I want to cannibalize my mother's old computer...

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I want to cannibalize my mother's old computer...

Postby Crescent Pulsar R » Thu Nov 10, 2011 7:38 am

...to add more RAM to mine (and its processor, if possible), but I really don't know how to remove or add these things to begin with. Or if there will be any compatibility issues. I've always just used the hardware that came with the computer. ;/
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Re: I want to cannibalize my mother's old computer...

Postby Spokavriel » Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:12 am

You'll want to have some Rubbing Alcohol that is at least 70% pure Alcohol. That is to clean the old Thermal Compound off of the processor and its fan. There is a problem though. Your computer's Mother board has to have the same version connection socket as her computers Mother board. If they do not match then her processor can not be installed on your board. If those do match your good to go and you will need new Thermal Compound. I like Arctic Silver. It works well and is easy to apply. There are even instructions on the web site on how to apply it for best effect on each processor.

You can also borrow the drives if you have enough wattage to support them in your Power Supply.

Ram might also have incompatibility problems... Is it the same kind of memory? Same speed? Allot of questions but I don't have direct access and while it can be looked up in the system specs information it sometimes gets detected inaccurately.
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Re: I want to cannibalize my mother's old computer...

Postby frice2000 » Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:54 am

In regards to the RAM go to http://www.crucial.com/index.aspx and enter manufacturer and model info from both computers. If the ram comes up as the same type and speed for an upgrade reccomendation you're good to go. To be more certain and to get motherboard and CPU info you can also use this program http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html if both computers work and run Windows. Also depending on type of ram and your motherboard you may need to duplicate slots with the same stick sizes, be limited in size, etc. Unless you're two computers were manufactured at near the same time its quite unlikely however that either of these things are possible though as components change so quickly. However old RAM and CPU's are pretty cheap if the computer is more then a few years old.

Ram upgrades are quite easy. Just view a few YouTube videos and you'll be good to go on it hard to screw it up. CPU upgrades are a bit more intimidating what with fans, thermal compound, and aligning the pins. You can watch a few videos to get confident on that as well but I really wouldn't recommend you do that yourself unless you understand how to change a few BIOS settings, apply thermal compound, and properly push release switches and identify different sockets and such and make sure that everything was properly recognized.

If you want an opinion on if the hardware is compatible run that cpuz program I linked and post the results. Would tell us what you're working with explicitly.
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Re: I want to cannibalize my mother's old computer...

Postby Ellen Kuhfeld » Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:51 pm

I've cannibalized and upgraded quite a few computers myself, and I can say one thing: don't do it unless you have a lot more info than can be easily gotten over the Web. The one exception to that is the disk drive: you can get adapters so you can plug almost any drive into the USB port. That way the data on them is still accessible, and after you've taken care of that, you can use them for almost anything. Two of my old drives are serving as backups, and I've lent or given other drives to friends so they can have some of my (voluminous) files.
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Re: I want to cannibalize my mother's old computer...

Postby Té Rowan » Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:54 pm

Assuming you have Mum's OK...

You'll need motherboard manuals for set-up information and to compare RAM/CPU info. They are often available in PDF.

A ground strap to keep a stable connection between yourself and the computer you're working on. You're less likely to zapp some unsuspecting chip with it on.

And if the machines turn out to be too incompatible, consider setting one up with f.ex. Ubuntu Linux, Vector Linux or one of the BSDs and using it as your ultra-private, unhackable-because-nobody-knows-it's-there bedroom network web server.
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Re: I want to cannibalize my mother's old computer...

Postby frice2000 » Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:21 pm

You don't need the mobo manuals lets get realistic. Simply knowing the type of CPU socket and RAM currently in the system is good enough in most cases. And Crucials site is right a good 90+ percent of the time. Don't need to make this sound more complex then it is. Its really not especially the ram.
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Re: I want to cannibalize my mother's old computer...

Postby Spokavriel » Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:46 pm

The Manual can tell you the processor socket without you having to take the fan off. Once the fan comes off you have to do the full cleaning and replacement of thermal compound. And unless it is silk screened on the Mobo outside of the socket you normally can't read the socket number without doing that. And often taking the processor out.
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Re: I want to cannibalize my mother's old computer...

Postby frice2000 » Thu Nov 10, 2011 7:11 pm

And the BIOS and that Windows program I linked can do the same thing without the manual too. No need to scare him off like the excessive info in the manual will :p.
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Re: I want to cannibalize my mother's old computer...

Postby Crescent Pulsar R » Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:47 pm

Okay, I'll see if I scrounge up what exactly they are. My mother's computer doesn't work, though; and we don't know how it died. But hopefully the RAM is both salvageable and compatible.

About the RAM. If, say, each "stick" is 1Gb, does that mean that any I add should be the same?
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Re: I want to cannibalize my mother's old computer...

Postby PCHeintz72 » Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:50 pm

They all have reasonable suggestions... but for whatever reason are stepping on each others feet...

You can never have enough info before doing a project like this, so if the manuals are available, use them. If not the CPU-Z program is good if not perfect. I've used it a couple times in the past, but not recently.

