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Old pc problems

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October 14, 2012 9:34:48 AM

(i dont know this is appropriate post or not...)
last thursday. i was asked by teacher to repair the slow computer at my school library. so, i bring my tools (software and a screwdriver). that pc was really old, about 12 years ago maybe. the mobo is old school which is asus p4****** or something which uses agp slot instead of pci-e.
the cpu is intel pentium 4 2.80GHz L2 512kb. ram 2X DDR-333 256MB dual-channel. windows XP pro. not been service maybe since 5 years??? inside full of dust. wan to clean it but no time (i was repairing that pc in the library)

i open the case, trying to check disconnected wires and cards. is awful. full of dust... i cleaned the ram. i tried to insert back but dust blocks me. i just remove the dust in that socket (well, kinda hard) and insert it back. i didnt bring thermal paste so i wont open heatsink.

ok, this is the problem. when i want to clean the registry, half way, it shutdown itself. i tried to reboot but failed. i unplug the psu and replug. i push the power button and it boots. ok. i retry to clean registry, then it shuts back.

i reboot that pc (same method) and try to defrag the hdd instead. halfway, shutdown. trying to reboot, no luck. using same method, no luck. i can only boot to post sign and able to configure bios only. beyond post, black screen (no windows logo, no windows error, just blank). the hdd indicator on the casing does not blink or show up after the post. can say im in trouble...

my time almost run out too. so, i told to teacher about this and i will continue this at this monday (tomorrow). my solution is to reformat the pc and reinstall the pc which finished my job. but i think i need to bring the pc with me and repair it at my home instead. i wonder my teacher allows that?

in my thought, the psu is aging that cause this. but, no money to buy new psu.... but then again, i think the problem with the defrag. or the heatsink.

so, i really need help, now... any advice? what do you thing about this problems?

[additional info] i dont remember the mobo model but i only know first 2 capital, that is p4*******. it chipset is not intel. the cpu is intel pentium 4 2.8GHz with L2 512KB. it has agp card slot and the integrated graphic is agp too. has two pci slot. do you know this mobo?

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October 14, 2012 10:23:48 AM

Was the machine already failing before you touched it? Or just slow as all hell given its age?

It is likely that it shutting down in the defrag has corrupted XP. Nothing much you can do except for a fresh install. Maybe there is a repair option available, boot off an XP install disc and see if you can find anything like that.

Unless the machine is shutting down due to thermal issues, the heatsink isn't the problem.

PSU is a valid concern, I'm guessing this supply isnt all that high quality and it is quite old. Nothing you can do about it really, just hope that it doesn't die until its out of your hands.

First order of business in my mind is to clean the whole thing out. Cant work on a machine if you cant see for all the dust in it. clean out the heatsink and re-paste the CPU as well.

Then try running it bread-boarded. So on a non-conductive surface, with the bare minimum of hardware to get to POST. From there, keep adding hardware until it fails or works successfully. Re-install XP if you have to, or go through with the defrag and registry cleaning if you dont. Also run an anti-virus program through it, given the computers age, public accessibility and lack of maintenance, who knows whats running on it.
October 14, 2012 10:26:46 AM

Check the cpu temperature and use air blower to clean system from dust. Its temperature issue i think.
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October 14, 2012 12:51:18 PM

manofchalk said:
Was the machine already failing before you touched it? Or just slow as all hell given its age?

......

PSU is a valid concern, I'm guessing this supply isnt all that high quality and it is quite old. Nothing you can do about it really, just hope that it doesn't die until its out of your hands.


when i uninstalling unused programs, it goes fine, smoothly, except really slow. the pc start to fall when i want to clean up the registry. halfway, it shuts down.

yeah. since the pc is really old, the psu as well... aaa... i just want to make that pc faster, not buying stuff for that.... yeah i really hope the psu is still work at least until i graduate from school (2 years more)... i dont have any unused working psu with me (well, corrupted yes)

just hate that pc. randomly shut down... how i want to reinstall it. hope in reinstalling, no random shutdown. that pc cannot use windows 7, right? now i have windows 2000 pro, windows xp pro and windows 7 ultimate (all 32-bit)
October 14, 2012 1:07:11 PM

Yeah, I can understand you don't want to sink money into this as its not yours. As I said, hope it doesn't fail any time soon.

Win7 requires a min of 2GB, this machine has .5GB. Ain't gonna work.
I would just use XP.

Evidently it doesn't like anything important being tampered with. If you cant clean the registry, just skip it. At this point you are providing free labour and expertise, not like they can complain if their 12yr old machine is still slow.

Could argue that this hardware will never be "fast" compared to modern technology. That no matter what you do to it other than a new computer wont fix that.

October 14, 2012 1:26:13 PM

now, i need to make that pc at least work again... once work, a bit faster, i just ran away as far as possible, hoping no more problem.

actually, i really willing to improve that pc, but time limited me. cuz i ever rebuild my pc (changing the mobo, need all parts of pc remove), i have skill. i just need permission to bring that pc with me cuz attemp to repair a pc at library are not nice and can rude other students in library. i also need to clean internal parts of pc too.

but, if that pc still in bad condition, i really need to pay to the school.
October 14, 2012 2:33:16 PM

manofchalk said:

Win7 requires a min of 2GB, this machine has .5GB. Ain't gonna work.
I would just use XP.


Dude, i am running Win7 home basic with 512mb ram. And i am posting from this pc. Not so fast but better than xp.

Min requirement for win7 is 512MB ram.
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