Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I can't escape the grim certainty that my computer is just about down for the count; it's only a matter of time. Given its age, the most reasonable option is to buy a new machine.

Or is it?

Feel free to chime in, one and all.*

(Incidentally, my computer's a Gateway notebook purchased in 2003.)

*Of course, if you're feeling masochistically sympathetic, drop a buck or two in the "tip jar" located on the sidebar and I'll make sure it goes to the Posthuman Blues Hardware Fund.


wintermuse x9 said...

OK. So the internal drive is roughly four years old. It's making a mechanical whirring sound.

I assume you use it quite a bit, which means the MTBF rating has probably been exceeded (meant time between failure rating, usually several thousands or 10's of thousands of hours usage).

As I noted as anon in your prior post about the laptop problem, I suspect stiction is the problem. You are now religiously backing up, which, as Martha would say, is "a good thing!" Heh.

Instead of incurring the cost of an entire new laptop, unless there are other problems or limitations you're struggling with, why not just go online, do some internal drive brand comparisons ("best of" ratings/evaluations), buy an internal replacement, and hire some local shop to put the new internal hard drive in?

That would save time and _money_, wouldn't it? Seems like the most direct and simple solution to the problem, imho.

Anonymous said...

Maybe also call Gateway, to see what they might be able to do for you. Also, usually most PC shops, in the process of installing a new drive, will also transfer your data, do a system reinstall and check, and provide a warranty on their labor. This would allow you to, for the most part, avoid having to do multiple application reinstalls.

Katie said...

Or, just treat yourself to a new one with a bigger hard drive, better processor, graphics card, etc.

I's a Gateway...I'm amazed it's lasted this long. Upgrade!

Anonymous said...

dad2059 said...

Mac, if I had it, I'd give it to ya.

How steady is your income? If you have a regular check from whatever, rent to own might be the way to go until you get the one you have fixed. Or until you come across "found money" and buy a new one.

Rent to own is expensive, but if you're in a bind and the cash or credit is stretched, it might be worth it. Plus these places have an early buy out option if you get extra cash.

Shop around though, some places will rip you off more than others.

Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

"That would save time and _money_, wouldn't it? Seems like the most direct and simple solution to the problem, imho."

Actually, with labor costs plus parts it is probably just about as cheap to buy a new laptop. Looks like there are some pretty decent ones for way under $1k nowadays. You could even trying pricing some at Wal-Mart, which typically has the lowest prices on some fairly top-of-the-line models....

--W.M. Bear

wintermuse x9 said...

Well, I've offered to do the job for Mac for either free, or no more than 1/3 to 1/2 of any other labor estimate he may get. So the cost to him would just be for the replacement drive, and shipping to and from the west coast. My brother is a computer expert. I think I can persuade him to do the job for free. Can't get cheaper than that. Only logistical issue would be the 3 to 4 day downtime to Mac due to shipping back and forth plus one day to do the job on an expedite basis.

But, he might be better off having it done locally, if it's not too expensive, as then, if a problem crops up afterward, he can go talk to the guys at the local shop. But yeah, laptops are getting pretty cheap these days. I wouldn't bring my laptop in to Circuit City or Best Buy or one of the chain store's service centers--I've heard they charge up the wazoo for basic service, and sometimes fuck up the data and OS transfer/reinstall. I'd go to a local shop that specializes in PC's myself. Eh.

Mac said...

Hi everybody,

Thanks for the comments. I've more or less decided to get a new laptop; they're certainly a lot cheaper than they were when I bought this one. And with the holidays imminent, I can probably score a deal.

Mac said...

Update: my antivirus software just nuked a high-risk trojan virus. Could this have been part of the problem? I doubt it, but ...