I bought a second hand custom pc, the only specs I know about it are as were told on purchase...
512 MB Ram 2.1 GHZ
111.2 GB Hard drive
DVD ROM DVD ROM RW
CD ROM CD RW
REAL TEL AC'97 audio
Now this is where I apologise for my lack of jargon, my pc was running fine apart from every now & then it would say it was 'dumping physical memory' but after deleting files, mainly stills from when my son had been playing sims on it, it died then each time I tried to turn it on it would shut down a few seconds into the windows xp screen...the one with the loading bar...so I googled & done a bit of homework, everything I read seemed to be pointing to my hard drive, so I replaced a maxtor 80gb PATA 133 ide (<<<haha cant help but giggle at that as not long ago it would have just been numbers & letters to me) for a maxtor 160gb PATA 100 ide. I installed it formatted it & tried to install windows XP only to be met by the same problem I had before I replaced the hard drive...installation would hang at 34 minutes remaining, so again I googled & found a solution which meant finding the last 'INF' file & deleting it. The last one I found was 'netsis.inf' I deleted & finally installation completed, but instead of starting up I kept getting the screen which said 'windows could not start successfully' & offering me the options to start in safe mode etc. But it just wont start in any mode, I have restarted installation & re-formatted but I'm now back to the hanging at 34 minutes remaining....I'm starting to think maybe it is my ram? I have one PC133 SDRAM connected. I'm happy to order more ram as if it isn't the problem it will still upgrade me, but what else could the problem be?
I am sorry that this is so long winded but I have no previous experience of pcs & I would really like now if I could get this problem solved without the need to go to a pro & spend silly amounts of £'s so any ideas/advice would be gratefully received.