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#1 mitchshrader

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Posted 15 May 2004 - 08:43 PM

Computer buyers are in great numbers uninformed. Computer sellers *often* take advantage of this to increase profits and sell what they have on hand, rather than tailor the machines configuration to the users needs.

This isn't always the case, and no offense to small builders (I'm one) nor to those who carefully thought out their purchase and did necessary research on performance ratings, price versus value, and life expectancy of components.

For those who need a PC (or will soon) and don't expect it to have an apple on the case or Linux inside.. a few tips.

GET A FULL OS INSTALL DISC. If you don't own one, and can't get one from your seller, reconsider the deal. A full install disc of your preferred Operating System is only important when you need it. Rare. But when you DO need it, nothing else will do.

Get enough ram. 256 isn't. 512 might be. 1024 megs is Very Nice if you game or do large photography editing, and near mandatory for video edits.

Get as much graphics card/chip as you MAY need. Don't try to do gaming or video editing with onboard graphics unless you have the patience of a saint.

Get a second hard drive, and make both fast enough, and large enough, and most likely identical, unless you are certain why not.

Partition your hard drives. Put the OS on *enough* space, and the data you accumulate on a separate partition. This protects it in the event you must format the operating system partition. Partitioning is done at the original install, and is a bit of insurance that costs nothing, and might someday save years of accumulated work.

STRONGLY consider a dual install of the operating system, on the 2nd hard disc. AND, then boot TO that disc, default. Why? Because any trouble you may EVER have, with drivers, virus infections, corrupt files in the OS, or even the physical hard drive itself, can be diagnosed, repaired, or copied over easily from the Other hard drive nearly always, nearly instantly, and with a pure minimum of stress. Even a warranty return of the drive, for replacement, is relatively painless if you've got another already in place, and your data copied over.

Strongly consider a DVD R/W as a primary drive. They are under 100$ at present for 8X, and media is inexpensive (per gig of data). This makes backing up files fast, simple, and effective.

Lest all this seem like a huge expense, be aware that save for RAM, component prices are at an all time low for performance versus price. And even RAM is cheap compared to prices 2-3 years ago.

One can purchase (In the US) a midgrade or higher machine, with dual drives, and operating system, AND a DVD R/W, WITH a gig of ram, for under 1000$. Add a good gamers graphics card, if desired, and the price is still perhaps 1200$.

Cheap. Not *very* cheap, to be sure, but a solid machine that should give minimal trouble for 2-5 years, depending on useage and your habits.

That's a fair guesstimate of US pricing on non-cutting edge, but good quality and warranty, hardware. Now about your software..

Many useful programs are free. There is no reason to be impressed with the software 'bundle' that often is less useful to you than to the seller.

A few of the free programs that are Very Useful, are: XenTweak, which will allow you to custom configure the Operating System to your tastes; MBM5, a computer hardware gauge that allows you to monitor temperature and fan speeds; AVG, one of the better anti-virus scanners; and dozens if not hundreds of desktop utilities for everything from identifying media types, to office software, to specialty printing programs. Software for MOST common tasks is free if you'll look for it.

Equally, read ratings. Not all programs are created equal; not all programs play nice together. Find out, before you install a 'new thing' what it's downside may be. Does it require you to allow advertising? Did you just agree to be spammed forever, or worse, turn your desktop into an unending procession of pop-up ads?

There is no need to install aggravation. Find out, from informed sources, what works.

If there's one single bit of advice for those who havn't purchased YET but are going to soon, it's READ! Nearly all the information it takes to make a good decision is on the web. The part that isn't is YOUR desires, and the best way to accomplish them.

Remember that any tool must fit the task. Select the one that does the job you want it to.

Edited by mitchshrader, 15 May 2004 - 08:51 PM.

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Last, BE POLITE. Especially when it is most difficult.

#2 ITeachComputer

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Posted 15 May 2004 - 10:09 PM

Fantastic MITCH..............

