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Laptop Nightmare

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#1 DaChew


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Posted 19 April 2008 - 01:31 AM

a few weeks ago I spent the better part of a day fixing a guy laptop with a nasty infection

yesterday he dropped it off the couch, last night he was club doing karaoke and the hard drive started clicking and died on him

he drove 100 miles to bring it to me and asked if I could save any data, bios didn't even see it, I pulled it out and sent him to office depot for a replacement, he came back with a sata, next he went to bestbuy and got the last pata one in town?

brings it back, now I have no disks, no drivers, nothing except a generic xp home oem, it was funny seeing me tip the sob up to read the numbers off the coa on the bottom

then I had to wing the driver load from this page


I said you gotta be kidding me, I grabbed the 10-15 most important ones
loaded the chipset and then video first

did a few power user tweaks and then he asked me why it was so much faster than when he first bought it?

5 hours from start to finish


He wanted me to fix his new emachine vista desktop while I was doing the laptop, I put a wifi card in it, there must have been 10-15 little icons down next to the clock, he asked why his dj program kept crashing? I said it's vista and an emachine,
what do you expect?

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#2 Sterling14


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Posted 19 April 2008 - 03:51 PM

Haha, nice story! I like the end part where you say because its an emachine. My friend and I always tease my other friend when he asks why his computer is so slow or a program crashes. I'll say "Did you not notice the little logo on the front? It says DELL".
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

#3 usasma


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Posted 20 April 2008 - 06:13 PM

Reinstalling the OS without a set of restore disks is a mixed bag for most owners. Using the restore disk will put everything back the way it was - to include all the crapware. Installing from an OS disk will leave the machine with less loading, but the downside here is having to locate all the drivers.

With Vista the hardware detection is, IME, more helpful than in XP. I've actually had one or two systems that I haven't needed to install any drivers as Vista has detected them all. But still, either one usually leaves you with at least a few devices to install. For most systems (and the Sony site in particular) I use Device Manager to give me a list of devices. If Device Manager can't tell me what the device it, then I use pcidatabase.com to ferret out the info. Then I scan the website for the latest available driver and only download them.

On the majority of occasions this is all that you'll need - and you'll find that the system runs faster because there isn't a bunch of crap loading in the background. On occasion, something may not work quite right - but it's fairly easy to solve if you've got access to the normal Windows troubleshooting tools in Computer Management and Task Manager. Sometimes you just can't seem to get something to install - and it's because of either faulty identification (the names of the devices aren't always self-explanatory), or the driver installation sequence.

BTW - the most frustrating devices are the Mass Storage device that turns out to be the Media Card reader, the "Away" drivers for AMD or Intel processors, and the Universal Audio Architecture driver for HD Audio (you'll know this with XP when you can't install your audio drivers).

Sony's website is a morass for those looking for drivers - but eMachines is even worse as I can't rely on finding the necessary drivers there. I'm going through similar issues with my new Lenovo tablet PC now also.

If the manufacturer's website doesn't have the drivers, don't despair. Most hardware manufacturer's have the drivers available at their website. If they don't (Texas Instruments is once such company), then you'll have to use Google to locate the device drivers. Most often I'll find that there are HP, Gateway, or Acer drivers that you can use in place of the device driver from your OEM. For example, I use an HP Media Card Reader Vista driver on my older Toshiba laptop. Toshiba doesn't support Vista on my model, so I had to find the drivers elsewhere.

In short, there's a lot more work involved in reinstalling an OS without the restore disks from the manufacturer - but it usually results in higher performance because all the crapware isn't loaded.
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