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Time to move on?


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#1 NobodySpecial

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 09:12 AM

Hello. I have a Dell Vostro 1700 laptop running Windows XP Home that recently died. The first symptom was a whining coming the hard drive followed by a non-bootable disk error on reboot. I used a Bart's PE disk and was able to run chkdsk /r, after which I was able to access the drive and copy some essential files that weren't in the last backup to a USB hard drive. It now takes about 3 hours to boot and log on to the system. (I basically just turn it on while I am working on another machine and wait for it to log on.) I can do things on the system but there is a long delay (2-3 minutes) between a click and any indication that anything is happening. I also get low virtual memory errors occaisionally. I want to run PassMark's DiskCheckup on the drive, but who knows how long that will take to get up and running.

 

I bought a new WD drive for it, but haven't installed the new drive yet because I am wondering if I should replace the computer. I lost a hard drive on this machine about 2 years ago as well. I am not rough with the laptop at all; it just sits on my desk. I don't use it as a laptop at all because (1) the battery is dead and I haven't replaced it and (2) I bought it when I needed a laptop, but I no longer need a mobile computer. I am at a computer all day, so when I leave my office I want to leave the computer behind.

 

So I am wondering if it is worth replacing the drive on the Vostro again. The drive cost $50 and the new desktop I am looking at is $500 + monitor cost, so financially the drive is obviously better. However, I don't want to be right back where I am now in 2 years. I don't know what in the laptop could cause damage to the drive, but losing 2 drives in 2 years is a real pain. Could the dead battery on the laptop be causing surges or some other disturbance on the power lines in the machine? I would think if it was that type of problem the drive would die, not become marginally accessible.

 

Any thoughts or advice?


Edited by hamluis, 22 August 2013 - 10:05 AM.
Moved from XP to Internal Hardware - Hamluis.


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#2 dc3

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 10:18 AM

Hello NobodySpecial, and welcome to Bleeping Computer.

 

Could the dead battery on the laptop be causing surges or some other disturbance on the power lines in the machine?

 

The power adapter takes the incoming AC line voltage (110V U.S. , 230V elswhere) and reduces it to the specific voltage required by the laptop.  This also rectifies the AC line voltage to DC voltage.  This will also protect the computer from seeing most power surges, it will usually damage the transformer inside the adapter and not reach the motherboard of the laptop.  The motherboard also has circuitry which regulates the voltage.  So no, your battery isn't the culprit.

 

Hard drives are electromechanical devices and will eventually fail as all mechanical devices do.  There are other considerations regarding a hdd failure, there is circuitry which have board components which can fail resulting in a failed hdd.  It happens.

 

If I'm not mistaken, your laptop is seven years old, most people who depend on their laptop for work consider three years a good life span for a laptop.  Add to this the fact that on the 14th of April 2014 Microsoft will no longer support Windows XP.  A laptop of this age could start experiencing other failures at any time.  You need to weigh all this and decide if you want to make the cheaper repair, or bite the bullet and step up to a new computer with all of the latest technology and the knowledge that you have a dependable machine.


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#3 NobodySpecial

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 08:11 PM

Thanks for the greetings and the info, Arachibutyrophobia.

 

Seven years is about right for that laptop. It has served me well, but I think it is time for it to go to the graveyard (a.k.a. my closet). It will be said to see it go.

 

I hadn't given thought to the end of XP support, so I really appreciate you bringing that up. I was on the fence and that gave me the nudge I needed. Now I can blame you for spending $$$ on a new computer. :)



#4 chromebuster

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 10:04 PM

Another thing you should consider is the computer's sentimental value to you.  I have a Toshiba Portege S100 laptop at my house, and I'm resurrecting it hopefully pretty soon; maybe this weekend.  I depended on it for school, for play, and for socializing online throughout most of my high school career, and for that reason, I'm not letting it go; it was my first ever laptop; a piece of history.  I could be nuts, though I'd recommend simply replacing the drive; drives are funny sometimes; a server I own has it's stock drives in it, and they've lasted about nine years (probably no matter that they are SCSI (SCA) drives though), while the drive in my friends newer Dell Latitude E6400 tanked after four months when he first got it; he got another one, and it's just now starting to die.  I mean, if I had my way, every computer from 1993 and earlier would still be alive and well;but that's because I'm a bit of a technophile. 


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#5 NobodySpecial

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 07:17 AM

Thanks for the advice, chromebuster. I don't really get sentimental over too much, so I don't have a strong emotional attachment to the Vostro like you do with you S100. It has been a good machine, but the shiny new Windows-8 machine will be good too. I may end up replacing the drive in the Vostro and using it as a cheap computer for my daughter. But I don't want to risk the down time that might be associated with more problems with it moving forward.

 

Good luck with your resurrection project.



#6 TsVk!

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 12:44 AM

I love the sentimentality and dedication in thread. :love4u:

 

I'd just bin the thing and be done with it. With cash back offers and the like you can put a new functioning laptop on your table for $300-$350. 

 

I'm still not convinced on Win 8 yet though, it's an bit of a dog like Vista IMHO.



#7 dc3

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 11:11 AM

I'm still not convinced on Win 8 yet though, it's an bit of a dog like Vista IMHO.

 

Like all Microsoft operating systems it take a little getting use to when you first start using a different operating system.  Windows 8 has changed the format to the point that a lot of it is no longer intuitive like previous operating systems.  But with the addition of the start button it feels a little more familiar.  There is a start button available which can be downloaded for free, or you can wait until mid October and download Windows 8.1 which will have the new start button.  My wife who truly is not computer literate has learned how to navigate enough to play her games, shop online, and get her mail in Windows 8.  

 

There is a quote out of the Vietnam era regarding the F4 Phantom which reminds me of the need for more RAM than what Microsoft suggests, "With enough power you can make a brick fly".


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#8 rotor123

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 02:26 PM

As dc3 said with regards to the start button. That is the one I use with Windows 8 and with Classic Shell Windows 8 is like Windows 7 to me with a few nice tweaks. I like the Graph showing Transfer speeds when I copy or move files. I now like Windows 8 enough that I have nothing bad to say. I am Using this computer every day and have no complaints as to usability, reliability, or comparability.

 

chromebuster, The fact that they are SCSI is a big factor in their longevity. SCSI last a lot longer, They cost a lot more at the time too.

You truly do get what You pay for in computers.

 

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Edited by rotor123, 26 August 2013 - 02:27 PM.

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#9 TsVk!

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 03:47 PM

 

There is a quote out of the Vietnam era regarding the F4 Phantom which reminds me of the need for more RAM than what Microsoft suggests, "With enough power you can make a brick fly".

 

Waaaahahhahahaa! that's damn accurate description of Win.8. :lmao:

 

 

Like all Microsoft operating systems it take a little getting use to when you first start using a different operating system.

 

Yeah, I got used to Vista for about 2 weeks before deciding it was rubbish.

 

Win8 really is a data consumer OS (rather than a data producer). It looks really pretty, but for those of us who don't play games or use social media it seems pointless. As a sysadmin I would not allow it anywhere near my other machines, who knows where it's been or who it's been sleeping with.


Edited by TsVk!, 26 August 2013 - 03:52 PM.





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