Super information! :D
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#3 Guest_skycom_*

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 12:44 AM

I amazed! And now better informed. Thanks Mitch. B)

#4 Mike

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 12:59 AM

Pinning and moving to the PC forum
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#5 Nick

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 02:27 AM

GET A FULL OS INSTALL DISC. If you don't own one, and can't get one from your seller, reconsider the deal. A full install disc of your preferred Operating System is only important when you need it. Rare. But when you DO need it, nothing else will do.

This I think is perhaps the most important, yet it is becoming more difficult to do. HP, Compaq, and others are using the "application recovery CD's" more now. I got an HP back in 2000 and didn't know much about computers and didn't even realize I wasn't getting a Windows Cd until much later. Now, 4 years later, I can revert my computer to how it was on July 1, 2000. That part isn't too bad, but what is really annoying is it also installs all of the garbage like the ads for various ISP's that don't exist anymore like Erols and Prodigy, and I can get AOL 5.0 right off of the HP disc too. The worst part is it reinstall McSfee something or another as my antivirus, then has the gall to tell me to update. I haven't used McAfee in 3 years, so I need to purge it from my system. Then there's the hidden partition...

Anyways, it seems that you need to build your own to get a real Windows OS disc. these days.

#6 dave38

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 08:07 AM

HP, Compaq, and others are using the "application recovery CD's" more now.

.

I don't think that ANY of the "off the shelf" PCs now come with a real OS disk. They are all image installs with a recovery CD. I challenged this at one local store, and was told that they had to do it that way - MicroShaft insisted as part of the license! And they could not sell a computer without an OS either! Agreed, the cretin behind the counter was completely baffled by the idea of a computer wothout windows, as "it won't do anything! You must have windows to run anything!"
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#7 Gwyrox732

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 09:20 AM

"it won't do anything! You must have windows to run anything!" hehehe, priceless.

But I do have one thing to add to your excellent post, Mitch. I know a few years ago it was a rising trend to not allow upgrading parts (Compaq IPaq and those kinds of things where they only let you add more RAM). I'm not sure if this is still the case, but just be sure that you can upgrade your machine if need be.
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#8 wawadave

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 02:36 PM

hello
a full install cd is vary necessary if you have xp. the only way you can do sfc /scannow and a repair install. and a few others.
i think that was good advice for the newbies. link nick i got stuck with windows m.e 4 years ago. and recovery cd,s.i got norton ghost so that helped alot. and got a xphome upgrade cd and now duel boot gave me the full install with out a qualifying cd only route to go. the back up hard drive is good advice. got ghost images on it allso.
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#9 Archon_Wing

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 04:48 PM

So what do we do if we do want a real OS CD? :(
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#10 samiam758

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 06:11 PM

buy a dell! they come with full os cds. They only install on your computer, but other then that, its great.

#11 Gwyrox732

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 06:35 PM

just curious as I don't own a dell: do those full os cds also reinstall the bl0atware computers inevitbly come with.
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#12 Trilobite

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 06:39 PM

My two cents:

Many of the newer computers do not come with a floppy drive, however many programs still require this antiquated device.
Spend the extra $10-$15 and get the floppy drive.

Stay away from stores like ‘BestBuy’ where many of the computer salespeople are pushy and rather ignorant about computers.

just curious as I don't own a dell: do those full os cds also reinstall the bl0atware computers inevitbly come with.
No, the OS is on one CD. The 'bloat' is on other disks that you do not need to install.

#13 Tuxedo Jack

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 02:20 AM

CompUSA is quite nice for FDDs, as is Fry's. However, you can always order them online and spare yourself the trouble.

http://www.newegg.com

If worse comes to worse on the full install CDs, you can go to Fry's, buy a cable or an FDD, and then ask for an OEM copy of Windows. They only sell those to people who buy hardware. Note that they only sell Windows 2000 and XP Home/Pro. No 98SE/ME there.

