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New Laptop (OT Thread nuked)

This is where you can ask questions and get and give help about hardware related issues. This Forum will be moderated by Taw with help from some other experts. So feel free to ask any questions you may have about computers.

Post Sat Oct 06, 2007 10:03 am

New Laptop (OT Thread nuked)

Okies, this here is the original thread rolled into one post, since I nuked the thread in OT.

Original Post

Yay, I just got a new laptop. It's a nice, shiny, serious - so no games, damn kids - and reasonably good value (I think).


Overall, it seems to be very well done. The wireless card has better reception than the PCI card with the enormous aerial that I stuck in my main computer (for all the good it does me) and it has all sorts of peripheral sockets whose purpose no normal person could ever hope to understand (Ok, I made that up but I'm someone who doesn't really understand things if they don't stick onto a motherboard). On the other hand, I don't know what the keyboard designer was smoking. The Fn key is on the end of the keyboard, instead of the Ctrl key. It's really awkward to use any of the classic keyboard shortcuts.

I had to buy XP Pro seperately because I didn't trust them not to put Vista x64 on and that would leave me with a work laptop that couldn't run most work programs.

I would've downloaded Open Office but then Microsoft came along and offered me a copy of Office Ultimate 2007 for the princely sum of £40. That's about half the price of Student Office '03 so I went and bought it.

I then spend around 3 hours downloading the various media codecs and all that, along with ZoneAlarm (on Taw's advice). I went and bought the whole security suite because I didn't want to buy a seperate license for AV software. (Inevitably, that will result in much shaking of the head, but I think the interface is fun).

Now, I just have to figure out how to migrate my entire collection of downloaded video and music - roughly 80GB - from the hard drives on my PC (which currently doesn't work - ooops) onto my laptop. Additionally, I need to find a way of reclaiming bandwidth from all the peons that live in and around my Halls. 10KB/s is NOT a reasonable speed. Any suggested solutions to these problems are greatly appreciated - though please don't recommend physical violence for the latter - even if I kill everyone, more people will just move in.

Taw's Reply
hardware forum, TET!

you could have saved money on the XP purchase as Vista is licenced for "downgrade" to XP. Your broken hard drive is a problem; does it not work at all, or just not boot? if the latter, then you can slave it to another drive and get your stuff off like that.

the connections you don't know about are probably things like those little iLink Firewire ports, and other stuff for AV work.

My subsequent reply
Sorry, I suppose it should have gone in Hardware... I wasn't paying attention at the time, mea culpa.

Anyway, I can't boot the computer up (I described the problem in my "Computer Doesn't Work" thread) and I don't fancy poking around inside my laptop to see if there's some kind of SATA connection I can plug into. I guess it isn't a major problem, I'll just give it to my parents to take to the only PC guy I trust not to screw me (they're coming round next weekend - I swear they don't trust me or something) and have him fix it.

I'm not entirely sure what possessed me to make this thread, I guess I just felt like boasting that I have a new shiny thing.


not quite - thank you for moving this to the hardware forum! my moving buttons broken, i can only edit, delete, or lock, and you know I only ever lock threads by Esq.

Edited by - Tawakalna on 10/6/2007 11:50:05 AM

Post Sat Oct 06, 2007 10:48 am

i think these new things have gone to yours and AoD's heads, and you should lie down and have a nice rest, don't get too excited now.

so your hard drive is ok, it's the computer that won't POST? that's not much of a problem. you can get everything off that drive - invest in a mobile usb hdd caddy, stops all this palaver from ever hindering you.

Post Mon Oct 08, 2007 6:15 am

Thanks, Taw, I never even knew such things existed.(!) Are there any particular brands or features I should look for or should I just pop into Maplin and buy one for 20 quid?

EDIT: I say that, but so far, I can find nothing that appears to be compatible with SATA2. Does anyone have any ideas? I was under the impression that SATA2 was backwards-compatible. What's going on?

Edited by - The Evil Thing on 10/8/2007 9:12:04 AM

Post Mon Oct 08, 2007 8:26 am


if you liked a challenge you could have made yourself an ide-sata converter cable (i love making cables) or bought one, but this is everything you need in one kit.

Post Mon Oct 08, 2007 11:53 pm

Sorry, Taw, I checked that one and looked at the FAQ.

Q) Would this enclosure work with sata2 harddrives - Stuart
A) i am afraid not

Unless, of course, this guy is just covering his bases and it does work with SATA2.

I had another poke around and found this. It claims to be compatible with all types of SATA drive. I suppose I'll get this one. Thanks for the help.

Incidentally, is there a way to reclaim bandwidth or am I condemned to eternal <28k connection?

EDIT: Yay! My 1000th post.

Edited by - The Evil Thing on 10/13/2007 1:28:12 AM

Post Sat Oct 13, 2007 5:19 am

Incidentally, is there a way to reclaim bandwidth

yep. turn off all the cr*p that's eating bandwidth, such as error reporting, RA/RDP, WHQL checking, and anything else that isn't necessary (and don't tell me if you have BonziBuddy or I'll go apopletic and you don't want my having a stroke on your conscience, do you?) Also you need to optimise your TCP/IP connection and make sure that your LAN card is running at full duplex, not auto - because auto is invariably rubbish except on true gigabit LANs.

I think you were being lied to about that enclosure. But this other one is quite good enough.

Post Sat Oct 13, 2007 1:38 pm

He he, I tried all that... I want to reclaim bandwidth from everyone else! I guess "reappropriate" would've been a better word to use.

(Actually, I was so fed up I called the ISP. They said that they'd received a large number of complaints about the service but they didn't have an ETA on a fix). Oh well, you get what you pay for... only you don't actually have any kind of choice about ISP in the halls. Monopolies sure do terrible things to people.

Post Sun Oct 14, 2007 3:46 am

oh I see, sorry I misunderstood. Guess you're stuck until they either get more bandwidth, a better ISP, a better LAN, or a decent sysadmin comes along and segments their network properly. It's probably not segmented at all, which is why you're getting rotten performance. Check on your machine's ethernet port and see if it's blinking yellow a lot; that's probably packet collision a-plenty, sure sign of a badly managed network.

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