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What To Do With An Old Computer

09/18/2015 6:58 PM

In the process of moving, I uncovered an "old" computer buried under the refuse in my home office. The computer dates from around 2005 with an XP operating system. I retired it two years ago. It is completely functional, but suffers from various venereal diseases (probably picked up from visiting web sites of ill repute)

I thought of wiping the hard drive and installing a new OS like one of the Linux family. But it contains a lot of software that I cant easily replace, and I would like to salvage and continue using.

Any Ideas?

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#1

Re: What to do with an old computer

09/18/2015 7:15 PM

c cleaner. avg Malware bites clean it, save it

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#2

Re: What to do with an old computer

09/18/2015 7:23 PM

I agree with Fredski. Get Malware Bytes and do a scan. You might also want to upgrade the RAM if you have any slots left - the RAM is now obsolete for sure, but lots of people have RAM from older computers just lying around (I know I do!).

For continuous virus monitoring, I suggest downloading and installing MS Security Essentials.

Oh, something else you may run into is a (frustrating) slew of XP Updates when you first put it back online (that is connecting to the internet).

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#5
In reply to #2

Re: What to do with an old computer

09/18/2015 9:07 PM

MS no longer supports MS Security Essentials for WIN XP. He might (?) be able to download it, but the computer won't receive updates for new viruses.

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#9
In reply to #5

Re: What to do with an old computer

09/18/2015 11:26 PM

I am going to set up an old PC and see what happens. Will let you know.

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#10
In reply to #5

Re: What to do with an old computer

09/18/2015 11:41 PM

OK. Checked it out, and I yield.

That's very chicken-s**t of them.

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#22
In reply to #10

Re: What to do with an old computer

10/12/2015 1:09 PM

Agreed. XP was about the best windows platform to exist. My wife recently upgraded a laptop to Windows 10, and now we can't even get a wireless printer to stay connected as a device with drivers resident in her system. My Windows 7 unit stays connected and has not needed any update as yet to this printer.

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#13
In reply to #2

Re: What to do with an old computer

09/20/2015 12:16 AM

Skip the updates - they aren't worth the pain or the "XP" expired messages.

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#3

Re: What to do with an old computer

09/18/2015 7:59 PM

I would consider sneaker netting with a thumb drive a new malware and virus scanner program before attempting any form of direct network communication. Then and only correcting any discovered problems I would attempt sneaker netting the cherished data and operating system to a networked machine with a virtual machine inside it. (VMWARE is the most well known but not the only version of this.) Then I would wipe the old machine, install your preferred version of LINUX and use it as a network server for media.

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#4

Re: What to do with an old computer

09/18/2015 8:03 PM

If you want to transfer the critical stuff from the hard drive to a new computer the easiest way is to pull the hard drive and either use a USB to external hard drive adapter to make it function as an external hard drive for a newer computer simply set it up ans a extra slave unit inside the new computer.

I've done it both ways a countless times and newer operating systems tend to not have problems with retrieving data from older model hard drives that have been redesignated as a slave drive.

BTW if you have certain proprietary software on a company computer that can't be copied and pasted to a USB drive pulling the hard drive and setting it up as an external slave drive and using a shadow copy software like Acronis True Image that comes with most Western Digital external drives tends to work most times for copying said software from one computers programs files to another computers programs file without fuss.

In the event it wont work after being transferred I have found that simply doing a full ghost copy of the drive and putting it in a similar computer also works too!

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#6

Re: What to do with an old computer

09/18/2015 9:36 PM

I would just backup the hard drive to an external drive and transfer any files you want to your new computer, or just add it as a 2nd drive...

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#7

Re: What to do with an old computer

09/18/2015 10:33 PM

I agree - save it, clean it, purchase a good malware product. I use MalwareBytes with pretty good results so far on 2 XP machines. You'll also need to turn off the automatic updates so you don't keep getting the no longer supported message. All good advise here.

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#8

Re: What to do with an old computer

09/18/2015 10:51 PM

That's the age of the laptop I am using now. With XP. Ok, we won't get updates from MS, but I still maintain the Norton AV. Yes, I did max out the RAM (4G even though XP can't use it all), and upgraded from a 75G hard drive to a 500G hard drive. This laptop works fine for MS Office applications and generic web browsing.

The best way to clean that drive of viruses will be to dis-mount the drive from the computer, put it into an external drive case/adapter, and scan it as a removable drive on a different computer. Some viruses disable the AV if you boot from the infected drive.

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#17
In reply to #8

Re: What to do with an old computer

09/21/2015 3:16 AM

It's funny my old Dell (12 years old) runs better, I mean 50% better since MS quit the XP support! Go figure? Xp is so old now the hackers moved on to the new crap and haven't had any issues since

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#19
In reply to #17

Re: What to do with an old computer

09/29/2015 7:04 PM

My old Dell is of the same vintage

I still use an "old" Dell Optiplex GX270 machine with XP - email, runs ACAD 2000, and a bunch of legacy software to program PLC's that are 30 years old.

I did have to replace a bunch of electrolytic capacitors about 3 years ago - (bulging caps and mystery re-boots)

It is a real pain to get the old 16 and 32 bit software to run even on Win 7 XP mode, and on new machines the serial ports are non-existent and the old software often chokes on USB serial ports.

Only annoyance now is the Microsoft message about being no longer supported!

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#20
In reply to #19

Re: What to do with an old computer

09/29/2015 7:49 PM

Psssst . . . that's why I still have a 486 machine with DOS 6.22 and WFW 3.11 on it. These old machines can do a number of stand-alone things that don't require heavy duty web surfing.

