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Old 02-04-2010, 03:00 PM   #1
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Default New Computer?

Hi all, my in-laws asked me to look at their computer, it kept freezing while booting up. Booting in safe mode it would get to the mup.sys file and hang up. I went through everything I could to figure out the problem. Even tried to repair the mup.sys and agp44.sys files but no luck. I swapped out power supplies, ram and checked the hard drive. Ran a chkdsk /r on the hard drive and it booted up once after that then went back to the same problem. Even used PS2 adapters on the keyboard and reset the cmos. I'm guessing the computer is done with, it's an Emachine btw.

Anyhow, I'm at a point where I think their only course is to get a new computer. They were asking about their options and I pointed out that you could build 1 for around $400, using the budget guide on this site. They were asking about the $300-$400 systems you can get at Frys, which include an OS. My response was that they don't seem worth it, to me at least. Granted they aren't doing anything other than surfing the net and playing solitaire but a $400 system with an OS included seems very cheap.

Is openoffice.org a better alternative to MS Office? I've not used it before.

I just wanted to get some advice from some of you though. Would building 1 still be a better option even though it'd cost another $200 for Windows 7 and what? $300 for Office? I don't think they have the installation disks for the Emachine, I assume it's one of the disks that has everything on it which can't be used on another machine, right? Anyhow, any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-04-2010, 03:53 PM   #2
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Default Re: New Computer?

You could save money by using Linux for your OS (I'd recommend Ubuntu, it's easy to install/operate and works on a vast array of hardware). OpenOffice is an excellent replacement for Microsoft Office. Not only is it fully compatible with files created in MS Office, but it's compatible with a bunch of other office type programs as well. Of course, the big plus is that it's free.
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:01 PM   #3
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Default Re: New Computer?

Ubuntu is free, right? I've not used a linux OS before. I'll def look into it. The in-laws are...older, I assume they wouldn't have any issues with installing software, etc?

Thanks,
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Old 02-04-2010, 05:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by hitmanwa View Post
Ubuntu is free, right? I've not used a linux OS before. I'll def look into it. The in-laws are...older, I assume they wouldn't have any issues with installing software, etc?

Thanks,
Possibly, it depends on what they want to install. Ubuntu (yes, it's free) comes with a boatload of applications already installed. See what they are using now and chances are there is a linux equivalent that comes with Ubuntu.
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Old 02-04-2010, 05:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: New Computer?

I think they only thing they really use is quicken, excel, word and play solitaire. I'll probably install it as a second OS on my system tonight just to get a feel for it.

If I may ask, what are your thoughts on these $400 systems? Personally I think they are crap and would rather build one of my own but I'm no pro, not by any means. I'd think the $400 budget build listed in the sticky would be better than say a $500 Gateway SX2840-01 but I'm not as knowledgeable as most of you here.

Thanks for the help cboucher, much appreciated.
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Old 02-04-2010, 05:45 PM   #6
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Default Re: New Computer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hitmanwa View Post
I think they only thing they really use is quicken, excel, word and play solitaire. I'll probably install it as a second OS on my system tonight just to get a feel for it.

If I may ask, what are your thoughts on these $400 systems? Personally I think they are crap and would rather build one of my own but I'm no pro, not by any means. I'd think the $400 budget build listed in the sticky would be better than say a $500 Gateway SX2840-01 but I'm not as knowledgeable as most of you here.

Thanks for the help cboucher, much appreciated.
Yeah, the cheapo systems you're talking about are crap for the most part. If you have the patience to build it yourself, then that would be the way to go.
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: New Computer?

Ubuntu is pretty sweet so far. Will take a bit to get used to but so much cleaner and faster. Thanks for all the info cboucher.
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