Also, if you want a good, cheap PC, take your neighborhood geek with you. For a little extra, s/he can custom-build you a good one for a pretty cheap price. They also generally provide copies of software that you might want/need - freeware only, though, in keeping with copyright laws. *Whistles nervously* Nothing to see here, move along to the next post.

Edited by Tuxedo Jack, 17 May 2004 - 03:02 AM.

Signature file is under revision. This will be back shortly.

#14 VashonDude

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 09:59 AM

HP, Compaq, and others are using the "application recovery CD's" more now.

My dad's computer (a HP) doesn't even have a recovery CD. The "recovery" is on a hidden partition of the hard drvie.

Recovery CDs go back as far as 1995. My 1'st computer (NEC Ready 7510) had one.

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#15 JRosenfeld

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 04:33 PM

Gwyrox732,

Dell XP disk is just that, XP, with SP1 or SP1a nowadays, (not further updates unfortunately). Dell 'bloatware' and other apps (AV software, DVD player etc.) as well as drivers come on separate CDs.

#16 mitchshrader

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Posted 20 May 2004 - 11:11 PM

I've looked around and found *legitimate* *full* operating system cds @ 85$ for XP home, 135$ for XP pro, and if you can find any possible way to construe yourself as being enrolled, or teaching, at a tech school, high school, or college
there are EDU (discount) versions (full!) of OS & Office software.

HOWEVER! and this is veeery close to one edge of legitimate.. some online sites sell leftover licenses from multilicense packs, and all you get is a serial #. Documentation, the actual files, cute stickers for the computer, are your problem. I *think* it's legit. Sorta. If I was hunting such a thing i'd probably search google for 'discount software' .

This is Not the Unmentionable Transgression of failing to give billy money, which has been rumored to occur in undeveloped nations. For Shame! :D

And, just as an interesting aside.. Win2k is usually MORE expensive than XP pro.

I would assume the sellers have a good idea of the relative worth of their products. Leads to an interesting question. Why did they even Build a product worth less than the one it "replaced".. ? hmm? :blink:

Edited by mitchshrader, 20 May 2004 - 11:27 PM.

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Second, Use Known Good (canned) Fixes when possible.
Third, Get Help From Others when not positive of your answer.
Fourth, Do Not Recommend complex procedures without verifying the skill of the user to accomplish necessary tasks.
Fifth, Specify optional removals as 'Users Choice'.
Sixth, Give Credit for info and assistance.
Last, BE POLITE. Especially when it is most difficult.

#17 2katholito

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Posted 27 May 2004 - 04:46 PM

Well, being a real newbie, I think you may have some answers for me.
Am running XP home 5.1 on a Dell Dimension8200. Has 128MB RAM and then says Page 186 MB use 119 Available.
From what you stated in the beginning, I need more RAM to keep going and that has bothered me for some months. I have no idea how to increase this. Any help out there??? Thanks
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#18 jasper

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Posted 31 May 2004 - 02:58 PM

Just a quick question.
Until I joined this forum I had never heard of "Restore CD's" and of course that is what I have. BUT since buying this PC I have used them twice, so it has contacted Microsoft to register 3 times.
The question is, is there a limit on the amount of times it can be done?.
I know it may sound a stupid question but I seem to remember reading about someone having a problem about this somewhere. :scratchhead:
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#19 sights0d

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 01:10 PM

Just a quick question.
Until I joined this forum I had never heard of "Restore CD's" and of course that is what I have. BUT since buying this PC I have used them twice, so it has contacted Microsoft to register 3 times.
The question is, is there a limit on the amount of times it can be done?.
I know it may sound a stupid question but I seem to remember reading about someone having a problem about this somewhere. :scratchhead:

There was a problem with XP where if you altered your setup enough, it would require you to contact MS. Is that what you mean? I know people who wipe their comps every 2 months or so. No biggy. They just keep everything on removable disks.

