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Computer question! Need help.

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
My computer is a 1998 HP I still have tons of disk space and loads of memory but I think it only has 1 pentium and it is very slow!!! And I have cable instead of dial=up. Ok here is my question,do I need to buy a whole motherboard or can I just get a pentium chip? It also frezzes up all the time!And it drives me nuts!And how do I know which one to get? Can anybody help?
post #2 of 24
If you're low on memory, memory may help, but it sounds like you probably need a new motherboard. Ick.
post #3 of 24
you need more memory - the more memory that you have the faster the pc works. I used to have a 486 some time ago - this was two speeds - slow and dead stop. Then I Moved upto something with a couple of mb and the result was incredible. I now have in excess of 80gig which is incredible with the latest pentium.
I would suggest a couple of things.
Dont buy memory - it means you have to open up the back and slot it in. It does not always make things easier.
2 - find how much you can afford cash wise
3 - contact the smaller shops that sell pcs. These tend to be the ones that sell mother boards. They are also the ones that make and build pcs for people. They can do it at a fraction of the price and once the new mother board is in - sit back and relax as its gonna be a fast ride.

4 - the large stores grossly inflate the prices of pcs - they have large over heads to cover.
5 - By using the little man in a shop - you will get the service, get honest advice and its personal. If it goes wrong - he / she will look at it a lot better price than the big places.
post #4 of 24
You could have a computer technician (from a smaller store like Kev suggested) give you an estimate on how much it would cost to upgrade your computer. Since your computer is about 6 years old, you might need to decide if you'd be better off getting a new one. My son built both computers we use at home from scratch, and the cost was about 1/2 the price of a new one.

In the past, I found that some of the shareware programs I was downloading were causing my computer to keep locking up. Once these programs were deleted, the problem was solved.
post #5 of 24
I really think you should get a new motherboard. I myself upgrade pretty frequently, I have a pentium 4 and 512MB of RAM. I use dialup and don't find it particularly painful, even after having been accustomed to the luxury of cable. (Moved to the country)
You'll find that you wont meet the minimum requirements of many programs if you keep your computer the way it is now.
post #6 of 24
And to add to what Lorie said, ya you might want to just get a new computer. If your needs aren't that great then you don't have to spend a lot of money. If you have a friend that knows how to build computers you should probably have a little talk with them about what you do and don't do with your computer and what you'll need based on that information.
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
I just had a memory chip added.I have tons of memory! And my A disk is totaly empty. And my C disk is almost empty.I don't download a lot of stuff worried I might get a vuires ! Which is why I don't understand why it frezzes up. I have TCS and MSN and E-BAY My e-mail ( outlook) ,yahoo, HP sites and my camera on my decktop. Ted said I have 400 mb .Which is twice that I had when I bought it.All the games I have were put on by me with a cd, I do not download any games.
post #8 of 24
Even if you can upgrade, it sometimes costs almost as much as a new computer. And you can't just get a new pentium 4 chip, and expect everything else to work, you need to have someone look at the whole system.

How much RAM do you have? That would be the first reason things are freezing up. And do they just freeze when you are online? Some web sites are just too complex now, with applets and all that, the older computers have trouble handling things, and the browser freezes. Or do you mean that the whole computer freezes when you are doing other tasks?

Unfortunately, I have a friend who bought a new HP computer a couple of years ago, and it did that all the time, it just froze on her, and she had to reboot. She took it back to the store, and the salesperson said, yeah, a few other people have been having this problem, we have had a few returned this week!

However, hers was a Pentium 2 (or maybe even 3), so I am not sure it is the same thing wrong.
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
I have 255.0 MB RAM
Systems Resourcer 54 percent free
File system 32 BIT
Viruel Memory 32 BIT
My son swears it is because I run window's 98,he thinks I should get windows XP ?
post #10 of 24
Sherral, I don't know much about computers either but I did find that defragmenting your computer & running disk scan often helps when your computer starts to bog down. I have mine setup to do it on it's own, but I'm not sure if you're computer has that option. To find out go to programs, then accessories & it should have something called Scheduled Tasks or Maintence Wizard.

That might help speed things up a bit for you. Good luck!
post #11 of 24
I am not a computer wiz, I just want to tell you about my laptop. It´s relatively new, has lots of space, but I must admit I drowned the Outlook in mail, since I was a member of a mailing list that had a lot of posts. But the problem is that sometimes it is very slow, and the mouse tends to freeze and sometimes everything is stuck.
My brother in law is a computer wiz (and workes as one), and he sais this has nothing to do with memory. He sais I will have to pick the programs and files I want to keep, then throw everything out and set the computer up again and add the things I picked out earlier. He sais this could be a virus that caused this to start or something else, but the bottom line is that he sais that this is not a big problem to do at all, but will have to be done in order to fix the computer.
I was just wondering, since you have plenty of memory...
Hope this will get fixed, whichever way works
post #12 of 24
I just saw you post, Shell. Just wanted to add, that defragmenting didn´t help in my case, which reasured my brother in law that the other actions were necesary.
post #13 of 24
I am running a Pentium 2 on windows 98, and it works fine. I have a Pentium 4 with windows xp, and its noticeably faster, but the old computer doesn't freeze up. And you have plenty of RAM, so I would think that a virus scan, or a check up with a comuter tech who KNOWS that you are not going to invest in costly upgrades, might be in order.
post #14 of 24
I wonder if Windows 98 is the problem? My desk-top, which I use for work, and has no modem, had the 98 version, but crashed so often that I replaced it with Windows 95. The computers at school also had 98, and there were so many problems that the computer teacher switched to Windows ME. I have Windows XP on my laptop, which I use to go online, and have had a lot of problems with it. Windows 98 doesn't have a very good reputation, and I find Windows XP problematic. Perhaps you have a software, rather than a hardware, problem?
post #15 of 24
hHere's the advice of my hubby (he's an IT Manager and built our home computers)
Ok, you have several problems here.

