The performance of a computer degrades over time and most experts will advise re-installing the operating system and restoring the machine to its factory settings as a matter of habit. They also tell us to backup regularly and floss our teeth, but who has time?
My 2010 Thinkpad is a perfectly nice run of the mill T410s with a Intel i5 3450s 2.8 GHz processor and 4 GB of RAM, a 128 GB harddisk, and built in Intel graphics. It’s rugged, it’s black, it has a trackpoint, and it does what it is supposed to be, albeit more slowly lately and with all the lethargic signs of a laptop that either needs to be replaced or revived.
The machine had some issues over the course of its life. A known defect in the display required a return to the service depot, and last summer I was so sick of constant overheating issues and black screen reboots that I sent it back with a week remaining on the warranty to have the motherboard and keyboard replaced.
Now it is just slow and sucky and needs a second life. The new keyboard means it is in top form physically, it’s just anemic and needs a cheap set of upgrades.
So the plan was:
- Install a solid state harddrive – SDD — because that will probably deliver the biggest performance increase, especially for fast booting and application launches.
- Re-install Windows 7 — but install a 64-bit version because …
- I can get 8 GB of cheap memory from Crucial for $38 and only 64-bit Windows can take advantage of any ram over 4 GB.
Here’s the problem:
- The machine only accepts a 1.8″ SDD and prices for that weird form factor are almost as much as a new laptop in some cases. I am scouring the usual suspects — Newegg, Crucial, Amazon, eBay — but so far can’t find a cheap 64 GB SDD in the 1.8″ size other than a $117 64GB drive from Kingston. (Other option is a Thinkpad UltraBay HDD tray that will permit a standard 2.5″ drive, but that does away with my extra battery and/or DVD optical. 64 GB is fine given my complete embrace of Dropbox for my document storage and Amazon MP3s for my music storage up there in the cumulus.
- Microsoft won’t permit a 32-bit to 64-bit Windows upgrade online. In the end I need to pay $70 for the retail version of the Windows 8 Professional Upgrade as that contains both versions. Thanks to Paul Thurrott I found that answer. Microsoft makes it nigh impossible to figure out with their overengineered “update” wizard tool that drives a $40 download of the 32-bit version.
- The RAM was ordered, installed, and sits awaiting some more headroom from the 64-bit Win8.
4 thoughts on “Paying for Past PC Sins”
please no dell unless oits the clever new convertible.
Maybe a crazy suggestion, but as most models of 1.8″ SSDs appear to be discontinued, there are bargains to be had on eBay from people selling them as scraps lifted out of disassembled laptops. I know that’s not a recipe for reliability but might be worth taking a flyer or two on a $40 128GB SSD.
for example (there are lots of listings like this) http://www.ebay.com/itm/Samsung-PM800-128-GB-Internal-1-8-w-2-5-adapter-SSD-Solid-State-Drive-/261135517577?pt=US_Internal_Hard_Disk_Drives&hash=item3ccce3c789
I find it so reassuring that am not the only person out
there over the age of 20 who doesn’t know this kind of stuff! Time to learn *about all of it*.