Building a PC from scratch - what's needed?

  webber_man 19:42 24 Nov 05


My sisters PC (an old ancient thing) died today and so being big brother i said i'd help.

Although i'm ok with computers and know generally what they consist of i just want to make sure i have everything covered before i jump in to try to build her one myself!

Can anyone please run through what i need to get to build a PC? I'm aware that there's a hard drive, motherboard, processor, RAM, disc drive, sound card and graphics card needed - but what else? I obviously don't want to miss anything out. It would be great if someone can point me in the right direction so i have a check list of what's needed.

Also, a few tips of what to actually buy would be helpful.

My sister only uses the PC to do a bit of surfing and emailing and the odd bit of letter writing - so she doesn't need anything too big and powerful. She got by with a 10GB hard drive, 128 RAM, 600mhz processor and a CD-ROM drive before!

I'm guessing that places like ebuyer, Dabs and Saverstore are the best places to go to once i know what i want?

.....also, her old hard drive appears to have completely died. We get nothing at all from it when i've tried it in my machine. Is there ANY way at all we can retrieve the data it holds?

Thanks in advance for any help given. All much appreciated.


  Ex plorer 19:54 24 Nov 05

Try click here


  DuncanG 20:31 24 Nov 05

Check this package out: click here

Unless you have a specific need for anything better, this looks like a great deal and you get XP home thown in and its all put together with a warranty. (no monitor though, but im guessing u already have one?)

  webber_man 20:49 24 Nov 05

Thanks for the replies.

I guessing by looking at the prices it may well be cheaper to buy a new PC rather than trying to build something so (relatively) basic?

  LastChip 21:33 24 Nov 05

Other than the interest factor, it's no longer worth building basic PC's.

Base units are now so cheap, you cannot buy the parts for less.

More sophisticated units are a different story, as normally they will be very tightly specified and built to order. These type of computers are still worthwhile building.

In fact, it's rapidly getting to a point, where it will no longer be cost effective to repair computers. At the bottom end of the range, they will become a throw away consumer item. For example, would you bother to get a £30 DVD player repaired? I doubt it, throw it away and buy a new one!

  webber_man 21:40 24 Nov 05

Thanks LastChip - i won't waste time and money on this then.

Regarding my last point - does anyone know of any ways to retrieve data from a 'dead' hard drive?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 22:35 24 Nov 05

What do you mead by dead?

If the old PC will not boot because of PSU / MOBO/CPU failure then HDD will still be ok connect as slave in another PC to extract files.

If will not boot because of corrupt boot files then Boot with a floppy and type Fix/mbr at c:\prompt

If HDD will not power up or not recognised in BIOS then if
Hard disk checks before you condemn it
click here
200 ways to repair a HDD
click here
do not work then i willcost alot of money (thousands of pounds) to retrieve data

  woodchip 22:46 24 Nov 05

You also need a Case as the Old one will be low watt PSU and may be a Old AT System instead of ATX so the Motherboard would not fit ether

  webber_man 22:52 24 Nov 05

Fruit Bat -

Thanks for the reply.

The hard drive does not power up and is not recognised. The bios shows and thats it.

  preston 22:52 24 Nov 05

this is a good sight giving you a guide to building your own pc. click here

  woodchip 22:55 24 Nov 05

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Nintendo Switch (Nintendo NX) release date, price, specs and preview trailer: Codename NX console…

1995-2015: How technology has changed the world in 20 years

8 things designers (and brands) need to know about the modern woman

How to speed up a slow Mac: 19 great tips to make an iMac, MacBook or Mac mini run faster | Speed…