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Posted By: Douglas Murphy What Should I Do? - 09/02/11 09:35 PM
I am having a "bootup" problem with my computer. Others, from the General Message Forum, have been trying to help but so far nothing has.

What I am asking here is for your opinions on the following:

1. can I purchase or use an existing hard drive I have, along with a new OS and have that installed onto my current laptop? (Given that the bootup problem is a HD issue and not somewhere within the guts of my computer).

2. should I purchase the second hand commputer I have my eyes on? (Specs below)

3. or, if I can swing it, purchase a new computer.

I am hoping that number 1 is do able and depending on the cost it would be that or number two.

This is the second hand computer I am considering.

Toshiba Tecra A6 Centrino Duo 1.6 Ghz

Technical Characteristics:•Processor:Intel Centrino Duo T2300 1.6 Ghz
•Chipset:Intel i945PM
•RAM:1 Gb DDR2
•Maximum RAM:4 Gb
•Memory slots:2
•Internal hard disk drive:80 Gb
•Hard disk drive speed:5400 RPM
•Optical disk drive:CD/DVD Writer
•Video:ATI Mobility Radeon X1400
•Video memory:256 Mb
•Display size:14.1'' ( 1280 X 800 )
•Wireless Technologies:Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG
•Network interface:Intel PRO/1000 PL
•Audio:Realtek ALC861
•Modem 56k:Toshiba Modem
•USB ports:4
•Firewire:1 X Mini FireWire
•Expansion slots:1 X PCMCIA
•External I/O ports:Svideo, VGA, Mic in, Audio Out
•Power Features:6 cells battery
•Weight:4.98 lbs
•Dimensions (w x d x h):13.5x9.5x1.17/1.5
•Operating system installed:Windows XP Professional
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES Re: What Should I Do? - 09/02/11 11:39 PM
I have already given my advice re trying to fix the problem. If following these steps have not worked then it is certainly worth having an expert give it the once over to see if it is fixable and give you a diagnosis and estimate on how much it would cost to fix. That will give you a better idea of your options. Most repairers will do this free.

Re buying a second hand PC....I would not generally recommend this for most people especially someone who is not too PC a lot of cases you are just buying someone's problems off them....and anyway PC technology advances so quickly you are buying something that is already probably well past its best and could even be cheaper brand new.

An entry level PC is pretty cheap nowadays so save up for that if the fix option is a no go.
Posted By: Colin Ward Re: What Should I Do? - 09/02/11 11:39 PM
I know enough about this to be dangerous.....

You should be able to buy a replacement hard drive for your existing computer and install it yourself. They are pretty cheap and you can Google for instructions how to do it. Maybe you have the operating system on disc or on a backup drive?

I have seen some relatively cheap prices at Best Buy on new laptops (got BB in Canada?). It is hardly worth buying a used one.

Posted By: Douglas Murphy Re: What Should I Do? - 09/03/11 01:29 AM
thank you both.

Jim. As you know I have tried a few things to see if I can solve the problem from here and so far nothing seems to work.

I can see your point in purchasing a second hand computer and I just might have to save up where I can to purchase a new machine.

Do you or do you not agree with option 1, using my existing hard drive or purchasing a new one along with an OS (Windows 7 HP for example) and either doing the install myself (as long as there are no glitches that can throw me off.I can be thrown off quite easily with these machines)and installing it on this laptop OR paying a tech to do it? (I got it to boot up and as long as I keep it busy there is no problem it is when I leave it idle is when it goes to black and eventually turns itself off.)

And since I have your attention, assuming you see this again. Could the problem be a HD issue or something else all together? (Think I just answered myself and I am going to have to bring it somehwhere and get them to take a look at it.)

Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES Re: What Should I Do? - 09/03/11 05:26 AM
Doug it sounds like a hard drive issue.....whilst the hard drive may still work it is the classic symptoms of what happens just before it packs in for I could be wrong and it might be something that is why I sugges a pro diagnosis....which is usually free.
Given the fact that by your own admission you may run into probs replacing a hard drive, formatting it and installing a new operating would make sense to leave it to an expert to give you a clean installation with no hiccups. It is not a big job and some shops will provide and install a new hard drive and operating system for you for a set you know exactly how much it will cost. you may also want to upgrade your hard drive capacity and memory...So in effect you get a new higher spec PC at much less than buying a second hand or brand new model.
Posted By: Johnny Daubert Re: What Should I Do? - 09/03/11 06:10 AM
Windows will just keep on giving downtime, lockups, corrupted files and viruses.

This is the 21st Century.

There's a price to pay for either way,,,all of the above or so far, none with a Mac. I couldn't believe the difference. It was like crawling out from under a rock. The price two years ago is of no factor now.
Posted By: Douglas Murphy Re: What Should I Do? - 09/03/11 06:03 PM
Thanks Jim that is exactly what I am planning. Since last night I have not had any problems shutting down and booting back up. I do not know what I did, other then the "restore ptn.", "Factory (out of the box)Restore", the four different "Scans" for "Rootkits" and "downloading" the latest "important" updates.

I really do not know but what I do know is after the last "bootup" (in safe mode) and trying twice to do another "restore ptn. (both failed, the computer turned off)it has booted up fine.

That more then anything else tells me it could be a hard drive issue.

That being said, and still being unemployed, I will have to cross my fingers, save where I can and got the number 1 route of purchasing a new HD, operating system and have it installed by someone who knows.

Thanks for the advice. Much appreciated.

Posted By: Douglas Murphy Re: What Should I Do? - 09/03/11 06:05 PM
If I had the coin Johnny I would go the mac route and not look back. My son and nephew have been working with macs for years now, mostly my nepphew, but neither has had any of these issues.

But alas they never come down in price or if they do they are still out of my reach.

Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES Re: What Should I Do? - 09/03/11 07:09 PM
Just to balance up what Johnny said.....Maybe the Mac argument was true years ago BUT I think it no longer applies now.
Hard drives can go down and other hardware and software issues can occur whether you use a Mac or a PC...I know guys who have had major problems with Macs and they are generally not so user fixable as a PC plus fewer places to fix them. They cost a fortune to repair compared to a PC.....Now add that to the fact that Macs are about twice the price of an equivalent spec PC and fewer people have them so less of your friends can help out with tech knowledge and help to use them then I see no real advantage in having a Mac.
As stated previously it is down to your preference and needs to decide which system you prefer.
Possibly it is an American thing. Most Brits use a PC and a higher percentage of Americans use Macs. Still fewer than 10% of computers are Macs so 90% of us cannot be all wrong.
Posted By: Douglas Murphy Re: What Should I Do? - 09/03/11 11:02 PM
Sounds sound Jim. This week I am going to call around and see who offers what and at what price. From there I will keep going while my computer lets me and save up some more coin.

Consider this thread done for now and again thank you all very much for your input.

Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES Re: What Should I Do? - 09/04/11 12:12 AM
Best of luck Doug...keep us posted on how you get on.
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