Old Neglected Computers

Discussion in 'General Computing' started by Joe S, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. Joe S

    Joe S Excellent Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Messages:
    3,785
    Likes Received:
    113
    Most of us try and keep our machines cleaned periodically from dust and all that. I just retired last year as a heavy machinist where a lot of the work is cast iron. They used a lot of low end Windows NT and 95 desktops and some lasted for 10-15 years with no maintenance. They were always on and the main reason they replaced them was because they wouldn't work with new software or were ungodly slow. It kind of boggles the mind how they lasted that long in that filthy environment. The were still using a few Windows 2000 boxes when I retired. They replcaced the NT unit that my CNC machine was connected to with XP in 2007. They got their money's worth out of them out in the shops.
    Joe
     
  2. Super Sarge

    Super Sarge New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,737
    Likes Received:
    64
    I have seen them last a long time in our local dealership in a non-air conditioned environment (temps of 90 degrees or more in the summer), where until banned by state law individuals smoked. Computers are a lot tougher in bad conditions than most people think.
     
  3. Mitchell_A

    Mitchell_A Excellent Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Messages:
    5,068
    Likes Received:
    240
    Isn't it funny how old hardware shits out less often than newer hardware?

    Until recently, I had an IBM PC with an 800 mhz AMD64 processor, 512 mb of ram and a two 80 gb hard drives, needless to say it was maxed out with hardware, I ran Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 (the two latter being extremely vLite'd and streamlined for the best performance possible. It wasn't until the power supply quit that I decided to let it pass. The computer was from the late early 90's. Now, I find myself replacing computers or parts on an annual basis. Just the other day I purchased a new 5.1 surround PCI card for the only desktop I have, it's a 256 MB, 1.3 ghz celeron system with a 40 GB hdd. The PSU could pump 250, but for some reason was limited to 145. When I finally got all three of the PCI devices in it working, the hard drive took a dump.

    Never cleaned that IBM machine, never needed it.
     
  4. Elmer

    Elmer Extraordinary Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    3,873
    Likes Received:
    284
    Where you worked Joe, you'll understand me when I say suds oil. It permeates your clothes, skin etc., and you'll never be rid of the smell of it. We once took a PC monitor and the PC apart on a cnc lathe, the insides looked like they'd been coated in emulsified oil (high air / oil / water mixture. Think runny cindered toffee/honeycomb, in the UK, a Crunchie bar.) Thing is, it worked perfectly! Go figure. One extra dust bunny in my PC and it complains!
     
    #4 Elmer, Aug 28, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
  5. Joe S

    Joe S Excellent Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Messages:
    3,785
    Likes Received:
    113
    Yeah it is amazing how they last in that nasty environment. The first thing I always did when I got home was get a shower. The CNC I ran was purchased in 1993 and had a pre Windows proprietary control. It was actually more operator friendly than the fancy new Windows based controls with all those exotic features nobody uses.
    Joe
     
  6. Elmer

    Elmer Extraordinary Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    3,873
    Likes Received:
    284
    As an aside. I was actually "on the bench" doing the hand finishing. Now, through my up till now working life, I worked there 4 times. The last time I was there, Ken was still working the "big" cnc and vertical lathe.

    "Kin 'ell" says I, "you still here Ken?"

    "Aye" says Ken, "Been here 46 years, nobody can accuse me of being ambitious!".
     
  7. OldTimer

    OldTimer Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2010
    Messages:
    806
    Likes Received:
    29
    As a tech, installing new computers for people, I get the old ones that they just want to be RID of.
    Standard complaints are "SLOW" and "Noisy".
    I just love cleaning out those old PC's, of dust bunnies as well as thousands of junk files and never used programs, spyware, etc.
    Then I create a NEW USER and delete the old user. That cleans out a huge amount of collected JUNK.

    With a minimum of time and parts I can usually get those old PC's running almost as good as a new one right out of the store.
    Most need more RAM, that's just a given, and some need a healthier power supply and maybe a DVD burner to replace the old CD rom drive, but essentially, they are still very usable. And none of those OLD PC's have bulging cap's. :)

    I'd rather just GIVE those old, restored, PC's away to students or the elderly that need a PC, rather than try to sell them.
    It's fun restoring old PC's and can also be very rewarding.

    Cheers Mates!

    OT:cool:
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Mitchell_A

    Mitchell_A Excellent Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Messages:
    5,068
    Likes Received:
    240
    +1 I could literally do this my entire life (though sometimes the installations are so bogged down with so little RAM that it's faster to reformat). Spend $75 on some new parts then sell it for $200 = profit.
     
  9. OldTimer

    OldTimer Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2010
    Messages:
    806
    Likes Received:
    29
    There is nothing on any PC that can't be deleted, outside of the OS, of course.

    Removing all users except the Admin (me) gets rid of everything the old user did and all the files he/she glomed onto.

    Then running a good UN-Installer like Revo Uninstaller, not only gets rid of unwanted programs but cleans their leftovers out of the registry too. Then after removing all the junk out of the registry, it's a good idea to re-compress it with a safe program like NTREGOPT.

    Wiping and reinstalling the OS on an old PC is fraught with pitfalls, like getting the drivers for all that old hardware.
    Been there and done that and it still makes me shudder.:(

    On certain brands and models, that's ni'on to impossible.
    I just clean them up and then make a Ghost backup DVD for that PC, just in case that old HD shoots craps.
    It's like having a factory restore CD, that can put the computer right back the way is was when I got finished with it.

    I guess each guy has his own technique, but that's mine.
    (Not meaning any disrespect to anyone who wants to do something different.)

    Just a thought, from one old Tech.

    :cool:
     

Share This Page

Loading...