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Hardware Thread, Testing Old PCs in Technical; Hi guys, As some of you may have read, I have been given money to update the whole ICT in ...
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    Testing Old PCs

    Hi guys,

    As some of you may have read, I have been given money to update the whole ICT in a school of mine.

    The BEST PCs in school (by a mile!) are:

    NEC PowerMate VL3
    Pentium 4 1.7Ghz (Socket 423!),
    128Mb of Ram,
    20Gb HDD
    Some Savage Video Card,
    CD-Rom drive.
    Windows XP Pro

    These machines are almost 6 years old, but do freeze . I was just going to wipe them, use 17" TFT, new Keyboard/mouse and add 512Mb of PC133 Ram (total 632Mb) and place them in the Infant IT Suite where the order of the day is using paint, Smart Learning or word processing.

    How do I check that the components in the PC are worth me going to all this effort for? Is there some reliable software I can run to test the whole system for free?

    Now I know about memtest, and Prime 95, but is their anything quicker? I can't leave the PCs running Prime 95 all night because I am only in school for a half day!

    Any ideas apprecaited!

    Thanks

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Re: Testing Old PCs

    I'd be tempted to dump the 128 completely and just stick in a 512mb stick.

    Ben

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    contink's Avatar
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    Re: Testing Old PCs

    I'd tend to expect the CD rom drive to be close to toast and the RAM may well be on its last legs too.

    The thing I found with all the old PC's at the primary I've been working on for 4 years is that the old PC's tend not to accept much abuse due to dry solder joint on the motherboards so if nothing else, be as careful as possible slotting in new RAM, etc...

    Removing the board from the case to add any new components like RAM, CPU, cooler, etc... has more chance of leaving the motherboard in working order.

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    Re: Testing Old PCs

    I have been thinking the same about dumping the existing Ram and maybe also the 20GB HDD.

    Ideally I'd like to buy new motherboards+cpu for them too but then I'd need a new case and PSU too since the NEC case is too small for a standard Micro ATX motherboard.

    If I can I want to just buy the new keyboards/mouse/monitors for this year so that next year, to update the suite I can just pick up some decent base units and I'm sorted!

    So... any quick way of hardware testing?

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    eean's Avatar
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    Re: Testing Old PCs

    I have done a similar project. I found that the windows xp setup is a pretty good test. If it crashes at any point then chuck it away.

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    Re: Testing Old PCs

    thankfully we have just made all our laptops and pc's 512mb ram
    from 256mb, well worth it

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