Update 2004 Dell windows xp pc? or new pc?

It has windows XP home service pack 2, 2002. It has 1gb of RAM, and had its original 80GB hard drive replaced with a 160 GB hard drive. (A whole other story, but long story short, an attempt at installing service pack 3 on it in 2009, seemed to be the end of its original hard drive, but other things may have caused it too.

It also has an at&t 2wire gateway, specifically the 2701HB-G model. This router/modem is hard wire via Ethernet to this PC, and it was originally configured with this PC. This PC is in the center or close to the center in our home, the kitchen in a corner. It feeds the internet to all of our other devices, now, 2 kindles, and a 2 macs, one of the macs is in my bedroom using an Ethernet connection, the other mac connects via wifi.

I had set up the gateway with an Ethernet port splitter which allows more than one Ethernet connection.

Now onto more of my question, the above was a bit rambling, but it is background info. I have learned that Microsoft is ending updates and support for windows XP, so realize this PC is probably way out of date in terms of updates etc. It will probably need hundreds of updates, with the first one being windows xp service pack 3.

I don’t quite know whether to try and update this machine, it will probably be a bit of an ordeal, among other things, from the last attempt at installing service pack 3, I am afraid of bricking this pc altogether. It has the router connected to it, & I don’t want to lose functionality of this machine or router, as family still use it from time to time, is has printer attached, for printing, and dad needs the bigger screen, it easier to read, overall though it is not used as much as we used to, because of using kindle tablets, and I use my mac in my room for school work, so internet access is crucial, I take online classes.

I have read here that some seem to think xp 2 is better, I would be fine leaving it to xp 2, but I am afraid that when I open up windows update, that it will not let me install anything else before I install service pack 3 on it.

I have discussed with family perhaps getting a newer PC instead of trying to update the machine we have now, one with what I have read is good, windows 7. We don not quite know as the xp pc we have now, still works even though it is about 10 years old now.

If I should update, how much hard drive space should I have? right now the pc has about 50GB of free space. I will be running an anti spyware, virus scans, and a disk defrag.

So should I try to update the machine? or just leave as it is? it works now, or get a newer PC?

Sounds to me like this PC is still performing its required tasks well. This brings to mind the old saying “If it ain’t broke then don’t fix it.” Also, a new PC will likely come with Windows 8 which is proving to be a difficult version of Windows to acclimate to for a variety of reasons. IMO, the time to change to another PC is when the one you have no longer meets your needs.

The old harddisk failure is not caused by updating your os…
The sp3 download,was it an over-the-air installation?Otherwise,download the sp3 full file,download a backup program,for example Macrium Reflect Free,create a backup and bootcd.
Then disconnect your computer from the internet,so that you can safely disable your system protection software before installing sp3.
With the backup,you can go back if something goes wrong…

The problem with the end of support for XP is that any new vulnerabilities will not be fixed. This “might” mean your system could be compromised in the future. Also most people will stop developing updates for their software to work on XP. So your Antivirus may get out of date at some point. If you are still on SP 2 then you have not fixed any of the vulnerabilities or problems addressed by the SP3 or any other patches. While you can load some patches most of the time you will need the latest service pack to get all the latest packages. I wouldn’t spend any money on the machine but if you can still use it and it’s doing what you need then I’d keep it until something breaks but try to get it updated and make sure you keep all you driver files, etc. some where off line so you could reload them if needed as it may be more difficult to find them on line in the future.

It has about 50 gb of free space on it now, how much free space should the c drive have before I attempt any updates?

50 is plenty for all XP updates…