XP on Old Pentium III

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Offline wtb

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XP on Old Pentium III
« on: September 21, 2008, 11:43:00 AM »
I have WinXP MCE5 from a recent Dell computer on the OEM Reinstallation CD.  Will this work OK for upgrading my old Dell Dimension XPS T550, Pentium III, 3.0GHz, 256MB from Win98?

Thanks for any advice - assistance you can provide.
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Offline Mister2

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Re: XP on Old Pentium III
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2008, 02:12:05 PM »
Hi wtb :)

Two things spring to mind:

1. I believe the Dell reinstallation disk contains drivers specific to the machine it was shipped with.  These may not suit the T550, and the existing Win98 drivers would not suit XP.

2.  More importantly, an OEM version of Windows is intended for use on one machine only.  Transferring it to a different machine invalidates the license agreement.  Also, you will probably find you are unable to activate it.

My advice would be to buy a copy of XP Home from a retailer.  You will have to buy a piece of hardware at the same time but a USB cable is inexpensive but useful.  You should be able to get a copy for around $88.00 or less.
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Offline wtb

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Re: XP on Old Pentium III
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2008, 05:21:45 PM »
Mister2,
Thanks for the info.  Wll get a fresh copy of XP.
What piece of hardware do I need.  The T550 has a CD +-RW and a DVD.  All I should need is the CD with WinXP I think.
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Dell XPS 700-720, 1kW PS, 720 Exchng Mobo 9/25/07
Intl D930 3GHZ, Corsair PC2-8500 2GB DDR2 1066Mhz
Win XPSP3, Dual nVidia 7900GS SLI
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Offline Mister2

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Re: XP on Old Pentium III
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2008, 10:38:18 PM »
You're welcome :)

The OEM license agreement states that the OEM CD should be bought with a piece of hardware.  Normally that would mean a new motherboard or even a new system.  However, many dealers interpret the term 'hardware' as including a cable, USB flash drive or even a cheap $2.00 mouse.  If there is nothing you really need then just go for the cheapest item that may be of use in the future.
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Offline Cudni

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Re: XP on Old Pentium III
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2008, 04:12:02 AM »
you will need to quadruple the available ram, if possible, to 1gb to have anything close to decent perfomance

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Offline John B.

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Re: XP on Old Pentium III
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2008, 08:11:08 AM »
you will need to quadruple the available ram, if possible, to 1gb to have anything close to decent perfomance


Cudni is right. I have a laptop running XP Pro with 256 MB and it is not too pleasant. Still it does work, but 512 MB would improve the situation a lot!

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Offline wtb

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Re: XP on Old Pentium III
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2008, 11:53:07 AM »
Thanks guys.  Hopefully I can avoid the hardware item.

On memory, this Dell Dimension XPS T550 is limited to 768MB ECC SDRAM.   So I could add a couple of 256MB modules if I can find them at a reasonable price. 

This system is not worth spending much on.   I not even sure the cost of XP is worth it, especially if I have to spend more than $50.00 for the old memory in addition.
Thank a teacher if you can read this.
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Dell XPS 700-720, 1kW PS, 720 Exchng Mobo 9/25/07
Intl D930 3GHZ, Corsair PC2-8500 2GB DDR2 1066Mhz
Win XPSP3, Dual nVidia 7900GS SLI
HDs:  320GB Raid 0, 160GB, 500GB

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Offline John B.

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Re: XP on Old Pentium III
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2008, 01:30:49 PM »
Unlike many other forums our advice does not exist out of 'just buy a new computer, this one is ****' posts.

 Of course the computer will not be very good and if you buy a new computer you can use it a lot longer. Still it is your choice as we don't know how much money you can spend on it.

The computer will work, but won't be too fast and you wouldn't be able to install any programs that want only a little more resources than normal.

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Offline wtb

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Re: XP on Old Pentium III
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2008, 07:33:03 PM »
Unlike many other forums our advice does not exist out of 'just buy a new computer, this one is ****' posts.

 Of course the computer will not be very good and if you buy a new computer you can use it a lot longer. Still it is your choice as we don't know how much money you can spend on it.

The computer will work, but won't be too fast and you wouldn't be able to install any programs that want only a little more resources than normal.

I just want to get this one in a position where it will be a decent donation somewhere and I can take much more off my taxes!!  I'm still wondering if the OEM WinXP I have wouldn't work.   Aren't the WinXP drivers useable as a WinXP upgrade would be? 
Thank a teacher if you can read this.
Thank a veteran if you're reading this in English.