Windows 9x( 95, 98) does not truly support memory above 128 MB. To remedy this you have some options:

1. You can attempt to upgrade your Operating system to Windows XP (which is the most stable of all of the home operating systems, DO NOT get Windows ME). However, with your current hardware I would not suggest this.

2. You can call HP and find out what you can do to upgrade your motherboard/pc. You have an HP system chances are it has proprietory hardware, and you will not be able to upgrade it without go thrhough HP first. But this will likely cost a huge amount of money.

3. You can purchase a new machine. All of the major computer manufacturers offewre low end systems for a few hundred dollars. However, you will provbably run into the same issues with upgrading in the future. As hardware will be proprietory.

4. You can purchase a custom built system from a computer show in your area or The advantage here is that you will be able to upgrade your machine, but you won't get the service (tech support) that you would with one of the major manufacturers.
post #16 of 24
While my husband does not make his living dealing with computers, he has done all his own upgrades, mine, my Dad's, his mother's, his sisters' and umpty-nine friends for the last dozen or more years, and has a pretty good handle on what the problems are likely to be and how to tweak a system. Here's his reading...


Given the age of the machine, it is probably one of the original Pentiums, i.e., not a P-2 or later. The processor speed will likely be under 500MHz -- possibly well under.

An upgrade to a faster CPU isn't likely to be feasible -- any CPU that will go on a Pentium mother board is long since out of production, and I don't think Pentium 1's went beyond 500MHz. Doubling the speed of the CPU with no other changes will get you a performance improvement that is only just noticeable in ordinary use.

To go to another CPU will definitely require a mother board change -- and there's a good chance that she'll have to upgrade the case and power supply to match. Already, she's talking CDN$250 for bottom-end stuff for the upgrade. Better to replace the box.

But I suspect that it's a software problem. A P-1 in the 300MHz range is capable of quite acceptable performance, if you're not a gamer and haven't loaded it down with too much software. Upgrading to Windows XP may make things worse, not better, in that regard. Pollyanna's brother's approach might be the best bet.

For what it's worth, I am also running a Pentium built in 1998, Rob's recollection is that it is a 350 Mhz processor, and my performance is more than satisfactory. This would tend to support the theory that the problem is software not hardware.

Are you totally confused yet?
post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
oh ya! Eric will behome tommorrow,I am going to let him read this thread. He will understand.
post #18 of 24
Don't feel badly, Sherral - I haven't the slightest idea, of what anybody's told you. If my computer croaks, I'm dragging one of the geeks home, from work.
post #19 of 24
Take a look at's Linare PC starting at $199. I believe Walmart sells something similar. While not state of the art gaming systems they will more than handle what you are doing. They save some money by using with a free operating system,Linux, which if you don't like you can just wipe off and load what you already have.

Just dropping in a new mother board (MB) may not be cost efficient or necessarily even work at all. Back in 98 AT style systems were common so a new MB wouldn't even fit in your case. A power supply going bad could be the cause of your current problem so a new MB wouldn't solve anything. You would likely have to buy new memory that was compatible with your new MB. Hard disk technology has improved greatly since 98 and your old disks would now be a major bottleneck.

I could go on and on but hopefully you see that there is sometimes more involved than just dropping in a new MB.
post #20 of 24
I have no advice for you Sherral, Sorry I'll just ramble a little...

1996, we got our first computer(I think it was 1996.. and it was Microsoft 1995.. excellent thing, loved it loved it, until 2002 when we wanted the internet, by that stage I had seen faster better machines and we needed the net for our buisness, so we took our computer into get upgraded and they worked it out that it was going to cost TWICE as much as a new computer, so we got a new computer got the internet and the rest is history.. I'd just get a new computer, it would fix it.. .. Good luck!
post #21 of 24
I think you should go with the IT suggestions. Purchase a new PC. You could reinstall everything on that PC afterwards and use it as a *hmmm, don't know how to say this* machine that you would only do less intensive stuff on. (ie. Games that don't take much, word processing only) Just anything that doesn't take a lot.
post #22 of 24
If you want to install anti virus software to be on the safe side AVG do a free version for home users. If something you download has a virus AVG will detect it when you open the folder the infected file is in and will give you the option to 'heal' the file (delete it safely). This particular software is good because once you register your free download you can update the software free as well.
post #23 of 24
You can buy a complete Dell computer for $500.00 now. Might be better to just get a new computer instead of replacing existing parts.
post #24 of 24
I'm a computer geek and love to tinker with hardware and software. Upgrading hardware or software is nothing to fear. It's quite easy to do. I've installed video cards, modems, printer ports, sound cards, hard drives, etc.

You could upgrade your processor but you have to make sure your motherboard supports it. Processors are not cheap, and for a little more money, you could get a decent system. 1.0 GHz processors were only available in 2000. Unless you were referring to your 1998 HP as having Windows 98. Your processor speed is proably more like 350 Mhz or 650 MHz.
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