06-02-2019 07:41 AM - edited 06-02-2019 02:42 PM
I recently bought an M92p SFF on Ebay for $81. It had an i5-3470 CPU, (allegedly) 4GB of RAM, 500GB hard disk and a “fresh” install of Windows 10 (version unspecified). Seemed like a good deal for a backup unit or something to experiment with. I ordered a 4GB DIMM because I know Windows runs better with 8GB than 4GB.
What I got was a unit with 2GB (the seller apologized and sent out a 4GB DIMM immediately) running Windows version 1703 (i.e., 3 updates behind) with user folders for jim, bob, user1 and user2 (not what I would call a fresh install), a BIOS from 2014 and running Intel’s “boot agent” (i.e., trying to boot from a LAN which took forever before it gave up and booted from the hard disk.) What a mess! On the plus side, there were no hardware issues and the SFF is a pretty decent design in my opinion.
As you might suspect, Windows 10 is virtually unusable with 2GB. Windows update tried and failed 3 times to update to 1709. Everything ran painfully slow so I could do virtually nothing until the first 4GB DIMM arrived. I got into the BIOS, disabled the Intel boot agent and set the hard drive first in the boot order. With 4GB installed, Windows was able to update itself to 1803 (although it took 3 ½ hours) and the PC was now usable for normal home tasks. I updated the Intel video drivers (they were 3 years old) and installed Lenovo Vantage and let it update a couple things (but not the BIOS). With the 2nd 4GB DIMM installed, Windows update told me it wanted to update to 1903, skipping 1809. This also took over 3 hours but finished without a hitch. With that done, I updated the BIOS using the boot to CDROM ISO recommended on this forum. That also worked fine. My final step with be to convert the disk from MBR to GPT and switch to UEFI boot. With that I’ll have a 6 year old PC that is as updated as it can be and totally usable in the typical home environment (except for the video game player.)
Solved! Go to Solution.
06-02-2019 12:52 PM - edited 06-02-2019 12:55 PM
Well done! If you can find a good used 2.5" SSD and GT 730 (25w - ver 2 or 3) for cheap, that would make it almost contemporary with regard to performance. Marking as solved.
06-03-2019 11:48 AM
If this was going to be my main computer, I'd probably do the SSD but since it's a backup and I may end up selling it, I won't bother. I've had SSDs so long, I'd forgotten how slow a normal hard disk is. No need for the graphics card for my use. I did the MBR to GPT conversion today (from WinPE) and now am booting via UEFI with Secure Boot enabled. I've got a lot of hours into this thing but there's some satisfaction now that it's done. Based on this experience, I wouldn't advise anyone who's not a computer nerd to buy a used corporate PC though. Too much work for the typical home user.