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Project for my junk pc

Discussion in 'A+' started by Bambino1506, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. Bambino1506

    Bambino1506 Megabyte Poster

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    Guys

    Got my junk pc to play with at work now......one problem, its not junk lol.....its running xp really nicely, 2.5ghz processor, 512mb Ram and 40gb hard drive.

    So I was thinking of things that would be good practice for me, any suggestions ?

    Was thinking format the drive, dissassemble the whole machine and then put it back together again and install XP.

    Would taking the CMOS battery out so that I had to reconfig cmos settings be good idea ?

    Anything I can do with the BIOS ?



    thanks for your help
     
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  2. C4sper

    C4sper Byte Poster

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    throw it away!! (but pse make sure you tell me where/when :)

    why waste time? taking it apart will be a good exercise
    but if you want to play with windows installation - better do it virtual (WMware or VirtualPC will help)

    yes... but why??????

    only thing I can think of is to upgrade your MB BIOS
     
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  3. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Sounds like a plan, after the format you can have a look around in the BIOS and play around with the boot sequence (so you can install XP from a CD)

    After the install perhaps update some device drivers (some devices may not be recognised with the standard XP drivers)

    One thing you may want to do is flash the BIOS to the latest version (if it needs it)
     
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  4. Stevie

    Stevie Byte Poster

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    Take a sledge hammer to it, then rebuild it. Should make an interesting project......... :D

    Seriously though, as your studying for your A+, depending on how much experience you have, it may be worth opening it up, unplugging the hard drive, removing it from the case, and then putting it back togeter, then the same with the rest of it. Personally, I have no idea of how experienced you are with doing things like that, so it may be a waste of time if you know what you are doing.

    I also agree with installing a virtual system of some kind, just so you can play around with it and find out what does what, etc.
     
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  5. Bambino1506

    Bambino1506 Megabyte Poster

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    Hi mate, funds are short so can't afford to shell out for software, I got plenty of time on Nightshifts at work so figured it would do me some good.

    Never had to setup CMOS settings before, figured would be good for real world experience.

    Yep will look into flashing the bios, thanku :)
     
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  6. Bambino1506

    Bambino1506 Megabyte Poster

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    Thanks Sparky :biggrin :biggrin

    I'm guessing I would need the OS installed before I upgraded the bios ?

    Appreciate the encouragement.
     
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  7. Bambino1506

    Bambino1506 Megabyte Poster

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    LMFAO at the sledgehammer bit :D

    Do you mean just unplug the hard drive and then connect it up again or actually take the hard drive apart mate ?

    I'm pretty familiar with unplugging and connecting drives and reseating RAM etc but I think if i take apart the whole pc it will be good practice for me.
     
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  8. robbo1962

    robbo1962 Byte Poster

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    i would'nt call that a junk PC.
    Don't take the hard drive apart it is a sealed unit, if any dust gets on the platters it becomes useless. I have picked up some PCs on EBay for less than a tenner, these are great to take apart even though they are a bit old and it doesn't matter if you mess them up. If you look on EBay search for PCs within a close proximity to where you live so you can pick them up as postage is usually more than what the item costs.
    Gary
     
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  9. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    It depends on the mobo to be honest and the vendor. For example Dell has a great diagnostics disk for servers that will upgrade firmware and scan the whole server for updated drivers. This is run within Windows and after the scan you can select what you want to update.

    Older mobos you have to load the firmware onto a floppy and install from a command prompt. Haven’t had to do that for a good few years to be honest.

    Remember if things go wrong there is a possibility that you might not be able to boot the PC , not as risky as it used to be but worth considering.
     
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  10. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Before you think about formatting the hard drive, make sure you have all the necessary motherboard chipset drivers and drivers for any additional hardware ie video cards, sound cards, network cards etc.

    Remember that you will have to activate Windows again if it is running XP or later and go through the genuine advantage rigmarole.

    Remember to firstly install an anti-virus program and then download all the latest critical updates from Microsoft.

    You will lose any loaded applications which you do not have the original install disks for.

    Good luck.
     
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  11. Bambino1506

    Bambino1506 Megabyte Poster

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    Thanks guys.

    Slight problem, I can only logon to it with an id that has user only access....I can't format the drive.

    If i get hold of a copy of xp from work can i boot from it and install xp over the top of this current version of xp ? thus giving me admin access.
     
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  12. Bambino1506

    Bambino1506 Megabyte Poster

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    Just added another gb of RAM to it 2.
     
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  13. Paul_o

    Paul_o Nibble Poster

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    if its got a floppy drive get a win 95 or 98 boot disk and use that to format the drive
     
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  14. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    You can't format a drive if you booted from it! This is like trying to change the foundations of a house while people are living there. :biggrin

    In any case - if you want to re-install XP on top just boot from the CD. One of the options during install is whether you want to blow away the old installation.

    Harry.
     
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  15. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Er - no - don't. The versions of FDISK and Format that shipped with those OSes will not correctly handle modern large hard drives.

    In this case - with a 40GB HDD - it would be OK as long as you used the Win98SE utils.

    But it is much better instead to boot from the XP CD and just start the installation. You will get to XP's equivalent of FDISK, which *does* know about large hard drives!

    Harry.
     
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  16. Bambino1506

    Bambino1506 Megabyte Poster

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    Thanks Harry :D

    For future ref how would I format the drive in this sort of situation ? well assuming I had admin access to the OS.


    Yep thought so, will just boot from xp disk and install over the top :p .
     
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  17. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    You can format or re-partition a drive as long as there is nothing on the drive that the OS is 'using'. If there *is* something there, like the pagefile on the boot drive for example, then the drive is 'locked' and "Disk Management" won't let you do anything with it.

    Harry.
     
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