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Old 12-10-2012, 20:45
flique
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I have a desk top pc will put the details of it, excuse me if overdetailing but don't know what is relevant and what is not.

Packard Bell Windows XP Home Edition Version 2002
Service Pack 2
Packard Bell Intel (R)
Pentium (R) 4CPU
3.20 GHz
512 Ram

We also have a laptop that I am using for this as we have had to move the pc and it is not close enough to the phone line to have wifi plugged in.

My question is are the dongle things any good and will it work with a pc this old, which is the better one to get? Are they easy to install? I will be about 7 ft from the router. My husband hates cables round walls and will not put in under the carpet and doesn't want to mess around with the phone cables. I heard about the dongle but don't want to buy it if it won't work on my old pc.

My other question is if eventually I buy a new desktop are they wifi enabled or do you still have to have a dongle?

Hope someone can help as I don't want to waste money and I haven't a clue about how these things work.
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Old 12-10-2012, 20:53
calvin&hobbs
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i had an old pc similar spec to yours and used a netgear dongle which worked fine for years. Later I also installed a wifi card which only cost about 15 quid and it was easy to install,just take the back off and basically slide the card into a vacant slot and run the disk.( I gave the pc to a mate earlier this year and it still performs well for him)
Either of these ways will work at 7ft distance with no problems. I think new desktops should have wifi installed,certainly all laptops do these days and they connect so easily
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Old 12-10-2012, 20:57
alan1302
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As far as I am aware desktops don't tend to have Wi-Fi installed
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Old 12-10-2012, 21:00
flique
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Thanks for your help does the dongle have software you have to use, sorry if that is a daft question but I just imagined you plug it in and away to go kind of like an aerial to pick up the wifi.
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Old 12-10-2012, 21:04
chrisjr
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A cable would be the easiest, cheapest and most secure way to connect your desktop to the router. So hit the old fella round the head with the frying pan to knock a bit of sense into him and get a bit of wire

But if that doesn't work then something like this should do the job

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Edimax-EW-78...971847-5038943

You just need a spare USB port. Usually it would be advisable to avoid sticking it in a port on the back of the PC stuck up against the wall, but at 7 feet I doubt it will make a lot of difference. And it should transfer to a new desktop OK. Not sure built in WiFi on desktops is all that common.
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Old 12-10-2012, 21:12
flique
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Had a look Chris but seems there is a disc that is very small and would be a problem for my slot on pc. Is there any good plug and play versions.
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Old 12-10-2012, 21:26
chrisjr
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Had a look Chris but seems there is a disc that is very small and would be a problem for my slot on pc. Is there any good plug and play versions.
If your CD drive can't take the disc they supply you can download the driver from here

http://www.edimax.co.uk/en/support_d...id=1&pl2_id=44
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Old 12-10-2012, 21:30
flique
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Ok thanks for that.
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Old 12-10-2012, 22:24
mac2708
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As far as I am aware desktops don't tend to have Wi-Fi installed
A few do including this Acer which a friend bought recently
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Acer-Desktop...0076902&sr=1-7

and several of their other models do as well.
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Old 12-10-2012, 23:04
chrisjr
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A few do including this Acer which a friend bought recently
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Acer-Desktop...0076902&sr=1-7

and several of their other models do as well.
No mention of WiFi in the specs on the Acer website, sure you've got the right model?

http://www.acer.co.uk/ac/en/GB/conte...l/9P.XCM7Z.U7N
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Old 12-10-2012, 23:08
jenzie
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i would get more RAM first, as 512 ain't really enough
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Old 12-10-2012, 23:10
alan1302
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i would get more RAM first, as 512 ain't really enough
Fine for basic net stuff on Windows XP
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Old 12-10-2012, 23:17
max99
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I also recommend the Edimax adapters, but I prefer this one for desktop machines:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Edimax-EW-77...d_rhf_dp_p_t_1

Either should be fine, though. If you have a regular CD drive with a tray, the small disks will fit into it. The Edimax adapters will install automatically via Plug & Play, but only if you're already connected to the Internet.

