server computer or something, but was never implemented fully. Recently, my home computer has been giving me hell, so my friend gave me the custom computer. It hadn't been used in a few years, but he said that it took quite a lot of money to make, so it should work fine.

First off, the font to the entire computer was really weird. I tried using ClearType, but that only helped for some of the font. The rest still is jagged and weird.

Another problem is that there is no video driver, and it says in the device manager that it is a Video Controller (VGA Compatible). I've tried to download it from cnet, but it's not letting me.


I'm not exactly sure how to find out what the parts of the CPU are, if anyone could point me in the right direction for these problems, I would appreciate it very much.

More about : things custom computer

August 9, 2010 4:28:19 AM

It sounds like a machine that someone went out and bought each component individually and assembled it all into a computer.

How are you at using a screwdriver?

Unplug the power cord.

Take the side cover off to expose the circuit boards.

Remove the video card by first removing it's retaining screw, and watch that it may have a snap-latch near the socket to keep it from coming loose. The card will probably have a model name and number, if not look at the largest chip(s) on it and record that number. If it has an FCC ID number, record that as well. Now put it back where it came from.

If the video is built-in to the motherboard, the next item here is very important.

There may be a company name as well as a model stenciled on the motherboard. Record that.

Put the cover back on.

The device manager message that it is a Video Controller (VGA Compatible) is quite generic and there is no specific driver for that. Video drivers are specific for the card being used.

Come back with that info and we will go from there.
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August 9, 2010 4:45:21 AM

I couldn't seem to find the Video Card, but a program I just downloaded (SIW) says it's a VIA Unichrome Pro. The Motherboard is Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd. 8VM800PMD-775. If that's not enough data, I can open the CPU up again
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August 9, 2010 5:11:00 AM

ssjscottt said:
The Motherboard is Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd. 8VM800PMD-775.


You did real good. The motherboard is actually a Gigabyte GA-8VM800PMD-775.

You are in luck, Gigabyte has all the XP drivers for that board at their site. Click the link below and get them all (5).

http://www.gigabyte-usa.com/Support/Motherboard/Driver_...
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August 9, 2010 6:29:26 AM

Thanks so much!
Also, could I ask for an opinion?
I'm debating which computer to use, the new(ish) one, or the old one.

New: Intel® Pentium® 4 CPU 3.06GHz (2 CPUs)
Display : VIA Unichrome Pro

Old: AMD Athlon™ 64 Processor 3500+, MMX, 3DNow, ~2.2GHz
Display: NVIDIA GeForce 6100

The old one also makes obnoxiously loud noises nonstop, sometimes headache inducing- a reason why I'm switching, but if the difference between the video cards is so great, I may consider just keeping the old one.



And, LAST question, I promise, the screen resolution in the new computer doesn't let me select the native resolution of my monitor - 1366 x 768, which is probably why my font is messed up. Is there a way to select it?

Thanks again!
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August 9, 2010 2:53:39 PM

The new one is going to be very noticeably faster.

The old one is suffering from fans with wearing bushings instead of ball bearings (most common source of obnoxious noise).

I have no experience with the VIA video system. :( 

The new computer may support the resolution you need after video drivers are installed.
To test:
Right-click open area of screen, select Properties,
Click the Settings tab, click the Advanced button,
Click the Adapter tab, click the List All Modes button.
See if the resolution you need is listed there.


Ask all the questions you want, some threads go on to over 50 post by the time things get totally figured out. :) 
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August 9, 2010 6:41:23 PM

Alright, so it'd be better if I kept the new computer rather than switch out the fans of the old one?

And the resolution isn't there, after installing both those drivers and the Acer x183h drivers (my monitor)
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August 9, 2010 9:30:38 PM

"If it were me..." as the saying goes...


I'd keep the new computer and buy....        (egad! you mean like as in "spend money"?)
a nice new LG W2353V wide-screen HDMI enabled monitor (23")

I have 2 of them and I wouldn't trade them for anything else.

They have 1920x1080 native resolution so playing a Blu-Ray disk is perfect.

They are disappearing from store shelves and I'm not certain they will be re-stocked.

There are 3 new left at Amazon.com today.

http://www.amazon.com/LG-W2353V-PF-23-Inch-Widescreen-M...

You can read all about it here at the LG Website.

http://www.lg.com/uk/it-products/monitors/LG-lcd-monito...

I have never sat in front of a nicer PC monitor.



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August 10, 2010 6:22:39 AM

Alright I'll consider it! If i can find the return receipt for the acer..

Thanks for everything, I really appreciate it! :) 
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