How I Got my 10 year old desktop to perform like new

THE DESKTOP

From the title of this post, you may have guessed that its a bit techie, well, you’re not wrong. I will try to narrate my experience in refurbishing my computer in less techie way.

So I have an old desktop. Many would say why not just get a new one? This PC happens to be one that I built on my own back when building PCs was more than just a hobby for me. Other than that, it still serves the purpose.THE BUILD

  • Processor: Intel Pentium 4 HT
  • RAM: 2 Gb
  • Storage: 320 Gb
  • OS: Windows 10 Pro upgraded from Windows 7 Pro
  • Display: Nvdia GEForce 1 Gb

THE REASON

“S” recently lost a lot of data because her external hard drive crashed. This event reminded me to that my own hard drive is due for replacement. It’s a good idea to replace hard drive before it crashes. In general, a hard disks life is 2 to 3 years depending on the extent of usage.

THE COMPONENTS

I ordered the components that I needed to restore my computer to its former glory. I got a 2 Gb graphics card, a 240 Gb solid state drive and a new power supply from Souq.com.

So why a solid state drive (SSD), a solid state drive performs up to 23x faster than a conventional hard drive. A computer is only as fast as its slowest component which is normally a hard drive. An SSD is a solid-state storage device that uses integrated circuit assemblies as memory to store data persistently without moving mechanical parts.

SSD Drive

The power supply that was delivered to me was not the one I wanted. The seller delivered an item which is not the same as image being sold, so I returned the power supply.

THE STEPS

First things first, I backed up my existing hard drive to my external drive. Better safe than sorry. I wouldn’t want to lose years of data just because I dropped the drive during replacement.

Next is cleaning the computer. Before installing new components its a good practice to physically clean the computer. I used a vacuum cleaner to remove the dusts, I detached the cooling fan and sprayed with WD40 to remove the dust buildup, I removed the heat sink and pressure washed it with water. Since I didn’t get a new power supply the existing one will have to do. So I opened it up, vacuumed all the dusts, sprayed WD40 and cleaned the exhaust fan.

I put all components back replacing the old graphics card with the new, secured the SSD to the casing.

Then I disconnected the old hard drive and use the SATA cable and power supply to connect to my SSD. I wanted to do a clean install of Windows 10, which I had previously downloaded and made a boot able USB to use as my installer.

Once all the components are in place, I plugged in my boot able USB, powered on the computer, set the CMOS to boot using the USB. Then it was OS installation time. Since I did not change my motherboard or my network card, I didn’t require an activation key when installing Windows 10. I skipped those parts where activation key is required. I read that once the computer goes online, it will activate automatically because technically the activation servers in Microsoft will still see it as the same PC.

After OS installation, it was time to install all device drivers (software required for other components to work). Since I have an old computer, I had a hard time finding a driver for the audio device (Realtek High Definition Audio), I found one from the Lenovo support site.

Once all the devices are working, its time to install the apps. When that is done, I started restoring my data, I managed to recover my saved passwords in Mozilla Firefox by restoring the profile folders.

Now I have faster and more quiet PC which opens up and shuts down faster.

We also got a Mac Pro which we are still in the process of discovering. That would be “A”nother story.

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The “A” in A, B & Me. An opinionated Tech enthusiast who likes movies and TV, cooking (and eating!) good food, and traveling. I write about the Tech stuff.

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2 Comments

  • Abigail

    It’s nice to read this techy stuff 🙂 reminds me of the work I use to do before my Mama stint.

    February 18, 2016 at 10:35 AM Reply
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