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Old 06-26-2009, 02:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Refurb Laptop or Netbook

Hello All,

I am new to the site and while researching what to do about an upcoming laptop purchase, I stumbled upon this site. Hopefully someone here can help me out a little bit.

About 4 years ago I bought a Compaq Presario Laptop and it was great because it had everything I needed including a 15" wide screen, a DVD player, a 1.3GHz Pentium M processor, 512MB of RAM and a 60GB Hard Drive. Other than being a little heavy at times, it was perfect for my needs so at the time I bought it for $1,600.

It has served me well for the last 4 years until earlier this year when it seems as though the hard drive has started to fail. When I found out it would cost around $300 to $400 to replace the Hard Drive and upgrade the RAM, I wanted to see what other options were available.

That's when I started to think about a netbook. My computing needs are simple in that I only use it for Internet, iTunes and occassionally Microsoft Office and maybe some video conversion & photo editing. I have a laptop for work so I really only use my laptop at home for recreational uses so I was wondering if a netbook would be able to adequately handle my needs. Especially considering most seem to have better specifications than my current dying laptop.

The second alternative I came up with was to just get a refurbished laptop since most I have seen would have the same if not better specs than my current laptop, which would almost guarantee the performance I was used to. The screen would probably be smaller than my old laptop and the form factor would probably be thicker and heavier so I wasn't sold on this idea either.

Hopefully you guys could help me out with what to do. I am probably going to get a new computer for the house (an iMac probably) later on in the year but right now I just want a temporary solution for my computing needs. With the lower prices of laptops and netbooks these days, I was hoping I could get a temporary solution to my unexpected laptop failure.

Any help you guys could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-26-2009, 02:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Refurb Laptop or Netbook

That cost of $300-400 sounds pretty high to replace the hard drive and upgrade the memory. You could get a 60gb hdd for $42, and I'm sure the memory wouldn't cost more than $30 to double (depending on your model). Can you specify the model number?

If you don't want to bother doing that, and just use the computer for non-intensive tasks, then I'm sure a netbook would be a good option for you. You could get a refurb one for $228 (Asus), with the 1.6ghz Intel Atom (low power consumption), 1gb memory, a 160gb hard drive, built in wifi, and a built in webcam. With the refurb one I think you get like a 3 month warranty.

Just check ebay... That's where I've found those prices. I'm not trying to advocate them, that's just where the best prices on these objects are.
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Old 06-26-2009, 03:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Refurb Laptop or Netbook

Thanks for your help!

The laptop I am trying to replace is a Compaq Presario X1000. I had gone to the local MicroCenter in my area and they told me it would cost the following to repair and upgrade my system.

$80.00 - Diagnostic
$40.00 - Hard Drive Installation
$60.00 - OS Installation (Plus I have to find the original disks)
$60.00 - 250GB Hard Drive
$30.00 - Memory Installation
$60.00 - 1GB RAM
$60.00 - Another 1GB RAM

$390.00 - Total Upgrade & Repair Cost

I didn't even think to question the pricing as I didn't even think you could upgrade laptops until my Hard Drive started to fail. When the repair costs started to exceed my expectations, I started to look around and for the same price, I could get a new netbook or a refurbished laptop.

Do you think I could I install the hard drive and/or memory on my own or find somewhere else cheaper? Do you really need the OS disks to replace the Hard Drive?
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Old 06-26-2009, 07:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Refurb Laptop or Netbook

You could install it yourself. It's not hard. I found the service manual for your computer: http://bizsupport2.austin.hp.com/bc/.../c00072544.pdf

Look at the "Removal and Replacement Procedures" on the left side (section 5). Follow section 5 up to 5.5(memory), and skip 5.4.

If you buy memory, buy low density memory (1gb is 16 chips, 8 chips front and back). High density will most likely not be compatible with your system. Your memory is pc2100 266mhz(you could also use pc2700 333mhz, since it is backwards compatible). The older the memory standard, the more expensive memory will be. 2gb pc2100 will run you back about 80-90 if you buy it online. You could also try and find low density pc2700 memory, it would probably cost less than 80 for 2gb. Make sure you get 200-pin laptop memory. A 250gb IDE hard drive will probably run you 85-100 online too. Most likely, you wont be able to buy any of that locally.

So it's really up to you. Installing memory and a hard drive takes a few minutes. You don't have to rush, just follow the manual and you will be fine.