#20 jasper

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 02:21 PM

Thank you sights0d for replying.
Yes that is what I meant. Is contacting MS a big deal? can it be done at the point where it (PC) contacts MS to check on regristration when you have re-loaded XP?. My first thought is that it is a good idea to wipe the comp fairly often, it will stop too much crap. But if you have to inform MS it seems like too much hasle.
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#21 larrys

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 02:28 PM

Great info, Mitch. Question: After partitioning, where do you install the programs: on the drive with the OS or the "Data" drive? And...Is there a reason to be have the boot drive, the second partition (D) or did I miss understand? Thanks, from sunny and HOT Palm Springs, CA

#22 2katholito

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Posted 05 June 2004 - 09:24 AM

Well, being a real newbie, I think you may have some answers for me.
Am running XP home 5.1 on a Dell Dimension8200. Has 128MB RAM and then says Page 186 MB use 119 Available.
From what you stated in the beginning, I need more RAM to keep going and that has bothered me for some months. I have no idea how to increase this. Any help out there??? Thanks

Bump :scratchhead:
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#23 dave38

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Posted 07 June 2004 - 05:40 PM

Jasper,
Reinstalling WinXP on the same hardware is not a problem. it will reactivate over the net. If you change too much hardware at one go, there may be problems, and you would have to obtain a reactivation code by phone.
If you want to upgrade, do it one piece at a time!

2katholito, 128 meg of RAM is the absolute minimun for running (walking?) winXP.

I agree with Mich's original post here, 512 is about right, unless you are into high end video editing. WinXP can use all the RAM you throw at it.

Fitting more RAm is probably the easiest upgrade. Just buy the memory stick(s) and plug them in. I suggest that you visit the Crucial website, and see exactly what type/size of memory you need for your machine. If you buy from them, the warranty is good, and the instructions that come with it are good too!
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#24 jasper

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Posted 08 June 2004 - 06:37 AM

Thanks Dave38,
That is a help to know that, I was beginning to wonder if it is worth occasionally to re-load XP from scratch (from recovery discs) to remove any potential problems. However since downloading Spywareguard, Spywareblaster, Ad-Aware, Spybot and IE-SPYAD I have had nothing lurking anywhere, HOPEFULLY.
:cool:
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#25 Freebird

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Posted 08 June 2004 - 12:49 PM

Mitch, excellent guide. Many thanx. :D

I still run '98, and I suppose, technically, it is a 'dual-boot' system (DOS :love: ). The advice to get the OS CD, is probably the most important lesson I ever learned. And the option to boot to another OS, at least gives you a functioning PC. If you can't even reinstall the very heart of your machine, you are stuffed. I also think the advice to install a floppy drive, if you don't have one, is important.

Sadly, as Mitch pointed out, the needs of the customer are often overlooked in the desire for the salesperson to generate a sale, and is compunded by the fact that many high street computer outlets employ staff who know as much, or less about their products as the customer themselves.


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#26 scrapetoe

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Posted 30 June 2004 - 11:51 PM

Nice post...
XP pro requires 128MB ram to run, so I find it hilarious that they actualy sell comps with xp and 128MB to consumers. I am not sure about XP home, but I think it requires the same. And who needs a recovery disc when you canhave system restore, which isinclude on both the home version and Pro version. I couldn't imagine not having the original disc...what a pain......

#27 Yomic

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 06:09 PM

Wow, this was extremely useful! I shall use this on my next purchace of a PC ^_^.

#28 Kentucki

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Posted 17 July 2004 - 07:29 PM

:cool: A word of thanks from a curious wannabe. (I'd say newbe but I've been trying to figure out the new Windows since 3.x!!! ) Really appreciate all the time you guys put into this site.

