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Can i breath new life into this (very) old build?

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September 21, 2010 10:24:55 PM

Hello world,
i recently received this pc from a friend that didnt want it anymore. i installed xp sp3 on it and it seems to run very slow. when it goes into screensaver and comes out of it, it does that slow "wipe" from top of the screen to the bottom that my parents old pc used to do when i was younger. im thinking the hard drive could be replaced (ide) but i dont want to spend 30 bucks just to find out.
specs are:
497 mhz pent 3
128 mb ram
voodoo 3 3dfx
wd205 2gb hdd

i may run spinrite in the meantime, but i want to know what is the bottleneck making it so damn unusable, any suggestions?

More about : breath life build

September 21, 2010 10:30:18 PM

Take to nearest garbage can and toss in!
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September 21, 2010 10:35:50 PM

i understand where your coming from with a specs like those, but if i can get this running for a few bucks, or no bucks. this would make a great present for my niece. as i could let her browse the web or play educational games on it. plus it has a voodoo 3 card and from what i read that was badass in 1999.
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September 21, 2010 10:45:30 PM

If you get the ram up to 512MB or 768MB then it just MIGHT run OK. 512MB is pretty much the bare minimum for XP.

Years ago I loaded XP on my wife's older computer and it seemed to install and run OK while I was doing it, but as soon as she tried to run a couple of ordinary apps the computer became very slow. This computer had 256MB. When I upped it above 512MB then it ran OK.
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September 21, 2010 10:51:03 PM

of couse, that would explain all the hard drive use im hearing. if i can still find come cheap old ram maybe ill give it a shot. thanks.
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September 21, 2010 10:58:06 PM

Yep, the damned thing is positively ancient from a modern perspective. Your bottleneck is most likely your memory. You just don't have enough to even do Win XP justice. If I remember correctly, XP needs 256 mb minimum, and prefers to have at least 512 mb. See if you can dig up some memory (I'm going to guess you are going to be looking for PC100 or PC133 sticks). I don't really see this as improving your performance a whole lot, though, since the kit is so old. Good luck anyway.
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September 21, 2010 11:19:11 PM

Install windows95 or 98 on it and use it to play old DOS and win 95 based games. XP uses all the memory and majority of the HDD.
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September 21, 2010 11:24:21 PM

Alternatively, Install a lightweight version of Ubuntu on it.. either Xubuntu or Lubuntu, as long as your niece is just using it for web browsing and social apps it will run like a superstar.

I would try to drop in some more ram (see if there are any pc recycler's in your area that re-sell old parts) I have one near me that sells sdram and dram for 5$ a stick.

You will be amazed at how peppy a machine like that will be as long as you dont expect it to do more than it can..

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September 21, 2010 11:28:27 PM

there is also Edubuntu, which is a pretty lightweight ubuntu distribution specifically designed for youngsters in mind (has games for children as young as 2 on it) my little guy(picture in profile) plays on a Edubuntu system very similar to the one you described.

my outlook is that it runs well enough to play the learning games on it and to play flash games on sites like Nick Jr. and considering it was free....... if he breaks it... who cares.

good luck.
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September 22, 2010 2:40:04 AM

nice, that sounds fun. i ran ubuntu on my other pc once but didnt like how programs wernt as easy to install in some cases as windows is, i didnt like messing with it. but i think it will run faster and if there is an educational edition that sounds cool, im guessing its still free and i can torrent it right?

and btw i bought a 256mb stick on ebay just now brand new kingston pc133 for 3.25 BAM (which will bring it to the mobo's max supported ram)
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September 22, 2010 11:59:01 AM

You can certainly torrent it... or download the various editions direct from their website.

honestly ubuntu 10.04 is quite user friendly. It's quite like windows, with the main difference being that you use the software manager to add or remove programs rather than downloading and executing them.

Have fun with your new old computer!
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September 22, 2010 1:07:05 PM

Just throw it to the trash can and get yourself a new rig!
:D 
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September 22, 2010 7:28:48 PM

No, I'm on the keep it ticking wagon :)  bit more ram, bigger hard drive, and as mentioned above, just dont expect it to do much, you wouldn't enter a model T in todays racing events, but with care and love, it will still get you to the next town to do your shopping :) 
Moto
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Anonymous
September 25, 2010 11:50:05 PM

Quote:
^+1.
anything will do but not that. that's like torture to the kid having to sit there for hours just execute a program... lol
you can get an older dual core even a Pent D or older Athlon 64 for cheap nowadays.
even a brand name 'barebone' unit which is even cheaper sometimes to configure if you already have parts.
but not that rig.
she'll hate you for it.

say your 15 or 16 and it's time for your dad to get you a car.
and your first car was a beat-up 1974 Ford Pinto light blue and not the 1991 Toyota Celica you wanted and worked at McDonald's
saving for. well dad, where's the money.?
needless to say they don't even speak to this day. lol

(my older brother's personal experience)

Where in the World can you drive a car at 15?

Personally, I'd say add a little more RAM and install Windows 2000 on there. I used to run it on this:
Pentium II 350MHz
64MB RAM
3GB IDE HDD

I managed to browse the web and so on, so you should be able to browse the web on yours. That was about 2 years ago.
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September 27, 2010 12:08:27 PM

....We got someone driving a car without a proper driving license here...
Hahahahahahaha....
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September 27, 2010 3:39:44 PM

sell the voodoo for 120 the rest for 40 and buy a netbook
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September 27, 2010 4:08:52 PM

You can even still find PC100/133 RAM still at MicroCenter (You'd be surprised at how many are still trying to chug along on a 10+ year old machine). The thing is - that old RAM is actually starting to get more expensive now that the stocks are finally running out. So get it while you can. Find out the most the MB will support (probably 1 or 2 GB) and git it!!).
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!