old computer... any suggestions?

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 (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: 4,181   +411

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

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837

    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 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 .
  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.
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Create an account or login to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...

Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.