#29 oldduke

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Posted 19 July 2004 - 02:27 PM

IMO: I've had two Compaq desktops and a Compaq laptop. None came with a full OS CD; the laptop didn't have any CD. On the laptop Win98 system ad-ons I invariably got "do this, then insert the Windows 98 CD" -- like when I tried to install Bellsouth Fastaccess!!!!!!. The others can't support a disk reformat. I'm sure it's a way M$ controlls its $ cow. I also worked for a large government agency that bought a license for hundreds of Windows NTs; M$ sent ONLY 1 MANUAL! Pulleeze! I'm now waiting for a fourth computer that I'm having built that will come with -- quote -- all original system disquettes. >>>>>>The software is the weak link. Burn this fact onto the surface of your brain.

I'm not real smart on all this stuff, but my experience says: read up, smarten up, and have a good geek build it from the proessor up. Don'g buy off the shelf. If you absolutely, positively need a computer right now, get the cheapest you can find, smarten up real fast, and when it craps out -- which won't be very long -- have one built. If your time is worth a nickle an hour, you'll save money.

#30 Jumper

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 04:48 PM

I worked for a computer manufacturer for a number of years, left cause they were going the way of "Get them in, sell them more then they need and then push them out the door and hope to never see them again until they need a new computer"

Anyway, I noticed that many of the people I spoke with wanted a solitare, typewriter system that they can look at 4 websites and send email only. But then they started talking about editing videos and pictures and music, but didn't know how to do it. But they wanted a system that could do it someday if they chose to do it and they wanted to spend $350, cause thats what the low end EMachines were selling for across the street at Costco. Its hard to explain to people that have no understanding of computers that what they want to do can not be done on the $350 system.

I wish people would do some sort of investigating and know what it is they want a computer to do, and what is going to be neccessary (component wise) for the computer to do that. And I fully agree, don't buy a box off the shelf, go for a manufacturer that gives you build options (and a full OS disk)

#31 Trilobite

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 05:21 PM

The latest and greatest machines may have been ‘built for that sort of thing’, but you would be surprised at what some of the lower cost machines can do. It seems like a lot of the salespeople at computer stores are on commission and will attempt to sell you the fastest, overpowered and oversized paperweight that they sell. I used to do audio capturing and editing with an old Pentium I with 64 megs of ram with hardly any problems. Currently I do video and audio editing and capturing at DVD quality with an average of less than 3 frames dropped per hour on a Pentium III with 256 megs of ram.

#32 dave38

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 05:40 PM

One other point about those "restore" CDs

If you are stuck with one, check that it works!

Yes, I know, that sounds stupid!

Just had a case with a "friends" computer. He had been on broadband, always on, for about a year. WITHOUT ANY A\V or firewall! I told hime he needed it, it was vital. He knw better until the machine was totally wrecked! At that point we found that the restore CD was blank! No DATA AT ALL!
And the warranty was well expired, and the company out of business.
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#33 WyoCowboy

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Posted 19 August 2004 - 05:50 PM

Nice post...
XP pro requires 128MB ram to run, so I find it hilarious that they actualy sell comps with xp and 128MB to consumers. I am not sure about XP home, but I think it requires the same. And who needs a recovery disc when you canhave system restore, which isinclude on both the home version and Pro version. I couldn't imagine not having the original disc...what a pain......

I work for a small shop that sells and services PCs. We used to sell xp home/pro machines with 128mb ram, but now sell 256 as a minimum because the boot/program load speed difference is substantially faster w/256mb. Ours have the full MS xp cd, and we install the os, drivers, aps and test before handing over to the customer. It is surprising how many modems, cd drives, etc are dead or flakey out of the box.

Personally, I like Win2k Prof much better than xp (have it on 2 home machines). It doesn't have system restore, but it isn't likely to need it either. System restore only works if you can at least boot into safe mode - we've seen many that wouldn't.

Make sure you get an OS cd - if you are running xp, you will eventually need it...

#34 Hydroponic Garden

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Posted 21 September 2004 - 04:09 PM

I agree in that getting the OS install disc is a must to get. My PC (Gatewat 510XL) is Pentium 4 3.06GHZ with HT, I have 512 RAM and it is plenty, in fact I'd probably be fine with 256... everyone is different. My harddrive is 120GB.... which is large enough for myself, no need for 2, since right now I'm using about 16%..... my point is you don't need to have a super computer to do smart computing.... and you don't need dual HD's or 1024megs even if you DO game... since I game.... and everything is fine.



