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Old 06-25-2008, 09:05 AM
 
Location: central oregon coast
208 posts, read 833,913 times
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I am a computer illiterate,all I do online is get email and some research.My very old IBM 500 is developing problems with Windows 98(DDL error?) and Explorer is a frequent crasher.Should I just get my computer wiped and reinstalled or buy a new desktop? They all seem to have a lot of bells and whistles that I don't want or need and prefer not to pay for.Who sells a cheap,simple computer? The only thing I have ever replaced in this computer is a video card,makes the modem 8? years old.
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Old 06-25-2008, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
1,368 posts, read 6,298,716 times
Reputation: 542
I'd buy a new pc.

Go to Dell, Toshiba or HP's websites and order one.

Only thing I'd recommend you have is at least 1GB of RAM to run Windows Vista... preferably 2GB.


If you're up for learning a new operating system, I'd recommend trying Ubuntu Linux, or buy a mac (which will be more expensive).

If you use Linux, you can conceivably get $100 or so off the price of a PC. But, its not the easiest thing to learn.
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Old 06-25-2008, 11:41 AM
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Location: Ohio
17,105 posts, read 36,318,624 times
Reputation: 14425
Maybe you're a good candidate for MSN TV, instead of a computer? My mother-in-law uses the Internet in the ways you described. She has used a Web TV box, and more recently and MSN TV 2 for years and she loves it. She doesn't want the hassle of owning and maintaining a computer, so it's perfect for her.
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Old 06-25-2008, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Texas
5,070 posts, read 9,717,704 times
Reputation: 1647
Yeah, probably a new machine is best, but he might be able to fix this dll problem if we knew the exact error message.
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Old 06-25-2008, 03:12 PM
 
28,783 posts, read 45,083,280 times
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Dig out the Windows '98 CD.

Go into Windows and insert the CD. When it starts (or browse to it if it doesn't and look for and run setup.exe) Install Windows.

W98 will completely reinstall all the system files (missing dll and Explorer crashing) and not touch your documents, pictures, etc.

I've done this countless times and never had any problems unless I added new hardware. If you have it will ask for the drivers (video card).

All this assumes you have the CD (diskettes?) for W98 and the drivers for the video card and perhaps the modem.

As I tell many of my clients: if it works for what you need, and installing Windows fixes the problem, why buy a new PC? That is, of course, unless you want a new one?
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Old 06-25-2008, 04:43 PM
 
21,772 posts, read 64,751,750 times
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Tek-freek nailed it. Just be sure to do a backup of your data files before re-installing. There is a possibility that the hard drive could just be starting to go a little wonky.

The full instructions can be found here. I used to have a link to Leo Laport's simple step-by-step guide, but didn't run across it just now. This link is even more long-winded than I am sometimes.

Smart Computing Article - Reinstall Windows 98 (http://www.smartcomputing.com/editorial/article.asp?article=articles/archive/r1006/23r06/23r06.asp&guid - broken link)
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Old 06-25-2008, 05:38 PM
 
13,056 posts, read 12,470,915 times
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Avoid Vista as it will require more powerful hardware to run appropriately. For what you need it for, the cheapest machine will be fine. Just make sure it has Windows XP and not Vista. It will run considerably faster and without as many issues.
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Old 06-25-2008, 06:41 PM
 
28,783 posts, read 45,083,280 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Tek-freek nailed it. Just be sure to do a backup of your data files before re-installing. There is a possibility that the hard drive could just be starting to go a little wonky.

The full instructions can be found here. I used to have a link to Leo Laport's simple step-by-step guide, but didn't run across it just now. This link is even more long-winded than I am sometimes.

Smart Computing Article - Reinstall Windows 98 (http://www.smartcomputing.com/editorial/article.asp?article=articles/archive/r1006/23r06/23r06.asp&guid - broken link)
Absolutely! Good catch harry!
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Old 06-25-2008, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Texas
5,070 posts, read 9,717,704 times
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I might consider Xubuntu if I were in his place.
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:45 PM
 
Location: Northglenn, Colorado
3,689 posts, read 10,059,416 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radek View Post
I'd buy a new pc.

Go to Dell, Toshiba or HP's websites and order one.

Only thing I'd recommend you have is at least 1GB of RAM to run Windows Vista... preferably 2GB.


If you're up for learning a new operating system, I'd recommend trying Ubuntu Linux, or buy a mac (which will be more expensive).

If you use Linux, you can conceivably get $100 or so off the price of a PC. But, its not the easiest thing to learn.
I would say 2 gigs minimum with vista, 3 if you can afford it.

Linux is definatly not an OS for new users, I have been fighting with ubuntu all night to mount my darn second hard drive that it does NOT want to do.
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