Po' Smedley's Life And Brain Drippings
Yes, I am serious about this
Published on March 14, 2006 By PoSmedley In Personal Computing
My Brother-In-Law has asked me to see what I could do with his laptop. Let me rephrase that. he has asked me to see if I could do something other than throw it out. It's a Compaq presario 1245, about 7 years old. It has a 3GB 2.5" EIDE Internal hard drive and 32mb memory card. (I'll wait while you laugh.)

Okay...now I have found a 'refurbished' hard drive 20GB for under 40 ( I told him he wouldn't really need more than 20GB, and all the ones I found under 20 cost about as much), but know nothing about 'refurbished' drives. New ones for around 60. He will be running Win200, and not doing anything special, just surfing. He wants it for when he is out of town.

The memory is 32mb SyncDRAM. Now I have found memory from 17.99 for 128 to 39.99 for the same. Is there a difference between a memory card for a laptop and a notebook? As far as actaully 'fitting' it in the notebook?

Aside from the obvious...he needed me to put WIN2000 on it (it had 98 first version) so he could install an ethernet card and a wireless card. I told him there wasn't enough room with win200 to even add a virus program, let alone anything else. So he needs a bigger hard drive, and I told him upgrading the memory would be a good idea as well, though the memory upgrade max's out at 160mb.

Questions..
1. Is it worth the price of a 'new' hard drive (considering how old it is), or should I go with the refurbished?
2. Is it a SDRAM memory stick I want, and does it have to be 'notebook' specific?
3. Would an external harddrive or flashdrive (I don't know anything about flashdrives, so forgive me if that was stupid to ask) be a better option?

Basically, looking for the best way to do this for him.

Any help is apreciated. Thanks.
Po'

Comments (Page 1)
on Mar 14, 2006
As far as I know, laptops and notebooks are two names for the same thing. Just make sure you have the correct number of pins and other specs. I think 184 is most common for laptops. (But I could be wrong on that) If you go to some memory manufacturer's websites, you might be able to put in the brand and series of laptop and they'll tell you what you need.

External and Flash drives connect with USB or Firewire, and probably wouldn't be a very good idea to have that as a primary drive.

I remember seeing on Cnet.com a video series about upgrading old laptop hardware. They seem to have a lot about upgrading.

Good luck.
on Mar 14, 2006
Bump
on Mar 14, 2006
1. Is it worth the price of a 'new' hard drive (considering how old it is), or should I go with the refurbished?

I wouldn't spend any more money on this than absolutely necessary.


2. Is it a SDRAM memory stick I want, and does it have to be 'notebook' specific?

You want SDRAM SODIMM, probably PC66, but you might be able to use PC100. Yes, you need memory made specifically for notebooks (SODIMM.)



3. Would an external harddrive or flashdrive (I don't know anything about flashdrives, so forgive me if that was stupid to ask) be a better option?

A notebook/laptop that old very likely won't have any USB ports to use a flash drive in. You might be able to use external USB storage if you can find a USB to serial converter. If the lpatop is not going to be moved around much, you could try to find an IDE to USB converter with a 2.5" adapter, and then hook up a regular 3.5" IDE drive (they are much cheaper!)

Or....turn it into a firewall Link and put the money you're spending on second-hand parts into a newer machine.



on Mar 15, 2006
2. Is it a SDRAM memory stick I want, and does it have to be 'notebook' specific?


Absolutely!! You might even need to get memory specifically for that model of laptop depending on how it was built. I would go to http://www.crucial.com and put in the laptop specs, it will then show you the types of memory you can put in that computer. You don't have to buy it there but that's an easy way to see what it will support.

Details for the Compaq Presario 1245:
http://www.crucial.com/store/listparts.asp?model=Presario+1245&tabid=AM

As far as the HDD is concerned, refurbished drives are typically just as good as brand new ones. They just got started out in life on a bumpy road!
on Mar 15, 2006
Would these be what I am looking for. They have then at configurator.memorystock.com starting at a third of what the previous link listed them at.

32MB Module 4x64-66MHz, 144p SO DIMM, 3.3v, Sync (4x16)
32MB Module 4x64-66MHz, 144p SO DIMM, 3.3v, Sync (4x16)
64MB Module 8x64-66MHz, 144p SO DIMM, 3.3v, Sync
64MB Module 8x64-66MHz, 144p SO DIMM, 3.3v, Sync
128MB Module 16x64-66MHz, 144p SO DIMM, 3.3v, Sync
128MB Module 16x64-66MHz, 144p SO DIMM, 3.3v, Sync
128MB Module 16x64-66MHz, 144p SO DIMM, 3.3v, Sync

And these are the 3 Hard Drive's I am looking at. I saw smaller ones, but it's not much of a price difference. One is 16GB, which may be all he really needs, and the others are 40GB and 20GB, both selling for 57 Will any or all work?
Link

Link

Link

Thanks for the help Adamness, tjesterb and Kevin C
on Mar 15, 2006
Bump
on Mar 16, 2006
Bump
on Mar 16, 2006
Bump
on Mar 16, 2006
Questions..
1. Is it worth the price of a 'new' hard drive (considering how old it is), or should I go with the refurbished?
2. Is it a SDRAM memory stick I want, and does it have to be 'notebook' specific?
3. Would an external harddrive or flashdrive (I don't know anything about flashdrives, so forgive me if that was stupid to ask) be a better option?

Basically, looking for the best way to do this for him.


To be honest, for a computer that runs at 333 MHz I would just buy something better even though the price will be a few hundred more than upgrading it. But upgrading is OK. Memory must be specific for laptops, a refurbished can work just fine, just make sure you have a garantee of at least 30 days or something in case it doesn't work. I would only recomend an external hard drive for storage, if he likes to have his music collection, maybe a few movies when he travels and copies of his CDs for software that require CDs in the CD-rom so that he caries less things.

Give it a try and see what happens, judging by the prices you mentioned you have very little to lose and you could always resell them to someone who might find them useful.
on Mar 16, 2006
Thanks DJBandit.

Still awaiting confirmation on #5 before I order the parts.
on Mar 16, 2006
on Mar 16, 2006
just get a cheap new laptop. That thing must be a piece of junk.
on Mar 16, 2006
That thing must be a piece of junk

I thought I expressed the fact that I was aware of that in the beggining.

just get a cheap new laptop.

Not an option and I am trying to do a favor for a family member. Just want to upgrade it so he can run Win200 with an ethernet card (his old OS won't run the card) so he has something for when he is on the road.

I wouldn't spend any more money on this than absolutely necessary.

I agree with tjesterb, and hopefully I may succeed. Just need to know if what I have posted in #5 will do the trick.

on Mar 16, 2006
on Mar 16, 2006
Po, I have a thinkpad running at 366mhz. With only 228 mb of sodimm, and a 4 gig hdd. It has XP running onit, albeit slower than my desktop, runs very well. For WK2 I would get at least 128 mb of memory in that thing, try for more if there's a slot and upgrade what's in there if it ain't nailed it (soldered).

To answer your question that everyone is ignoring: 128MB Module 16x64-66MHz, 144p SO DIMM, 3.3v, Sync will do you. And if your friend is going to use it for a while, go with the new harddrive, better than loosing tons of info when the refurbished gets the lovely I/Odevice error.

Hope this helps. Happy day!
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