Computers & Electronics

At what point do you not repair?

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  • Apr 24th, 2021 10:48 pm
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[OP]
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Nov 18, 2004
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At what point do you not repair?

I have a desktop pc, I think this is the third desktop over 15 years - and it was put together with new parts from a computer store. The most valuable thing on it and the reason I've kept is is my files (photos, music (less so these days).

The last time I rebuilt, I considered just getting a NAS and running everything from laptops but I chose to rebuild a separate PC and used the pooling funtion in windows to pool all the HDDs into a large disc, I believe it has some redundancy.

Most recently the PC has acted up. (constantly beeping (i think that meant RAM issues) i swapped the slots the RAM dimms were plugged into and it booted up again. Then recently i rebooted the computer and now it's in a boot loop where it can never get past the bios page.

So I could buy some new ram (DDR3) to see if it fixes it, but I am concerned this is like a car - at a certain age, other things start failing. The last rebuild was initiated by a PSU failure, and ended up replacing everything. what do you think/recommend on rescuing and continuing to buy older parts to keep it going or should i just move to a NAS (i'd still have to figure out how to get the data off the pooled drives)?

Thanks in advance for your RFD wisdom!
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barold wrote: I have a desktop pc, I think this is the third desktop over 15 years - and it was put together with new parts from a computer store. The most valuable thing on it and the reason I've kept is is my files (photos, music (less so these days).

The last time I rebuilt, I considered just getting a NAS and running everything from laptops but I chose to rebuild a separate PC and used the pooling funtion in windows to pool all the HDDs into a large disc, I believe it has some redundancy.

Most recently the PC has acted up. (constantly beeping (i think that meant RAM issues) i swapped the slots the RAM dimms were plugged into and it booted up again. Then recently i rebooted the computer and now it's in a boot loop where it can never get past the bios page.

So I could buy some new ram (DDR3) to see if it fixes it, but I am concerned this is like a car - at a certain age, other things start failing. The last rebuild was initiated by a PSU failure, and ended up replacing everything. what do you think/recommend on rescuing and continuing to buy older parts to keep it going or should i just move to a NAS (i'd still have to figure out how to get the data off the pooled drives)?

Thanks in advance for your RFD wisdom!
If you have 2 RAM dimms, why not test them 1 at the time with memtest boot usb ?
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also DDR3 ram will be pretty pricey nowadays - better to just get all new parts, take your existing hard drive as a secondary drive in the new rig (& backup the data while you are at it)



I'm debating whether I should upgrade my current rig as well...........it is getting long in the tooth (~7yrs old now?) but no issues so maybe just hold off.

I only do light web browsing, emails, watch Youtube & movies & listen to mp3s....

FS: Nothing at the moment
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[OP]
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@jilo0k I agree. A pair of new ddr3 appears to be around 120-140 at canada computers (I have not kept track of prices) but the last time I did this I ended up relaxing the MB and CPU...

Based on advice above I tried 1 dimm at a time and it booted up to windows. So I can finish my taxes (yay?) But still need to decide repair/upgrade or buy a NAS. This is my personal computer (work is laptop and wife is on a MacBook)
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barold wrote: @jilo0k I agree. A pair of new ddr3 appears to be around 120-140 at canada computers (I have not kept track of prices) but the last time I did this I ended up relaxing the MB and CPU...

Based on advice above I tried 1 dimm at a time and it booted up to windows. So I can finish my taxes (yay?) But still need to decide repair/upgrade or buy a NAS. This is my personal computer (work is laptop and wife is on a MacBook)

If you can get 1 dimm to work, you may use it this way or get used DDR3 4 gig of ram for cheap.

You may also take the HDD out and put it in a usb enclosure for cheap or for a higher budget you NAS idea is good too.
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Everyone should have a NAS today. There is no excuse for not having one. Don’t buy anything with 2 bays. Get a proper 3 bay or more running RAID 5 with some proper redundancy.

