Hardware Issues With Old Computer


  1. Posts : 191
    Windows 10 Home
       #1

    Hardware Issues With Old Computer


    Hi.

    I'm not expecting any definite answers, here, but I'm hoping for a few ideas. I decided to try to install Win10 on an old desktop. It is barely minimum spec (896MB RAM - not sure why this isn't 1GB - another issue?). However, this isn't the issue. I can get virtually none of the installation discs or USBs to work in it. An old Linux lite, WinXP, and Hirens Recovery, all on both CD and USB work fine, but nothing else. None of them even register as a system/bootup disc. I've had trouble installing OSs before, but they all boot up (x86/64 dependent) even if they cannot install the actual OS due to limitations. This one seems to have a problem with the bootup of some - even some OSs that I know should load, like older versions of Ubuntu. I originally though that it might be the CD drive, but any that work or don't work on a CD are the same on the USB.

    Basic specs for it are:
    AMD Sempron 3000+ (32bit) 1.6GHz
    896 MB RAM


    Matt
      My Computers


  2. Posts : 4,644
    Windows 11 Pro 64-bit
       #2

    These are the basic requirements for installing Windows 10 on a PC. If your device does not meet these requirements, you may not have as great an experience with Windows 10 and might want to consider purchasing a new PC.


    Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or System on a Chip (SoC)
    RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
    Hard drive space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS 32 GB for 64-bit OS
    Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
    Display: 800x600
    Internet Connection:
    Internet connectivity is necessary to perform updates and to download and take advantage of some features. Windows 10 Pro in S mode, Windows 10 Pro Education in S mode, Windows 10 Education in S mode and Windows 10 Enterprise in S mode require an internet connection during the initial device setup (Out of Box Experience or OOBE), as well as either a Microsoft account (MSA) or Azure Activity Directory (AAD) account. Switching a device out of Windows 10 in S mode also requires internet connectivity
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 17,431
    Windows 11 Pro
       #3

    I suspect it is the limited memory available. On the Windows install USB, for example, the entire Windows PE OS loads into and runs from RAM, and 896 MB of free RAM may not be enough to hold Windows PE. Can you upgrade memory at all, even to just 2 GB?
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 191
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Currently I don't have any other RAM available, but even with just a gig some of the smaller OSs should run, such as Linux. I've had most of them running on 512MB. Even WIN10, if I remember correctly (correct me if I'm wrong), pops up to say it can't run. Most of mine (different OSs) aren't even recognised as boot discs (USBs).

    - - - Updated - - -

    OK. Seemed to have found what's causing the problem. (Not entirely sure about the CDs. Guessing they work in a similar fashion.) When I have been creating the USBs, I've used the GPT setting for many of the ISOs, Hiren's being one exception. I tried loading the USB Win10 with MBR and the installer works fine. Just installing now, so I don't yet know if it will work.

    Incidentally, what's the difference between 'Pro' and 'Pro N'?

    Matt
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 25,304
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #5

    Matt316 said:
    Incidentally, what's the difference between 'Pro' and 'Pro N'?

    The N version is specifically for release in Europe, and to comply with EU regulation does not include media features such as the Windows Media Player.

    What are the Windows 10 N and KN Editions? | IT Pro

    Note that a key for W10 Pro will not activate W10 Pro N, or vice versa. The two are treated as quite separate editions by the MS activation servers.

    There is an optional Media Feature Pack for the N version to install the missing features.

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/soft...diafeaturepack
      My Computers


  6. Posts : 17,431
    Windows 11 Pro
       #6

    Legacy BIOS does not have the capability to boot GPT partitioned drives. GPT partitioned drives can only boot in UEFI. Why were you partitioning the USB flash drives as GPT?
      My Computer



  7. Posts : 191
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter
       #7

    To be honest, that was the default setting on Rufus, and I hadn't noticed it until recently. Changing it allowed it to work.

    However, another issued prevailed: the OOBE... problems. I've tried everything that other threads suggest, including the setup of the administration account. However, all I get is the desktop flashing and being unable to do anything with it. I'm guessing that this may have something to do with the low memory (which I'm still not sure why is only 896MB rather than 1GB).

    Matt
      My Computers


  8. Posts : 2,354
    Windows 10
       #8

    Your hardware is around 15 years old.
    That is EOL.

    My old desktop was around 13 years old when it had symptoms like that, lower reported RAM than was installed. That was followed by other things going wrong like USB ports.

    Basically things that were part of the MCH and chipset.

    Whilst I did fiddle about with memory modules, cleaned sockets etc lowered their speed even replaced a couple of leaking capacitors, that helped but only lasted about a week or so and then things gradually worsened.

    Basically components on the MOBO had gone out of spec.

    Seen it all before, time for a new PC.
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 191
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter
       #9

    Hi.

    After putting this computer away for a while, I'm revisiting it. One of the problems I'm getting is that the computer, when it shuts down (on any OS, whether installed or live) leaves the fans running. The only way to shut it down properly is to switch it off at the back (or pull the plug - literally). When I initiate a shutdown, everything seems to follow the normal route: shutting the OS down, and, I think, the drives, but not the fans. There are possibly other things still operational, but I'm not sure. If at this point I try to start up again, nothing happens until I switch off and then on again. I've searched the BIOS in case there's a switch for this (which I doubted) but can't find anything, so I'm guessing it's a MOBO or CPU issue. Any ideas?

    Matt
      My Computers


 

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