Upgrade Help

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I have two networked systems, 5 years old, Dell Dimension 8200
(Pentium 4) & 2400 (Celeron). Both are still going strong BUT I
anticipate that before too very much longer, something critical will
eventually "give out", and it will be then time to upgrade to new
systems. I have lots of peripherals & special software. What's the
best way to go through such an upgrade. Any & all good advice will be
greatly appreciated & thanks ....

Re: Upgrade Help

On Sat, 10 Nov 2007 10:42:56 -0500, Steve Giannoni

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Neither is terribly old, if you clean the dust out
periodically (period depending on environment) and replace
failing fans when needed, either system should run for 10
years or more unless there is a clear fault condition rather
than wearing out.

Nevertheless you wrote about lots of peripherals and special
software as if this is a concern, but without mentioning
these peripherals or software, there's nothing _we_ can
consider about that.

In other words, you have not given any detail we could use
to offer any suggestions beyond buying another brand than
Dell if you have two systems still fairly young in age from
Dell that fail prematurely.  I'm not suggesting Dells do
fail prematurely, although on their low and middle grade
systems the rear exhaust fan does tend to get a bit noisey
before it ought to, is not a  high enough quality fan for
the dual purpose of chassis and passive CPU cooling in my
opinion.  If/when that fan fails it can be replaced with
minimal cost and time spent.

Since Dimensions are fairly typical PC configurations, it
seems likely any similar modern equivalent would be
sufficient, EXCEPT for one important factor in that your
peripherals and software may require (WinXP?) the current
operating system, may not run on Vista.  Therefore the only
real advice I can give based on info provided is get another
Dimension (since at the 5 year point they seem to have
served you acceptibly and still work) but with WinXP instead
of Vista.  As always, a performance increase is nice, it
should have a Core2Duo or Core Quad processor and at least
1GB memory... though you can often add the memory yourself
instead of it coming with that much and save a buck or two,
though these days memory is so cheap Dell might be putting
1GB even in it's low-end systems, I haven't checked on that

Re: Upgrade Help

I have kept to a schedule of regular "blow cleanings of openned cases"
over the years, about every 6 to 9 months. Duty cycle is probably
about 2/3 so those HDs have had about 27,000 hours of spin time ...

Already had to replace a noisy cooling fan ...

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Re: Upgrade Help

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If you are most people, and run common peripherals and software, then
you are likely to experience no problems with this stuff on a new
machine.  Things to check would be Vista Compatibility (do this by
either looking at manuf. web page, or contact them directly),
activation/serial number/etc problems should be looked at (once again
check w/ manuf), and then of course any special hardware
requirements.  Like if you do some super heavy graphics processing,
make sure sure to have a decent video card in the new machine, etc.

If you are talking about data migration, from the old machine to the
new machine, I'd highly suggest doing this manually.  PCs have a
tendency to accumulate crap and simply copying all this over enmasse
is a bad idea.  Make sure all your true user-created data is collected
together in one place.  Normally, the important directories are "My
Documents", the desktop, application data folder for the current user,
and then any application-specific save directories.  Once you've done
that, then a simple network fileshare between the old machine and new
machine, copy over the important stuff.  You'll need to completely
reinstall your applications, of course.  Download all the appropriate
drivers for your hardware and install them  BEFORE plugging in your
old peripherals --- unless you suspect that Vista has added direct
support.  Doing this avoids 47 "new hardware wizard" prompts  while
the machine is coming online.

And as kony mentioned, the more specific you can be in these posts,
the better.



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