Advice on upgrading old PC

  Soy (AKA tran1) 12:04 29 Mar 2003


My sisters have an old Packard Bell which is showing its age. Having recently aquired Broadband for my own PC and couldn't share it with them becuase the modem doesn't work with win95.

I think I should do some upgrading. My sisters don't use it for gaming or anything special. Just typing up their secondary school and college reports, documents and essays etc.

The specs are: Windows 95 (recovery disks not working), Pentium MMX 233, 32MB SDRAM, On-board graphics, 4.2GB hard drive and a 2 channel soundcard.

My questions are:

1: I need to upgrade the OS becuase the recovery disks of 95 aren't working now and I want to connect the PC with broadband. What OS apart from 95 will work on a machine like this? I'm thinking 98SE but is ME a good option?

2. Becuase the recovery disks don't work, I will have no drivers, Would any new OS come with the nesessary drivers? Can I just install the os and expect all the parts to work?

3. Amazingly the pc had 2 USB ports but I don't think it ever worked under win95. I never tried coz I never had to use them and i read somewhere win95 never suported usb. If I install another OS will the USB ports become active or will I need to install some special USB software?

4. I'm also thinking of getting some cheap graphics and soundcard PCI cards as well. Do PCI cards require certain machine spec to run properly? Becuase the pc spec is soo low, I'm not sure if say a nvidia MX440 card will work.

5. Can anyone recommend a good cheap website where I can get stuff from. Ebay has been my first point of call.

ok, thats all really,

hope you can help.

John Tran

  tamc98 12:29 29 Mar 2003

Windows 98SE in probably the better OS but needs at least 64mb ram to work properly.
You don't say which packard bell it is so can't really comment on upgrading. I suspect however that as it seems to be more than a few years old it would be cost effective to replace the machine as a whole.
If you shop around at some of the smaller computer shops you'll probably get a base system with Win 98se for a couple of hundred quid.
HTH, Tony

  Soy (AKA tran1) 12:54 29 Mar 2003

Its an old Pulsar 23/H

I've just splashed out on a £1500 PC last september for my UNI work and I gave this PC to my sisters. Can't really afford much more than £100 maximum.

I just want to boost its performance as much as possible with the budget.

Memory is the main factor so I think more is on the cards. OS is second, and anything left over will go towards the graphics and soundcard.

I don't want anything special, just the average stuff.

Thanks for your reply, I think 98SE will do.

PS. I posted this in the wrong room! should have been helproom. Sorry1

  « Ravin » 18:45 29 Mar 2003

my cousin had an nec laptop with almost similar configuration.. and he was running windows me quite happily on it.. not too sure but i think windows 98 would be a good option for your pc. unless you can get a bit more RAM , then you could go for ME..64 mb would be good :)

  « Ravin » 18:47 29 Mar 2003

ps..imho i'd say just upgrade the ram.. y bother installing a new sound card and video card on such an old machine.. ? if it works ok leave it.. just up the RAM.. and you should be fine using it for the purposes you mentioned

  cream. 19:37 29 Mar 2003

1) I think that 98se would be your best choice.

2) I would suspect, from experience, that you will not have some of the drivers from the 98se disk. These are usually, graphics, modem and some times sound. They should be easily obtainable from

click here

3) if you install win98se and the usb is enabled in the bios, then these ports should work fine with out the aid of anything else.

4) Most pci cards will work for the system, you can check as the specs are usually on the box. The only thing to check is; can the sound and video be turned off in the bios? Otherwise it may need jumpers changing on the motherboard.

32 mb of sdram should run 98se ok, obviously the more the better.

Hope this answers some of your questions.

  Blue2kuk 20:16 29 Mar 2003


I dont think u have any probs with Windows ME...

I recommend that u download some freeware that will tell u the driver information that u require... Here's the target.

click here

Hope this helps.


  Lone Crow 23:25 29 Mar 2003

I'm pretty sure that the later 'B' version of Win95 provides support for USB, so if you have that version you should be okay. As to the rest, do they really need broadband anyway for such basic usage? LC.

  Kyomii 23:50 29 Mar 2003

Don't bother with win ME because it uses more resources than 98 and has more flaws in it.

Use 98SE and do a minimal install. If you have around £100 to spend then rather than messing around upgrading the old one, I would recommend getting something like this:

AMD mobo

click here

AMD duron 1.3 GIG

click here

256 pc 133 ram

click here

new atx case

click here

All lot comes to £108 including vat and shipping -add a fiver on for heatsink and fan and bobs your uncle.

Floppy, hard drive, cdrom drive can all be transported from old computer for now, until the time is right to replace them.

You will end up with a far more capable system that won't break the bank!

Above prices/products are for estimate/ideas - there are other sites around that do bundles (mobo, cpu, fan/heatsink,memory) for less than £100 - have a look around and see what you can find.

  Soy (AKA tran1) 21:01 30 Mar 2003


I went to the market today and got myself a stick of 64MB PC66Mhz SDRAM. Has greatly improved the speed of opening aplications. My next task is to buy myself Windows 98SE form Ebay.

Thanks again!

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