Should I give up and buy a new PC?

Years upon years of upgrading into the same desktop case has left me with a system on the edge of fragility;
Athlon XP3200, VT600MB with VIA chipset, 3 Hard Drives + CDrom, 1GB (cheap) RAM, all PCI slots full bar 1, NVidia5700 AGP, Numerous USB periferals etc etc. WindowsXP.
Since fitting the Athlon 3200 I was getting problems from overheating so I fitted an extra fan on the VIA Northbrige, set the memory timings in the BIOS to Normal and added an extrctor fan to the empty PCI slot. This reduced the crashing problems condiderably at the expense of an incredible increase in noise! Sadra reports the CPU at 38c and the MB at 40c. But its still not fully sable.
However, I could hear the fans struggling at times and susupected that my old PSU was no longer sufficient and have just replaced it with an Antec 480w unit which has a second fan on the side of it. Now the fans run consistanly BUT the new PSU cooks itself up to 60C and because its positioned close to two of the hard drives and CD they seem be getting hot enough to fry eggs on. After long sessions the CDROM also goes crazy and the disks come out of it far too hot for my liking.
I cant change to a tower case because of space and the wife!

My PC shop says I cant switch to Intel because I would have to reformat my drive and reinstall Windows which I realy do not wish to do mainly because of all the software I’ve bought but no longer have serial numbers etc.

Any ideas? If I bought a completely new PC is it possible to network the two initialy and copy everything over to the new one: Software, regitry entries and serial numbers and have it up and running like my old one?


I would try it. I woreout my power supply and replaced it. I do not have any more PCI slots either.

I will soon make a change also.

I intend to copy all my files over to another hard drive (250 WD) first.

It is not possible to transfer software to the new PC. Contact the mfr if you have registered the software. Otherwise, spend some $ for new applications.

Why do people spend $ on software and throw away the S/N?

You could just ghost it all to a new PC.

S/N, Will never need that again. lol

Sorry for my ignorance but what is ghosting? In answer to furballi a)It’s not a case of throwing away the SN’s. Lot’s of them came by email and got deleted by mistake or whatever. For instance, McAfee Virus Scan which I bought on the web. In an attempt to get rid of their firewall (even though I followed the instructions) the main Virus Scan program wont run. I cannot download Virus Scan again without paying again!!! So says their Tech Support. And b) Many of the progams I use (Nero for instance Ver 5), bought and downloaded from the web, are no longer available so even if I did have the SN it wouldn’t work with the updated progam and the old version is no longer available for download. I know now what I should have done: Copy the download to CD together with the SN but I didn’t. We’re not all perfect, hence my problem.

Thanks for the replies though. I’m going to take your advice and grasp the nettle. It’s only a question of money.

It may be a good idea to fit your case with some casefans to lower the temperature. If your case has a good airflow, the temperature will drop considerably. I had an Athlon 1400 (AMD’s ultimate hothead) running at 1600Mhz in a case without any airflow… just the fan of the CPU, no casefans. Although it wasn’t unstable, I had a case temp of about 70C. Not that good! So I added just 2 casefans and it dropped about 25C. Way better. It’s not just the CPU that suffers from high temperatures, but the other components as well. Especially the harddrives, as they tend to die a lot earlier in bad ventilated cases.

About the programs without serial numbers: of course I do not know what programs you are running, but it might well be that:

  1. Older programs can be replaced by better and newer programs that might be totally free of charge (freeware, open source etc)
  2. I guess that most companies have a database of registered customers. Why not contact them and ask for a new serial?

And at last, about the reinstalling etc. If you exchange parts (especially major parts like the mainboard) reinstalling is a very wise thing to do, if not required. This goes for both the AMD and the Intel platform. Why switch to Intel btw? Intel’s more recent CPUs produce more heat than modern AMD CPUs.

