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Old 09-18-2006, 09:53 PM
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Default What to do...new hard-drive or new computer?

Well, I've officially given up on my computer. I can't even get it to turn on now, it just restarts itself before it gets to the log-in screen whether I use Safe Mode, Regular, or Last Known Good Configuration. Looking at my current options, I can either try to get my virus problem fixed, replace the hard-drive, or get a new computer...which would be the best way to go? I'm guessing that all three are gonna be roughly the same price, but I don't know much about replacing a hard-drive. I'm guessing that I'd have to buy another copy of Windows, right? How much would that be? About $200 for the hard-drive and another $200 or so for Windows? Or are there free operating systems out there to download? I know that changing OS's would require a little bit of learning, but does Linux (for example) have a GUI like a Mac or PC? Or, would I be better off just getting a new computer?

(right now I've got a 3 year old 512mb, PIII, Sony VAIO computer)
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Old 09-18-2006, 10:29 PM
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Default Re: What to do...new hard-drive or new computer?

At 3yrs old, if you can afford a new computer, then that would be the way to go.
If you have a decent monitor and accessories then just buy the tower. Even at retail stores you should be able to get a computer that's alot better than your old one for $500 or less.
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Old 09-18-2006, 11:37 PM
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lisarea lisarea is offline
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Default Re: What to do...new hard-drive or new computer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JackDog
Well, I've officially given up on my computer. I can't even get it to turn on now, it just restarts itself before it gets to the log-in screen whether I use Safe Mode, Regular, or Last Known Good Configuration. Looking at my current options, I can either try to get my virus problem fixed, replace the hard-drive, or get a new computer...which would be the best way to go?
I'd get a new computer, probably.

Try one last thing, though. Go here and download and burn one of those distributions to CD. (Someone else can prolly tell you which is best for these purposes--is Ultimate Boot CD any good?)

See if your system will boot with that, and run some diagnostics. If you're not having a hardware problem, you may just need to reinstall Windows.

If that is the case, sometimes, machines with Windows installed have the rescue disk on a separate, hidden partition on the computer. If you don't have the install/rescue disks, they may be there.

But first just see if it will boot, and see what the diagnostics say.

Quote:
I'm guessing that all three are gonna be roughly the same price, but I don't know much about replacing a hard-drive. I'm guessing that I'd have to buy another copy of Windows, right? How much would that be? About $200 for the hard-drive and another $200 or so for Windows?
The price of depends on the size/manufacturer of the HD, but I think Windows licenses are tied to the motherboard, not the HD. You should not have to buy a new license just to swap out your HD.

Quote:
Or are there free operating systems out there to download? I know that changing OS's would require a little bit of learning, but does Linux (for example) have a GUI like a Mac or PC? Or, would I be better off just getting a new computer?
There are free OSes that have very nice GUIs, nicer than Windows, IMO. But you do at some point have to learn new commands, new tools, things like that. Do you want to do that? And most computer games are only available for Windows, if I'm not mistaken. (I don't play the games, so I could be wrong.)

What do you use your computer for, mostly?

Quote:
(right now I've got a 3 year old 512mb, PIII, Sony VAIO computer)
Frankly, I wouldn't bother with that one unless you can get it back up pretty painlessly.

You can get a better, faster system than that for $300-odd dollars, probably, not counting the monitor. (That's a laptop, right? So you'd still need a monitor.)
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Old 09-18-2006, 11:54 PM
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Default Re: What to do...new hard-drive or new computer?

lisarea---I'll try that when I get home. My computer is a desktop that I use mainly for e-mail, downloading and burning music, printing pictures, and making cd/dvd case inserts. I don't play video games, so that's not an issue. I upgraded to a flat-screen monitor when I got it and the other stuff is fine, so I'd just need to get a new tower...but I wouldn't mind starting off without Microsoft on the new machine.
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Old 09-19-2006, 12:20 AM
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Default Re: What to do...new hard-drive or new computer?

Well, you're not in a bad position to just get a new system, then.

I paid about $240 total for what I'm using now--a low-end, pre-built tower plus some extra RAM--and it's fine for my purposes, which are similar to yours. I don't really play computer games or anything, so I just need word processing, internet, and a little graphics and music so I can listen to some Pantera and paste people's profile pictures into skanky looking 70s porn scenes when I am bored with work.

I'm going to stop just short of actually recommending you buy a new Linux or no-OS system, though. The thing is that you can get a preinstalled Windows system much cheaper than you can get the same system and a Windows license separately.

If at all possible, maybe you could download a desktop replacement CD from that site I linked to before, and boot that from the CD and just tinker around with it to get a feel for whether you're comfortable with it. Ubuntu is a good one to try, if only because it's pretty widely adopted, so it's easier to find answers to your questions online.
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Old 09-19-2006, 05:24 PM
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Default Re: What to do...new hard-drive or new computer?

When I had a similar problem, I opted for the new PC. I just gotten around to having someone recover some of my data off the old machine. Now, I'll probably take my time to get the old hard drive formatted and reloaded with Winders again, and get that setup as a backup system, maybe one for the kid to use. Perhaps I'll be able to figure out how to network it with the new one and get my Folding@Home stuff working on 2 machines at once!
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