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- Posted on
August 19, 2005, 8:54 pm
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I don't really want to preach here, but just want to point out a fact that
many company employees don't seem to get....
Is this PC your property, or does it belong to your employer?
If it belongs to your employer, and the PC is not adequate to perform the
tasks required in the course of your job, it is your employer's
responsibility to modify, upgrade, repair or replace the PCs hardware and/or
software as required to bring it up to an adequate level.
It is not your personal property to alter as you see fit.
If it performs adequately for your job function, and your employer does not
want to upgrade/replace it, you'll just have to live with it....
You cannot just install a copy of your home PCs operating system onto it....
Or install any other software that the company is not licenced to use.
Doing so will expose your employer to piracy/copyright/licencing issues
regarding the unauthorised/unlicenced use of copyrighted software on the
If it is your personal PC, owned by you. Then that's different.
I'm not familiar with that particular PC, but I'm taking a guess from the
model number that it's probably a Pentium 166 model.
The average RAM installed for a PC of that vintage is from 32 to 64MB, IIRC.
It therefore appears to be below the minimum specs recommended by Microsoft
for running XP Home/Pro.
* 233 MHz CPU (300 MHz Recommended)
* 128 MB Recommended (64 MB of RAM minimum supported, may limit performance
and some features)
* 1.5 GB of available hard disk space
* Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher-resolution video adapter and monitor
* CD-ROM or DVD drive
* Keyboard and Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device
Win98SE or Win NT4.0 is probably about as high as you could expect to go in
it's current configuration.
On 19 Aug 2005 16:54:18 -0700, "barry3172"
First determine what you're *allowed* to do to it.
I've had experience with Gateway boxes of that era, now and
again but I can't claim to be certain exactly what you have
so I'll just play the odds and make a few random educated
guesses and go from there.
Probably Intel TX chipset. Max cachable memory is 64MB.
Avoid Windows XP, if you must change OS then use Win2K and
disable eyecandy and unnecessary services. Properly
configured, Win2k can boot to the desktop while using less
than 64MB memory. You'd still incur paging sluggishness if
you try to aggressively multitask but otherwise adding more
memory (128 or 256MB max, PC100 or 66 low-density SD-RAM)
will incur the caching limit degradation. It still may be
better to have the extra memory though, depending on the
The board may accept a K6-2 CPU, "maybe" a K6-3. That would
be a significant performance increase but you may be left
guessing how to set the CPU voltage multliplers to run one
If it has integrated video, definitely replace that with
(just about any) PCI video card. It need not be a flashy
current generation card, one 6 years old found for $10 on
ebay would be a significant upgrade... integrated video was
just really slow back then, even though in that era it
usually used dedicated (rather than system) memory on the
better (read- non socket 7) platforms.
Hard drive is another area with large potential for
improvement. Modern 40+GB drive running from an ATA133 PCI
IDE controller card (or SATA, whatever flavor of modern HDD
interface suits you).
Frankly you might be better off just looking into replacing
whole thing if possible.
the machine of course cannot run XP...
especially not *your* copy of it.
although a p-166 could run win98...
any OS newer than win95 will merely run slower!
if it's just used as a word processor etc... win95 is fine
if the machine is just plain too slow...
then you might as well just have them get you a newer one...
as the hardware could only minimally be upgraded
I have a Gateway2000 G5-166 (I presume it's much the same as a P5).
It has an Intel 440 Lawman motherboard, 160MB RAM, and it will not
install Windows 2000, I've tried. I did read on a forum that XP can be
installed on this PC, though I have yet to try. To be honest, I don't
want XP, I can't be doing with that activation shit. So my MMX-166 is a
linux machine, it's run Gentoo, and is currently Debian Woody.
On Sun, 21 Aug 2005 04:08:41 +0100, aleX
I don't recall the details but isn't there a Win2K setup
switch that skips the hardware check to force install? IMO,
that would likely work to get it running on that box,
presuming the reason it wouldn't install was the lack of
(minimal hardware level).
Microsoft says the minimum requirement is a 300 MHz CPU and 64MB of
memory and prefers at least 128MB. But I don't know how well it works
with 128MB because I've never tried it on a machine with less than
256M. To check the compatibility of a system's hardware and software
with Windows XP, download Microsoft's test program from here:
Each XP CD is good for installation on only 1 computer, and you'll have
to buy an extra license to install it on another, at a cost of $50-90.
You may want to find a cheap copy of Windows 98SE, which runs well even
with 64MB. 98SE is preferred over 98 since its support of USB is
better, especially because many USB device drivers are written only for
98SE and newer.
The Gateway P5-166 may have an odd case and power supply not suitable
or compatible with standard ATX motherboards. A good case & supply
will run at least $30-50, new, while a motherboard, CPU, and heatsink
will cost anwhere from $60-100 and require memory not compatible with
the Gateway's. A suitable 256M-512M bytes of memory will run from
$20-70. In other words, the cheapest Dell may be a better choice.
Exactly why I said I couldn't be doing with the activation sh**. Excuse
my profanity in the previous post. I have 4 PC's and can't afford to buy
4 copies of WinXP. Why should I? So I stick with W2k and Linux (also
W98se on the G5-166 dual boot).
Absolutely correct, if it's the same as the G5. I had to get rid of the
case when the power supply died, because the case was too small for any
replacement PSU I could find. I do believe these smaller PSU's are
available online if required though.
On Sun, 21 Aug 2005 17:07:23 +0100, aleX
The power supply is unsuited for modern systems (ignoring
something rare like a Via Eden type all-integrated ultra low
power config) because it is a very low capacity power
supply, even though relatively high quality per the rated
The standard Gateway case of that era (in fact I have at
least 3 of them here) was a standard ATX to the extent it
will mount any standard motherboard, EXCEPT the rear I/O
port panel is stamped into the rear wall of the case, not a
removable I/O shield panel. It is the older style of
standard ATX port layout so there are some (especially
lower-end all-integrated) boards that will be compatible
with the permanent rear port layout excepting that most now
have network adapter integral and a couple more USB ports,
so IF the user needs that port(s) accessible they'd have to
cut out another rectangular hole (or the lazy way, an
oversized round hole). It's theoretically possible to use a
saw to cut out the entire rectangular area of the permanent
port holes to install any motherboard I/O port panel, but it
also elevates the amount of reworking the case needs to the
point of being unreasonable (IMO).
The other large failing of that GW case design is limited
air intake area, the front bezel is fairly restrictive.
Around that time GW slightly modified the case spec, some
had no rear fan mount on rear wall (under PSU) and others
did. Either way, they're quite sturdy cases and a hole saw
(or whatever-preferred methd) can be used to cut an 80mm fan
hole or two.
The power supply is standard ATX electrically, including the
plugs, but a unique form-factor. It might be possible to
mount a mATX PSU or other type of proprietary form-factor
PSU providing (that proprietary) PSU had complimentary
However, it is possible to cut out the rear of the case some
and mount a standard ATX power supply. It's a tight fit,
width-wise there is but a few millimeters slack, but if one
takes their time doing the measurements it's not hard.
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