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Computers do sometimes fail, although fortunately, most often it's not fatal. Computers are basically modular, and the various components inside can be isolated and replaced fairly easily. The thing about computers is that the technology changes so fast. It seems like you paid twice as much for your old computer than a new one that is twice as good!
 
Sometimes it's more cost effective to upgrade to newer and better performing replacement parts than merely replacing existing ones. And sometimes it makes more sense to upgrade the core components together, so that their performance as a group matches each other. For example, replacing a processor with a slightly faster one can give a disappointing improvement in performance compared with replacing the motherboard, processor and memory as a group, so that the performance improvement is matched across the board. A faster processor on an old motherboard with limited memory isn't free to run like it truly should, and you don't see the change in performance you expected to and spent your hard earned money on.
 
Some components, like hard drives, have gone through changes in the language that is used to communicate with them. The BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) of the motherboard may have used a certain language, called a protocol, to control the hard drive. It might not be able to communicate, or even recognize, a newer hard drive that uses a newer protocol. So we sometimes have to search for either an older drive that uses that protocol, or upgrade the motherboard's BIOS if possible, or install an extra circuit board with the new language, or upgrade the motherboard and hard drive both. With the last two choices, the door is opened to larger drives with very much increased storage capacity and improved writing speed, and of course the new motherboard option will give improved performance because of of the upgrade in processor and memory.
 
All of these considerations are the kinds of decisions I have found myself constantly making when I have worked on my own computers, given of course the knowledge I have gained with experience and the training I have received, but I am throwing these out there just as examples of the kind of choices you will have when you have an ailing computer that you want up and running again. And who knows, it may be performing in new and better ways than it ever did before!