View Full Version : Upgraging PC component advice anyone?

12 December 2003, 09:34 AM
Ok! I have a PC (wow! really

No seriously it's an-
AMD Athlon 2000XP
1.3GB of DDR RAM
40GB IBM C: Drive
40GB Maxtor D: Drive
CD burner 12X
Network card
Geforce Ti 4600 128Mb Video Card.
Power supply is 230-250 watts I think (Will have to check when I get home)

Now recently the C drive has started playing up. I get errors all the time and strange noises.

SO i am planing to

A- Throw the IBM C: drive replace it with the Maxtor 40GB drive (the current D: drive)
And buy a NEW 160GB Maxtor drive D: for storage.

B- I am also thinking of installing a firewire card.

C- New CPU fan as the older one is going crazy.

D- Buy an external DVD burner. (To hook up with my new dell Precision M60 laptop + this PC)

Now my question-

1- An AMD 2000 XP system is still ok isn't it for investing in the above mentioned upgrades? It's not like throwing money on a dead horse? OR?

2- Will the power supply meet the demands of all the above mentioned upgrades?

Any suggestion???? Thanks again

P.S- I do graphic and 3d work.
P.S.S- I have noticed that I always get PC proplems exactly around christmas time hmmm!!!

12 December 2003, 09:58 AM
All components you plan to buy can be used in newer systems too. You can always need a harddisk, only firewire could be onboard on your next motherboard. But thats not for sure

Only the cpu fan is useless in newer systems...but that isn't the most expensive part isn't it.

It's hard to say, because 220W is really not that much, but I would say it should work.

12 December 2003, 12:51 PM
Its a good idea to find out WHAT the problems are BEFORE upgrading.

You could end up buying a bunch of parts, and still have exactly the same problems as before.

Could you go into the errors your having with a bit more detail?

I'd start by running a memtest86.

2-3 passes

I'd also test the psu...

And go through the troubleshooting list.

Maxtor should have a drive checking utility...

Which you can run (follow url) and use the drive diagnostics to figure out whether the drive is dying or not.


Sisoft Sandra for further diagnostics.

Always address the problem before addressing your wallet.

12 December 2003, 01:31 PM
Thanks Greg will give it a try.
I don't remember all the errors but the general flavour was something like
1- HD failure, 2- No boot device found, 3- fatal error.

Plus the HD makes strang noises combination of clicking and winning noises. Even made a noise that made my wife jump :-)

I think I will get the new 160 GB HD anyway as I need more storage space + peace of mind.
On the other hand if I buy a DVD burner then I could just keep burning the new data off the PC.

Edit- You are right I will experiment tomorrow and come back with questions.

12 December 2003, 01:54 PM
Greg -There is one thing I am not clear about on the PC side when it comes to installing Windows (Mac background).

Say I have the C: drive with the system on it. Now I want to format the whole drive and then reinstall W2K. When I format the HD does the Bios info get wiped off as well?

If it does then at what point should I install the Bios. I vaguely remember that when you intall W2k it says press F6 to install bios etc. What am I supposed to do after I press F6? Can I take the w2k CD out and put the BIos Cd in?
Sorry about the ignorance. In what order should things be done?

12 December 2003, 01:56 PM
The bios is stored on a chip on the motherboard.

It is external to the hd.

Now if you have an ATA controller, or SCSI controller card, you'll have to install drivers for RAID or ATA-133 while win2k is being installed.

In this case, you have to press F6 when the screen says "press F6 for other drivers, blah blah" then put in the floppy disk with the controller drivers.

Sometimes you have to put in TWO sets of the same driver, one for each port.

12 December 2003, 02:33 PM
Greg thanks again for clearing it up. I think i have a promise/promise raid controller. Can't wait to get home.

Ice Czar
12 December 2003, 03:22 PM
In addition to the errors that can be generated by memory as Greg pointed out
(by far the most common cause through chip degredation. see Semiconductor Electromigration Indepth ( and also Sources of Soft Errors ( which isnt a "degredation" issue)

Risks to your data ( @ the PCGuide (

Hardware Failure

Memory Errors: With so many systems today running without error detection or correction on their system memory, there is a chance of a memory error corrupting the data on the hard disk. It is rare for it to happen, but it does happen.

System Timing Problems: Setting the timing for memory or cache access too aggressively, or using a hard disk interface transfer mode that is too fast for the system or device, can cause data loss. This is often not something that will generally be realized until after some amount of damage has been done.
(Especially beware of tRAS ( timings, but all these problems are generally reserved for "overclockers" that monkey with the stock RAM timings, Bus dividers, ect )

Resource Conflicts: Conflicts resulting from peripherals that try to use the same interrupt requests, DMA channels or I/O addresses, can cause data to become corrupted. {if after ruling out other possibilities, your still experiencing problems, it maybe related to shared IRQ assignments under Plug and Play, review your PIRQ table (example) ( and try other PCI slots, or in the worse case senerio, manually assign IRQs, that is pretty advanced stuff these days, involving modding the BIOS iself in many cases, and maybe something you should seek assistance with)

Power Loss: Losing power at the wrong time, such as when you are doing sensitive work on your hard disk, can easily result in the loss of many files. (avoid hard restarts (Reset) use power conditioning\UPS)

and Cables ( @ Lost Circuits

12 December 2003, 08:42 AM

OK guys went to my local PC shop (my distant friend works there).
The HD is/was definetely damaged. Anyway as Christmas is coming and all... I heard the cash in my pocket make some rustling noise. ( i am getting descent bonus :-)

My wife is working fulltime but in January she starts evening university. Currently she is using my ANCIENT mac
(6-7 years old) plus she complains that it's shit etc.
SO I am going to fix my current PC and give it to her.

I am getting a new PC :-) I will take the video card, zip drive away from the old PC and put it in the new one.

Now the biggest problem I have is should I go 64 bit?
The CPU and Mobo are quiet expensive for that. I am intermediate level in Maya. I do graphic design and 3d maybe get into bit of video editting in the future. Keeping that in mind
the shoping list for my new PC stands as follows please comment -

1- 40GB IBM HD for system
160GB IBM HD for storage (7200rpm 8mb cache both)

2- PC case- Thermaltake Xaser III V2000A

3- MOBO- Asus A7N8X Deluxe NForce 2, Lan, FireWire

4- CPU- AMD Athlon XP 2800+FSB 333 Socket A - 512k
What do you think? Should I go for a higher one? This one was the best for the price/performance ratio.

5- RAM- 1.5 GB. Now the guy was showing me some kingston RAM which had blue cover on it (dual data...). And he was saying that it is fast bla bla and was is more expensive than the normal RAM.
Should I go for the kingston one or is it that an overkill.
Here is the link to my local shops memory modules. Can you tell me which one I should get for the above Asus MOBO-

6- Standard Samsung Cd burner + seperate standard DVD ROM drive. To burn on the fly.

7- Power supply-
Alimentation 550W - Double ventilation

8- Heatsink undecided at this moment.

Did I miss anything???? Advice guys.

12 December 2003, 12:08 PM

I'd take this post and start a new thread with it. :)

12 December 2003, 12:37 PM
Greg new topic>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> :bounce: :bounce:

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