As above, the machine will also benefit from more RAM. 512MB is the absolute bare minimum for XP nowadays. You can double it from around a tenner and it's a five minute job to fit a new stick. Post back if you need more info. Also, your version of XP is out of date - you should be on Service Pack 3 now.
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Old 12-10-2012, 23:20
LION8TIGER
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@ flique, do you have windows update turned on ?? You are running XP service pack 2 .... service pack 3 was released more than 4 years ago !! . I would agree about getting more RAM, 2GB would give you a noticeable improvement.

Edit: as above.
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Old 13-10-2012, 01:38
cnbcwatcher
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As far as I am aware desktops don't tend to have Wi-Fi installed
Well older ones don't. Some newer ones like the iMacs and Mac Minis do, but I'm not too sure about PC desktops. Maybe the all-in-ones do but not the old-style tower desktops.
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Old 13-10-2012, 07:37
mac2708
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No mention of WiFi in the specs on the Acer website, sure you've got the right model?

http://www.acer.co.uk/ac/en/GB/conte...l/9P.XCM7Z.U7N
Yes, I'm sure.
I was surprised myself but it even has an aerial on the back.
The Acer site may not mention it but the spes on the link I gave state:
Acer Aspire X1 Desktop PC (Intel Core i3 2120 3.3GHz, 6GB RAM, 1TB HDD, DVD, LAN, WLAN,
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Old 13-10-2012, 09:02
flique
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Thank you all for your replies it has been very helpful. I know my pc is old and I have thought about getting a new one but not just yet as I am a bit of a beggar about hanging on as everything keeps changing so fast anything you buy goes out of date quickly. Only got rid of my old tv last week as it still worked fine so have to get a new one today. We do have a flat screen in the living room but this will be for my bedroom.

It seems then that I would need a dongle to work most new desktops on wifi so will look for a good one. How to i update to service pack 3? what benefits does it have? Why do I need more ram? I use the pc for forums that i belong too, google for information ( i did google before I asked my question on here but was confused by some of the terminology and wanted to know from real people if they worked ok with xp)

I also use it for playing games from Big Fish, family history, uploading photos, i player, e-mail etc. I don't download anything or use it for music. I have a scanner and a printer.
I stilluse the old version of Outlook for e-mail as I like what I am used to. I think that it doesn't work with Windows 7, am I right.
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Old 13-10-2012, 10:17
mac2708
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How to i update to service pack 3? what benefits does it have? Why do I need more ram?
Service Pack 3 available here
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322389#method21

RAM explained here
http://www.microsoft.com/athome/setu...id=xsO7XYDcQJQ

RAM could be more expensive for an older PC than a newer model
To see what's available for your PC and prices check here
http://www.crucial.com/uk/systemscanner/

Be careful of some cheap RAM offered on ebay. Some of it is Hi-Density RAM which may not work correctly and/or give problems.
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Old 13-10-2012, 10:25
tealady
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How to i update to service pack 3? what benefits does it have? Why do I need more ram?
An update to service pack 3 (sp3) will improve security, iron out bugs.
RAM will make your machine run better. If you have a few things running at the same time - Big Fish, Digital Spy, Outlook, you have probably found that switching between them can be slow on occasion and you can hear a clicking sound (which is the hard drive) going like crazy.
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Old 13-10-2012, 12:09
s2k
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Fine for basic net stuff on Windows XP
That used to be the case but nowadays XP could do with at least 1GB once you factor in updates and background stuff like Antivirus, open programs etc.

As others have said it really should be on SP3 as SP2 is no longer supported by Microsoft. Update package can be found here. (don't worry about the warnings, its fine for a single machine).
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Old 13-10-2012, 21:48
MartinPickering
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Why do I need more ram?
The more RAM you have, the less often you'll see the hour glass. The PC will be generally more responsive. The Hard drive will last longer because it isn't continually being accessed as "virtual memory".
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Old 14-10-2012, 01:05
Zenith
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As mentioned above, do you have windows update turned off? Go to Control Panel/security centre and check your update settings. I have mine set to "notify me but dont automatically download & install them", as I like to check them myself first.

You can also click on "check for the latest updates from windows updates". This will check your pc & list the updates that are available. As you are still on SP2, there could well be hundreds of updates available!
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