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Since the latest update to Windows 10 x64 failed, I can't log in for some reason related to the graphics. I checked, and the Radeon 4300/4500 is now a legacy model, Is that likely to be the cause? 

Since the current one used to work, is there an update  that will straighten out the problem, or is it so old I'd be better off replacing it?

While I'm at it, will a new processor/graphics card be hard to put in or do I take it to a computer guy, since up until this event have been happy with my "black box with an on/off switch"?.

 

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You're better off replacing it. Almost anything you can buy new will be much faster. Assuming this isn't a laptop or some ultra-small form factor PC you can't install a graphics card in, it's a really easy job.

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I would try to do it myself in my youth, but, at age 74, it's cheaper and safer to let a semi skilled chimpanzee do it. There are several good human techs in town, though., so one of those is likely to get a bite out of my budget. 

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Assuming that the new card will fit into the same slot on your computer's motherboard where the old one is, and assuming that it's the only thing that needs replacing, swapping one card for the other is as easy as replacing a light bulb.  Well, almost. If your fingers are as un-nimble as mine are, it may be slightly more frustrating, but not much. In any case, a local tech shouldn't take more than a few minutes to do it, so the fee should be reasonable. Before you buy a card and have someone do the work, though, you should find out whether you'll need to replace other components, like a power supply.

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Posted (edited)

Satisfied with my relationship to a "black box with an on/off switch", I'll opt for letting somebody else who knows what he/she is doing mess with the "guts" of the "infernal confuser " in that black box.  I don't want to be the cause of any more damage, or of angering the "debil" inside,. While I may be wrong about the causative nature of a legacy driver (note 1), I'm satisfied it is part of the problem if not the sole cause.. It's a little like a car that won't start because the battery is low. You recharge or replace the battery, and check later for any shorts that caused the battery failure if there is one or more. 

 

Note 1: The computer is has been around since Windows 7, and the graphics driver isn't even listed on the manufacturer's list of stored downloads to repair it.

Edited by AmandaHoliday
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In Computer terms, your card is older than you are in Human years, so to say.

Win10 does not natively support such an old card anymore. It isn't a matter of upgrading the driver, but actually downgrading it to a compatible one. There are several reports about this, if you google for "win10 amd 4300/4500 driver", like https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/ati-radeon-43004500-series-drivers/1c6834e9-3859-40c4-89fc-614cdd83317a

If you find the explanations easy enough to follow, give it a try. Otherwise, take the machine to a PC shop of your trust and let them fix the driver for a really small fee or even just a tip. Do pay attention if you have a 32bit or a 64bit Windows system. With such an old machine, I wouldn't automatically bet on 64bit.

Overall, there usually comes a point where the upkeep of an ancient machine is more stressful and far from worth any nerves and expenses. A new "black box with an on/off switch" might easily be less hassle and way more fun in daily usage.

... and still, always remain critical about any "good human tech". Too many black sheeps exploiting the unknowing...

 

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Lillith, got a chuckle from your opening statement. Some days, while I know I'm not as old as dirt, I think I'm older than the hills and valleys. That's easily older than any electronics even in computer years. In fact, I remember  when math required paper and pencil, we could read analog clocks, dial rotary phones to talk to friends on an alpha exchange name and needed an operator to make long distance calls.

I'm not quite ready to pop for a new black box, so repairing the old one still make sense, budgetwise. 

As far as picking a good tech, the guy I use has paid rent on a business for about 10+ years. That's remarkable in a town of under 6000 population, I think.

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@AmandaHoliday As one who also shares an age with the hills and valleys, I sympathize.  I play the same sorts of budgetary what-if games every time something in my computer acts up.  On the cautious side, I resist making major upgrades when a little band-aid patch here or there will hold the machine together.  Taking the longer view, I recognize that a major upgrade today can be much less expensive than it will be if I put it off for another year or more. Technology does not become cheaper if I wait.  

My solution is to follow a middle path, replacing a component here or there as something breaks and then, very infrequently, doing something big when technology makes a really enticing leap.  My desktop machine was built in 2006 by my son's ex-Father-In-Law.  Over the years, I have replaced graphics cards, hard drives, modems and routers galore, monitors, power supplies, and -- finally last summer -- the mother board.  That last replacement meant also replacing the case that everything is in.  The computer is somehow related to the apocryphal axe whose owner had replaced its head four times and its handle another half dozen times -- and yet it was still the same old axe.  At each evolutionary step, I have balanced the same questions you are now asking and have always decided that it's wiser to spend money today than to delay the inevitable and spend more tomorrow, as long as I have the money today.  At our age, some things can no longer be put off indefinitely.

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