APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Soon (within a month or less?)
BUDGET RANGE: As cheap as possible ($400 is way too much...it's for a friend in dire need with little to no money. I may end up paying for it myself).
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Internet (Youtube & facebook mostly), MS Word, LOTS of picture storage, mild to no editing. Watching school DVDs & doing online tests.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, 70GB PATA HD available for use for now, although he's wanting to buy an external hard drive, so I might be able to use that for the external and buy a SATA drive. The CD=RW is IDE, as is the memory card reader.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: NewEgg, ZipZoomFly, Crucial...
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
PARTS PREFERENCES: by brand or type: None
OVERCLOCKING: Maybe for fun, but no need to. No need for multiple GPU
MONITOR RESOLUTION: current 17" CRT (1280x1024)
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I have an old HP case I might try to use if possible.
Current system: 2.4 GHZ Celeron, 512MB RAM, 70 GB HDD. Fairly clean and slower than heck! He doesn't use it for much, but it takes five minutes for FireFox to load. I'm savvy enough to have checked for viruses, and look at startup processes. He's running his digital camera & a nice HP printer. Those do add a number of processes.
This is practically the cheapest your gonnna be able to make it if you want to run XP or 7 at any reasonable speed, the only other thing i could think of is going for this Case & PSU combo instead since it has free shipping. HEC 6K28BBX585 Black MicroATX Case 585W Power Supply $66.99 Free Shipping
Neoletrix has come up with a wonderful build for almost no money at all.
If your budget can go up to $350-400 as you initially said i'd suggest another 2gb of ram and a cheap video card because the onboard chip might struggle with full HD videos and films.