Edit:
Oh and I almost forgot. Yes, you do need the OS disk to replace the OS on the hard drive. The new drive will be blank. Hopefully you have a copy of Windows XP that you can install on your new hard drive (sometimes Compaq will actually include an Win XP cd). Or, the laptop will come with a recovery disk, you can just use that if you find it. If you say that you're old drive failed, everything that was on there is lost, unless you can still access it.
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Old 06-27-2009, 06:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Refurb Laptop or Netbook

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
$80.00 - Diagnostic
Just boot her up and post here on tech forums and let us know that is up. Tech-Forums can help.
$80 for just for some one to have a look at a computer is joke. Like I normally charge $40 for that sort of work, and normally that $40 gets put into what ever work that I am carrying out if they go ahead with a repair / upgrade / whatever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
$40.00 - Hard Drive Installation
$60.00 - 250GB Hard Drive
You've got to be kidding me. This is not a MacBook where they are pain to take apart. You are paying some one $40 for 2 minutes worth of work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
$60.00 - OS Installation (Plus I have to find the original disks)
Another $60 ontop of the $80 diagnoistics. Give me a break.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
$30.00 - Memory Installation
I would find $30 is fair for ram installation provided that it was the only work that was getting carried out. Put this is not the case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
$60.00 - 1GB RAM
$60.00 - Another 1GB RAM
DDR II or DDR? If that is DDRII ram, you are getting ripped off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
$390.00 - Total Upgrade & Repair Cost
I would be telling them where they than stick their $390 (or last least

I didn't even think to question the pricing as I didn't even think you could upgrade laptops until my Hard Drive started to fail. When the repair costs started to exceed my expectations, I started to look around and for the same price, I could get a new netbook or a refurbished laptop.

Do you think I could I install the hard drive and/or memory on my own or find somewhere else cheaper? Do you really need the OS disks to replace the Hard Drive?[/QUOTE]

Now I work at a computer tech myself. Some of those service rates that they are asking is a joke. You are getting ripped off there. Especially when the installation of ram and hard drives are about 2 minute job. Sure, installing windows is worth the $60 if you don't want to do that yourself. I normally charge about $80 for the same bit of work. However installing windows is a no brainer that you can do yourself

To be honest with you, you are getting ripped off.
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Old 06-27-2009, 09:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Refurb Laptop or Netbook

@bd298

I would have never thought it was that easy to do the upgrades. Thank you so much for finding this Service Manual. I am thinking now that maybe I really don't need a new laptop and can just do the upgrades myself. I really like this laptop and would've liked to have gotten some more mileage out of it.


@Keyboard Cowboy

I thought the diagnostic charge and triple installation charges were pretty outrageous too, but I always thought laptops were't upgradeable so I thought only computer techs could do it.

I am going to start looking for the Hard Drive and RAM online today. I am just nrevous about it not being the right kind for my laptop.

One more question if you guys can help about the OS Installation. Is the OS Disk specific to the laptop or can I just use the one from my desktop if I can't find the one that came with my laptop? Can I just buy another copy of XP if I can't find any original OS Disk?

Thanks again for all of your help!!
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Old 06-27-2009, 10:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Refurb Laptop or Netbook

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
I am going to start looking for the Hard Drive and RAM online today. I am just nrevous about it not being the right kind for my laptop.
If you are not sure about the ram you need, then go to the Kingstone Ram website and look up your laptops computer model. It will tell you there.
From what I gather with your laptop judging on the age on when you purchased it, it looks like it will be taking DDR Ram. However check on Kingstone Website.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
One more question if you guys can help about the OS Installation. Is the OS Disk specific to the laptop or can I just use the one from my desktop if I can't find the one that came with my laptop? Can I just buy another copy of XP if I can't find any original OS Disk?
99% of the time, you can use a OEM disk for installing windows. All you need to do is use the same serial number that is on the base of the laptop. However make sure you download all the drivers frist from the laptop's website.
Using the recovery CDs might be easier, however i find that it also install a lot unwanted bloatware.

You will be fine.
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Old 06-27-2009, 01:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Refurb Laptop or Netbook

You need either pc2100 266mhz or pc2700 333mhz, low density, laptop memory (200-pins). The hard drive is IDE, DON'T buy a SATA hard drive.
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Old 06-27-2009, 06:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bd2988 View Post
You need either pc2100 266mhz or pc2700 333mhz, low density, laptop memory (200-pins). The hard drive is IDE, DON'T buy a SATA hard drive.
And make sure it's a 2.5' drive
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Main Rig - AMD FX-8350x8 4.0Ghz CPU, 4x 8Gb (32Gb) DDR3 Ram, Gigabyte GA-970A-D3, GeForce GT 970 4Gb, 1x 256Gb SSD\8Tb (3+2+2+1) SATA HDD, DVDRW, SB X-Fi, Win 10 (64-bit)
Asus N61JV-JX231V - Intel Core i5 3437u (1.9 - 2.4 GHz), 12GB, 640GB, 16" Display, nVidia 325M 1Gb, DVD-RW, Win 10 (64-bit)
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Old 06-27-2009, 07:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Refurb Laptop or Netbook

Newegg.com - Computer Hardware,Hard Drives,Laptop Hard Drives,ATA-6

Yeha mate any of those would work fine. I would recommend sticking to a Western Digital or Seagate drive as they generally seem to be better quality than Fujitsu, Samsung, or Hitachi drives and I think their warranties are longer as well (3 years).
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