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Thread: Motherboard/Chip swap

  1. #1

    Motherboard/Chip swap

    My computer at work is a POS. The hard drive is a 13 gig, of which I'm only using 3 since I'm on the network.
    I believe that my pentium chip is as large as it can be and my RAM is maxed out with the board I've got, and I'd like to upgrade the board so I can upgrade the other two as well.
    I've currently got 64 megs of RAM, and the system is a gateway which has been upgraded by the main office at least once.


    1) How do I know for sure what speed pentium I've got?
    2) Will my existing hard drive work with a new/better board?
    3) How hard is it physically going to be to make this swap?
    4) Any other problems I should be awar of when trying to pull this off?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
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    1. If you click on Start > settings > control panel > system you will find most of the info that you need. Or you can download BELARC ADVISOR for even more info.

    2. Yes. Chances are your harddrive will work fine with a new board.

    3. Physically? Nothing you'd need to lift weights for.

    4. It sound like a company computer. I'd make sure your boss gives the ok before doing any modifications. And read up on the entire proceedure before getting into it. Frankly, ANYTHING could go wrong on a major upgrade like that but usually it's pretty straight forward.

    Good luck...

  3. #3
    1) How do I know for sure what speed pentium I've got?

    Check in the Award Bios settings and see what it is set to. Failing that open up the machine and take off the processor fan and it will say it on there. Providing it isnt a Slot in Processor ofcourse....if it is then it'll say what speed it is on it.


    2) Will my existing hard drive work with a new/better board?

    Yes it will work but because it is still the same Hard Drive the actual hard drive wont be any quicker, everything else will make things quicker though so you will notice a considerable change.


    3) How hard is it physically going to be to make this swap?

    Not amazingly difficult, providing you know what you are doing, make sure you have the drivers for everything before beginning and also that you have 80way IDE cables and all jumpers set to master. Also a Magnetic Screw driver is very handy!

    4) Any other problems I should be awar of when trying to pull this off?

    Think I said them above....be careful of static electricity though if you are statically charged and touch all this stuff it could easily short out. Also make sure you have the right RAM the RAM from the old Motherboard could be EDO and the new one either DDR or SD so make sure you have these.

    Hope this was helpful!


    Pid
    -----
    Wheres the power switch again??

  4. #4
    Very helpful, thank you.

    Yes, it is a company computer, but they are content to sit on their ****ing hands and leave me to work on this POS machine, so I am not going to ask for their permission. The worst they can do is fire me and make me pay for a 10 year old computer.

    Found out that the chip is a PIII450 by pushing F1 during the startup.

    So which is it, will the existing HD work or not? and while we're at it, what about the CD drive and floppy? How do I check?

    I'm basically trying to come up with the cheapest way to get myself a computer at work that I can at least run AutoCad on. The one I've got now won't even let me open a drawing without crashing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Seeing that you already have a P3 in there, depending on which motherboard you have you might be able to go as high as 800mhz, maybe even 1ghz for a processor. We would need to know which motherboard you have to find out for sure.

    If you're trying to run AutoCad, 64MB of ram is woefully insufficient. Find out which motherboard you have and we can figure out what the maximun amount of ram is for the board. It's more than likly the lack of ram that's giving you the biggest problems.

    Your harddrive, cd-rom drive and floppy drive should all work fine in an upgraded system.

  6. #6
    How do I know what motherboard it is? Do I need to crack this puppy open to see? Will it say on it what it is?

    Gateway told me when I called them that 64 meg was the max for this computer based on the serial # I gave them. I believe they said the same thing about the PIII, but I can't remember for sure.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Gateway is probably correct when they tell you the limits of the present motherboard. So there's really no need to worry about what it is.

    You should probably consider getting a new case and power supply along with a barebones system that you can then add in your existing drives. Gateway uses proprietary power supplies and sometimes cases so new components may or may not fit and the power supply probably won't run them.

    That said, look for a barebones system that includes case, power supply, motherboard, processor, RAM, keyboard, mouse, etc.

    As for the motherboard, you may have to go with something that has onboard video and sound, unless your present system has these separate cards already.

    Here's a couple of good places to start:

    www.computersurplusoutlet.com

    www.pcliquidator.com

    Good luck.
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  8. #8
    Alright, this is what I've come up with, and it should be a go for under $200

    Jetway 603TCFL Barebones w/ Celeron 1.3Ghz for $140 from:
    Surplus Computers

    256MB SDRAM, PC133 CL=2 Unbuffered Non-parity 7.5ns 3.3V 32Meg x 64 for $42 from:
    Crucial

    Hopefully I can just install the DVD, floppy, and Hard drives from my old gateway, and be done with it.

    Any problems with doing this I should watch out for?
    Do these "barebones systems" come assembled or will I have to put it all together?
    If I can swap in my old harddrive, I should just have to install the drivers for the new motherboard and such and be good to go right?

  9. #9
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    Sounds pretty good. The box should come assembled. Your drives should work with the new box. You might want to add another 256MB stick of ram. Make sure you have all your application cd's and drivers. What operating system are you going to use? You should have a complete installation disk. A recovery disk wont work here. Make sure you have a win98 boot disk. It comes in handy.

    Do it over a weekend so that you have plenty of time. Start on Friday afternoon and figure on spending the whole weekend working on it. It probably wont take that long but it's nice to have more time than you need.

    It's a nice step up from what you're working with now.

  10. #10
    So even if I swap in my old hard drive, I'm still going to need a win98 full version disk? I may be able to get that from my office, I'm not sure.
    I'm planning on a weekend too. Its the company's computer I'm scavenging from, so I want to at least try to be a little careful. But, I figure if I totally ruin it, its their fault for not supplying me with decent hardware to begin with.

    Isn't there a way in win98 to create a boot disk? I can't remember how. I probably should have one anyway, but could someone point me in the right direction?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
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    Minn
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    In Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs, you have a tab for setting up a Win98 Startup disk. Have a floppy ready and use this. You can also download a boot disk from a web site which I think is bootdisk.com, but I don't have the link handy here since I am at work.

    Budfred

  12. #12
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    The thing is, with the mobo, cpu and ram being swapped out, there are going to be conflicts. Your harddrive has all the info for the other computer. You might be able to remove the motherboard and chipset drivers and replace them with the new drivers. Audio drivers will change more than likely. If you're installing the old video card that should be ok. If not there is another driver that will have to be swapped.

    I just figured it would be easier, quicker and cleaner to format and reinstall with this size upgrade.

  13. #13
    I just figured it would be easier, quicker and cleaner to format and reinstall with this size upgrade.
    Steve, you are a master of understatement.

    Cooperbiker, I guarantee you will have nothing but headaches if you DON'T reformat and reinstall Windows and drivers fresh. Windows will be VERY confused by the new chipset and processor otherwise.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    India
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    230
    Yes, format followed by Windows installation is the way to do it. You can create bootdisks from any of the following sites.

    http://bootdisk.com/
    http://dos.li5.org/

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