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What can I do with this old XP computer?


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Hello, I received a free Windows XP computer (Optiplex GX280) that was going to be thrown away, donated, or recycled by a company - the hard drive was wiped. I'm wondering if there's anything I can do with it. I would like to install a newer version of Windows, and if so, which one can it handle?

Anyway, here's the specs I found online:


Dell Optiplex GX280:
Pentium 4 #540 - 3.2 GHz
Chipset - Intel 915G Express
RAM - 512 MB Installed / 4 GB (max)
DDR2 SDRAM
Memory Speed 400 MHz
Memory Specification Compliance PC2-3200

Graphics Controller:
Graphics Processor: ATI Radeon X300 SE
Video Memory: 64 MB DDR SDRAM
Video Interfaces: DVI, S-Video



Did I inherit a useless paperweight, or is there the possibility of updating this thing. I don't want to bother with Linux, I want to make it my internet computer and keep it plain and simple with windows on it. I suppose putting XP back on it would be better than sticking with my older Windows ME computer. Would appreciate any tips or suggestions.

By the way, what's the deal with Windows XP Product Activation? Do I still need in 2016 to call up Microsoft or something like that to turn my computer on? Thanks.


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Usually those PC's have (had) an OEM Windows install on them and have a COA sticker on the case, you can use *any* OEM CD/DVD to reinstall and it will activate normally.

Of course if you can get (borrow or buy) an original DELL OEM CD/DVD it will have already the specific drivers.

jaclaz
 

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Well, you already accepted this (new-to-you) PC so you must have some ideas as to what to do with it. I personally would consider such a system to be obsolete for the modern internet, but there are still many things it could do. I often see PCs as being tools to accomplish specific tasks. My own XP computer, for example, merely handles the lightweight task of playing music.

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Windows 7 should run just fine on the machine, but I'd definitely bump the RAM up to at least 2GBs if not more. If it were me, I'd install Windows 2000 on it. :)

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Dude if you like i would like to suggest something :-

*Add  2GB Ram (it will make xp super fast) even if you like you can put more . DDR2 ram are going too cheap here i dont know about other country

*Add 1gb Graphics card (it will give bit more speeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed)

*Clean install XP

*Put ie8 & wmp11 (it will update some core  component)

*Apply pos ready trick and update it

*Install apps as you like

*You are more than done

if you like you can put ssd it will be faster than anything

2 hours ago, Tommy said:

Windows 7 should run just fine on the machine, but I'd definitely bump the RAM up to at least 2GBs if not more. If it were me, I'd install Windows 2000 on it. :)

2000 or xp is fine but 7 . It will run like lame horse but where it will be blazing fast on any nt5 series os

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2 hours ago, Dibya said:

2000 or xp is fine but 7 . It will run like lame horse but where it will be blazing fast on any nt5 series os

Actually, it's really not bad on that machine since Vista ran just fine on my Dell OptiPlex GX270, but it did hiccup a bit at times. I'm only suggesting it since the OP talked about installing a newer OS on it. I wouldn't go above 7 if you're looking for something newer than XP, that's just my two cents though.

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Well, might be THE machine to play older games playing up on modern PCs. Especially that I remember some DOS games required DOSBOX to work under XP 32 bit when run on 64 bit CPU, but they played just fine on the same system on my old 32 bit Athlon with no emulation ;)

Enough for watching SD video, playing music, extensive internet surfing or last hope in 'everythingelseisbroken' situations. Might work as typing machine.

Some passionates turn such old PCs into home multimedia servers. Never seen such a thing, never used that, never needed. Just read once that some people tried that :>

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Jaclaz said:

Usually those PC's have (had) an OEM Windows install on them and have a COA sticker on the case, you can use *any* OEM CD/DVD to reinstall and it will activate normally.



Of course if you can get (borrow or buy) an original DELL OEM CD/DVD it will have already the specific drivers.

jaclaz



Yes, there is a sticker on the case with the product key. And yes, my sister gave me the CD for the computer, it's a green Dell disc that says "Reinstalltion CD Windows XP Professions Service Pack 2."

So, are you telling me I just install the operating system from this green Dell disc, then enter the product key from the case, and then I don't have to "ACTIVATE" it. It will just work. That would be cool. Awesome!

