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Need more RAM.

Windows XP, Dell OptiPlex GX110, RAM 256MB

Do I need a 2nd Internal Hard Drive and , if so, how large and what brand? I was told to get 7200RPM and 8MB of Cache, but I don't know how much memory I should get.

Also, is it ever feasable to completely replace the existing 256MB with ONE larger Internal Hard Drive instead of having TWO smaller Internal Hard Drives.

As you can see, I am new to all this.

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You Appear Confused...

In reply to: Need more RAM.

A "hard drive" and "RAM" are two totally different things..

I'm fairly sure you dont' have a 256 MB hard drive.. A computer hard drive is a disk/platter that stores long term data that you place there.. On most new computers that storage space is in multiple Gigabytes )GB), not MB or megabytes.. In order to determine the amount of storage space you have on the hard drive, double click on "My Computer", then RIGHT click on the "C drive" icon, choose "Properties" from the menu.. You'll see an approximate amount of space Used and Free. That's your hard drive..and if you have lots of space "Free", you may not need a second hard drive. (if you really need more storage space, it is possible to install a second hard drive and yes, the type of hard drive you've mentioned with 7200 RPM is good.)

Next, RAM (Random Access Memory) stickes are fairly small modules which plug in to the motherboard and are used to "temporarily" store and use data being processed by the computer. More RAM modules can be added to the slots on the motherboard, depending on the type of RAM needed and the number of slots available, to increase the amount of short term memory available to the computer.. On a Windows XP computer, 256 MB is a bare minimum and I generally recommend increasing that to, AT LEAST, 512 MB, preferably more.

Hope this helps.


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Thanks For Your Info.

In reply to: You Appear Confused...

Grif, Thanks so much for your information and your patients with a beginner.

You have been very kind in dealing with a novice.

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In reply to: You Appear Confused...

Thanks to your detailed info I can give you my current system status.
My C: Drive has a capacity of 9.30GB.
USED Space= 9.25GB
FREE Space= 51.2MB

I already knew I had to resolve this quickly, but just did a poor job of trying to explain what I needed in a clear manner.

So, is it better to get a 2nd INTERNAL Hard Drive OR

1. Should I get an EXTERNAL Hard Drive and move some large programs to the External Hard Drive?

Internal Hard Drive: Size? Brand?
External Hard Drive: Size? Brand?

All I know is that I want 7200 RPM, and 8 MB of Cache in either an Internal OR External Hard Drive.

2. I still need more RAM, since I only have 256 MB of RAM. Is that something I can install myself. Also, you suggested increasing the RAM to preferably MORE than 512 MB, how much more?

Thanks again for all your help. You have been the nicest informer in my quest for more computer knowledge. Happy

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First Things First... Have You Installed Hardware ????

In reply to: Informed

...on a computer?? It appears like your computer can take another 256 MB of RAM to bring it up to 512 MB... BUT, you will need to open the computer cover and see how many RAM slots are inside.. If there are two slots and only one is filled, then you should be able to purchase a second RAM module of 256 MB and bring it up to the 512 MB standard. MAKE SURE to get the correct type of RAM for your machine by visiting the link below, type in your computer model number and go from there. If you don't know where those modules are, you might want to get some help.. It's not difficult but it depends on your confidence level.. See the link below for some simply pictures and instructions:

Next, in order to gain some more space on your current 10 GB hard drive, please try the steps in the links below to clean out some of the junk files that are there.

With Windows XP, in the link below follow all of the instructions EXCEPT, it's best if you do NOT delete the .chk files..
How To Clean Unwanted Files From The Hard Drive

Next, to gain some more space on XP, eliminate all but the most recent Restore Points in the "Disk Cleanup" section.. Click on Start-All Programs-Accessories-System Tools-Disk Cleanup.. When the Disk Cleanup window eventually loads, (it takes a while to calculate the number of files it want so remove), then click on the "More Options" tab at the top.. Go to the System Restore section and click on the "Clean Up" button. Once that's done, click on OK and let it finish.

AFter cleaning things out, if you still need a second hard drive for more storage space, you'll need to know how to plug in the appropriate IDE cables and set the hard drives to master and slave.. It appears like you have never done such.. If that's the case, then an external drive is probably the answer.. Your computer should have USB ports that will accept USB devices.. Unfortunately, they will probably be the older USB 1.1 port which works quite a bit slower. And in most cases, it's not a good idea to transfer "programs" to an external hard drive.. Instead, transfer items like videos, pictures, and personal documents.

Hope this helps.


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External Hard Drive

In reply to: First Things First... Have You Installed Hardware ????

Thanks so much for your help. I think I will take your advice and buy an External Hard Drive to start with.

I recently installed a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 5-Port PCI Card, so at least that won't be a problem. I was looking at a Seagate 250 GB External HD that was $80. Does that price seem reasonable or should I check on Newegg?

Thanks Again. Happy

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Good Price Is Whatever You Choose...

In reply to: External Hard Drive

...but $80 for a 250 GB external seems fair. Still, checking for the best price doesn't normally cost anything and can sometimes save lot of money.

Hope this helps.


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Which GX110?

In reply to: Need more RAM.

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In reply to: Which GX110?

Sorry. All I can say is that I am trying to learn though.

But,I do have another dumb question for you. How do I find out if I have a Socket Processor OR a Slotted Processor?

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There should be more identifying numbers on

In reply to: OptiPlex

The ID tag of the machine. How did you get along for so many years without knowing about your machine? (don't answer if you don't feel like it.)


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It is NOT my machine.

In reply to: There should be more identifying numbers on

It is my husband's machine which he just got and not mine. He knows "0" about computers and I was trying to help him.

The Service Tag # is: F03XD01.
When I went to the internet address you gave me for tech support, their first question was whether his computer had a socket or a slotted processor. Since I didn't know that answer I stuck my neck out again with another question.

The "C" Drive Capacity is 9.30 GB
USED Space is 9.25 GB
FREE Space is 51.2 MB

I know I needed another Hard Drive Internal or External?

AND I need more than the 256 MB of RAM, but I don't know how much I should add.

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Service tag took me back to same link.

In reply to: It is NOT my machine.

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More RAM...your PC can accept up to 512MBs RAM

In reply to: Need more RAM.

Just make sure you get it from a reliable source ..on that guarantees compatability for your PC.


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Two options

In reply to: Need more RAM.

Spend a few extra dollars and get a new PC...much better solution. Gives you everything you don't have now . . . bigger HDD, more RAM, new OS and you should be able to write it off.

Option 2..take the PC to a local PC shop have them add 256MBs RAM and substitute a large HDD for the internal one. They should be able to image the contents of the current HDD to a larger HDD ... to give you the additional diskspace you need/want. Probably best to stay under avoids/circumvents a lot of possible problems...WD1200JB


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