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#35 ubergeekee

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Posted 30 September 2004 - 09:28 AM

Gwyrox732,

Dell XP disk is just that, XP, with SP1 or SP1a nowadays, (not further updates unfortunately). Dell 'bloatware' and other apps (AV software, DVD player etc.) as well as drivers come on separate CDs.

View Post


Dell, dell, dell. I am using my 3rd dell pc to type this post (3gig-ht cpu, 1 gig ram, dvd/cd burner 1st drv, dvd/cd 2nd drv) they gave me xp pro sp1 cd with this incarnation…It serves me well. And the bloatware is on separate cd's lol.
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#36 ubergeekee

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Posted 30 September 2004 - 09:44 AM

I agree in that getting the OS install disc is a must to get. My PC (Gatewat 510XL) is Pentium 4 3.06GHZ with HT, I have 512 RAM and it is plenty, in fact I'd probably be fine with 256... everyone is different. My harddrive is 120GB.... which is large enough for myself, no need for 2, since right now I'm using about 16%..... my point is you don't need to have a super computer to do smart computing.... and you don't need dual HD's or 1024megs even if you DO game... since I game.... and everything is fine.



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More ram is better. At 1gig ram you can turn off page file; this makes most processes way faster. And if you are running your OS on that 120gig hdd next to your data, then be prepared to lose all data/programs/settings in the event of a crash. At the least you should back up your OS and data to an external hhd (Ghost the OS, back up the rest). My 2 cents.

Edited by ubergeekee, 30 September 2004 - 09:47 AM.

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Ghost the OS, back up the rest!

#37 ubergeekee

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Posted 30 September 2004 - 09:57 AM

Nice post...
XP pro requires 128MB ram to run, so I find it hilarious that they actualy sell comps with xp and 128MB to consumers. I am not sure about XP home, but I think it requires the same. And who needs a recovery disc when you canhave system restore, which isinclude on both the home version and Pro version. I couldn't imagine not having the original disc...what a pain......

I work for a small shop that sells and services PCs. We used to sell xp home/pro machines with 128mb ram, but now sell 256 as a minimum because the boot/program load speed difference is substantially faster w/256mb. Ours have the full MS xp cd, and we install the os, drivers, aps and test before handing over to the customer. It is surprising how many modems, cd drives, etc are dead or flakey out of the box.

Personally, I like Win2k Prof much better than xp (have it on 2 home machines). It doesn't have system restore, but it isn't likely to need it either. System restore only works if you can at least boot into safe mode - we've seen many that wouldn't.

Make sure you get an OS cd - if you are running xp, you will eventually need it...

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I have found that if you spend 30 hrs or so tweaking xp pro it has an uptime equal to or greater than win2k. I still use 2k on my older boxes, but my "tweaked" xp pro runs circles around them in uptime and no bsod ever ;)
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Ghost the OS, back up the rest!

#38 Hotdog602

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 06:45 PM

Can you expand on what you mean by tweaking and possibly how I can learn to do this?

#39 Laogeodritt

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Posted 06 November 2004 - 01:52 PM

Well, at least my recovery disk actually works.

Where could I get a cheap, legitimate OEM version of XP in the Montreal region (Canada) without buying online?

For future computer purchases, which company would you guys recommend? Dell?

#40 soulguyman

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Posted 28 November 2004 - 03:38 PM

Just a few points about recovery CD's.
1. If You Don't Have Them You Should Make Them
Most brand name computers don't ship with these (recovery disks)anymore. (cost saving reasons, as well as Microsoft is getting antsy about having all these CD's out there for people to pirate)
BUT: nearly all systems (and definitely all HP systems) have a program that will let you burn a full set of recovery CD's as well as a Recovery Tools (or recovery console) CD. Search your documentation, and search your 'Programs' menu. Make those CD's, because if you are unable to boot to the recovery partition, you will need them to repair or recover your system.

