upgrading an old pc

  Number six 18:45 16 Jan 05

I intend to update an old pc by fitting a new hard disk and a new cd read/writer. It is about 6 years old, has a pentium III 450Mhz, 8GB HD, 384MB ram. It was originally set up with W98, upgraded to ME about 2 years ago. A couple of questions: what is the largest HD that ME can support, will 40GB be OK? Also, will the processor and bus speeds be able to cope with a modern 48x speed cd drive? Any other advice?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 19:05 16 Jan 05

Rather than ME limiting drive size its more likely that the BIOS will not accept a HDD above a certain size.

Although there are programs to prepare the drive to get round that.

HAve old AMD 400 with 48x CD OK.

  961 19:09 16 Jan 05

40GB will be ok as will the cd drive

You'll need to check on the psu to see if it will cope with another hard disc

Many will suggest you don't spend too much money on it, but if it does all you want, why not?

  wee eddie 19:33 16 Jan 05

If it has Firewire - Why not try an External HDD

  Number six 19:36 16 Jan 05

Thanks for response. I am still hunting around trying to find the original manual. Do you think maybe play safe and stick to a 20GB HD? Hopefully this upgrade should cost around £60, and result in a quite useable, if rather slow pc.

  Buchan 35 19:43 16 Jan 05

Number six, If you know which mobo you`ve got go to their website for a manual. If you don`t know, then download Belarc Advisor and that will give you an accurate description of everything. If you`ve already done this then my apologies

  ton 20:45 16 Jan 05

40GB HD should be NO problem.

  Number six 20:58 16 Jan 05

Thanks for continued interest. Just had a look online for small HD's. Most seem to be rated at UDMA100. Do I need to worry about transfer rates, or will a 6 year old mobo be able handle this OK?

  wee eddie 21:06 16 Jan 05

This may prove to be a better option, as it may prove difficult to find new equipment that is backward compatible as far as you are wanting too.

CD Writer is another field and you may (almost certainly will) have to set it to write at a far lower speed.

I assume that you have USB, I mentioned Firewire earlier as it is sometimes present on older PCs.

The advantage of an external HDD is that you will be able to use it with your new PC when you eventually decide to upgrade.

  Totally-braindead 21:08 16 Jan 05

Bearing in mind the motherboard can't be that old, its a 450, and that you have ME on it I think it highly unlikely that there will be any problem in it recognising the size. If there is a problem, which I don't think there will be, there are as Fruit Bat has pointed out are ways round it. The CDRom speed is no problem you can ignore that.

  Number six 21:18 16 Jan 05

Perhaps I should have explained earlier that this is my old, second machine, I already have a (fairly) new one. Please could Fruit Bat or anyone else elaborate on these programs for bios to recognise larger HD's? Incidentally, the old beast is a Gateway, I believe they no longer exist?

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