1. If manuals available, simply check what type of memory can be accepted on each system. Otherwise see what the CPU-Z program reports. If in either case they do not match... it is not going to work.

2. Note also, not just physical size, but capacity and speed are important. If your system cannot take the capacity, you are out of luck. This is where the website reported can come into play... I myself prefer the Kingston Memory site for that information, but Crucials is also good.

3. Even if all the above match, you either need ot have free slots on your system to place them in, or need to take out some of your existing memory... if neither the case you are still out of luck.

4. If all of the above are true, great, take out the memory, and you can clean them using the q-tip and rubbing alcohol methor mentioned above, if the contacts look dirty. Do try to ground yourself before touching either motherboard or cpu, or memory. You can use a ground strap, if you have one or can get one cheap.

Having said all that... memory is very cheap... if you tell use either the make and model of the motherboard, or the make and model number of the system, someone here should be able to look it up on any number of sites for you and give you not only what it can take,but pricing.


All of the above was for memory... the steps on the CPU are similar with the exception you need something to bond the fan back to the CU upon removal and INSERT IGNOREion into another system. However, I should warn you it is unlikely the CPU can be transplanted like that due to the extremely likelyhood they are not compatible socket wise. And even if can, may well require either reconfiguring the BIOS or even settings on the motherboard. A modern system should not, but I do not know the age of the systems involved.

An easier way is to use th system or mother board that has the fastest CPU, and transplant memory, and hard drives and CD/DVD/Blu ray drives to it.

EDIT: If the system is dead... do not bother with the CPU swap at all as more than likely the system took it with it... That post stating was dead was made as I was trying to make this one.

Also... since the system is dead... if get to the memory swap, inspect the meory for burn spots... Do not translant if any found.
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Re: I want to cannibalize my mother's old computer...

Postby frice2000 » Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:54 pm

Depends on the type of RAM. If the RAM is the same type as what's in your computer then unless its RD-RAM you don't need to match to each slot. In addition, if the RAM is registered (very unlikely) you can't combine that with unregistered RAM without causing some issues. Also you have to make sure the timing is the same even if the RAM is the same type and general speed since that causes issues as well. If all seems good and you plug in the new RAM and your computer starts bluescreening pull it back out :P.

And really PC I'm just trying to make it simple to follow. The amount of information in the manual is excessive for at the least the memory operation you have to admit. The CPU is stickier of course, but still. Also if the computers are from a shitty OEM ala Dell, HP, Gateway, etc. he probably doesn't have any sort of MOBO manual since they simply don't include 'em. And yeah the CPU-Z program isn't perfect but it's the best easy to use option and it is quite expansive, so Crescent run that program and post your results for Memory and such here and we can really answer your questions with more understanding behind em.
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Re: I want to cannibalize my mother's old computer...

Postby Moira » Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:09 am

Crescent Pulsar R wrote:Okay, I'll see if I scrounge up what exactly they are. My mother's computer doesn't work, though; and we don't know how it died. But hopefully the RAM is both salvageable and compatible.

About the RAM. If, say, each "stick" is 1Gb, does that mean that any I add should be the same?


How dead is your mothers computer? If you turn it on, does it beep? If yes, how often? Thats the only way for the computer to tell us, what part is broken. Does the CPU-Fan start? Do the Hard-drives spin up ?

An easy way to see if you even can use the other ram is to compare the notches with your own RAM. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Deskt ... arison.svg ) they have to be exactly the same, to even fit into your board. Capacity and speed are still a concern, but thats the first to check.

If you are unsure or unwillig to risk your computer, is there a computer shop nearby? Maybe they can do the cannibalising and testing you you. Shouldnt be too expensive. ( A shop i sometimes buy parts from, does a test of your hardware for broken parts for 10€)
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Re: I want to cannibalize my mother's old computer...

Postby Té Rowan » Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:10 pm

@frice2000 - The CPU socket and RAM type info WILL be in any mobo manual worthy of the name. The English will likely be stilted and whatnot, but the info WILL be there. And, they are the Definitive Reference.

If you live in an environment that's prone to electric storms, a ground strap clipped to the case is almost mandatory.

@Crescent - Nah... most likely the memory sticks need not all be of the same size. Magrat, my very old Linux box, has a 64MB and a 128MB stick. Works well. Old? The mobo is an AT form factor Socket 7 design with a K6-2 running at 233MHz. Noways a ninja bastard 'puter, but it has a lot of magic.
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Re: I want to cannibalize my mother's old computer...

Postby frice2000 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:13 pm

The CPU socket and RAM type info WILL be in any mobo manual worthy of the name.

I fix Dell computers on a daily basis and NOT A SINGLE ONE has ever included that info in the manual. There is simply a reference to call the company so they can try to sell you their own RAM. So I in fact assume that anyone I'm giving advice to in fact doesn't have a motherboard manual and even if they do that information is usually simply not there.
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Re: I want to cannibalize my mother's old computer...

Postby Ellen Kuhfeld » Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:21 pm

Every time I get a message about this topic, it startles me. The e-mail heading reads I want to cannibalize my mother .... It is better after I open the message and the boldface goes away.
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