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Desktop tower recommendations to replace WIN 95 one

by Big Steve / June 7, 2014 4:47 AM PDT

Yesterday I unpacked an old WIN 95 desktop PC which has been stored in a bedroom closet for years which contains a ton of word documents in it which I had planned to set up in another room and connect it to an HP inkjet printer I still have which can operate on a WIN 95 desktop PC and do nothing but word processing on it.

I managed to get everything connected; powered it up today; my desktop icons appeared on the monitor's screen then I starting scanning through the documents. About 15 minutes later the computer suddenly shut down. I powered it up again; 5 minutes later it shut down; I tried a third time and again it shut down so it looks like this isn't going to work. I have another computer in the house; a 6 year old Dell desktop which is connected to the internet.

Can anyone recommend a good basic no frills desktop PC with a CD/DVD ROM drive that I could purchase to replace the old WIN 95 desktop PC? Internet connection is not a must have item unless the desktop PCs being sold today automatically come with one. I would not need a new monitor or any input devices; just the tower.

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Would you consider a refurb?
by Steven Haninger / June 7, 2014 5:13 AM PDT

They are plentiful. It depends on what you want to spend, which OS you prefer and what your dead PC could do that you wanted back. I have a MicroCenter near me that has enough refurb PCs of various brands to fill the back of a large pickup. If you don't have a computer store nearby, visit the on line stores and look for refurbs in your price range.

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Re: Would you consider a refurb?
by Big Steve / June 7, 2014 11:39 AM PDT

I haven't thought about a refurb; as for what OS I'd want it would have to be something newer than WIN XP which is what my 8 year old Dell Dimension 3100 desktop has. I checked out Dell.com today and was disappointed to learn that Dell no longer sells the Vostro model line on their Small Business website.

I still have a Vostro 1510 laptop which I acquired in early 2009; have had very good service with it and the few times I did have to speak to tech support; it was here in the USA; not in India. I have always been a fan of HP printers but not of their computers; India tech support is one of the reasons I'm not a fan of HP computers.

The old WIN 95 PC is a brand called Powerspec PC and compared to today's standards it is obsolete; it has a 4GB HD for starters and a floppy drive. I could buy a newer PC to replace my 8 year old Dell and move that PC into the other room but I don't want to put $1K into a new PC.

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Interesting. Powerspec is the MicroCenter brand
by Steven Haninger / June 7, 2014 9:29 PM PDT

MC began its life where I live so we have a large store here. They've tons of refurbs and most with Win-7 Pro. Many are referred to as "off lease" so came from businesses. They tend to be Dell, HP and such. They will be old so no matter what you decide on I'd not expect to have them last forever.

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Re: Interesting. Powerspec is the MicroCenter brand.
by Big Steve / June 8, 2014 3:19 AM PDT

I wish there was a MicroCenter near me but there's not. I was looking at computers on Walmart.com; they had several refurbs. Would you recommend buying a refurbed PC from Walmart or would that be taking the same risk as buying a computer off of Ebay? I also checked Dell's outlet store last night looking for Vostro desktops; none to be found. I've already stated I'm not a big fan of HP computers but this model was listed on numerous websites and had good reviews. Are you familiar with an HP Pavilion 500-281 Desktop PC with (Windows 7)?

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Re: Interesting. Powerspec is the MicroCenter brand.
by Big Steve / June 8, 2014 3:28 AM PDT

Question: Are desktop PC's having AMD processors as good as Intel?

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Attempt to answer
by Steven Haninger / June 8, 2014 7:32 PM PDT

but only have opinions. I probably wouldn't choose Walmart but I'd pick them over Ebay. As for AMD vs Intel, it's Ford vs Chevy. Some folks are brand loyal. I tend to buy Intel but I'd have nothing against AMD if looking for an old expendable rig just to knock around on.

