TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Lifespan of a Desktop PC?

Re: Lifespan of a Desktop PC?

Al Dykes (
17 Mar 2005 11:12:16 -0500

In article <>, Peter R Cook
<> wrote:

> In message <>,
> writes:

>> Would anyone know what is the average/typical physical lifespan of a
>> desktop PC? That is, how many years do they run before components
>> start failing?

>> When buying a new PC, how do people typically transfer the contents
>> from the old PC hard drive to the new PC? At work, people move stuff
>> out onto the LAN server or move the old drive into the new box; but
>> others say old drives are not compatible with new technology. How do
>> home users without a LAN handle it?

>> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I have here a Toshiba Satellite 220-CDS
>> since 1995. It started life as Win 95, has since been converted to Win-98
>> (which I am sorry I did, really, it seems to be running a little
>> slower than it did as a 95). But it _never_ freezes up, _never_ locks
>> out; just sits there all day long as part of my network doing its
>> thing, the same as it did as a 95. Is ten years a rather good life
>> span? PAT]

> Define a desktop PC. Which bits count? My machines evolve rather than
> get replaced.

> I am typing this on a machine that I put together at the end of 1999
> The case, memory and display were new, the motherboard was second-hand
> (so probably started life in 1997/8). The processors were upgraded (to
> a set of second-hand 1Ghz units) at the end of 2001. The disks have
> been regularly upgraded and added to . The latest upgrade (this month)
> is a USB2 card (see off-line backup below) for speed.

> When transferring "stuff" from one machine to another I have always used
> as "crossover LAN cable" to connect one to the other -- its a long time
> since I saw a machine without an ethernet port!

> Easiest way to do the transfer is probably to "restore" your off-line
> backup to the new machine - you do _have_ a backup of all the stuff
> you might want to transfer (i.e. not loose) don't you?

> Best bet today is probably to get a USB hard drive enclosure (US$35?),
> pull the old drive and drop it into the box. Two benefits.
> You can transfer the stuff easily.
> You now have an off-line backup that you can keep up to date.

> Peter R Cook

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I have two older IBM Think Pad 770
> machines. One with a working CD Drive, the other without. I wanted to
> put them both on Win 98. What I did was get the one machine up and
> running with Win 98, then I swapped hard drives (put the one with no
> associated CD drive into the machine that did have a CD drive.) Then
> I used the Win 98 update CD to load Win 98 on the other hard drive.
> Once Win 98 was working on that hard drive as well, then I swapped
> the hard drive back to the other machine. Now I have Win 98 on both
> machines. PAT]

IME the upgrade decision is forced when a Windows98 machine catches a
virus or spyware that can't be removed, or could be only if the owner
had the W/98 distro CD. The hardware is fine. The system needs a
fresh install and patches and it will be amazing who much better the
machine will work. This can happen to perfectly usable mid-range
hardware. Depending on the type of advice the user is getting, it
could mean just buying a w/98 CD, somewhere and doing a fresh
installation (a new big disk and a memory chip as upgrade should cost
less than $100) or opening up the wallet to Dell and buying much more
machine than the user really needs.

I've seen donated P-III 700 machines.

Users lose the CDs and registration information.

For recent (XP) machines I predict the same thing will happen but XP
is much more robust so it will take disk crash or killer virus to
force a new purchase.

a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m

Don't blame me. I voted for Gore.

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