Archive for the ‘Laptop Tips’ Category

Noise from Used Laptop Solved by Cleaning

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

In this photo is an older laptop which a customer had brought in because another tech had told them that they needed a new hard drive because there was a clicking sound coming from the laptop. This is just a cheap Dell Inspiron 5100 and since the cost for the job would require a new HDD, data backup, OS installation and labor costs, it was getting pretty pricey. So they brought it to us to check out for a second opinion on the diagnosis and find out why their laptop was making that noise.

The funny thing is that there was indeed a clicking sound coming from the laptop, but it was definitely not the hard drive. It was a very small twig which had gotten lodged into the heat-sink area and the fan was hitting it making a faint clicking sound. So for a much lower price we were able to quickly access the part and remove the offending twig which was making the sound as well as give it a thorough cleaning.

Laptop Heatsink Fan Combo

So here is a tip if you are looking to buy a used laptop and want to help to prolong its lifespan.

Over the years we have found various things like a blade of grass or other outdoor type of object in them and since they are portable it is not unusual to find things like this when you work on a lot of laptops. However, it is as easy as using a source of compressed air in order to blow out any dust or debris which can get caught in the fan area of the laptop.

We have offered various other tips and suggestions for easy ways that you can help keep your laptop clean before and this is one good example of why this particular tip is worth doing every once in a while. On many used laptop models this area will consist of a heatsink fan combo unit.

If you look at the picture of this you can see how the little brass area which sort of looks like a grill has the ability to accumulate a lot of dust and debris within its fins. It is really important to keep this area clean so that the laptop can stay cooler when it is powered on.

It is not necessary to dismantle the laptop in order to properly blow out any debris in most instances. However some used laptops and cheap netbooks will have accumulated a fair amount of this and will need to be manually cleaned, but this is only on the rare occasion. The more common situation is that simply by using a can of compressed air you should be able to completely clean that area of the used laptop (fan as well as heatsink) which could impede proper air flow. Finding a bargain on one of the cheap laptops under 100 which we showcase is definitely exciting, but even when the laptop is in immaculate condition it never hurts to clean out the fan area. It only takes a few minutes and the compressed air is fairly cheap too.

Used Laptops and Operating System Lifespan

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

The operating system in a used laptop will provide the user with all of the original functionality which it initially offered, even after the support for the specific version of the operating system has ended. The actual lifespan of the OS (operating system) will depend on which one your used laptop actually has installed on it.

Take Microsoft Windows XP for example. This is an extremely popular OS and is found on a variety of used laptops under 100 dollars. However XP has been around for a long time now, initially released in 2001. Microsoft has a specified support life cycle which addresses each of their operating systems. For Windows XP the original support ended in April of 2009 however this does not mean that any computer running XP becomes unusable by any means. The actual usability of the computer remains the same as it would have initially yet the updates, hot fixes and Service Packs which had been released under the initial support wind down. This has been the case for the Microsoft operating systems of the past and similarly to newer ones as well.

Windows XP in its most common versions includes Home, Professional and Media Center Edition. The highest Service Pack was SP3. As for the cheap laptops which people look for can have any one of these versions of XP, it is always recommended that you update to the latest Service Pack which is free. This will include security patches as well as other functionality updates that will address compatibility with newer technologies and other hardware related aspects too.

While XP has been around for a long time now, many computer users still prefer it over the newer Microsoft operating systems. The main support may have ended yet the extended support for XP will be around until April of 2014. If you keep your used laptop protected with antivirus software, a firewall and antispyware program then you will definitely be addressing the most prolific potential issues with any computer which connects to the Internet. There are used laptops under $100 which can run Vista and even Windows 7 so these options make it easy to save big and still utilize the OS of your choice. As with any product, there is some form of a relevant life cycle and the same goes for laptops and the operating systems which they use.

Search Files in Laptops Under 100 Running XP

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

While it is always a good idea to know where specific files that you work on are located on your laptop computer, sometimes you wind up discovering that the file you need to access is not where you thought it should be.

