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"Upgrades Not A Problem".. Sure About That?
Mike's Window

Mike's 'unwanted additions' warning service..

ATI graphics drivers for HD5000 and better will install an exceedingly annoying game enhancement addon called Raptr UNLESS you take the custom install route and UNCHECK it

Foxit Reader (good) is currently attaching Search Protect by Conduit (not good). Uncheck the option because it is a pest.

Java (marginal, but a necessary evil for far too many things) is attaching the Ask Toolbar and associated junk. Uncheck it if you value decent Internet searches.. . 

ImgBurn (Good), but you have to be on your toes to stop the unwanted stuff. Basically, uncheck anything that isn't for ImgBurn, and go for the custom install each time that it is offered to you to ensure that you get to uncheck and skip the junk.. 

A commonly held 'view.. '

 "Well, it worked in Windows 95!"

MVP Award years

2005 - 2006 - 2007

2008 - 2009 - 2010

2011 - 2012 - 2013


The original MVP logo

My Favourite Utilities

Speedfan is a great hardware monitor which can automatically control fan speeds, warn when temperatures are rising in the case, and do a SMART scan of your hard drives. A 'must have'.. 

Piriform Speccy tells you what is inside the box and with great accuracy..

Networx shows download/upload bandwidth used..

Piriform Recuva is probably the best file recovery utility around and is free too.. 

Treesize shows you what you have got, where it is, and how much space it is all using..

Windows 8 alternative start menus.. Classic Shell..

Stardock Start8..

Aomei Partition Assistant is the best free utility of its type..


I have a computer powered by a slot 939 AMD 64 3500+. Three years ago, it wasn't too bad and, in truth, it still does a reasonable job. However, I want a little more than it can reasonably give, so I looked around for a replacement. An AMD 64 X2 4800+ would be nice, but there is a problem.

AMD discontinued the 939 slot back in 2006, and there don't appear to be any dual core 939 processors around anymore. They have been replaced by a new socket called 'AM2'. Not surprisingly, the two types are anything but compatible.

Maybe more memory would give my computer a little more oomph. Presently, it has two x 1gb DDR modules installed. I can get DDR2 modules for as little as $20 a piece, but DDR are $80 each.

I give up!! I will change out the motherboard, memory and processor. Now, lets see what the specs are of new motherboards. There is a reasonable choice out there, and all was looking good. I reckoned on about $400 to complete the job.

I was wrong of course, because I had overlooked something. New motherboards have more SATA connections than IDE ports, and I have a CDRW, DVDRW, 2 x 80gb PATA and 1 x 160gb SATA Western Digitals. All of the new motherboards have only one IDE port.

I can get around this one maybe by buying a PCI IDE card. It can take up one of the two PCI slots, sitting alongside my D-Link G520 wireless PCI card. My only hope is that the PCI IDE card is not full height because if it is, either this or the D-Link card are going to seriously block the airflow to and from the fan on my MSI NX6600 video card.

OK, OK. Press Del for BIOS and lets play with the old motherboards native over-clocking features.

When I bought the equipment mentioned above, I knew what the score would be in time. Unfortunately, many who buy computers are told that they will be able to upgrade the hardware easily, that the computer can 'grow' with the user.

The simple truth is that hardware in no more than a child, and that is what it will always be, its growth stunted by time, sometimes a period as short as six months..

Posted Wed, Apr 9 2008 23:58 by Mike Hall
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