Getting a Gaming PC Back up and Running After 6 Years

This gaming PC had not been switched on in 6 years. The reasons behind this were never explained to me, but I cannot just stand by and watch a piece of useful technology go unloved and unused. The owner wanted the computer resurrecting, upgraded to Windows 10, and checked over.

A Gaming PC not Switched on in 6 Years

I love repairing computers, so I was in my element. I started by taking the side panel off the PC and checking over the components. Everything looked good, if a little dusty. The computer had 8GB of RAM installed. For a gaming PC this was OK but could be better. Luckily, I had a 4GB RAM stick on my ‘shelf of bits’ (nothing gets wasted in my office), so I immediately put it in just to give the computer a bit of a boost when it came to be functional, increasing it to a rather more respectable 12GB.

Next up was a good clean and to add some new thermal paste to the processor. I used antistatic wipes to clean every part of the computer I could see and dried everything with a cloth straight away. The processor fan was tackled with a few cotton buds to get all the dirt out, and I took the opportunity to add some new thermal paste to the processor while the fan was out.

Cleaning the inside of the PC

After putting it all back together and giving everything one last check over, it was time to power up the PC to see what we had.

The thermal paste was working wonders. The computer was so quiet and ran smoothly. The Operating System was in a bit of a state though – Windows 7 with an exceptional amount of pops up appearing. No wonder the owner abandoned the computer years ago, it was practically impossible to use.

I asked the owner if they wanted anything keeping via a backup. They said no. This made my life so much easier as I did not have to spend time getting any documents or files off the PC.

I used my own laptop to download a copy of Windows 10 direct from the Microsoft website, installed it on a USB stick, and used it to format the hard drive already in the gaming PC and install Windows 10.

I set it up as a local account. If the owner wants to connect it to the cloud or an online account I can always show them how to do that later.

The installation went smoothly until it came to activating Windows 10. No license could be found! Either the license was not automatically set up on the motherboard, Windows 7 was installed separately when it was first built, or we had an illegal OS previously.

Not anymore! I purchased a genuine license directly from Microsoft and used the supplied product key to activate this copy of Windows 10. The computer was now genuinely activated. I then spent a few hours installing any recent updates to get the computer as up to date as possible.

Windows 10 activated

After a 6 year hiatus this gaming PC is back in full working order.

Repair Breakdown

PC service, clean and RAM Upgrade @ £30

Windows 10 License @ £20

Total cost: £50


Software Developer, Website Creator and Digital IT specialist over at The Legend of Skippy. I make stuff, that's essentially my job. And when I'm not making stuff, I'm fixing all manner of other stuff. It's a fun life to lead, and I'm here to share it all with you.