I have managed to breathe life back into several year old computers on many occasions. I enjoy the challenge, but some computers people are using are just getting to the point of “beyond economical repair.”
I recently worked on a 9 year old Hewlett-Packard Pavillion. I’ve been “managing” this computer for a client for almost a year. When I first worked on it, the “it’s slow (a common complaint)” was the issue. It had 512K of memory installed and, quite honestly, that was sufficient when the computer was new. WindowsXP has since grow with patches to keep you safe from hackers and other malcontents. 512K memory is no longer a functional configuration.
We ordered more memory, the most the computer would accept: 2GB. Not bad, but it also was the a prior generation type of memory (DDR), which was more costly than the currently widely used memory type (DDR2).
My recommendation? It’s as fast as it will get, so…consider a new system after Windows 7 arrives (This was summer last year). While they were at their other place, someone told them they just needed a bigger hard drive. They bought one. 500GB, with the not regularly used anymore interface (but required in their older machine.
So, I begin trying to migrate their drive over using cloning techniques, which preserve your entire setup of dat and programs. I tried 5 different cloning programs, as each time I copied the old disk to the new one, the new one (500GB) would only show it was 131.5GB in size, the rest of it being unusable. After a few choice words, I recalled there had been times when computers had limitations on the size of hard drive they could see/use. So, I jumped on the net and dug around a little, specifically for their model of computer and sure enough, something I had not seen in years was the issue: The configuration of the motherboard in the computer would only see a drive up to 131.5GB large. They already had an almost full 120GB drive, so that wasn’t much help, not to mention, the majority of the drive they paid for wasn’t even effective, without splitting electronically into three drives, and then you’d have issues of remembering where you stored your data.
Considering the hours spent above an beyond the movement of their pictures, documents and email files to a new computer, they could have purchased a new desktop system for just about the bill they have reached, by trying to keep the old, slow, now two generations of memory (DDr2 is climbing in price, as DDR3 now is becoming the main technology in use) behind, when they could have put the money towards something to take them about 3-4 years down the road, with a full 1 year warranty and a copy of Windows 7 running their programs. That alone is a big enhancement on speed for your work.
I do enjoy the challenge of moving data, but trust me…I’d rather see you saving money on “upgrading” so I can spend some time helping you understand how to make your computer become your very capable personal digital assitant!