2. OEM versions of the OS are specially licensed versions (from M$) that often contain tweeks and unique drivers and code that are specifically designed for the hardware they are installed on. IF you install an off-the-shelf generic OS from microsoft on an HP (and other brand name) computer, and you later run into problems and require tech support (from computer manufacturer) you WILL be asked to run a full system recovery from recovery CD's (or from recovery partition if it hasn't been deleted), before ANY further troubleshooting can be done.

#41 64surfit

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 04:46 PM

Well, being a real newbie, I think you may have some answers for me.
Am running XP home 5.1 on a Dell Dimension8200.  Has 128MB RAM and then says  Page 186 MB use  119 Available.
From what you stated in  the beginning, I need more RAM to keep going and that has bothered me for some months.  I have no idea how to increase this.  Any help out there??? Thanks

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You need pc800 ram. installed in pairs. Get 2-128s for a hundred, I think at newegg.com. You will have to remove a pair of dummies.

#42 Jazzium

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 04:57 PM

Gwyrox732,

Dell XP disk is just that, XP, with SP1 or SP1a nowadays, (not further updates unfortunately). Dell 'bloatware' and other apps (AV software, DVD player etc.) as well as drivers come on separate CDs.

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So theoreticlly if you just want the OS, you can simply get the Dell, format the drive, and then install just the OS and ditch all that extraneous software?

I have a dell, and might tell my father just to do that :p Even though he is probably too stupid to reformat.

I am considering buying my own PC this summer, and was looking at Dell cause I've had pretty good luck with them so far and they arn't half bad in my eyes. But in the eyes of experts such as a folks here I don't know how they stand up.

#43 WyoCowboy

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 01:21 PM

Nice post...
XP pro requires 128MB ram to run, so I find it hilarious that they actualy sell comps with xp and 128MB to consumers. I am not sure about XP home, but I think it requires the same. And who needs a recovery disc when you canhave system restore, which isinclude on both the home version and Pro version. I couldn't imagine not having the original disc...what a pain......

I work for a small shop that sells and services PCs. We used to sell xp home/pro machines with 128mb ram, but now sell 256 as a minimum because the boot/program load speed difference is substantially faster w/256mb. Ours have the full MS xp cd, and we install the os, drivers, aps and test before handing over to the customer. It is surprising how many modems, cd drives, etc are dead or flakey out of the box.

Personally, I like Win2k Prof much better than xp (have it on 2 home machines). It doesn't have system restore, but it isn't likely to need it either. System restore only works if you can at least boot into safe mode - we've seen many that wouldn't.

Make sure you get an OS cd - if you are running xp, you will eventually need it...

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I have found that if you spend 30 hrs or so tweaking xp pro it has an uptime equal to or greater than win2k. I still use 2k on my older boxes, but my "tweaked" xp pro runs circles around them in uptime and no bsod ever ;)

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So, if you spend 30hrs tweaking XP you can get them to work better than untweaked Win2k? If you try the same tweaks on Win2k, what do you think the results would be?
Are you talking about workstations or servers, when comparing uptime?

My two Win2k workstations (sp4) are relatively untweaked, and I don't get blue screen errors, ever. Of the business workstations that we look after, we seldom, if ever, get called out to fix the win2k machines. XP seems somewhat fragile by comparison.

There are reasons that there is no Windows Server XP available from Microsoft.

#44 millstoneman

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Posted 12 April 2005 - 02:22 AM

In the Uk if you purchase a major component for a pc build I.E Mobo, cpu or Hard drive from Scan in Bolton you can purchase a full version of Xp home version with sp2 on for 50.00 pounds. Considering how cheap some of the HDD are its a great offer.

