Home
Join

305 Replies

  • 2005 would be too old for me.

    Spice (11) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • I quit working on anything that came with an XP license.  Vista is sketchy, depends on hardware.

    Most computers are Windows 7, or 8.

    Spice (56) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • It costs too much to fix when it would be anywhere close to the same price to replace.

    Spice (211) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • Parts are almost never hard to find in a resonable timeframe, (over 15 years might start getting difficult)

    It truly just comes down to a cost analysis.

    Are Parts+Time </> a new computer

    Spice (43) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • So in seeing your replys im thinking of saying windows 7 or newer will fix but i would recomend just buying a new computer how does that sound?

    Spice (5) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • I have to agree with Adam. Older memory is more expensive than current tech. most of the other parts are easy to replace. so if it was running Vista as the original OS? anything but HD or memory is a fixable item. if it is either? do your best to recover their pictures of their grand kids and point at an inexpensive unit for them to buy. 

    Spice (3) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • For everyday users, non computer people, and people with high expectations from their computers, I lean heavily on "buy a new computer" when they come to me with a problem, even if it's not what I would do if I was in their situation.  When you're working with an old computer like that, it can be fun -- but only if you LIKE working on old computers, and only if the user is willing to go for long, perhaps indefinite periods of time without their computer.  

    I work in the automotive aftermarket, and I can tell you, there is no car that's too old to work on.  But there are cars that are more work than others.  You have a 65 Buick?  You won't have any trouble finding parts -- not so much for some cars from the 10 or 20s.  

    What does everyone working on an old car have?  Oh yeah, a new, reliable car that they actually depend on for transportation.  

    Spice (35) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • Motherboards and LCDs get tough to find after a while for laptops but generally easy to replace/upgrade things such as RAM, power supply, hard drives, and DVD/CD-ROMs

    To answer your question, it's too old if you can't find parts on a reputable site and it's slow to begin with.

    Spice (11) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • Cost to benefit assessment really. If hardware replacement costs start to outweigh the replacement cost, recommend replacement. However I have met several senior citizens who gladly ignored this advice and paid high costs so they did not have to give up their windows XP to learn windows 7. Now with windows 8 I'd imagine they are even more hesitant to try to learn.

    Spice (4) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • When the hard drive is IDE or the hard drive is recurring errors. Also when you must reinstall an XP computer there a no updates so you'are taking a lot of risk.

    Hint use firefox and a good firewall if you has connected the XP machine to the Word wide web

    Spice (1) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • when the cost exceeds the value.

    Your time = money

    parts = money

    older hardware lose money

    Go on ebay, look up the workstation you're looking to fix, and evaluate the cost.  If the device costs $200 used on ebay, it'll take you 1 hour to fix, and require a $100 software, your value exceeds the value of the unit itself.  Replace.

    If you're working on a device valued at $5,000 and need a $100 software, go ahead and fix it.

    Work smart, not hard.

    Spice (17) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • I would never tell someone that their computer is too old to work on.  I'd give them an estimate of parts and labor and let them make a decision.  If it was a computer that was 10 years or older I'd probably go with a high estimate on labor so that they can know ahead of time that it will cost a bit more to work on.  And I might throw this in to help them make a decision: "If it was my computer I would not spend the money to fix it."  Sometimes that's enough right there.

    But I'd never just flat out refuse.  I just want to make sure they know what they could be in for.  Reinstalling the OS and apps on a computer older than 10 years could take 3 times as long as one made in the past 5.  

    Like bhemstead said, some people want to hang on to XP no matter what.  I can understand that.  And if they're willing to pay for it, I'm willing to help them.  :)

    Spice (35) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • bram2716 - i have an external drive with Wsusoffline on it with all the XP updates.  Been going that route for a few years now just for convenience sake.  Super handy to have now.  I imagine I have a few dozen XP reinstalls in my future.  :D

    Spice (4) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • 2008 and 2010 are not to old for them and what they want to do. On the vista I would either convince them to upgrade to win7 or put linux on that one. Pclinuxos is a very stable pc that is fast and easy to use. It helps that they don't know what the normal desktop is supposed to look like and are used to it.

     The thing to look at is memory. If it is less than 2 gigs I would upgrade it. That is very cheap to do and gives new life. On the win7 i would check when it was last reinstalled. If a long time(1 or more years) or if it runs a bit slow I would reinstall to get it fresh. Those ages are really not that old. The processor is fast enough, hard drive is big enough,  and memory is cheap to upgrade if needed. For what they want to do its good. May even get by with out a memory upgrade if you choose a lighter gui for linux.

    But your question is replacing hardware. Unless the motherboard goes out you can get replacement parts cheap. and there are not many parts that are likely to go out. Just memory and hard drive. Both you can pick up for around $50. May be a replacement motherboard also. Why cheaper than buying a new computer and you keep some computers out of a landfill.

