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old computer... any suggestions?

By STK
Jul 2, 2004
  1. ok i have an old dell, P3 2.4 or 2.6(ill look and get back to you guys), 12GB hard disk, 512 memory. any ideas of what i should do with it? first i was thinking of making a server for games (CS and BF1942 mostly as i have a good cable connection), but my uncle suggested taking it apart, and maybe upgrading it(im not sure if this is a great idea as i am buying a used computer off my friend, but i do like tinkering and stuff of the sort). any other cool ideas... i am open to them all. i get PC mag, and they had an article and 1 suggestion was making a fish tank, which i dont think is a good idea either as i dont plan on owning fish anytime soon. :haha:

    Thank you, STK
     
  2. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    Hehe...Well you can't do much with Dell PCs anyway. They are not upgrade friendly. They require specially made motherboard and memory. Their PSU is slightly modified from ATX.
     
  3. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

    I wouldnt upgrade it, but if its old, and its a P3, its not 2.4Ghz or 2.6Ghz.

    the ram would be SDRAM (wouldnt it?) so it wouldnt be that good.

    Im not sure if it would be worth while making into a server, cuz it probably wouldnt take the load too well with its great specs.

    so a) sell it
    2) make it into and internet/email machine
    #4) do a or 2
     
  4. STK

    STK TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 102

    ok thanks, uhh out of them i would rather sell it but im not sure anyone would really want to buy it, so i might be forced into option 2.
     
  5. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    If you have the time, patience and inclination, why not stick Linux on it?
     
  6. STK

    STK TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 102

    ha didnt think of that, to me that sounds like a great idea. umm i am going to talk to my parents about it and maybe i could get some help with the process.

    thanks alot, STK
     
  7. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    If you have a broadband connection, you can D/L for free from various websites, like www.mandrake.com (3 ISO-files of about 730MB each, to be burnt onto 3 CDs of 700MB size)
    Buy RedHat/Corel/Suze or others in a shop for $ 30-60.-
     
  8. BrownPaper

    BrownPaper TS Rookie Posts: 407

    Yeah try linux out on that machine. It should run pretty fast since most linux distributions are not quite as bloated as windows xp. Make it a print or file server for your home network or something. Old machines can still be quite useful if you can find a niche for it. Just do not try to play Far Cry on it. ;)

    Guiness man, are you sure you don't mean SuSE?
     
  9. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,210   +424

    I'm sure that's what he meant - just a typo I think.
     
  10. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    With 512 megs of RAM a P3 will run any Windows fine (and all the unixoids even better) unless you have to play games or do some multimedia stuff.

    Put in a bigger HD in if needed and use the machine for anything you like - it will do fine unless you require too much horsepower.
     
  11. STK

    STK TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 102

    if someone would like to tell me the files that i need to download i would appreciate it.
    thank you, STK
     
  12. me(who else?)

    me(who else?) TS Rookie Posts: 387

    Depending on what flavour of Linux you'll be using, you'll need 3 - 4 .ISO files. My personal fav is Fedora Core 2, but SuSe is good. If you want a taste of Linux, you could get the kernel and the basic system files on a floppy and not use installer, although eventually you'll have to.

    edit: Try fedora.redhat.com for the fedora core 2 .ISO files.
     
  13. Masque

    Masque TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,058

    If you want to shop around for you favorite flavor, you could always try LinuxIso.org .
     
  14. STK

    STK TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 102

    k im downloading Suse to a CD then i am going to run it on my other computer. if there is any problems i will be back :)
     
  15. STK

    STK TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 102

    k well there is a new problem now. i was saving the Suse to a CD and now the CD drive wont open. hopefully i get this solved before i need to insert a CD... any help would be appreciated.
    thank you, STK

    Edit: Ok so i was looking through preferences and settings and it turns out my computer isnt reading the CD drive... if the CD drive did get disconnected, is this something i could do at home or do i need to take my computer somewhere to get it fixed?
     
  16. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    Nope i dont think you need to get it to a shop. All you need to do is open up your case to check if cable from the motherboard is connected firmly to the back of the CD-Drive.
     
  17. STK

    STK TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 102

    woohoo should i start another post about taking apart an alienware? i hafta say this looks easier then my dell, i tried my dell got the first three screws out, couldnt find the rest. put the screws back in and came here lol and now if i can get the CD out it should have my linux OS on it for that computer.
     
  18. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    Dells modified their cases so that its really hard to reach the hardware unlike standard ATX casing. They can be a pain to work with.
     
  19. STK

    STK TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 102

    ya i noticed that. but i think i will try to fix the CD problem tomarrow. ill check back and let you guys know what happened.
     
  20. STK

    STK TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 102

    umm do you think i should get tech support from alienware first? its pretty new. if i open the case does that mess up my warranty?
     
  21. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Check for a very small round opening in the front-panel of your CD-rom. Carefully stick a paper-clip (that needs to be bent straight first) in it and push gently. The tray should now open.
     
  22. STK

    STK TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 102

    umm how hard do i have to push it in? i pushed it gently but nothing happened.
     
  23. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Push in until you meet resistance, then push in further 1-2 cm (about 1/2"), maybe more, depending on make/model.
    Push until enough of the tray comes out, that you can grab it with your fingers.
     
  24. STK

    STK TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 102

    k thanks alot for that helpful hint, now i just need windows to detect the drive.
     
  25. STK

    STK TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 102

    I just opened the case and unhooked/rehooked all the wiring, so my CD drive is being detected now. Thank you to all that helped me with this little problem.
     
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