Upgrade for £300?

  Ticketyboo 08:24 22 Mar 2006

My daughter needs to upgrade and has £300 to do it, suggestions please, mobo bundle? ready built PC World cheapo? All replies gratefully received.Thanks.

  Diemmess 08:39 22 Mar 2006

If she has an old slow box which is puffing to keep going with an early Windows version then a new box is going to be needed.

But if she has a recent machine which somehow won't quite do what she wants, then you amy be able to upgrade for much less than £300

  Ticketyboo 08:44 22 Mar 2006

Well the one she has now is about 1 or 2 years old, I think it has a 1.3 cpu, 128 ram 40 gig h/d, she really only uses it for chat rooms but just recently it has been freezing and she has to reboot to get back on. Thanks.

  hzhzhz 08:54 22 Mar 2006

Perhaps a good clearout, a defrag and a bit more memory would do the trick, or have you tried all that.

  Ticketyboo 08:57 22 Mar 2006

Well I have done a defrag etc. but I think that I might try some more memory, but if I do upgrade how far can I go without having to buy another XP disc?

  hzhzhz 08:57 22 Mar 2006

You havn't tried more ram obviously. Surely 256mb is minimum these days.

  Ticketyboo 09:03 22 Mar 2006

Well if thats the minimum I had best try that first, I know it only has 128mb so I'll give that a go, many thanks.

  Diemmess 09:09 22 Mar 2006

I think my second argument (improve what you have) would apply.

What you describe makes a picture in my mind exactly like a granddaughter had a year ago.
Chatroom, probably using Messenger Plus, Computer loaded with all sorts spyware and other malware.
Left to itself the whole thing will grind to a halt quite soon. Its CPU is fast enough for anything except some games.

Things to do
1) Copy all data, schoolwork, pictures and so on safely to a CD, and then weigh up the alternatives -

2) Either start on a rigorous de-infestation of all
Malware using various programs recommended on this forum (free but you will need guidance)
Format the whole HD, install a fresh copy of Windows (2000 or XP if you can)

3) Install a.s.a.p. good anti-malware and a firewall.
Tell her that Ms Messenger is OK, Messenger Plus is fraught with chances to become infested all over again and best avoided.

Double the RAM she has at the moment, and possibly fit a CD/DVD burner.

This involves < £100, to ignore the old one as "needing upgrading" is like selling a car because the ashtray is full.

  Batch 09:38 22 Mar 2006

From what has been said, sounds like the basic PC is OK, but as the others have alluded, two key ways to try to sort things out:

1. More Memory (512Mb would be good, but if usage isn't heavy 256Mb might suffice)

2. Re-intsall system. Existing OS should do if you have it, but XP would be better if it isn't XP already.

Total cost should be in region of £100 (plus time and patience).

Last weekend I replaced WinME, on an AMD Athlon 1.1Ghz PC, with WinXP Home (you should be able to pick this up, legitamately, for under £60). Under ME it was just locking up far too often (sometimes 2 or 3 times a day).

XP has solved this problem and several others (e.g. USB ports not working - even though I had the latest Via4in1 and other drivers, erratic startup and shutdown). The other thing that was noticeable was the lack of any need to separately install any drivers with XP, other than for an Epson printer) - XP sorted it all out itself.

  Ticketyboo 21:34 23 Mar 2006

Many thanks to you all.

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