General discussion


Tips for extending PC life to the max?

By galahad04 ·

I have an older 1998 PC system that for hardware compatibility reasons is irreplaceable to me and would like some suggestions as to how to extend its life for as long as possible -- ideally for the indefinite future. Specifically, I have a few questions to address this:

(1) When and/or how frequently do I need to change the PC internal battery? (I have been running on the same original battery since 1998, which is still functional.) I have read about the numerous horror stories that can occur if the battery dies, but could not find any specific info on when to replace it.

(2) How long can the internal hardware components (i.e., sound card, CD drive, hard disk) be reasonably expected to work properly without needing replacement parts? (I did buy a brand-new hard drive in late 2004.)

(3) For discontinued hardware parts that are no longer newly manufactured, what are the rules of thumb on buying these to as replacement parts?

(4) If the PC does become defective or stops working properly due to its age, does anyone have any suggestions as to the best way to obtain repairs/services for obsolete PCs?

(5) Is there anything else besides having the PC cleaned periodically and avoiding frequently turning it on/off that you can suggest for maintaining a long life span?

Unfortunately, I cannot simply buy any brand of older PC if mine breaks down, since I need the drivers provided by the vendor of this specific model for its own custom hardware configuration. E-bay listings for this item are also extremely rare as I have only seen one come up in the past 3 years.


This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

by RCOM In reply to Tips for extending PC lif ...

I'm sure everyone is curious as to what is in the system that makes it so hard to find replacement parts. Please list system setup.

You should be able to build a more modern equivalent PC that can perform the same tasks that are needed.

1998 isn't that old for a PC. Should be an ATX case pentium, cyrix or amd processor, simms/dimms CDROMs were at about 16-24 speed. But most parts made in the recent past don't really last long. The intense heat generated by the high speed ops of the PCs really stresses the parts and cooling as mentioned is the major factor.

I work on 286 systems at bowling alleys that are still chugging along. They run 24 hours a day and have done so since who knows when. The environment is exactly what someone wouldn't suggest. Places like Avis rent-acar and some of the airlines still use old 486 IBM microchannel systems that are over 20 years old.

These companies all have one thing in common. They keep spares. That's the only choice. If it will break down is a useless question. When it wil break down is never known. Parts have basic hours of operation ratings and in some instances like with your hard drive you replace before it breaks. There are things that one can to to prevent problems but the bottom line is something is eventually going to fail.

Collapse -

by galahad04 In reply to

In response to your questions about the PC configuration, please see my reply to Answer #5.

Collapse -

by glyall In reply to Tips for extending PC lif ...

clean the insides
**** out all dust and other things out

heat build up does shorten the life of a PC

NASA is using 386 and 486 in the old satellites
and they are still working

good luck

Collapse -

by galahad04 In reply to

Poster rated this answer.

Collapse -

by irctrix In reply to Tips for extending PC lif ...

I dont have any real suggestions for you for this just glad to see more ppl that dont want to throw out old computers.

I still run an old computer from around 1990 i actually converted it into a DOS run jukebox.

Just wanted to share

Collapse -

by galahad04 In reply to

Poster rated this answer.

Collapse -

by GDoC In reply to Tips for extending PC lif ...

Keep it cool. Try to keep room temp @ or about 75F. If it is hot inside the chassis look into additional chassis fans.
Keep it clean. Low dust environment, clean fans, grates and inside chassis periodically (canned air is good for this)
Keep Stable Power. A good UPS with several hours of run time.
Keep it on. Power cycling is the equivilent to starting your causes wide tempurature fluxuations on the chips and causes high load on the HDD spindle motor, etc. Go ahead and turn off the monitor and other peripherals, but keep the computer running.
Last but not least, if you have an internal modem, make sure you have a phone line surge protector!

Collapse -

by galahad04 In reply to

Thanks for the helpful suggestions

Collapse -

by galahad04 In reply to Tips for extending PC lif ...

This question was closed by the author

Related Discussions

Related Forums