    Spice (4) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • @Jason1121 as an IT professional it is our onus, to our clients to do what is best for them, outright refusing is absolutely never an option, unto which I agree.  But discussing with them value and cost is our duty, and to give them the option of replacement is our responsibility if worded correctly.  Giving high estimates in an attempt to persuade them otherwise is just not fair, nor is it professional for that matter.  Asking questions, and evaluating the clients needs outweighs an attempt to force their hand.

    http://community.spiceworks.com/how_to/show/61421-it-101-getting-better-details-from-users

    Learn who they are, listen, explain cost, explain value, don't twist numbers.

    Spice (17) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • Anything older then LGA775 and Windows Vista I don't touch and now, I am no longer doing XP machines unless its a close friend of family member.

    Spice (3) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • I agree with those that have suggested cost analysis, if you are going to spend more than it is worth replace it.

    That said i am still trying to convince the group of friends and family that i have to do support for to upgrade out of windows xp....

    Spice (1) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • I would have to go with cost, the last PC I repaired was a P2. still running great and fast for it's purpose.

    Spice (4) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • I would say anything that has a single core processor.

    Spice (7) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • If there is enough money involved, I will fix any computer no matter how old it is.

    I jump for cash!

    Spice (15) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • i will give you 5 million space dollars to fix my ibm 5100 so i can stop world war 3. lol

    Spice (7) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • Earlier than Win 7 and I suggest replacement.

    Spice (1) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • Thought comes up frequently—

    Spice (2) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • I recently fixed a tray loading Bondi Blue iMac and own a Mac Classic that is a bit of a labor of love (it was my first ever computer) but is still running.

    As far as I'm concerned, no computer is too old. You just have to be willing to fix it.

    Spice (10) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • Xandski wrote:

    I recently fixed a tray loading Bondi Blue iMac and own a Mac Classic that is a bit of a labor of love (it was my first ever computer) but is still running.

    As far as I'm concerned, no computer is too old. You just have to be willing to fix it.

    that's a bit different and practicality doesnt play into that, just like restoring collector cars.

    IMO anything with system specs including a core2duo or weaker processor isn't worth fixing, I can typically find a refurb with better specs for less than it would cost to repair.

    Spice (2) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • Can they afford to purchase an entirely new machine vs the cost of sourcing outdated and probably discontinued parts? If so then I recommend just building them something simple, i3/i5s are cheap now a days. Windows 7 to keep it simple for them, should last them another 5 years.

    Spice (1) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • I dont think there is a set limit, to me if a machine is functional, does what you need, why replace it?

    a old relative of mine still has windows 98, on the internet! and it works fine, its behind a router, and only ever gets used on yahoo mail. or office 2000.

    the replacement and training of any slight changes to someone who is 80 is not worthwhile, theres nothing important on there even if it was hacked to bits.

    id rather fix it then retrain them! 

    were sadly in this throw away world, as far as im concerned the less we replace, the less  money gets spent, the less that gets paid in taxes to corrupt governments the better :D so i save everything i can , im sure i make a big difference..!

    Spice (8) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • David6180 wrote:

    For everyday users, non computer people, and people with high expectations from their computers, I lean heavily on "buy a new computer" when they come to me with a problem, even if it's not what I would do if I was in their situation.  When you're working with an old computer like that, it can be fun -- but only if you LIKE working on old computers, and only if the user is willing to go for long, perhaps indefinite periods of time without their computer.  

    I work in the automotive aftermarket, and I can tell you, there is no car that's too old to work on.  But there are cars that are more work than others.  You have a 65 Buick?  You won't have any trouble finding parts -- not so much for some cars from the 10 or 20s.  

    What does everyone working on an old car have?  Oh yeah, a new, reliable car that they actually depend on for transportation.  

    Excellent. I couldn't agree more. Not only am I one of those people you mention who likes to work on old computers, but I love working on my classic car as well. 

    Spice (2) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • hah, thinking about it, the age is not so important, its what it is that matters!

    I remember one machine, probably the only machine ive ever just recommended replacing, and even then it was after several battles, that left me fearing a call from them.

    It was a Windows Millenium edition PC, with AOL, the user had 10,000+ emails stored in AOL, and would not budge, i supported it for year before saying i wouldnt do it any more! each time it took mannny hours, and oh god, ME and AOL!!!

    I also remember it had a epson C62!! omg remember those anyone? haha, and it was shared to another machine via a cheap chinese USB printer sharer. ohhh god the awful times i had!!

    Spice (2) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • Chris19delta wrote:

    Xandski wrote:

    I recently fixed a tray loading Bondi Blue iMac and own a Mac Classic that is a bit of a labor of love (it was my first ever computer) but is still running.

    As far as I'm concerned, no computer is too old. You just have to be willing to fix it.

    that's a bit different and practicality doesnt play into that, just like restoring collector cars.

    IMO anything with system specs including a core2duo or weaker processor isn't worth fixing, I can typically find a refurb with better specs for less than it would cost to repair.


