Repair or replace?

  Mutant_Llama 20:19 25 Dec 10
Locked

Having problems with current PC:

Athlon XP 5800+
ATI 1GB 4850 GPU
4GB DDR2 Memory

Looks like the SATA HDD needs replacing, though attempts to reinstall Windows through the restore CD are failing as there is a blank screen after the 'Inspecting your current hardware' message.

Tempted to buy a new base unit, with a budget of about £400...would it be possible to get an equivalent PC for £400 (I have no idea how my current PC fares against a budget PC at the moment),or should I just replace the HDD and restore from the recovery CD?

  woodchip 20:35 25 Dec 10

Go into BIOS to see if BIOS can see the Drive

  woodchip 20:38 25 Dec 10

PS Recovery CD may not work with the new Hard Drive. That's why you should always make a Image of the Hard Drive using Acronis When its new or Working okay. As this can be loaded strait onto a new drive, That Operating System and all Programs etc Partition and Information from old Drive as it was before

  Mutant_Llama 20:58 25 Dec 10

The BIOS is able to see the drive, as I changed the boot order from '1. HDD 2. CDROM 3.DVD' to '1. CDROM 2. DVD 3.HDD', it was happy with me moving the boot order but I cannot get the recovery CD to work, it just stops after the 'Inspecting Hardware...' screen. (I am happy to format the existing partition and reinstall Windows)

Once I have a working system I plan to investigate backing up the system (starting with Acronis), but not sure whether it is wise to keep upgrading an older system,or whether to look at a newer unit...

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 21:51 25 Dec 10

Use Killdisk click here to wipe the drive and retry

  woodchip 23:24 25 Dec 10

Only Problem using Killdisk is it will wipe the whole drive. That may remove a recovery Partition so that the recovery CD will not work. For the Disc to work CD drive needs to be set to number 1 in the BIOS and HDD to 2. Not forgetting that if you have two Optical Drives you Need to put the CD in the Correct drive for it to be seen. You may need to change CD and DVD round in BIOS to get this to work. As a lot depends on the Connections to the Data Cables for these drives to boot from. It means Trial and Error to find out which one

  robertmonkford 00:52 26 Dec 10

Hi Mutant_Llama, personally, I think you have a choice really. You could simply purchase another hard drive and another operating system CD whilst keepting your existing components; or you could take the opportunity to build a base unit for yourself. upgrading if you will.

If it were me, I'd probably go for the build-your-own choice. You could also save a little money bu keeping some of your existing components, the case, optical drive, and power supply for example. You could even keep the graphics card too.

I'd probably select:-

4GB Corsair XMS3 1600 C9 RAM
MSI H55M E23 Motherboard
Intel i3 540 3.06GHz CPU
Windows 7 Home Edition 64-bit
WesternDigital Green 64mb cache 1TB Hard Drive

You could take the opportunity to upgrade your case and power supply if you chose too:

Coolermaster Elite 330 case
OCZ 500w StealthXStream2 PSU

All of these upgrades should leave you with change from your budget. If you were able to keep your case and power supply (and could find an extra £30-40) you could upgrade your graphics card to an ATI 5770 1GB GDDR5 800 stream processors from Sapphire.

I'm looking at similar specifications for a desktop for my gf at the moment - she has a P4 desktop at present, but I am hoping to replace it for her in the new year.

Getting back to yours though, it's entirely your choice though :)

  lotvic 01:46 26 Dec 10

Did you remember to unplug all the 'extras' usb devices, printer and anything else that wasn't there when pc was first received? Some recovery CD's won't work if it isn't the original hardware configuration.
That may be your problem.

  Mutant_Llama 08:29 26 Dec 10

Many thanks, going to try a new HDD but if it goes wrong again will look at building a new base unit/buy new base unit. Many Thanks!

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