My advice: get some casefans (you really should place 1 or more intake fans in the front of your case and maybe one more outtake fan in the sidepanel) and maybe a better hs/fan combo for your CPU. Make sure you use thermal grease (not too much, as this will reduce the cooling performance).
And if you want to silent your system, better look into slowing down your fans. Get either a fan controller or put them on 7V (by using the +5V and the +12V, in stead of the 0V and +12V).
My case is equipped with 13 fans and it produces less noise than quite some system with just 3 fans. It’s all a matter of tuning :).

Or just get a decent case.

as far as the serial numbers for your software try and locate the enterprise version of Aida 32 a discontinued freeware program that lists alot of software’s License.Regestration Numbers in it’s info. and a newer system Info program called SIW ( System Information for Windows) also does the same. you should be able to find both with a google search.

This is ghosting:

Best answer in this thread. :bow:

Well good cases without any cooling installed can give similar problems…

And bad cases with good fans may look (and even) sound horrible, but cool very well. Some years ago I had a very very cheap case, without any cooling. So after putting some fans in it, I had an ugly and noisy monster… but it cooled just fine.

(I am glad that I got me a Chieftec case though)

Ghosting will only import the problems of the old system. Always clean install if you are working with a new system with new components. I put the application on CD-Rs with a text file containing the registration key. If I can locate the application, then I can reinstall the program. A little organization will go a long way down the road.

You can’t image (Ghost) to a new system. Windows will puke. :frowning: Even if it was able to boot, the driver issues would be huge. Way easier to do a fresh install than deal with all of that.

I also had one of those ugly cases with fans hanging all over it. But getting a new case at least gives you the feel of a new system. I’ve also used the approach of opening the case side and placing a desk fan to blow into the box.
My current box is cooler inside with the side on than with it off, thanks to creative air management. :wink:

Sorry for suggesting it, didn’t really think about driver issues.

This is my favorite cooling method…I have an 18" 120v fan that does wonders in the summer when needed.

@jarmstro: You can often find your S/N’s in the registry…I’ve done that a quite a few times. You can then find old versions at places like to go with them.

Thanks for all the tips. From the sound of it if I bought a new PC I’d be starting from scratch from the software point of view which realy defeats the objective of upgrading. I’m going to try adding some fans and have ordered a couple of Antec 120mm. I had hoped that my new PSU with its internel fan thingy might do the trick and indeed the CPU and MB temps are much better. The airflow from the PSU is disapointing though. The remaining problem, apart from noise (I assume the high PSU temperature is unimportant) is high hard disc/cdROM temperature because of the heat from the PSU and their cramped position. There’s no room to fit dedicated HD cooler fans. rdgrimes: (many thanks)-I’ve already stripped out as much of the back panel as I can and, because its a desktop case with the monitor sitting on top, dont have the option to remove a side panel. Also, I’m married, and my wife has a rediculous but certain rule that all household objects must be pleasing to the eye. Her judgement on the matter is final!!! Bits missing or any odd looking additions could well resullt in the destruction of my PC! And I cant see why a new case is going to be any cooler because all the ones I have found seem to place the components in similar positions? In fact they all seem to be smaller and more cramped than the old one I’ve got.

A final question:

Should I try and postion the fans to blow air IN or OUT of the case and over the Hard Disks. I already have effectively two extractor fans at the back; the PSU and the PCI slot fan. Couldn’t I end up with a reduced flow of air If fans are fighting against each other?

Don’t do that. You really need to create a flow. Either suck in the fresh air in front and blow it out the back of your system or the other way around. You may think of this airflow as a flow of water for example: it has to flow as good as it can, with as little as possible resistance. The faster it flows, the more heat can be transported…

Intake and exhaust fans need to be balanced. Not too much of either. I recommend a slight negative pressure in the case. but too much negative pressure can cause air to get sucked into optical drives (dust problems).
All fans are rated for CFM, so just add them up to see how much is being forced in each direction. Your PSU should have an intake fan located right over the CPU to help remove heat from the processor. If it does not, replace it or you will have a pocket of heat trapped there.

Dump the wife and get a new case. You’ll be happier in the long run.