Should I reformat my old 486 and start all over again. Should I?

This is in IMHO because the answer to the general question here is obviously yes, it is possible to start all over again. I need opinions on whether I should.

The old boy is 11 years old. It had a major overhaul about 5 years ago. When I bought it the OS was DOS. After I had a new clock battery put in and upgraded the RAM (quite difficult and more expensive than originally planned because the RAM module it used was no longer made) and did other computer health things to it, I installed Windows 95 which ran for about a week and then crashed. I was never able to get it back.

The computer is now in the kids’ room where they can access WordPerfect and a few games whose exe command we can remember.

Soooo. I was thinking of reformating the hard drive and starting all over again and I was thinking of doing it myself. I know next to nothing about software. I am very good at following instructions. What do computer literate dopers think? Would it be worth my trouble? Where could I find step by step instructions for this operation. Am I unhealthily attached to my first computer?

Ah. It’s great for a kids computer. Next year (when we move and actually have some space!) we plan on putting together all of our old computer parts and making a computer for our kids.

A reformat wouldn’t hurt. It might clean things up a bit, and make it easier for the kids to play games. I have to say that I don’t know much about 486’s. I’ve reformatted this machine several times, and a friend’s machine once, so if you needed advice on how to reformat Windows, I’d be full of advice. I did see this:

which mentions cleaning up 486’s. Good luck.

Offhand I would say yes, your old workhorse has done its job and is time to be sent out to pasture. But thats just me; I upgrade my system every 6 to 12 months. I don’t know what your financial circumstances are but for around $500 you can get a fairly good computer these days (+1Ghz Celeron processor, 128 megs of ram, 20 gig hard drive, cd-rom, monitor, and warranty) from any of the major builders.

Thanks for the link lola very informative. Do I still have all the drivers and the sys disk? Questions I did’nt even know I had to answer! Looks like about as much work as I thought it would be.

cainxinth, why would I junk a perfectly good and working computer just because another cost only $500? I mean, we have 2 computers-- one that has all the bells and whistles. I’m just wondering if I can improve the old guy. A few hours/days (weeks?) trying to start refresh the old one should be, if not exactly fun, educational.

Put Linux on it :slight_smile:

if your machine does what you want it to, and you are willing to go through the hassle of locating all the original drivers and continually reformating by all means stick with it. I was just pointing out that computer prices are extremely low, you can get a lot of bang for the buck.

also, reformatting shouldn’t take more than an afternoon. All it really entails is:

create a boot disk, preferably with CD-ROM support
insert boot disk and boot up
at a:> prompt type: fdisk
follow on screen instructions to delete your primary partition
follow on screen instructions to create a new primary partition
reboot with boot disk still in
at a:> prompt type: c: format /s
reboot when instructed with boot disk still in
Insert OS disc, and at a:> prompt type: d:\setup
remove boot disk and reboot when instructed
install chipset drivers
install mouse, video, monitor, audio, modem/nic, and CD-ROM drivers

and you’re ready to rock and roll.

For more in-depth instructions check here