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Re: Interesting. Powerspec is the MicroCenter brand.
by Big Steve / June 9, 2014 3:32 AM PDT
In reply to: Attempt to answer

So for an OS would you recommend WIN 7 over WIN 8? I've read many posts on this board by others saying WIN 8 was not as user friendly as WIN 7. I'm an old WIN XP guy; hate that MS no longer supports it. Since you favor Intel over AMD which Intel processor would suit my basic computing needs? I have read in the past to stay away from Celeron processors. Thanks for the feedback.


Big Steve
Biloxi, MS
06/09/14

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I've no recommendation as far as OS
by Steven Haninger / June 9, 2014 9:56 PM PDT

but I'd suggest your pick should be whatever came with the original box. You'll also want to know if it has recovery media or if the PC will allow you to make it. My own preference would be to have imaging software and create a backup image of the entire drive. I wouldn't rely on the MS built in backup utility either.

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pins
by James Denison / June 9, 2014 1:15 AM PDT

If they get bent on an AMD processor, it's easier to fix than pins bent on an Intel socket.

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You could always take the HD out & put in an enclosure
by wpgwpg / June 7, 2014 5:21 AM PDT

Then you could plug the enclosure into the Dell PC and access the files. Of course if you want to buy a cheap computer to replace the ancient one, Micro Center has them starting at $119 here
http://www.microcenter.com/search/search_results.aspx?N=4294967292&NTX=&NTT=&NTK=all&sortby=pricelow
and Amazon has them starting at $124 here
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_st_relevancerank?keywords=desktop+computer&qid=1402168656&rh=n%3A172282%2Cn%3A541966%2Ck%3Adesktop+computer&sort=relevancerank
I'm sure you could find similar deals at Newegg, Best Buy, and others.

Good luck.

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check local thrift shops
by James Denison / June 7, 2014 6:05 AM PDT

You actually have a better chance of a bargain buy there than from a used computer's store. Often the thrift store may have a fairly decent donated computer but selling it below it's parts value.

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How about.
by Bob__B / June 8, 2014 7:21 AM PDT

Take the cover off and give the innards a good cleaning.

With the cover off.....power it up.
I would not be surprised to see a fan/s running very slow or stopped.
Btw.......the psu also has a fan/s.

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Sounds like a power supply issue
by Erin93 / June 10, 2014 4:40 AM PDT

Your computer SHOULD still be in working order. The powering off after a few minutes is either the CPU or the power supply over heating. Open up your case with a can of compressed air and blow out all those years of dust that's accumulated. Get everywhere, and pay special attention to your fans... CPU, case, and power supply.
That should give you a chance to get your data off your old computer.

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What could be causing your computer to shut down
by Erin93 / June 19, 2014 5:02 AM PDT

If you've taken the case off and cleaned it out, especially the fans and it's still shutting down after a few minutes you may just need to replace the power supply.

There's no reason you should have to replace the whole computer unless you actually want a newer one.

IMO Windows 7 > Windows 8/8.1 because they made a LOT of changes in how you navigate Windows in Windows 8. From how you shut down to how you troubleshoot and fix problems.

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Re: What could be causing your computer to shut down.
by Big Steve / June 19, 2014 11:47 AM PDT

I did open up the tower last week and cleaned all the dust bunnies out but it's still shutting down after 15 to 20 minutes so you think it could be a power supply problem? The computer tower is 16 years old. How would I determine what size power supply my old machine would need?

Google power supplies for WIN 95 desktop towers? No I really don't want to buy a new computer but I did look at some WIN 7 models because I've read here and on other sites that making the move from WIN XP to WIN 8 might be a challenge; moving from WIN XP to WIN 7 would be less of a challenge so I've read. Thanks for the comments.


Big Steve
06/19/14

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Power supply
by Erin93 / June 24, 2014 3:50 AM PDT

Yes I think it's a power supply issue. You shouldn't need a power supply larger than 400 watts for a Win95 computer.

What I suggest is looking at your motherboard and finding the make and model numbers on it, then call a local repair shop and get them to track down the power supply that will work with your motherboard for you. I'm not 100% sure current power supplies will have the same hookups. A repair shop could tell you for sure.

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