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#21
In reply to #20

Re: What to do with an old computer

09/30/2015 10:10 AM

XP with sp1 or 2, suppose you can go up to 3GB if you really want, but more than that isn't productive at all. I guess if you really want to max out Windows XP the best way to do it would be use two 1GB DIMMs and two 512MB DIMMs. I'd say that's the absolute maximum you'd really want to go up to in XP. You also might have trouble doing that with an AMD based system, because they can be kind of picky about populating all four DIMMs and using different size/latency memory.

4 gigs does not improve performance over three gigs or even two gigs for the vast majority of XP systems.

You can pull the back seats, the spare tire, turn the AC off, keep the windows closed, stay under 55 and get your Chevy Cavalier to give you an extra MPG if you want to.

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#11

Re: What To Do With An Old Computer

09/19/2015 2:39 PM

If it works download the important items, including the drivers. Make or verify you have the Restore, and System disks. Copy the 25 digit product key from the case of the unit. Remover the HD and save for later. Microsoft is one of the few companies, that the more they develop, the worse they get. You can use the above info to have a computer built using that platform. Many feel it was the best.

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#12

Re: What To Do With An Old Computer

09/19/2015 11:19 PM

I have found that Kaspersky is a much better security system than most others.

It does an automatic retrieval of "new" data from the Kasp server about every 15 minutes- totally unseen and having no impact on normal system operations.

It will also do a full scan and clean out (isolate) anything that does not belong in the system. You DO need to connect to the internet so it can check with "home" for current risks, BUT- if you use the hard drive as a second drive, it is easy to clean it up with no risks.

Depending on how many machines you are using, you can purchase One, Three or Five machine package of the software. The renewal "clock" starts to run when you install it on the first machine, so- no matter when you install it on the second, third, etc. machine, the "new" machine will have the same one-year coverage as the first unit.

I am not sure, but I believe that multi-year contracts are also available.

One other neat thing- which is why I started to use it way back then- is that it works on 64-bit systems as well as standard 32-bit systems. Norton has NOTHING except multi-thousand $ systems designed for servers.

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#14

Re: What To Do With An Old Computer

09/20/2015 3:39 AM

All of my old XP software ran on Win7 with no problems whatsoever....I cannot guarantee everything of course, but if you happen to be using 7, you might try them on it....

I have no knowledge or experience with either 8.x or 10.....

Also, why connect such an old computer to the internet at all? Use it free standing maybe.....I don't know if that is a viable alternative or not!!

Best of luck.

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#15

Re: What To Do With An Old Computer

09/20/2015 7:43 AM

I donated my old P.C to school for poor.

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#16

Re: What To Do With An Old Computer

09/20/2015 5:25 PM

Devils Advocate Viewpoint.

You don't like to waste money or talent,or discard valuable material. I'm with you. Just curious, why would you like to salvage software on a computer you found buried in your own office? I'm guessing it did not get much use there.

That old computer will not be useful to you. If you upgrade the memory, the time and money spent will exceed the value you will realize from extending it's life. It will be dodgy, and even if you never buy another piece of software, it will constantly provoke you with poor performance from every flash,Java, OS update request. Graphics performance is not likely to be adequate. You can buy a Toshiba LapTop with Win 8/10, 2.6 GHZ processor and 4 gigs RAM, all usable and very fast, with a 500Gig HD for 250 bucks at Best Buy. for another 100 bucks, you can get upgraded to a TB drive and 8Gigs ram, most of it useful. I bet you can copy all of that old data (not software) on a single freeby thumb drive you have in your car glovebox. You could also just upload it to google docs or open a free account at sendthisfile.com and send it to yourself.

The reason I know all this is that I went through the pain of trashing a $2400 Pansonic aluminum toughbook. I upgraded the menory to 4gigs. (max) I upgraded the XP to business vista so I could keep using Peachtree accounting software. I used a 32 Gig flash drive for extra memory, since the 80 gig drive was full. I upgraded the bluetooth card, still didn't work. That laptop is super cool, but worthlesss as a computer. I can not turn it on without a problem.

. I finally broke down and bought a refurbished Fujitsu for $825. All I can say is OH My God. I couldn't wait to drop that old PC off at the recycling center, and to get cracking on my new PC.

Now about that old Fiat 124 in the garage.

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#18

Re: What To Do With An Old Computer

09/29/2015 5:51 PM

Old Windows XP computers are useful for different things that do not need much processing power, such as storing shared files on a network, running a print server, or running networked USB security cameras. I've done this plenty of times and it's always been worth it. There are a number of inexpensive options for salvaging old Win XP computers. In this order:

1. Go into the computer BIOS settings. Disable any ports you do not use like the parallel, serial, and IR port. Disable the modem. This frees up resources, including IRQ and DMA channels.
2. Run CCleaner from a USB drive. Clean out all browser caches, Windows temp files, DNS cache, dump and log files, old prefetch data. Run all CCleaner registry operations. This will speed up the computer while removing some malware.
3. Run MalwareBytes or your antivirus of choice from a USB drive.
4. Defrag the hard drive.
5. Max out the RAM. It's cheap, and you'll get a significant performance boost.
6. If it can be done cheaply, upgrade the processor if possible.

If the hard drive is the old PATA standard, replace it with a SAMSUNG Spinpoint M5 HM160HC, which is the fastest PATA drive available. You'll see a significant performance boost.

There are a number of registry tweaks that can dramatically improve the performance of an XP computer while sacrificing features you probably don't care about.

If you want to share the model of the laptop, I can help you with other options!

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