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Old 12-20-2010, 12:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New to Building

Well, for that matter new to messing with computers pretty much at all. my extent of computer work up to this point is replacing RAM in my laptop. But I've gotten more into wanting to build/repair computers as a hobby, and hope to eventually make it a profession. I would love to build custom stuff to sell.

Right now I've got an old dell Optiplex GX240 that I acquired and I've been buying used parts for cheap just to see if I could learn a little something, and hopefully get this computer working. It came basically just a shell, with PSU, Mobo and case.

one thing I'm not too sure about is grounding, this basic toolkit I bought a while back came with one of those grounding wrist strap. I've read other people on here saying that you don't really need one and just to ground yourself every now and then. But honestly I want to take every procaution I can while working to make sure to not damage anything. My question for that is basically where do i clip it to ground me? is it ok to just clip it on a part of the case or what?

And also are there any websites you guys would reccomend a beginner to read up on building/repairing and whatnot? My apologies for the long post guys, and I appreciate the help in advance.
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Old 12-20-2010, 02:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New to Building

You want to connect the clamp to the case, on the edge where the side panel slides on. I myself do not use one, and have been fine. All I do is take a cardboard box, flatten it, and stay on it when working on the computer. I also touch the corners of the case several times to make extra sure I'm static free.

I did not learn the nitty gritty computer parts by reading anything in particular. It just takes experience, Look up stuff on Google when need be.
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Old 12-20-2010, 03:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: New to Building

I hugely appreciate the advice, and that basically what I've been doing now, just tinkering with this old dell and googling different stuff. so far I've learned a little bit. pretty soon I plan on buying parts for a cheap build, nothing special, just something to use as a home PC to broswe the internet, listen to music, you know, the basic stuff, and sell it. and hopefully profit enough to build something a little higher end, and just continue the cycle.

I'm hoping to be able to stay under $300 and thats including the OS. It'll probably get windows 7 since they have that on newegg for $99. so that leaves me around 200 for components. is that possible?
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Old 12-20-2010, 04:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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For what you are doing, yes, it is possible. Just get an old AMD or Intel CPU, cheap board with integrated video, cheap case, power supply, memory, drives, and youre done.

I started my day from messing with a Win98 system. Tried to repair it, till I had to reinstall 98 about every day, then I tossed it.
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Old 12-20-2010, 04:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: New to Building

yea, thats what Ive got now. This dell is windows 2000. Im sure its not gonna work out, but i can probably use the HD and CD drive a got. and maybe the PSU. the case is crap just because of the cable management. I mainly got it to learn what I could just by tinkering with it, and so far its served that purpose well. Its actually a Pentium 4 processor and mobo, so i may be able to actually use this lol.

[edit] is there a way I can pull up specs on this Mobo online? like a model number or something? other than the model of the computer? [edit]
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Use speccy - Speccy - System Information - Free Download

That will tell you a lot.
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: New to Building

I Just want to say thanks for all your help first of all =]

I just need to get some RAM for this dell [just bid on some cheap on ebay] and i think i may be able to get it running. If I have any questions after i get RAM ill definately be back to ask
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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No problem, man. That's why I'm here.
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: New to Building

Unless youre gaming, just use ubuntu till you get more cash for an OS.

Surprisingly, wikipedia ids pretty detailed on dells...
Dell OptiPlex - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Plus dell info is all over the net. Google search brings up tons of info on the system, so whatever you need, it should be easily findable with google.

Oh, 1 other thing.... Dells are notoriouoly bad for letting their psarts get reused. Meaning you most likely won't beable to reuse the case or power supply, or mobo from many dell models.
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: New to Building

thanks for that little tidbit on the reusing thing. Im actually planning on just getting this one up and running and selling it to help fund a more updated build.
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