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regfootball

Laptop dilemma

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4.5 yr old vista laptop / main computer. 2gb/160.

Erratic behavior. BSoD's or freezes or reboots often. No prior windows reinstall. Hard drive full

economically can't afford new one now. But there is always credit. Would prefer to wait till better times to get something awesome instead of just to get by.

Want wireless printing. Can by used print server for 15 bucks to work with printer I already have or get new eprint.

I have an unopened full version of vista here to use if I choose to rebuild. But who knows maybe the battery or hdd or motherboard or memory or LCD goes bad soon too.

Have a new free wireless n router in box I could use. Current laptop is not wireless N, just g.

Rebuild with vista? Or spend 100 bucks on win 7 for old machine? Or, 350 bucks for a new ok stopgap (impala) laptop 3/320/15.6. Or 4/500/17.3 for 450 both with lesser hardware.

Ultimate goal is mac or top end windows laptop.

Any recommendations on how the money would be best saved or spent right now?

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I would re-install Vista and see if the reliability issues go away.. Then make a decision based on how that goes. An SSD Drive + Win 7 would make it relatively scream. I wouldn't run a laptop without one now if I was starting fresh.

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You don't have the hardware to successfully run 7, unfortunately.

My guess is if your hard disk is so full, you might be experiencing errors because of that. Have you thought of getting an external USB hard drive for your media? You'd be surprised how much space is taken up by pictures, music, movies/video, etc.

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Well, it's a 32 bit vista machine.....I actually haven't checked the upgrade possibility on the Microsoft site.

The hdd has been running at max capacity for several months. Whenever vista consumed more, I just removed more music off the drive. I had about 140gb free when new, movies and music and photos consumed I would say close to 100gb of that. I have most everything backed up on one 160gb portable right now. I was considering copying and moving all my stuff to the 320gb portable drive I was using in my Taurus x with the sync. I can just use a flash drive in the car for awhile while it's so cold.

Right now I guess I would say what you guys say makes sense.

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I seriously doubt the BSoD's are being caused by the HD being full. Low disk space will create issues, like potential page file/virtual memory problems, but I've never seen a bluescreen from low virtual memory.

Often, BSoD's are due to the CPU or Memory. The first thing I would do is run MemTest. It's a free program that can boot using a USB stick, and scans your memory for errors. If there are problems with your memory, it's pretty simple to remedy. A memory stick may very well have just unseated itself, or the heat within the laptop caused a memory stick's solder to loosen and cut the circuit.

Erratic behaviour and random reboots make me think it's either your CPU overheating, or the power supply is going haywire. If MemTest comes up clean, perhaps open up the laptop and get rid of all the dust. Maybe check to see if the thermal grease on the CPU is caked and dried, which means it doesn't transfer heat effectively.

Edited by FAPTurbo

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For $500 you can get a pretty decent laptop at Best Buy, and right now if you buy something for $500+ you get a $50 gift card, unless the deal has expired. Don't think it has though. You just have to find the coupon online and print it out.

First you should try what others have suggested though. Are you sure you don't have viruses causing problems?

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I seriously doubt the BSoD's are being caused by the HD being full. Low disk space will create issues, like potential page file/virtual memory problems, but I've never seen a bluescreen from low virtual memory.

Often, BSoD's are due to the CPU or Memory. The first thing I would do is run MemTest. It's a free program that can boot using a USB stick, and scans your memory for errors. If there are problems with your memory, it's pretty simple to remedy. A memory stick may very well have just unseated itself, or the heat within the laptop caused a memory stick's solder to loosen and cut the circuit.

Erratic behaviour and random reboots make me think it's either your CPU overheating, or the power supply is going haywire. If MemTest comes up clean, perhaps open up the laptop and get rid of all the dust. Maybe check to see if the thermal grease on the CPU is caked and dried, which means it doesn't transfer heat effectively.

it was running fine for quite awhile with a full hdd. i recently uninstalled and reinstalled the virus software as I thought it was related to that.

I will look into the memtest. I have indeed read that dust and reseating the memory may be needed. I may need to get some canned air.

I just don't want to spend any more money on this piece. We bought a new power cord and supply last year for 100 bucks. waste of money. the battery is probably going to crap out before too long.

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For $500 you can get a pretty decent laptop at Best Buy, and right now if you buy something for $500+ you get a $50 gift card, unless the deal has expired. Don't think it has though. You just have to find the coupon online and print it out.

First you should try what others have suggested though. Are you sure you don't have viruses causing problems?

it may be somewhat virus related too, yes.

I did buy a 350 laptop from BBY this week but have not opened it yet. They have cheap financing. I might take it back though. i dislike their sales practices and overall approach these days. yu can't just buy a computer, they try to upsell you on 20 things before you can get out the door.

I just got emailed the preview for next week's office max ad. they always have killer laptop deals too. sometimes better than best buy.

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Can you post the BsOD code? It may point towards the problem.

I saved it and will post it, but i did google the code and the only real thing it gave me for useful info was what someone said above......check the memory and the dust and such.

strangely since this thing adjusted its display settings by itself seemingly, now it has been relatively stable for the last couple days. Is it possible the display driver got corrupted?

Regarding new laptops........the one i bought which i took back has an AMD vision processor. Is it ok for general web use and itunes?

Some laptops have 'Pentium' some have the i3 and i5 and i7.....are those worth it? I have had great luck with AMD machines in the past and saved some dough in the process.

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i should check, maybe was........i havent opened it. prob will take it back.

edit, yes it was. cheapie.

Edited by regfootball

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I bought an AMD e-350 laptop 2 weeks ago, quite happy with it.... not using it to play games though. under low load, battery life can jump into the 6hour range this is in a 15"class screen, 4 gb of ram, mechanical hdd and wifi on. even with heavy use (playing fullscreen video), above 80% battery it's estimated at 2+ hours.

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If I were in this position i'd rather buy a new laptop, even if I had to sacrifice. A new laptop would come with waranty and would run much better for a long time.

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