    Agreed but in my current office we have a Windows machine of a similar vintage as the iMac that runs the door entry system. Cost isn't really a problem but effort is and it would probably be easier to source and replace a part than upgrade the system. If it dies completely then I'll probably migrate it to a VM (I've not done it yet because :effort:)

    Almost every other non server system in work run either "Lisbon" Opterons or "Clarkdale" i3s with a few newer laptops so they're not too bad to maintain.
    Spice (1) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • Rjones1 - you're calling me unprofessional and that hit a nerve. i don't give a fake high estimate to persuade them to buy something new.  There's no twisting of the numbers.  It's based off of past experience.  If they have an old computer, 10 or more years old, I know from the thousands of computers I've worked on over the past 20 years that it is most likely going to take longer to do.

    So where I might tell someone with a recent computer that I can backup and reinstall their OS in 2 hours, I tell the person with the old computer 2-6 hours because that's a really good possibility.  If they're ok with it possibly taking that long, then we do it.  

    I don't force anyone's hand, and I feel I was pretty clear about that (to quote me... I just want to make sure they know what they could be in for.)

    Spice (4) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • Chris19delta wrote:

    IMO anything with system specs including a core2duo or weaker processor isn't worth fixing, I can typically find a refurb with better specs for less than it would cost to repair.

    This is very true.  Just purchased about 50 refurbished Dells to replace some XP machines.  Ran about $200 a piece. Originally Vista machines, these came with 1tb hd's, 8gb's ram, a little usb wifi adapter, and a Windows 7 Pro product key.  Most were core2duos, but I'm ok with that for the next few years.  :)

    Spice (2) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • I have an old Zenith Data Systems Laptop running Win 95! Is that too old?? lol  I would love to find a compatible disk drive for it just so my kids can play the old windows games on it :)

    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • Or maybe something like this??

    Spice (4) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • I once had to fix a 1998 vintage acer extensa laptop. It was fun. Installed Win 98 on it and used it as a music player  for streaming radio and from USB.Web browsing could be done. Slower than a snail.

    The other oldest one i fixed was a dell latitude which i bought for $25 in 2010(just couldnt pass it up on craigslist). P4, 512 MB RAM. Ran Win xp  like a champ. Even dual booted win7.

     It all depends on the cost of fixing vs New purchase.Sometimes  there is additional hassle of how much work needs to be done like having to replace  hard drive in a Dell Inspiron N5010..

    Spice (1) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • lol we are using 2003 Dell p4 models running Windows 7 and Office 2013 x86, 2008 and 2010 are really not old.

    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • it depends what it is doing. if the machine is for "senior citizen" facebooking then probably not. if it's a dedicated dos machine with a dedicated bit of hardware for a production facility then very muchly so would it get repaired. 

    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • Anything that is older than XP.  If a machine has barely 500mb of ram running on it...then that's a definite no for me.

    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • Just like some people have already mentioned it's not really worth your time to even look at machines that have an OS older than Windows 7. Gives you a good idea just by the OS that the hardware would be date as well. 

    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • If it has a floppy drive, I usually won't touch it outside of personal favors for people I REALLY like.

    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • Vista and older desktops that are BROKEN I find are really not worth fixing. When you can buy a refurb with Win7 pro for less than $200, I won't spend the $. I will upgrade if it's a nicer system with a good spec list.

    I find any laptop that won't take Win7 are the ones I avoid. Parts are so cheap these days if you search correctly. If the parts work, MB is OK, I would rather just put in new RAM, a new HD, and new OS, unless they are willing to buy a decent referb. I'm doing this with several side clients and family members...

    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • "If it has a floppy drive, I usually won't touch it outside of personal favors for people I REALLY like."

    my brand new system built a week ago still has a floppy drive. So how is that too old. it is a AMD FX9370

    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • As Joe Teti from Dual Survival would say risk vs reward. If I buy memory,HDD,etc for X and it cost only X to replace the whole machine is it worth it?

    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • There are several answers to this. If by fix, you mean a new disk drive, or a new power supply - then they get too old when you can't find spare parts via amazon or ebay at a sensible price. 

    The accountants may have a different answer - it may suit, tax wise, to simply buy a new server and to have the depreciation tax write off. 

    My own approach is somwhere between the two. After 8-10 years it's worth buying new, IMHO.

    Hope this helps

    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • With basic laptops and tablets running around $300, for anything before Windows7, I would suggest a basic replacement. For the activities senior citizens perform on computers, that should be sufficient for their needs. Email, surfing, FB and Twitter can easily be handled by an off the shelf replacement. As far as age is concerned, I try to keep my machines for 5  years, but I buy as much computer as I can afford when I replace  one. And I buy top of the line HP or Dell when I do. 

    Spice (1) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • I'm not really interested in fixing anything earlier than a pentium 1. Unless it was a hobby build for someone. ... I guess i don't really have a limit. I'll take anything apart.

    Spice (2) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • I would say a 486sx would be too old.

    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • sorry that should have been a 286, if its a 286 its too old.

    Spice (1) flagReport
    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down
  • 4 years from the date of the problem is too old in my book

    Was this post helpful? thumb_up thumb_down

Read these next...