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devonwoody

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Whilst shopping (again yesterday) we saw some laptops starting at £399 and has our present model cannot now accept a CD owing to a broken spring on the chassis of laptop we thought we might invest in a new model before inflation starts to bite again.

However we could not purchase any laptop from the high street type stores that came complete with a Windows CD. Some laptops even had to be returned to suppliers for windows to be reinstalled if required.

Does anyone know if there are cheapie laptops around with windows CDs?

Or has anyone ever fromatted the hard drive on one of these laptops and been able to overwrite the factory installation and get windows to run. Partitioning the hard drive could not be done on one of my old PCs which had a factory installed windows system and work satisfactorly.

Any advice please.
 

wizer

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DW, you can overwrite and re-partition ANY pc drive. I would NEVER leave a factory installed Operating System on any PC I owned. Facotry installed Operating Systems very often contain 100's of megs of software you do not need and 'personalisations' you don't need either.

A lot of laptops and pc's now come without an original operating cd. This is a licensing issue. You will normally find the PC's supplied with Windows XP Home will not have the cd and Windows XP Professional will have a CD. In any case this CD will be factory 'personalised'. This is good and bad. The good bit is that the CD will have all the relevant drivers for your hardware. The bad bit is that they will have all their bloatware installed.

What I tend to do is use my own shop bought XP disc and license. Then download all the drivers from the manufacturers website. This way I can install my pc the way I want it and not how they think I want it.

In terms of what hardware to buy, I'd highly recomend Toshiba Laptops over any others. Dell produce a mixed bag in their range, the lower end laptops are just not worth looking at. HP are mostly good. TBH I would never recomend buying computer equipment online. Much better to buy online and if possible straight from source.

Hope some of my ramblings help
 

devonwoody

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So it looks if I have got to bite the bullet and overwrite a harddrive with my own CD but wait until the guarantee period is over.
 

wizer

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yes i forgot to mention that. Allthough a lot of these laptops come with 'Restore Discs' Which means it will reset the laptop to factory settings. It's basically an image of the drive. So where it is not a complete install disc, it will get you back to where you started.
 

Adam

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Have you tried the www.dell.co.uk website? They call them notebooks not laptops - but well worth a look.

Adam
 

chiba

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WiZeR":2c2u3qgo said:
DW, you can overwrite and re-partition ANY pc drive. I would NEVER leave a factory installed Operating System on any PC I owned. Facotry installed Operating Systems very often contain 100's of megs of software you do not need and 'personalisations' you don't need either.
Yes, but they also sometimes come with drivers that you'll not find anywhere else, for example if it's a Toshiba (appropriately abbreviatable to Tosh). :?
 

devonwoody

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Yes Chiba,

That was what I was originally worrying about.

So does that return me to square one.

I've got to find a laptop that is not factory orientated??????
 

wizer

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woody I would find say 3 laptop that you like, in your budget from different manufacturers. Then take the model number and either search the manufacturers website for drivers or contact them via email and ask if they have them availible/will send you a cd. Also ask the place you are buying the laptop from if they supply a drivers disk.

In my experience (IT Consultant for 6yrs and IT Support Analyst for 4yrs prior), most of your top brand laptops will come with driver discs and almost all with have downloadable drivers. In the years since Windows XP was brought to market I have installed litterally hundreds of laptops and I honestly can not remember one time I have been stumped for drivers. Prior to XP it was a nightmare, but Microsoft finally realised the need for universal drivers at the same time hardware manufacturers did.

Chiba: I have been a Toshiba certified engineer for 5yrs and have never had a problem finding drivers on their public web site. They also supply the most comprehensive driver discs with all their laptops I have ever seen.

With Dell equipment it seems you get what you pay for. More money you spend the better machine you get. They do however seem to have first class support.
 

wizer

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Feel free to ask any techy questions woody. I'm always happy to offer IT advice where I can.
 

ByronBlack

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I've had a number of Dell Latitude units for a number of years, for the past 4 years i've run a small web agency, and during that time, the Dell's have always been the machines that have caused the most problems.

So in my experience I could definitly not recommend these, their customer service and website (in terms of help and support) is next to useless.

For the last 3 years we have moved all our systems/software and processes from PC's to Mac's and I can't recommend them enough. For the price of a poor PC laptop you could get yourself an older iBook or Powerbook, Apple's OS is second to none, and eveyone that I know who has tried an apple never went back to PC's.

Just my two peneth worth.
 

wizer

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DW Macs are a whole new ball game. If you decide to go Mac then be prepared to learn everything from scratch. Having said that, Macs are great if all you want to do is point and click and don't mind doing things how Mac want you to and not have the freedom a PC gives you.
 

wizer

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The short explanation (hah!) for what I said is: With a PC you can install about 50 different Operating Systems. With MAC you can only install one officially. You can install other operating systems if you want to 'hack' and invalidate your warranty. You are also greatly limited to what applications you can run. Macintosh hold tight reins over what can be developed on their hardware. It it much much better now that Microsoft own a massive chunk in the company. But generally Apple products are produced to just work, but work in the way they want them to. You do not have a choice of how to set the system up. This is same with all their hardware (iPod, etc).

