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upgrading my pc

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upgrading my pc

Hi people i am a novice when it comes to inserting new things into my pc. I want to have more ram and maybe a new harddrive. how easy is it to insert these as i have no clue what to do.

Thanks
20 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

upgrading my pc

Both are pretty easy but you do have to be careful if you are a novice in purchasing the correct products.

For ram check your motherboard manual to make sure you get the correct type and speed. Also check if you need to purchase the ram in pairs. You also need to check how many ram slots you have spare and which ones you can actually use.

For the disk, these are pretty easy to fit but it depend on whether you want to add an additional drive or replace your current one. If an additional drive then that is easy. If replacing your current one then you need to know how to copy your existing drives contents to the new one. There are many payfor tools around that can copy disk to disk and are designed for upgrading your current drive.

Or you could visit one of the many PC shops that offers a fitting service for you but make sure you backup all your important files because they don't always get it right.

Can I ask what your current system spec is - i.e. what processor and speed, how much ram, what motherboard (or PC make/model), what size disk have you got and how old is the PC itself (when did you buy it). Also what do you normally use it for (word processing, games etc) and what you expect the extra ram and disk to do for you.

If the system is very old you may not actually be able to upgrade the components you describe or it may be cheaper or better to replace the motherboard or some other components. Knowing a bit more of your usage and maybe even your budget may allow us to make alternative or better suited upgrade suggestions.

Cheers

Peter Cool
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upgrading my pc

I have a 2100 amd xp 60 gig hard drive 512mb ddr ram. I have neraly filled me hard drive.
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

upgrading my pc

In which case a 2nd disk is probably what you want - You must have a lot of files to fill 60Gigs (MP3s and video files maybe) and if you intend to store a lot more then you probably need a secondary 60 or 120Gig drive.

Do you have room in the case to fit another disk drive?

What do you use your system for? Is it slow?

Just wondering why you want to increase your ram above 512 as that is normally adequate for most users.

What windows version are you running? Win9x/Me have problems above 512Megs without additional tweaking of the memory management settings.

One question I must ask, what would you do if your current hard disk failed? I am guessing you don't have a backup of your files?
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upgrading my pc

I guess the files are purely 'stored' on that 60Gb drive. If they are, I'd invest in a CDR or DVDR (which are quite cheap now) and write the files to them.
After all, HD's can go wrong and you would loose all those files if the HD went down.
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upgrading my pc

Yes i have over 60 hours worth of music and a few dvds on there. I am using windows xp pro. I just want my pc to be good all the time. I notiching slow downs from time to time which really do my head in. How do u check if u have another slot for another hard drive?
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

upgrading my pc

Take the case off and see where the current drive is fitted. You can normally fit 2 internal drives so check to see if there is space next to it which also have holes to fix the drive it. The ribbon cable connected to your current drive will normally have 2 connectors on it to plug into 2 drives. You just fir the 2nd drive internally next to the first and connect the ribbon cable and power cable (there should be spares of this). Just make sure you set the 2nd drive to be a slave - see the info that comes with the drive.

If there is nothing near it you may need to fit it to a spare front mounting bay - you will need adaptor to fit it though.

What type of case do you have: Desktop (sometimes tight on space), mini-tower or full tower (both should have no problems fitting a 2nd drive)?

Also check your manual that came with the system as it should explain what to do to upgrade things like memory, drives, processor etc.

The slow downs may not be solved by fitting more memory. There could be CPU intensive apps that are causing this is rogue/runaway processes that hog the CPU for a while.

Are you running a firewall, anti-virus scans and spyware/trojan scans on your PC. If not I suggest you get all of these quickly and run them as it could be a virus or trojan that is slowing your PC down.

ZoneAlarm - free firewall
Adaware - free spyware scanner
Spybot search and destroy - free spyware scanner

There are loads of anti-virus scanners around just seatrch google. There are also many trojan scanners but most are payware but they do have a trial period.


Cheers

Peter Cool
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upgrading my pc

I have adware and its found nothing. U can get external harddrives do u t hink as i am a novice in fitting things in to my pc i should get a usb external hardrive instead save a bit of time.
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

upgrading my pc

No, stay away from USB drives, they can be unreliable and slow due to the USB interface.

You did not say what case you have?

If you are not confident in fitting it yourself (it really is not difficult) many local PC shops or PC world can fit it for you for a charge.
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upgrading my pc

I have not clue what case i have its just a pc case thats all i know
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upgrading my pc

If you have such little knowledge about the internals of your PC, I would suggest you have little option but to get your local PC shop (high street shop, not PC world) to fit a new HD for you.
If you try to do it yourself, you could end up loosing all your data.
I would still advise a CD writer or DVD writer, the data will be more secure.


(I've only FDISK'd the wrong partition once, never again)
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upgrading my pc

Thanks alot u have been helpful. I am guessing graphics cards are go 2 a shop 2 then.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

upgrading my pc

Quote
If you have such little knowledge about the internals of your PC, I would suggest you have little option but to get your local PC shop (high street shop, not PC world) to fit a new HD for you.

Can't PC World do things like that as well? I seem to remember they offer several services like that....

...not that I'd trust PC World with anything, mind you. :roll:

Thomas
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upgrading my pc

PC World do do this.

However, I think that comment was based on the same reason you wouldn't trust them.
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upgrading my pc

PC World are OK for some things. If it is a system they have supplied, it is OK as they have the "step by step idiots guide manual".
If it is a bespoke system from someone else, I would worry.

Graphics cards are easier to fit than hard drives. You just have to make sure, with AGP cards, that the AGP speed ratings and voltages between your motherboard and Graphics card are compatible.