Umm... a little out-of-character, but

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I have some questions involving late-90s PCs and Windows variants. Let's just avoid the awkwardness for now and get down to business. Tongue

I have here a 4500-series Compaq Presario tower, with 3.2GB hard drive and 32MB RAM. Runs a 233MMX Pentium processor, and S3 Virge Trio64 2MB graphics onboard(surprisingly powerful 2D accelerator, I must say!).

Questions:
- PC100 RAM modules will be happy in its PC66 slot(1 of them), right?
- Will a standard Windows 95 licence key work with a Compaq QuickRestore version of Windows 95?
- If I stick 128MB of RAM in this thing, will it run Windows XP just fine? I'm hoping it will be at least as usable as Mac OS X Puma on a 266MHz G3 with the same amount of RAM.

I certainly don't plan to use this thing for anything serious eg internet browsing, email etc. as Windows is decidedly NOT an internet OS, but I do want to stick a load of music and videos on there, and if XP will run on it I can use the new, half-decent versions of Media Player, which will make it all worthwhile.

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Reverend Darkness's picture
Joined: Dec 20 2003
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answers...

RAM - yes, PC100 should work just fine.

License - yes, any valid license should work.

XP? - no. Minimum requirements call for a 300 mhz processor.

And even if you had a 300 in there, it would be about as fast as mole's asses in January. Go for 98se.

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Hmm...

Hmm. I think the minumum is 233, but unless anyone says it runs fine at that speed... I'll go with Windows 95. That plus an old version of Winamp and Quicktime player will do nicely.

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Re: Hmm...

Disco Inferno wrote:

.. I'll go with Windows 95. That plus an old version of Winamp and Quicktime player will do nicely.

I think that would be a better choice than XP.
Oldversion is a nice site to stock up on older smaller versions of WinAmp, Quicktime, etc. that would suit that machine well.

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XP on slower processors

The slowest single processor I have run XP on was a K6-2 300mhz with 256MB. It was a bit slow, but it only had a 3GB hard disk in it. Smile

Currently I have it running on a few machines:
-----------------------------------------------
- Digital Prioris MX6000 server (4 PPro 200mhz processors) with 512MB RAM, 4x 4.3GB ultra-wide SCSI drives. Only sees 2 processors, but runs OK for the most part due to the RAM and drives. Running NVU (open-source HTML editor) takes some patience.

- Generic P3-450 with 384 MB RAM, 8GB boot drive attatched to motherboard, 2 10GB and 2 20 GB drives attatched to a ATA 133-RAID controller. Runs very well on this one, plays Unreal quite well too with an older TNT 16MB AGP card. I'm currently running Ubuntu Linux on this one.

- Atholon XP 2200, 512 MB RAM, 2 40GB drives. Again, runs very well. The hardware is starting to have issues with being left on for extended periods of time, but that's not related to XP.

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How about...

Windows 2000 Professional? A friend with a new HP laptop had that on his old PC, it seemed pretty fast and due to the upgrade he'd be happy to give me the install CD. Quicker than XP?

Would XP maybe run faster with the grotesque 'themes' turned off(making it look like 2000)?

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Re: How about...

Disco Inferno wrote:

Windows 2000 Professional? A friend with a new HP laptop had that on his old PC, it seemed pretty fast and due to the upgrade he'd be happy to give me the install CD. Quicker than XP?

Yep, I'd go 2k. I'm running it on a Celeron 400MHz box with 256MB RAM and it's quite responsive. Works great as an internal file server, print server, and for sharing FileMaker databases through the network and the Web. Pretty soon it'll be serving WebDAV too.

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2000 works great

Win2K will work just fine on a 233. There's one at my office used for burning program CDs. I believe it has 128MB RAM and works very well.

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win2k will also work on a 166MMX

I have a Dell Latitude XPi CD 166MMX and it runs 2k just fine. It only has 64MB ram so I could probably bump it up to 128 (if I can find 2 64MB SIMM's for it. It is a little slug-ish but I can browse the web and play MP3's at the same time.

Quote:

Win2K will work just fine on a 233.

I second that. I also ran 2k on a Dell 233MMX Laptop and it screams. (I don't require a lot of power for a lot of stuff that I do)

EDIT: BTW an OEM License will not accept a Boxed of the OS S/N and Vice-versa. (I have tried)

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same here. but i have 384MB

same here. but i have 384MB ram.

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Go with XP

Im on a 233mhz P2 processor with 128mb of ram running windows xp with the same video card as your machine, if you take of the eye candie by right clicking on my computer it is faster than you think.

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Uhh... hit a little problem here

Don't suppose anyone can tell me how to make this thing recognise more than 48MB of total RAM? It's got 16 on the motherboard and won't see more than 32MB no matter what size chip I put in the slot(with a 64MB chip it sees 16MB, with a 128MB chip it sees 32MB).

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Re: Uhh... hit a little problem here

Disco Inferno wrote:

Don't suppose anyone can tell me how to make this thing recognise more than 48MB of total RAM? It's got 16 on the motherboard and won't see more than 32MB no matter what size chip I put in the slot(with a 64MB chip it sees 16MB, with a 128MB chip it sees 32MB).

Bios upgrade? Are these older style chips (the ones with a lot of chips on them, not the newer ones with fewer (high density) ships?)

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Hmm

I think the problem is that im using really new chips on an old board... it sees 16MB on a 64MB chip, 32MB on a 128MB chip and ill see if it sees 64MB on 256mb... that'll confirm it.

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A lot of older boards can onl

A lot of older boards can only recognize low density ram. Like the symptons you are describing, the computer will only see partial bits of high density ram. Similar to how beige and b/w g3s can only use doublesided (low density) 256 meg dimms (they only see 1/2 the ram of 256 single sided ram sticks).

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While I appreciate that there

While I appreciate that there's a good chance this is the issue, the manual does say it can only take 32MB chips for 48MB total RAM... but hopefully that's only coz it was printed in 97.

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I have a simular problem with

I have a simular problem with this PC. It can see the 448MB of memory inside it, but can only address 3XX MB or so, thus it goes loopy when it trys to right to the remainder.

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Compaq really means what they

Compaq really means what they print in the manual. I've got a Presario 4910, which is a K6/266 w/ a single DIMM slot. With 32MB built-in Compaq says it will only take a 32 DIMM to have a max of 64MB. They really mean that. I got it used for next to nothing because it didn't work right. Turns out it had a Centon PC133 256MB DIMM stuck in the slot, of which it only saw 32MB. I swapped that out for a 32MB DIMM and things started working fine. Of course I then stuck that 256MB into my Dell GX1... That was one cheap RAM upgrade, ~$10 and a free PC on the side!

Anyway, I'm sure it's an intentionally borked RAM controller for these low-end systems. Apple did similar things so I wouldn't put it past Compaq to do the same.

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Incedentally

I find it amusing that back in 1997 when this machine was purchased, a low-end system such as itself cost as much as today's mid-high range G5 tower systems...

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To further to on another tangent of this thread:

Disco Inferno wrote:

I find it amusing that back in 1997 when this machine was purchased, a low-end system such as itself cost as much as today's mid-high range G5 tower systems...

I found that in the library at my work, they had back issues of Creative COmputing going back to 1979 though 1985 (or whenver it folded).

Creative Computing was the magazine that really made me discover computers.

Anyway, I'm in the 1981 issues right now and I came across an ad for a 10 megabyte hard drive subsystem for various computers. Only 5995.00 dollars. Just for the hard drive. Ouch. (was a corvus setup.)

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming...

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