There is also another green disc that came with the computer that is the Driver Re-installtion.

Tripredacus said:

Well, you already accepted this (new-to-you) PC so you must have some ideas as to what to do with it. I personally would consider such a system to be obsolete for the modern internet, but there are still many things it could do. I often see PCs as being tools to accomplish specific tasks. My own XP computer, for example, merely handles the lightweight task of playing music.



It's from my sister's work office, they were going to get rid of it. It was too old for them to use any longer. She called me up and asked if I wanted it, would need to pick it up today. So I was like, okay why not. What's cool is that they also gave me the Install CD's that came with it. If Jaclaz is right, then it shouldn't be too hard to simply get XP back on here, activated without any hassle, then ready to roll. Hopefully.

I didn't really have any idea what to do with this thing. I figured the EASIEST thing would be to simply buy Windows to put on it, but (a) I don't know what new version will work, (b) don't feel like tinkering with things trying to get them to work. Plus, I googled "Dell Optiplex GX280 with Windows 7" and the results weren't very promising. From what I gather people had trouble finding drivers for such ancient hardware. So yeah, don't feel like wasting time with it. If I'm going to purchase Windows 7 or 10, I might as well just get the new computer along with it.

Tommy said:

Windows 7 should run just fine on the machine, but I'd definitely bump the RAM up to at least 2GBs if not more. If it were me, I'd install Windows 2000 on it.



It might run on it, but I'm not really up to trying to get Windows 7 to run on it. I will most likely increase the RAM if need be though, since it's simple to do so.

To me, Windows 2000 can almost be accomplished using Windows ME with KernelEx installed - no offense to Win2000, I'm speaking browser wise here. They both are stuck with like Opera 12 as the last web browser. I need a browser, anything I don't care, that is better than what's available with Win2000 or WinME with kernelex.

Dibya said:

Dude if you like i would like to suggest something :-



*Add 2GB Ram (it will make xp super fast) even if you like you can put more . DDR2 ram are going too cheap here i dont know about other country

*Add 1gb Graphics card (it will give bit more speeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed)

*Clean install XP

*Put ie8 & wmp11 (it will update some core component)

*Apply pos ready trick and update it

*Install apps as you like

*You are more than done

if you like you can put ssd it will be faster than anything



Will add RAM if it's not already maxed out.... I haven't turned the computer on yet or nothing. Don't really want to bother with graphics cards. Last time I upgraded a graphics card was adding a Cirrus Logic with 1 MB RAM to Windows 3.1, and also an S3 Virge for my old DOS computer. I think the stock graphics cards are good enough for my needs.

I will definitely try and update as much core components as is possible with XP Service Pack 2. I know that installing IE 6 on Windows ME makes it more stable than the IE 5.5 that it comes with.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions. If XP is even a little better than Windows ME, in regards to web browsing, multi media viewing, being able to send/read modern file formats, then it will be a resounding success. I've been getting by (barely) on Windows ME for the last 15 years, it's time for something "newer."

So, tomorrow or thursday I will install XP back on the computer. I may need to get a networking (for high speed internet) card. Any suggestions? I think there's only a dial-up modem in it.

Oh and, any suggestions for Anti-Virus and firewall? I leaning towards ClamWin with Clam Sentinel installed. Any lightweight firewalls out there? Oh and, I'm a total newb when it comes to HIgh Speed INternet and routers, and whatever that stuff is. Been a dial-up man since Windows 98 days. Okay, talk to you guys later, thanks.

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Yep, the idea of OS install discs is - generically - that of installing an OS ;).

The procedure to activate may vary from (within OEM licenses) OEM and OEM's, some (senselessly) use a "private" key (different from the one on the COA sticker).

AFAICR Dell's original disksdo work with the key on the COA sticker, however. :) - though I believe - and this may depend also on the specific "series" of a same model, some Dell original CD/DVD's are actually "factory restore" media (which in your case would be good as well).