Search Files in XP

Often you look in a few other places only to discover that the file is not there either. Luckily there is an easy solution to this problem.

If you are using one of the laptops under 100 running XP you can simply use the Windows XP Search feature to find your files.

This is also a good way to locate any system files you may need to check (otherwise you would have to set your laptop to show these though since they are hidden by default).

To access this handy feature simply click on the Start button and choose Search.

If you then click on "All files and folders" you will be able to narrow down your search parameters accordingly. This will help your laptop search perform much quicker because you have reduced the amount of locations that the laptop will search thus saving time. The more details you can provide the better.

This information includes:

  • All or part of the file name
  • A word or phrase in the file
  • You can specify the specific drive to search (a huge time saver)
  • When the file was last modified
  • The size of the file

Additionally there are advanced search options which will allow you to take a peek at those hidden as well as system files. Use caution anytime you are working around these though.

Many of the cheap laptops under 100 run XP, and many people still prefer to use this operating system. The ease of use, familiarity and straight forward uncluttered laptop computing environment is simply a nice alternative to other operating systems. Hopefully this tip on how to search for files in XP comes in handy next time you need to locate a file on your laptop computer.

Simple Fix for Used Laptops Slow Boot up

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Slow start up times on laptop computers may be caused by old network drives that are no longer needed. Occasionally we have seen used laptops and customer laptops that would pass all tests and diagnostics yet still suffer from extremely slow boot ups. While in the beginning of the troubleshooting process there are common starting points that need to be looked at, the initial idea is to determine whether the likely cause of this is due to a hardware or a software problem.

There is one not very common yet worthwhile thing to check before proceeding to any in depth diagnostics unless that is part of that particular procedure, which may be done anyway, and that is to take a look for any network drives which may be holding things up. Windows will try to connect to the network drive during the boot process and if it cannot make the connection, it is going to wait. The real problem with this is that Windows will continue to wait so that the entire process in basically stuck in this state.

When this is setup on a laptop computer there is an option to set it to reconnect at logon. Yet if you are sure that you do not need this, you may consider not choosing this, or in this example disconnecting. This will remove the need for the operating system on the used laptop to wait on a connection from another drive, which may not exist at all if you are not actually on the network.

  • Start
  • My Computer
  • Tools Menu
  • Disconnect Network Drive

When you know that the drive is unnecessary this can be a super easy fix to a really bothersome problem. We all like our cheap laptops under 100 to be as fast and responsive as any computer that we use. Although this is not a common issue, sometimes used laptops that have not had the operating system reinstalled fresh will have old configurations such as this that are simple to resolve.

Used Laptops with Versatile Functionality

Friday, June 18th, 2010
Used Laptops with Versatile Functionality

Over time shoppers have become more technically well informed than at any other time in the past. In fact there are so many digital devices which offer some of the most popular uses that many people gain their knowledge by simply using the devices. This is how laptops can be for those who are learning a new application or something similar to this. The more time they spend using the laptop application then the more knowledgeable they will be. This is easy to see, all you have to do is look around at all of the various technology being used everywhere these days.

Most of these digital devices offer features which are very similar to what you can find on laptops however the surprising fact is that many people only use the very basic functionality which is offered by the particular device. This really is not anything new though and can be a good example of feature overkill. It often makes sense to avoid this with the used laptops under 100 which are typically going to provide all of the necessities and then some. In fact, when it comes to computers in general they will perform what ever the installed applications are designed to accomplish. This is often representative of the sheer versatility you will find on computers when compared to virtually any of the other devices.

The need to accomplish the various tasks which happen to be the most common these days is generally found within the operating system and sometimes third party applications which will enhance some of the more specific usages. The basics are of course the most requested aspects of the used laptops under 100 and include the online communications and business related productivity for the most part. These days the used laptops are typically based on fast hardware and reliable software perfect for the basics and then some.