Upgrading refurbished computer

  [DELETED] 10:40 27 Oct 2003

My parents are considering buying an older computer from their place of work.

Judging by what they have said it is installed with Windows 98 so therefore should be upgradable.

The things I feel I will need to do to the computer to bring it up to date is:

-Upgrade RAM
-Put in a modem
-(Possibly) put in a basic CD Drive

Are ther any potential pitfalls or complicated procedures I need to do to do this.

Also would anyone be aware of the approximate cost.

I would appreciate some help

  [DELETED] 10:45 27 Oct 2003

Hi stuj77. This depends very much on what motherboard the computer has. Do you know what make and model the computer or motherboard is. If the computer is fairly modern then a good cd drive is about £12 from E-Buyer click here. Hopefully the ram is PC100 in which case 128M will cost about £25 new. If the computer is old enough to use the old SIMM memory then this is much more expensive because it is just not used any more.

  [DELETED] 10:52 27 Oct 2003

If things go to plan and it is the correct type of Ram are there any special procedures when you install the RAM, modem and cd drive, or are they more or less connect them up and use?

  [DELETED] 10:57 27 Oct 2003

Plug and Play.. The only thing I would suggest is when connecting the Ram and Cables of the CD Rom make sure you are earthed before touching anything..

  [DELETED] 11:08 27 Oct 2003

Hi stuj77. No, ram and cd drive are the easiest thing to fit. With Windows 98 there is no point in exceeding 256M ram, and there is little benefit above 128M. The cd drive is best fitted as master on the second ide port. Other than that the only problem you may find is if the case is designed to mount the drive on special carriers and they have been lost. I recently fitted a drive in an old HP Vectra, and had to use strips of hardboard and hot melt glue to fit it!

  [DELETED] 22:56 27 Oct 2003

My parents have now got the computer, and for the amount of money they paid I am very impressed. It is set up with Office 2000 ready for the internet but there is no modem.

The computer is a Brother, and only a Pentium 200 but has 128meg RAM so is quite nippy. It runs Windows 95.

I visted Currys and Comet tonight (beacuse they were the only shops open!)to look for a product which will get them on the internet. In Comet they had an external modem which will support Windows 95 but needed USB ports to be connected but which there is none.

In Currys they had an external modem which suppports Windows 95 but this neeeded to be connected via the ******* port(I forget the name but it has nine pins and is quite small) which seems to be being used by the mouse at the moment. However theren is a slightly larger one to the side of it which could be the same? Anyway the guy in Currys said that I should be able to get hold of an internal modem which will suppport Windows 95 if it has the drivers.

Now with that problem sort of solved ( I will visit the local computer shop tomorrow) I tried to install the Freeserve no ties disk on the computer but it says it does not support Windows 95. How do I get hold of an ISP which supports Windows 95? (and my other questions too?)

Thanks you

  [DELETED] 23:14 27 Oct 2003

On E-buyer there is a modem for less than 7 quid and apparently it supports Windows 95. It has got good reviews. Can I assume this will be ok.

Here is its name-

Ebuyer 56K V.90 Hardware Fax/Modem


  woodchip 23:40 27 Oct 2003

Serial port that is the norm for external modem. and it should be easier to setup than internal modem

  [DELETED] 10:17 28 Oct 2003

The Mouse is plugged in to the smaller serial port, BUT there does seem to be another slightly larger port next to it, can I assume this is a serial port as well?

If so the external modem I saw last night plugs into the 9 pin serial port and the larger serial port. So my options appear to be an external modem or an internal modem.

Is the internal modem difficult to set up?

  [DELETED] 10:26 28 Oct 2003

Internal modems are really easy to set up - you just open the case, remove a cover plate and push the card into the correct slot (ISA/PCI). Its like lego but without the plans.

PCWorld do a cheap modem that works fine for about £11 if you want to get hold of one quickly. Doesn't always come with the correct drivers but they are fairly easy to get hold of if you have another internet connection.

  woodchip 10:47 28 Oct 2003

They are not as easy as External as the serial port as been already configured for IRQ etc. The bigger port next to it is for a printer or joy stick the modem will not work on that. But if you look inside the computer and can see any black strip ISA socket's next to may be about 3 to 5 White PCI socket you can get cards that will fit these to accommodate extra Ports The ISA socket types are the cheapest if you have a socket on the motherboard free

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