I am not saying this policy is wrong, it's just very narrow. Mac users are devoutly loyal. I find that people often try Mac and either stick with it for life, or never go back to it.

Also my view is from a techy angle. PCs are just more manipulable.
 

RogerS

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I agree with what you say but it really does depend on what you want to use your computer for.

I guess what I was taking exception to was your generalisation that Macs force you to do things the way it 'wants to'...which from a techy perspective may be true but from the perspective of someone who simply wants to use the computer then your statement is quite wrong.

If you are not technically that interested in how it works or whether or not it is tweakable or whether you can load up a different operating system then your argument does not hold water.

If you simply want to use a computer that works, has minimal anti-social threats (aka viruses, trojans et al), then the Mac is most definitely a viable option....unless you want to play games...in which case the PC is a very good games machine. :lol:

Roger
 

Adam

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ByronBlack":yh7trs2f said:
I've had a number of Dell Latitude units for a number of years, for the past 4 years i've run a small web agency, and during that time, the Dell's have always been the machines that have caused the most problems.
Interesting, we use Compaq and Dell (Latitudes), and have now switched entirely to Dell due to their reliability and good customer service. We've given up on Compaq altogether, bits keep falling off them. They do get some abuse as we are testing wireless ZigBee networks and have always got them out the office, doing range tests outdoors etc. Couldn't be further opposite could we? :p

Adam
 

ByronBlack

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Wizer - you've just opened a massive can of worms on me there mate, your view's of the mac are from someone who's either not used them extensively or has had a bad experience, because pretty much everything you have said is wrong and ignorant of the real facts.

OS X is built on UNIX which is a million times more extendable and tweakable than windows!

OS X has tons and tons of software, i've not once needed a piece of software that I used on a PC that I couldn't find an equivelant of the Mac (MS Office is on a mac, outlook etc, Adobe Products, Macromedia Products, etc etc etc).

OS X is also very very secure so no worries about virus's and rediculous security holes, being built on UNIX the underlying security is far stronger and safer than Windows.

OS X is VERY flexible - your statement of doing it the mac way is very confusing and in fact very wrong. I find using a Mac not only faster than using a PC, but a lot more stress free, I can get actually get a lot more work done in a lot shorter time.

OS X is very tweakable from a techy point of view, you have pretty much all of the unix commands and function avaible to you at the terminal, window's ms-dos terminal is very weak compared, would you honestly say that a Unix/Linux based machine is not as tweakable than windows?

The new Intel/Mac's that come out next year can dual boot windows, linux, and OS X! and the current mac's can actually run windows within OS X using Virtual PC

Also, what is wrong with a computer that just 'works' - no-one wants to spend all their time sorting out drivers, missing .dll's, viruses, security patches, rubbish performance etc etc. (There is no NEED to de-fragment a Mac hard-drive)

I come from a background where i've used PCs extensively for around 10 years, so my decision to switch to Mac was one based on experience, and i'm in a position to say that a Mac is a far suprerior, better value for money, more powerful, more efficient and generally a stress free computer.

Also, i've introduced 5 people to mac's using the new mac-mini (beatifull little machine!) and everyone of them used it with succes straight out of the bat, there is no 'learning from scratch' most of the file functions are quite similar to windows, but just done in a better and more logical manner.

However, PC's do have their place and it's each to their own, but before slagging one machine off you need to learn about each. I think everyone should use a pc and a mac and then make up their minds. Part of apple's problem is the rubbish that is spouted about their machines by Microsoft lovers (i'm not saying that is you btw),

As for the comment about it being VHS v Sony system - thats so not the case, apple's market-share is growing all the time and with the advent of the new Intel/Mac's next year, Microsoft will have a real competitor to deal with for once, as OS X is light years ahead of 'Longhorn'/Vista.

End of Rant :lol: :lol:

P.S Microsoft do not own a large chunk of the company, back in the day Microsoft were forced to invest in apple to avoid creating a Monopoly, Apple now owns the majority of its own company.
 

ByronBlack

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Adam":2nq0856m said:
ByronBlack":2nq0856m said:
I've had a number of Dell Latitude units for a number of years, for the past 4 years i've run a small web agency, and during that time, the Dell's have always been the machines that have caused the most problems.
Interesting, we use Compaq and Dell (Latitudes), and have now switched entirely to Dell due to their reliability and good customer service. We've given up on Compaq altogether, bits keep falling off them. They do get some abuse as we are testing wireless ZigBee networks and have always got them out the office, doing range tests outdoors etc. Couldn't be further opposite could we? :p

Adam
It's very odd with dell, a mate of mine has a small networking company and like you he's had good experiences, this is what annoy's me the most about Dell, they simply cannot have a good service across the board, as many people who have good experience, it seems there are as many who have bad ones. But i'm pleased they work out for you!
 

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