If - as you originally posted - the machine has 512 Mb it is a bit "tight", expecially for nowadays most power hungry common activity (i.e. web surfing), if you can afford it, the more RAM you can out in that machine, the better anyway, if you are on a low budget another 512 Mb would be "enough" (total 1 Gb) though unless you can find some second hand sticks it will be difficult to find suitable 512 Mb RAM sticks at a fair price

jaclaz
 

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dude today i talked a technician here , they told 1gb  ddr2 stick set (512x2) is only Rs180 from starlite , it is few cents more than a 2dollar.

When you got your pc running , instal usp4 over sp2 to get modern things and being full patch

For av i would like to suggest following avast free + Privacyware firewall with Malware byte antiExploit.

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4 hours ago, ZortMcGort11 said:

It might run on it, but I'm not really up to trying to get Windows 7 to run on it. I will most likely increase the RAM if need be though, since it's simple to do so.


To me, Windows 2000 can almost be accomplished using Windows ME with KernelEx installed - no offense to Win2000, I'm speaking browser wise here. They both are stuck with like Opera 12 as the last web browser. I need a browser, anything I don't care, that is better than what's available with Win2000 or WinME with kernelex.

Actually, this is where Windows 2000 can outshine the 9x OSes (sadly). With KernelEx on Windows 2000, I'm using the Atom version of Palemoon so I'm able to install the latest version (26.3.3) as of writing this comment so it's completely up to date and has no problems running on the modern web where 9x is quite limited unfortunately. I only suggested Windows 7 since you said you wanted to try a newer OS. I personally wouldn't run it myself because I just don't like the top heavy feeling of running NT 6.x, it just feels clunky to me despite a few diehards saying it's actually rock solid underneath. Even on really modern computers, I feel it stumble a few times while it thinks or tries catching up to who knows what.

So what I recommend is, if you want the genuine look at feel of 9x/Me but quite a bit of functionality that comes with XP, go with 2000. Or if you want to be more up to date go with XP with the POSReady 2009 hack to install updates. Windows 2000 suits 98% of my needs so I have absolutely no plans on moving off of it anytime soon. But that's of course my two cents. :)

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well RAM and GPU suck thats for sure, even for XP
any 3D game will lag coz of GPU 64bit memory bandwith
and 512 MB RAM is... bare minimum

if you can find some cheap Radeon 26xx HD or Geforce 66xx, both AGP compliant
and +3 GB RAM, it will probably detect 3.2 at most but what the heck...

or simply buy half used 4-5 year old PC
dismentle this one, use take pieces out, (PSU coolers and Capacitors are worthy)
GPU and CPU aluminium or copper passive coolers are also good, ... then simply pimp your newly half used not old PC

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8 hours ago, Dibya said:

dude ...

Dibya, we all like you, we really do, and we really admire that someone as young as you are has such an interest in modifying computer software and not just playing computer games and chatting on Facebook. But please, please, please NEVER use the term "Dude" here ever again -- EVER.  You are really irritating some of our members to the point that some of them are probably tempted to ban you for the use of this somewhat disrespectful term in this environment when they have repeatedly asked you nicely over and over again not to use it. So please STOP IT!

Cheers and Regards my friend

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On Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at 9:31 AM, Tripredacus said:

Well, you already accepted this (new-to-you) PC so you must have some ideas as to what to do with it. I personally would consider such a system to be obsolete for the modern internet, but there are still many things it could do. I often see PCs as being tools to accomplish specific tasks. My own XP computer, for example, merely handles the lightweight task of playing music.

I have an old HP DC5100 of similar specs, except it has 1 GB of RAM installed.  XP was on it, so I just updated it with the unofficial SP4, stripped out the .NET stuff, and put an automated radio station software on it.  I hooked up an FM transmitter, disconnected the Internet, and it's good to go.

Despite XP being a tad outmoded, the Internet should still be within grasp on such a machine.  What do you consider it poor at running?

:)

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14 hours ago, JodyT said:

Despite XP being a tad outmoded, the Internet should still be within grasp on such a machine.  What do you consider it poor at running?

In my experience, a dual core is a minimum CPU and 4GB RAM would be what I want. I've tried lesser configurations and always run into problems. I am thinking about everything that I like or want to do online. Using a lower spec system would limit that, and I would not consider such a system capable of handling the internet, nor try to use it as an every-day pc for internet access.

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