Upgrade suggestions

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Old 01-05-09, 02:27 PM
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Upgrade suggestions

It has become time to evaluate what I should to to my system. I do not think I should upgrade to a new box or the new Microsoft system because many of the small infrequently (but important) used programs may not work with the newer operating systems. My current system is about 3-4 years old and works well but gives an impatient person some anxious moments. - Here is what I have.

1. HP Pavillion (bought in a hurry because the old one died from a storm power surge - protected, i thought).
2. AMD Athlon 64 processor
3. 350+ (whatever that means)
4. 2.19 GHz, 448 MB of RAM
5. 200 GB internal drive (137 GB free)
6. 160 GB internal drive (from old box with 130 GB) used for
some back-up.
7. A disk drive for reading removable CDs, DVDs and writing CDs and have never tried a DVD write.
8. An empty slot for another drive for removable media.

Supposedly, my drive will write DVDs and use the phony "Lightscribe" feature.

I would feel better with an external drive for back-up.

I have a good Comcast high speed internet connection with the free virus connection and constant upgrades and use the computer for surfing (avoiding questionable site). Programs used frequently are:

1. Family Tree maker with trees up to 15,000 people in a file.
2. Corel Print Shop X used for photo restoring and a companion program for filing and searching - no problems.
3. Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Power Point) - no problems.
4. Quicken - no problems.

My connected printers/scanners are:

1. A 3 in 1 Canon 470 (scanner, color printer, copier) - Great!
2. A Brother cheap laser for the lower cost junk B&W printing

Other scanners used when plugged into a USB port:

1. HP 4600 (movable scaning unit to lay on anything). Good and works for scanning and stitching big documents.
2. Konica Minolta Dimage Dual IV - films, strips cartidges and slides. - Well worth is weight.

I would like to get an external storage unit for back-ups (seems to make sense since it is always better to have remote backup storage.

I would like to increase the speed and be able to get into moving old classic VHS tapes to DVD, saving TV shows being able to save some of my 20,000 photos to DVD. I understand I will need some software and harware improvements. Supposedly my machine will write DVDs, but I have never tried to save photos to a DVD instead of a CD.

Right now I have problems with some slowness when the automatic updates occur, but I assume I can controll the timing. I currently run a virus scan during the late night/morning once a week.

I can do the physical removal and connections of harware if given the directions, but my work on the systems is somewhat limited.

Any opinions welcome.

Dick
 
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Old 01-05-09, 02:50 PM
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Heck Dick, no expert, but I'd just upgrade the RAM and use an offsite backup. If that RAM number is correct (and I'm not sure it is) you are way way underpowered right there. Whats the actual model number of the box, and have you added any RAM to the original config?

Maybe a good video card to take some load off the processor too.

btw..after I showed my wife how to use Lightscribe, she thought it was so cool to be able to send stuff to people that looked professional instead of a Sharpie label. Takes a while, but it does work.

As I said, no expert in all the details, but I have the basics and what works for certain things. Video editing (as in movies and such) takes a lot of power, but what you mention really doesn't.
 
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Old 01-05-09, 03:34 PM
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Make a note of what mother board is in the PC and order the most memory it will take. Install it and set the virtual memory to system managed. I just that with one of my PCs (Dell) and the machine flies.

Download, update and run, anti malware from Malwarebytes.org to clean the machine of spyware. It helps with speed issues and so does TCPOptimizer from SpeedGuide.net :: The Broadband Guide
 
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Old 01-05-09, 04:30 PM
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pulpo and gg, i second the ideas, more ram and better video processor. maybe a new cooling fan just to be safe. other wise i like the way you have your system set up.

the only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys
 
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Old 01-05-09, 05:01 PM
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Add at least 1 gig of ram. Check the motherboard website for exactly what you need.

After that, buy a USB external hard drive and back up all of your stuff to it.

Next, put the Windows XP disc into the drive and completely wipe the system. Start fresh. Have all of your original program discs handy, along with their activation keys and serial numbers.

When Windows launches, immediately turn off Auto Update. Download and install XP SP3. Turn on the firewall. Don't even launch Internet Explorer. Instead, download and install Firefox and set it as the default browser.

Then install your programs.

You'll be amazed at how fast your machine will respond.
 
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Old 01-05-09, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick Johnston View Post
Add at least 1 gig of ram. Check the motherboard website for exactly what you need.

After that, buy a USB external hard drive and back up all of your stuff to it.

Next, put the Windows XP disc into the drive and completely wipe the system. Start fresh. Have all of your original program discs handy, along with their activation keys and serial numbers.

When Windows launches, immediately turn off Auto Update. Download and install XP SP3. Turn on the firewall. Don't even launch Internet Explorer. Instead, download and install Firefox and set it as the default browser.

Then install your programs.

You'll be amazed at how fast your machine will respond.
Not to question your knowledge Rick, I just thought it was funny that you told him to not launch internet explorer, but at the same time you told him to download firefox.

I know, he could do it on a different machine, but if he didn't have another machine???

And actually, if you leave automatic updates on, it will immediately get SP3 before anything else. Then it will pull down the rest of the updates. just fyi
 
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Old 01-06-09, 06:51 AM
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There is no reason to reinstall in his case.
 
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Old 01-07-09, 04:18 AM
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Yeah, I had that a bit out of order!

I already had Firefox and SP3 saved to the USB backup drive.

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was going to wipe one of my machines. I'll post my results in another thread.
 
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