Dell XPS 700-720, 1kW PS, 720 Exchng Mobo 9/25/07
Intl D930 3GHZ, Corsair PC2-8500 2GB DDR2 1066Mhz
Win XPSP3, Dual nVidia 7900GS SLI
HDs:  320GB Raid 0, 160GB, 500GB

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Offline Mister2

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Re: XP on Old Pentium III
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2008, 12:49:08 AM »
If you can run the Windows installer without starting the whole 'reinstall and recovery process' off then I dare say some of the drivers will be there, the rest you could easily download.

There is still the point of licensing.  If that disk has been used (or is still being used) on another system then the license will be invalid for machine #2.
Not something you would want to pass on to another user. ;)
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Offline nosirrah

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Re: XP on Old Pentium III
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2008, 06:50:49 PM »
I had a PIII 800 + 512MB + ATI9250 (addin card helps a little with ram and web rendering , but not much) with XP pro , it ran great for what it was designed to do , surf the web with only Antivir install as their AV .

I did install it on a 7200 RPM drive with 8megs of cache and I'm sure that between that and the 512 MB of ram that was 90% of why it ran good . XP on an older hard drive does run like junk and takes a long time to boot . If your drive is 4500 RPM and less than 2 megs for cache then forget it .

The best you will likely be able to do with a PIII system for parts at a decent price , legal and functional would be to buy XP home from newegg.com , the cheapest IDE drive they have and look for spare parts that work with your system on Ebay (check the seller out well first) . You should be able to stay under $200 easy .

You can also test out your system for drivers ahead of time by installing XP from any disk (WITH NO PLANS TO EITHER ACTIVATE OR CRACK) and then go driver hunting (XP gives you 30 days) . I have found that most Dell systems can go from 98SE to XP . Format the drive once the test is done and get a legal copy .

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Offline Dragan Glas

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Re: XP on Old Pentium III
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2008, 06:34:31 AM »
Greetings,

wtb
I second what nosirrah and others have said here.

My one and only computer is a 10+ year old Dell Dimension XPS T600.

Originally it ran on Windows 98SE with 256MB RAM and a 34GB HDD.

I then dual-booted it with 2000 until that arrangement went "fubar" - if you'll pardon my French - several years ago and I decided to run XP on it.

As I had a proper XP installation disk, as part of my MSDN kit, this wasn't a problem - just backed up my data and reinstalled my applications.

This required upgrading the RAM to 512MB, as it ran like a dog with all my applications on it.

Since then, I've upped the RAM to its maximum - 768MB - so I can run VMWare and various VMs on it, for self-education on other OSes (flavours of Windows Server and Linux. NOT Vista - as the hardware won't support it!!).

I've also added a second 160GB HDD for data and partitioned both disks - including a 4GB bootable partition on the second HDD in case I lose the main OS partition on the first.

I've got lots of applications running in the system tray - security-related mainly. (I got rid of Norton's AV back in 2001 when I was still running 98SE, as it was such a resource-hog. Like Mister2, I use the free version of Avira as my anti-virus application of choice, as it has a relatively small "footprint".)

My point being - though I keep being told by friends to get a "proper one"(!) - this computer is more than capable of running anything that you can throw at it (except Vista!).

Although this isn't relevant to your question, one other point to note is that Dell uses proprietary code in the registry, so one can't copy/use the registry from a non-Dell machine to rescue a corrupted Dell one.

Kindest regards,

Dragan Glas
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Offline nosirrah

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Re: XP on Old Pentium III
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2008, 09:00:28 PM »
I just set upgraded a PC for my parents from 98SE to XP home on a PIII 800 , 160 gig 7200 RPM 8 meg cache drive , nvidia 6200 AGP and 768 MB of ram . It runs like a top and when it comes to web surfing and rebooting it is only slightly slower than their new laptop .

Parts and XP home were ~$250 .

If I only went with 512 megs , left the ancient AGP card and went for the cheapest 7200 RPM 8 meg drive I could find it would have been under $200 and only slightly slower in most cases .


It is getting harder to justify doing these kinds of upgrades though and if it were not fun to make old PCs run great I would not bother any more .

One note to anyone reading this and thinking about maxing out their ram on any SDR system , be very carful when picking out your memory . If your research indicates that your system can handle 256 megs of ram per slot then in almost all cases that 256 meg stick needs to be double sided 16 chip low density ram . It is so tempting to go with the way cheaper 8 chip 256 sticks but they almost never work .