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Old 12-01-2009, 01:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation build with an OLD computer...

So my father in-law asked me to figure out why his comp was giving him problems at start up... it told him on the screen that the HDD was failing and needed to be backed up & replaced. he said its been saying that for years, well he was finally going to take my advice when... BSOD... couldnt repair so he let me keep it. Now I need your guys help as Ive never built a comp before.
well Im not really gonna build it mmore like restore it lol ($$$ isnt at its best right now)
here is the comp Product Specifications HP Pavilion a375c Desktop PC - HP Customer Care (United States - English) and he also installed this radeon 9600xt 128mb card (ps is this a decent card for todays use? I will only be using this for WOW until I can afford to build a better machine.)
Now I need an OS & HDD (PRIORITY) and a MOBO & PCU could be an option if the price is right. Im trying to keep it around 200-250 LMAO! I know I got champaign dreams and a beer budget what can I say lol thanks for the help in advance!
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: build with an OLD computer...

P.S. Nevermind about PCU & MOBO & have another loaner tower I can use that for. so all I need is an OS (comp was using XP PRO when it died) and a HDD. prolly sounds like a no brainer to you guys but I want to make sure I dont go get 7 and it doesnt work and im out 150 bucks. so what Im wondering is can I buy an XP PRO OS (does it matter what SP it has?1, 2, or 3. cant i just buy one with SP1 & update to SP3?) & then buy what hard drive?
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: build with an OLD computer...

You will be able to play wow on it but not particularly smoothly. Do not spend any money on this one, instead try to scavenge an IDE HDD from somewhere. If you can't find one, buy a cheap SATA controller (check you have a PCI slot first, you probably do) and a SATA HDD.

EDIT: also Graphics Performance List yours is 122
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: build with an OLD computer...

You will want to buy an IDE hard drive, whatever size fits your budget
Newegg.com - Computer Hardware,Hard Drives,Internal Hard Drives,IDE Ultra ATA100

For the OS, I think 7 would be okay. But there should be a Windows XP license sticker with the serial key somewhere on the case, usually on the side or the rear. If you have this, you might be able to call HP and request a copy of the recovery discs, then you can just restore from those instead of buying a new OS.

For WOW, this should run it fine. I used to run it on an Athlon 1800 with 1gb ram and a geforce 5600 so your setup is roughly similar, maybe even better.
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: build with an OLD computer...

yup i totally agree with jorsoft. but any IDE hard drive of your choice. something like this :

Newegg.com - Western Digital Caviar Blue WD3200AAJB 320GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache IDE Ultra ATA100 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

And as for OS, if you don't have the recovery disk that came with the PC, then either request one, or obtain a backup copy of windows xp (which is fine since you're legally entitled to have it on that PC) and install with the cd key thats on the sticker which should be on the tower somewhere.

A 9600xt should run wow alright, but it won't be terribly smooth. You can upgrade the video card as well if you like, but agp cards are on the expensive side when compared to pci-express, and its not really worth putting any money into this system. So other than a hard drive you shouldn't be buying anything else... and save up for a new comp!

edit: ah i forgot to ask about the ram... was the ram upgraded on that computer? 512mb doesn't cut it anymore. You'll need at least 1gb, 2GBs will be best.
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: build with an OLD computer...

Ok so let me clarify I can buy that HDD & get a recovery disk & use the product key on the side instead of buying a full version.
also about the ram it say I can run 4GB but HP recommends only running 2GB, what should I do about that? & I was thinking about buying Kingston Dual Channel 1024MB PC3200 DDR 400MHz Memory (2 x 512MB) at TigerDirect.com
but its PC3200 &the specs for mine say I can run PC2700. Now if I buy that RAM itll be fine right, itll just run at the slower PC2700 speed correct?

And I just decided to get this comp up and running. new HDD, RAM& recovery disk and call it a day.

now can I use a reinstall disk, is that the same thing? because my father in law has that.
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: build with an OLD computer...

Is it for the same computer? HP used to ship 2 discs, one with Windows XP recovery and one with application recovery (to reinstall all of their crapware and the drivers).

For the ram, it should just run at the 2700 speed and that will be fine.
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: build with an OLD computer...

I believe its the windows reinstall disk. even though Ill be buying a new HDD I can use the product number on the side of the computer to get the full version from the windows reinstall disk?
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Old 12-02-2009, 02:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: build with an OLD computer...

Yes that will work.
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:48 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: build with an OLD computer...

Technically, windows considered licenses non-transferrable, but yeah, it will work. MS will just view you as one of them nasty pirates. :-p
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