Make up my mind - Laptop purchase or not - DFWstangs Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-16-2009, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Make up my mind - Laptop purchase or not

I've had my 17" Dell XPS for ~3 years and I think it is getting a little long in the tooth. It is a 2Ghz Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM(upgraded from 2GB), 120GB drive, DVD burner, XP Media Center and lots of flashing LED's that serve no purpose. When this was new it was definitely no slouch. I bought it because I got a good deal on it and it was overkill for what it was used for.

I've got a 500GB drive to install in it but have had a lot of issues with it reading the entire contents of the larger drive. I have reverted back to the stock drive which is running at capacity(literally it has <500mb free at any given time). I know that running the drive this full is a good portion of why the computer drags ass while doing the simplest of tasks.
The other thing with this computer is it gets hot enough to cook on in a short amount of time. In part, this is a bad design and not helping it is the fact that the fans aren't strong enough to keep the video card cool. Once it passes its break point it starts video blanking(think slow strobe light). To counteract this I have to keep a desk fan aimed at the rear/underside at all times. I also have to disassemble the laptop every 2 months on average to clean the heatsinks and fans.

I think if I can get the big drive to work then it would speed up to its former glory, but the cooling problems are still going to drive me crazy. I've been poking around for a replacement but haven't seen anything that really grabs my attention(there was one deal earlier for a 18.4" HP[$1400] AND 10" netbook[$300] for ~$1200, but it was limited to the first 1000 people).

So, should I buy a new one or figure out what's going on with this 500GB drive and live with the cooling problems?

BTW, if anyone else is looking www.xpbargains.com has a lot of coupon codes/tech sales listed on it.


Thanks in advance for the input
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-16-2009, 08:13 PM
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I know nothing about computer hardware, but I found this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834114653

It seems to have pretty good specs.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-17-2009, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 03trubluGT View Post
I know nothing about computer hardware, but I found this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834114653

It seems to have pretty good specs.

That's one of the ones I was looking at - If I could have got the HP bundle it would have been a no-brainer.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-17-2009, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-17-2009, 05:10 PM
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When you say it can't read the entire contents of the drive, what exactly are you saying? It doesn't read the right drive size or it has bad sectors?
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-17-2009, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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When you say it can't read the entire contents of the drive, what exactly are you saying? It doesn't read the right drive size or it has bad sectors?
When I cloned the 120GB drive onto the 500GB drive using Acronis it is supposed to become a bootable drive. While it is still in the external enclosure,after cloning, I can see that it is complete - after the reboot I could see it as a 500GB drive with ~110+GB used and ~360+GB free. I shut down the system pull the drive and swap in the 500GB.
It wouldn't boot - it gives an error(# escapes me right now) for either a hard drive driver problem(they are both WD drives of the same series) or boot loader problem, I can't remember which.
Swap in the original and boot up, went to read the drive and it showed up as a 120GB with all my data on it - the other free space is gone. Reformat the drive and it formats as a 120GB drive. I've tried a handful of programs that are supposed to restore the capacity but none have been successful. The few I thought might fix it don't see the drive because it is connected via USB.

I'm going to have my dad take a look at it, he's got a desktop with a SATA bay open so I may be able to run it in that PC to restore the 500GB. He's got some tricks he wants to try with it to get it to come back to normal.

Still eyeballing replacements - the HPs look really good and apparently have different coupon codes everyday - just priced out a 18.4" vista ult., 2.0Ghz Core 2 QUAD, 512nVidia 9600, with a 500GB drive, Bluray - after the coupons were applied it was just over $1300 down from $1800
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