PC fixed, but not completely done

Finding out if my problem was the CMOS battery, motherboard, processor, temperature, power supply, incompatible hardware just uses so much time. So instead, I did this:

1. Bought an AMD Athlon 64 3000+ and Abit Motherboard.
I am not much a fan of AMD since back in the day, I used an AMD 586 and an AMD K6-2 and I was not pleased with it comparing it to the Pentium I 120MHz, 166Mhz, 166Mhz MMX, Pentium II and Pentium III’s I had in the past. And it just generates so much heat compared to my previous Intels and they hang when extremely hot. I needed fans everywhere, and a good airconditioned room since it is always hot in the Philippines whole year round.

The Athlon 64 has real 64bit processing and I think the Intel counterpart is included in one of the Xeon Processors. The Athlon 64 seemed promising, and the price was good and there was a good promo at Fry’s that included an Abit NF8 Series Motherboard.

Why buy this? This takes out the possible problem of a Processor or Motherboard problem, aside from that, the upgrades will be…

– Processor Speed, I used to use a Pentium IV 1.6Ghz.
– USB 2.0, my old motherboard was still using USB 1.1. And this will make my printing, scanning, file saving and retrieval faster. Aside from that, the new DSL modem I have has a USB connection aside from the RJ45 Ethernet, which will run 4 times faster.
– 5 channel speaker system. The built-in sound chip on the Abit has this feature. My old board had the plain 2 speaker system.

2. Took out 2 Ethernet LAN cards, and the 120GB Hard Disk drive and my old CDR-RW drive.
I had a 230W power supply and if you have more devices that need more power, the higher the watts needed. I still have a 40GB hard disk in there that I left along with a 10GB and 1GB, yes 1GB hard drive. If I were to compare my hard disk to paper, the two smaller hard disk drives are scratch paper.

Aside from lowering the power consumption inside, I also give more space around the processor for air to freely flow from vent to vent to keep the temperature down. The LAN cards were there since in the Philippines, my old DSL modem just had one RJ45 jack and to network them, I had another LAN card to connect to my hub to network all computers. And the new Abit motherboard had a RJ45 Ethernet jack on it already.

I did not need my old CDR-RW drive since I already have a DVDR-RW/CDR-RW drive. And besides, my old drive won’t even open anymore, I always needed to poke in the emergency eject hole to use it. It had that problem since July last year.

3. Bought external hard disk enclosure and external floppy disk drive.
Since I took out my 120GB drive, which was mostly data, I bought an external enclosure box with a USB2 connection so I can easily connect if anywhere when needed to work on other computers for emergency purposes.

Windows XP works fins when changing hardware parts, but when you change your processor and motherboard, Windows XP sometimes can’t take that. Instead of domain a repair, I wanted to do a fresh installation since my Windows was not that clean anymore. Too many things installed and uninstalled. There was a lot of garbage in the files and folders, as well as the registry. Problem was my Windows would not boot from the CD, and the only place I got startup disk for Windows XP Pro was from Microsoft that had a free downloadable program that creates startup disks so you can start your installation in floppy diskettes. It creates 6 diskettes that you will all use during the installation.

The only functional computer I had was a laptop and it won’t create the diskette files on the hard disk, nor on a USB drive. It is really looking for a floppy disk drive, and my laptop does not have one. So I bought that too, there were so many brands to choose from with all the same price… so I decided to choose a good brand and good appearance since function and price were all the same, until I saw the iOmega one, for an additional $10 more expensive, it came with a Compact Flash, SmartMedia, MMC, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, SD Card and MicroDrive card reader. My phone, PDA, Video Cam all use MMC and SD Cards. My old camera (with a busted flash) uses Smart Media. So it was worth it I guess.

I was able to create the diskettes, and reinstall Windows.

Am I done? Is the computer fixed? Nope.

First thing to do is install the drivers, to use the USB2.0 I needed to install the motherboard drivers. Even the AMD Athlon 64 drivers needed to be installed. And all these drivers were looking for Microsoft’s Windows XP SP1 and SP2 updates. So I needed to be online first, but my DSL model won’t detect any DSL line signal yet. They said it will take 7 to 10 days after installation of the line. DSL was installed on the 16th. And I still do not have it yet. So all I can do is wait first. I am using dial up right now using AOL’s free 1175 hours and I do not want to install this on the PC. Too much installing and uninstalling is not good. I’ll just wait for the DSL to keep my Windows nice and clean.

PC not yet done. 🙁

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