Happy Friday! Just a friendly reminder to new subscribers to this newsletter: We have an archive of our past Community newsletters, which cover many technical and hot topics. So check it out, because I see a lot of questions e-mailed to me that have been covered before. Also, if you are in dire need of help with technical issues, you can always find help in the CNET forums, where many knowledgeable CNET members and moderators are always willing to give you great advice. So give the forums a try and post your questions there. Now let's get started addressing Dan's questions on finding compatible memory and a new hard drive for an older PC.
Dan, welcome back from your technical hiatus on PC tech. I
know exactly how you feel; when you've taken a little break
from keeping up with the Joneses it can be quite
overwhelming. The good thing though is that the questions
you've asked about RAM and hard drives of today versus older
PCs haven't really changed that much. And the best part is
that you don't have to figure out all this on your own,
because your fellow community members are here to get you
In this week's answers, you'll find a great deal of knowledge
shared by our members. They have technical definitions for
you, recommendations on different approaches in determining
what type of RAM your older machine accepts (by using either
a diagnostic utility or even Web sites to scan your
computer), and when it comes down to upgrading your hard
drive, heck, they give you the whole run down. Some members
even suggest that it may simply be the time to move on to a
newer computer, depending on the cost to upgrade those items.
I think once you've read through the answers, you'll be back
on track of knowing what's new from the old. In the Q&A
section, I've started you all out with a few selected member
answers, but please read all the answers. I've learned quite a bit myself, there's a lot of great advice. Good luck Dan!
Have an awesome weekend everyone!
The PC is not brand name. It is running Windows XP, and I
plan to add more RAM to it. But I don't know what to buy. How
do I figure out which memory will work in a PC
(size/speed/max capacity)? I'm guessing some of the RAM
available today is not compatible (too fast?) and I don't
know what the main board supports. Normally, I'd look at the
manual for the mother board specifies is supported, but there
isn't one. I don't want to do the trial and error method.
Is there a way to find out what memory is supported?
The second questions is about today's hard drives. What hard
drives are compatible with anything or are some only
supported with the latest and greatest? It used to be there
were just SCSI and IDE drives. IDE drives eventually
surpassed SCSI drives in terms of speed and became the norm.
All I had to do is look at faster RPMs, faster seek times,
and larger capacities and buffers (well, reliability was
another). Life for the ignorant was so simple. I've fallen
behind the times (even more) and don't know what to look for,
especially when I want to upgrade older PCs. I don't know
what UDMA and SATA are. Are these connections? Then there is
SATA2 or is it SATA II and are these compatible with any
"SATA" supporting PCs? Does it work with older PCs that use
IDE cables or do some HDs support both while others do not?
What is NCQ and is it something I should look for? What else
should I look for, as I wonder if these things are worth
enough to upgrade the motherboard for too? Thanks!
-- Submitted by:
Featured member solutions for last week's question:
How do I dual boot my computer to run Windows XP and Vista? To begin with, I am not totally literate when it comes to knowing what goes on "inside." I would like to know if it is possible to partition two different operating systems on the same computer. I am using Windows XP, but I would like to try Vista. I have heard good and bad things about it, so I'm reluctant to dispose of XP unless I'm convinced that I really like it. Can you please give me some detailed directions as to how I can accomplish this? Thank you.
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