#45 david8m

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 09:02 PM

Yes, that's some good advice, there, Mitch. I am a relative newb to the world of WinXP, the internet, and the idea of tweaking hardware/software/OS to get more performance out of a system. A long time ago, I had a Win3.? system, (which I actually still have around here, somewhere), and it was my introduction to the wonderful world of ones and zeroes. This system was aquired as "used", as was the Win98 system I got last year, and came with nothing extra, (disks, floppies, etc.).
Four months ago, I bought my first new system - eMachines T3 series - a $350 computer, (after rebates). The HDD is a little on the small side, (40GB), and it only had 256MB of RAM installed. This system also came with no disks, except for the three blanks that I was prompted to use for "system recovery". I've "recovered" a couple of times, including once from the c.d.s i had made, and everything works fine.
"System Restore", however, doesn't. A couple of times, I went through the whole list of restore points and always got the "Unable to restore..." message. I now have Norton Systemworks '05 with Ghost, so this isn't really a problem, anymore.
This $350 system works as well as one can ask - I haven't had any problems with it. At least, none since I upgraded the RAM. I can open as many as 30 hi-res images at a time in Photoshop and run actions and filters on them without any noticeable lag. I'm not a pc gamer, so this rig provides me with everything I need. I'm very happy with it and would reccomend it to anyone. If you don't need $1200 worth of computer, why spend that much. Any system you buy today is going to be obsolete in a couple of years, anyway.
Sorry for rambling. This is a great place!! Thanks, Mitch, and everyone else involved.
zapphnath

#46 racooper

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Posted 28 June 2005 - 01:56 PM

I hate to break the Dell bubble, but the last machine we ordered from them (a Dimension 3000, about a month ago) came with a cd-sized piece of paperboard that made it very clear that you can't get an OS disk from them anymore. I guess it's really time to start selling Build-your-own services again, if you can convince the sheeple that they get what they pay for....

#47 Laogeodritt

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Posted 28 June 2005 - 10:01 PM

I hate to break the Dell bubble, but the last machine we ordered from them (a Dimension 3000, about a month ago) came with a cd-sized piece of paperboard that made it very clear that you can't get an OS disk from them anymore.  I guess it's really time to start selling Build-your-own services again, if you can convince the sheeple that they get what they pay for....

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I also heard that some lower-end systems' motherboard don't even come with an AGP slot and bus. O_o;;

#48 Chocomandan

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Posted 13 October 2005 - 03:04 AM

Just thought ide say, Medion PCs come with full OS disks (atleast they did 2 years ago).

#49 jmsweatt

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Posted 15 January 2006 - 07:53 PM

Well, being a real newbie, I think you may have some answers for me.
Am running XP home 5.1 on a Dell Dimension8200. Has 128MB RAM and then says Page 186 MB use 119 Available.
From what you stated in the beginning, I need more RAM to keep going and that has bothered me for some months. I have no idea how to increase this. Any help out there??? Thanks


Increasing your RAM is simple. Go to www.dell.com and enter your service tag and you can easily get the information you need to do it.

#50 jmsweatt

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Posted 15 January 2006 - 07:59 PM

Jasper,
Reinstalling WinXP on the same hardware is not a problem. it will reactivate over the net. If you change too much hardware at one go, there may be problems, and you would have to obtain a reactivation code by phone.
If you want to upgrade, do it one piece at a time!

2katholito, 128 meg of RAM is the absolute minimun for running (walking?) winXP.

I agree with Mich's original post here, 512 is about right, unless you are into high end video editing. WinXP can use all the RAM you throw at it.

Fitting more RAm is probably the easiest upgrade. Just buy the memory stick(s) and plug them in. I suggest that you visit the Crucial website, and see exactly what type/size of memory you need for your machine. If you buy from them, the warranty is good, and the instructions that come with it are good too!


I was about to refer 2katholito to the Crucial site, but I have upgraded the memory on a couple of Dell 8200's lately, and Crucial does not carry RAMBUS type ram used in the 8200's anymore. Try the Dell site or www.4allmemory.com




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