@barold

You didn’t mention what computer you have. But if you are using DDR3, it is Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge or Haswell (very few people have a Broadwell). These computers are still good if your needs are modest like @ji2o0k

Spend your money on a proper NAS and if your current computer meets your needs, just buy the memory. If you can’t find DDR3 at a reasonable price, let me know. I have plenty and I can sell you some
[OP]
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It's an amd cpu (I don't even remember what I bought) on a gigabyte mb. The biggest purpose was photo editing back then but lately there aren't too many vacation photos to edit..

EDIT: It is an AMD A8-7600 3.10GHz - worth saving?

So I have a single bay Synology. I was soso on the interface but that was probably 10 years ago. Who has the best sw that plays with PC and Mac and maybe mobile devices?
Last edited by barold on Apr 11th, 2021 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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You do have backups, right?
If not plan for it.

As for right now if you have to buy a new computer how much can you afford to spend?
In general i consider 5 years to be a good timeframe for upgrading (midrange processor), though my Haswell has done fine since 2013 but if expensive parts beyond the power supply start going its all going bye bye.

Whether you fix or upgrade, start backing up all your data onto a removable drive. Once a month or a few times a year or whatever is convenient and depending on how much new data you acquire. I use a Western Digital HDD from Costco, but there are many options.
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Computers generally last a long time on normal use. I still have old Phenom AM2 computers that are like (15?) years old. If you know exactly what's wrong I wouldn't mind trying to find something on Craigslist/Kijiji to fix it.

In your case if it's kind of intermittent and you are not sure what's wrong then I probably wouldn't bother. Probably easier for you to Craigslist/Kijiji a whole computer. Desktop computers are so powerful now that if you have something decent within like 8 years and a SSD it's not gonna that slow for regular usage.
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someone16 wrote: Computers generally last a long time on normal use. I still have old Phenom AM2 computers that are like (15?) years old. If you know exactly what's wrong I wouldn't mind trying to find something on Craigslist/Kijiji to fix it.
haha oh man, I'm running a AMD Phenom II x4 945 with 32Gb of RAM on a ASRock 970M Pro3 mobo......looks like CPU came out in 2009?


Everything still works **knocks on wood** but I do notice slowdown when I play some Youtube vids........

FS: Nothing at the moment
Heatware: 63-0-0
[OP]
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I updated above but I will add it here:

It's a gigabyte motherboard with an AMD A8-7600 3.10 GHz is it worth saving?
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barold wrote: I updated above but I will add it here:

It's a gigabyte motherboard with an AMD A8-7600 3.10 GHz is it worth saving?
I would buy a new chip/motherboard/ram if i were you.
You don't know if the new ram will fix it, you could in theory spend a few bucks and get it diagnosed by a computer repair place but then you pay the diagnostic fee plus the repair part fee if it is the RAM. If its not then you have to either buy used or replace the motherboard/chip anyways.

You never answered if you have backups and if you have realized that you won't lose your data becasue hard drives can be moved to your next computer. Though if they are old you want to start backing up now. That said in my experience when parts go and you try rebooting constantly and playing with the other parts it sometimes causes the hard drive to go. I would unplug and put it aside until you fix this one if that is your goal. Hopefully your boot drive is an SSD.

If you look at a new computer what is your budget?
In fact in Rand McNally they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people
[OP]
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@Quentin5 I am doing a new backup right now onto an external USB.

for a new computer I don't think i want another desktop - but would rather buy a NAS and laptop/Surface instead. Much more spendy but I think I'd be able to use it more - the desktop is fired up to back up photos from my cameras (rarely) and do my taxes (even more rare!)
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barold wrote: @Quentin5 I am doing a new backup right now onto an external USB.

for a new computer I don't think i want another desktop - but would rather buy a NAS and laptop/Surface instead. Much more spendy but I think I'd be able to use it more - the desktop is fired up to back up photos from my cameras (rarely) and do my taxes (even more rare!)
There is your answer then. Put the repair money into what you really want.
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barold wrote: I have a desktop pc, I think this is the third desktop over 15 years - and it was put together with new parts from a computer store. The most valuable thing on it and the reason I've kept is is my files (photos, music (less so these days).

