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Help with a really old build please.

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October 7, 2012 4:16:08 AM

I'm helping my dad with his really old build, built around 2000-2002, that he doesn't want to scrap, it does what he wants it to until recently, (four or five days ago) He has seen me building my new PC and thinks he wants a new one if this isn't fixable, but, he really doesn't want a new one.

Symptoms: The PC freezes/locks up and wont start moving even if left alone for a half hour. I didn't want to leave it any longer than that for fear of the CPU burning up cause it could be running full clock while frozen. The date and time resets when it locks up and it loses all memory of having been connected to our WiFi and our WiFi Passwords. Oh and he never changed the Thermal Paste . . . Ever, till I mentioned it a few days ago . . . The CPU runs at a good temp with the new Thermal Paste (95-107 F.)

What I've done/thought of . . .

We have tried multiple Video cards. No luck.

We have tried applying new Thermal Paste to the CPU and video card.

We have tried cleaning the PC cause it did have a little dust here and there.

We have tried the same model CPU with the same stock heat sink. (Both with new Thermal Paste.)

We have tried Reinstalling Windows.

We have tried different HDD's and the same HDD that was in there with full wipes on all of them.

We have tried COMPLETELY TAKING APART THE WHOLE BUILD and building it again.

We have tried pulling out the CMOS battery. (Should we try a new one?)

Ran MEMTest86 with 3 successful passes . . . No freeze . . . ? :pt1cable: 

If I think of other things we've done, I'll post them . . .

Please, don't say scrap it till we've tried anything you guys and gals can think of.

Specs;

CPU: Intel Pentium 4 1.5GHz 256/400/1.75V SL62Y MALAY, 2001.

MoBo: VIA P4X-266A

RAM: 512mb, one stick in first slot.

Video: nVIDIA . . . Old as dirt, I could find the Specs if needed.

PSU: 300W Antec, Can find specs if needed.

More about : build

a b B Homebuilt system
October 7, 2012 6:05:17 AM

If you've already wiped all the old data, there's no point in saving anything. Look for a recent hp system on craigslist; you can find an amd or Intel for $200 or less. Only get one with all the original software and be sure to back it up by burning a dvd using windows 7 backup feature. Or better yet, get a brand new pc with free windows 8 upgrade; it just came out. bottom line, it actually costs the same to upgrade that old system as buying a brand new pc, and you'll spend even more by the time you get a copy of windows 7.
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October 7, 2012 4:53:15 PM

From OP; "Please, don't say scrap it till we've tried anything you guys and gals can think of. "

Wasn't looking to be told to scrap it, that's the last thing I wanted. Thanks though. If anyone can support this thread please do so, it would be greatly appreciated.

PS: We have another desktop PC, but my dad really wants his oldie up and running, I don't know, sentimental value or something. I understand cause in five years I haven't scrapped my original case even though I've bought two since . . . Still have my original sound and video, and mobo, and CPU, Etc.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 7, 2012 5:13:51 PM

Well, approach this differently. Suggest he donate his old pc (after removing the hardrive) to goodwill and take a tax deduction. Goodwill accepts old pcs, tears them down, and sells the individual parts. He'll put some folks to work, and save on his taxes.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 7, 2012 5:27:54 PM

Here's some of the same parts on ebay:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-VIA-MAINBOARD-MOTHER-BOARD-...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/1GB-2-x-512MB-PC2100-DDR-RAM-De...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/INTEL-Pentium-4-P4-3-06-Socket-...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/nVIDIA-GeForce-FX-5500-256MB-AG...

Total cost, maybe $100 tops. An antec or fsp sparkle 350w-400w power supply is around $40 at newegg.com. So, your total would be around $140.

Here's a good used system with windows 7 on craigslist: http://austin.craigslist.org/sys/3314336616.html

With this information, maybe your dad can make the right choice. Good luck.
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October 7, 2012 5:40:48 PM

Have you run memtest to see if it's a bad stick of ram causing the PC to hang?
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October 7, 2012 5:54:58 PM

Goodwill is a good idea, but I think my dad wouldn't go for it unless he knew he had to scrap the build and build a new one, I suggested he just make a Micro ATX for $400 +/- cause I have a OEM OS 7 Home PRE that I am not using.

Me and my dad really like the Ebay Idea, GREAT FIND! I'm sure that would fix everything!

And yes, I tried MEMtest, sorry to not put that in OP, I'll fix that . . . And it went through 3 passes with no errors? I was confused about that cause even running Scandisk it would freeze up?
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 7, 2012 7:40:01 PM

If your dad tried a newer system with an ssd drive, he'd never go back to his slow dinasaur computer system again. I can't even imagine using a standard hardrive. The ssd is 3-4 times faster booting up into windows. Mine takes about 15 seconds for the windows screen to load and another 30 seconds to get online with dsl. This saves alot of time. It's almost like comparing dsl speed to an old fashioned 56k modem.
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October 8, 2012 3:23:35 PM

Speaking of old modems lol, he uses this really old card and gets about 50Kb/s lol . . . I get like 1Mb/s+ on bad days.

But yes, I have been trying to switch him over to a new build for some while, but it would cost about $450+/- and that's what's holding him back. But he does know that it would be way, way better cause I've said it 1 thousand times. And he has had to use my new ish build that cost $1000+/-
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October 8, 2012 3:24:04 PM

Best answer selected by veladem.
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October 9, 2012 6:53:21 PM

Sorry to bump, lol, but.

We took Windows XP out and I got my dad to run Unbuntu 12 (32-bit) and everything is working smoothly now? Strange right? Waiting for input . . .
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October 9, 2012 7:27:02 PM

Driver not playing nice, probably. Ubuntu is pretty well supported on older hardware, where XP is no longer supported. Maybe a recent update hosed a configuration file?
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