The last time I rebuilt, I considered just getting a NAS and running everything from laptops but I chose to rebuild a separate PC and used the pooling funtion in windows to pool all the HDDs into a large disc, I believe it has some redundancy.

Most recently the PC has acted up. (constantly beeping (i think that meant RAM issues) i swapped the slots the RAM dimms were plugged into and it booted up again. Then recently i rebooted the computer and now it's in a boot loop where it can never get past the bios page.

So I could buy some new ram (DDR3) to see if it fixes it, but I am concerned this is like a car - at a certain age, other things start failing. The last rebuild was initiated by a PSU failure, and ended up replacing everything. what do you think/recommend on rescuing and continuing to buy older parts to keep it going or should i just move to a NAS (i'd still have to figure out how to get the data off the pooled drives)?

Thanks in advance for your RFD wisdom!
You don't need to buy new ram to determine if your current set is faulty. Run memtest86.

If you barely ever access the documents, I suggest a sturdy USB enclosure for the hard drive(s). There are single drive enclosures if you only need to access one at a time, or multi drive enclosures. Some have RAID, but these are also more expensive (~$200), and you will have to format the drives first. Hard drives also fail over time like other mechanical components, and should be replaced. I suggest looking to a NAS only if you need constant access, which it doesn't sound like you do. If you need to shell out $140 for new RAM, get an enclosure. If you want redundancy, you might want to consider spending an extra $50 for one of the RAID models. I personally have never been a fan of RAID, but that's up to you to decide. Do some research to understand how it works, where it can fail, and what you need to do in case you ever want to move the raid array out of the enclosure and back into a PC.
[OP]
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I agree. But i guess $140 sunk on new ram + risk that something else needs replacing vs $1500-1700 on alternative. The external USB is a potential cheaper option and less susceptible to ransoming... (been reading on NAS over the last day).
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I'd not bother unless you can find the parts for cheap and/or the hardware is very old.

You should make an informed choice and diagnose what's happening before throwing money into parts, unless you really want something newer and this is the excuse to jump. I wouldn't blame you, there have been some very reasonable deals on newer machines with modern processors and SSDs that offer some very tangible benefits for not much more than the price of old parts, though it really depends on the costs and what the value proposition is.

Like others have said, run memtest86+ off a bootable USB drive to check the existing RAM for errors. In my experience, RAM and CPUs rarely just go bad, most often it's the power supply or motherboard flaking out. I would not pay for new DDR3, the used market rate for desktop DDR3 pre-COVID was about $40 per 8GB. Same with the CPU and motherboard, it may be cheaper to find find another used CPU/Mobo combo rather than scout out a like for like part.
Last edited by M1K3Z0R on Apr 11th, 2021 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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barold wrote: I agree. But i guess $140 sunk on new ram + risk that something else needs replacing vs $1500-1700 on alternative. The external USB is a potential cheaper option and less susceptible to ransoming... (been reading on NAS over the last day).
You can buy a new computer for far less than $1500-1700.
The destitute computer here would exceed the power of your current rig. And you could reuse some of your existing parts lowering the cost further.
https://www.logicalincrements.com/

https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/A ... 0vsm968952

For $1500 you could butcher your current computer
https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/A ... 4050vs4040
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barold wrote: I agree. But i guess $140 sunk on new ram + risk that something else needs replacing vs $1500-1700 on alternative. The external USB is a potential cheaper option and less susceptible to ransoming... (been reading on NAS over the last day).
Yea don't spend $140 in ram for that. You should be able to get a whole computer for less than $200 on Kijiji/Facebook Marketplace.

For whatever reason alot of used parts are overpriced but full computers don't really sell well and are much more reasonably priced.

Also how much photos are you talking about? If it's not hundred of gigs maybe just uploading to Google drive would be ok.

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