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Re-Building Computer

By merfman
Oct 16, 2009
  1. Hope someone can give me some help

    I currently have a Dell Inspiron 6400 Laptop that is roughly 5-6 years old, which I now use as my second computer after buying a iMac. Now over the past few days I've been getting more and more problems (started off with the battery finally reaching its usable life; then went onto hardware failure when using a USB Jumpdrive; and now most recently it wont even run - keeps getting a Unmountable_Boot_Volume error which seems harder to fix when I can't even get on through Safe Mode or Last Known Configuration) but anyways.

    I was wondering if anyone here could give me a few answers about re-building a computer, rather updating the one I currently have (just to let you know I'm only really looking for the bare minimums not all the high-tech stuff as I wont be using it as much):

    1. What will I need to buy to re-build it? (New Motherboard, Hard Drive, Video Card, Windows XP Home Edition?)
    2. How easy is it to install all the new components I need (Hard Drive)/Take out the old parts?
    3. What the cost for these sort of things that I might have to buy? (like to have just enough RAM and HD Space for it to run smoothly - no gaming or anything)?
    4. Where is the best place to buy stuff to re-build a computer (I live in Canada)?
    5. If I need to, can I get the installation discs from Dell (as I currently don't have mine anymore) for when I re-install everything?

    Lastly, kinda off-topic, is it possible to take the current hard drive out of my old laptop and somehow plug it into another Windows OS and see whats on the HD?


    P.S. I'm rather new with doing all this stuff so if its possible could someone just give me a easy way to describe what I need to do.

    Also not sure if this is the right place for it?

    Thanks For The Help
    Merfman
     
  2. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    Your original problem is most likely related to a failing HDD. So you may be able to salvage some use out of that laptop.

    Also, before answering your questions, are you looking to rebuild your laptop? This will be unnecessarily complicated, and probably more expensive than building a desktop, so I recommend against it.
     
  3. merfman

    merfman TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 58

    Hey Rage_3K_Moiz

    If been looking all over the net for trying to solve my original problem but it seems I just can't find a fix for it. and I dont have my re-installation discs from Dell anymore to reboot to the original settings, so I cant really get anything done.

    So Im kinda looking at rebuilding the laptop just so its able to run smoothly, I dont really use it for much but its just a good thing to have along with my iMac. I would rather find cheaper parts and try to fix it, instead of building a desktop. So I hope that I could do that.

    Thanks for your help
    merfman
     
  4. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    As I stated, it is not possible to do without some very intensive searching. I would recommend against it.

    A more powerful desktop can be built for $300-500 pretty easily. I can post a build for you if you want.
     
  5. merfman

    merfman TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 58


    Hey Rage

    Alright, after looking online for a while it does seem to be quite the attempt haha. So if you would mind do you think you could post a build for me?

    Now I just have a question, is it possible to use anything from my laptop on the desktop (video card, disc drive, etc) or would it be better to start fresh?

    Also if you could I would really like to be spending $700 at the most if thats possible. Thanks for the help

    And P.S. is there any sort of thing I could buy to read what I have on my old Hard Drive as the laptop doesn't work, and I'm unsure if theres anything I need off it? (im really new at all this computer stuff)

    Thanks
    Merfman
     
  6. magaman598

    magaman598 TS Booster Posts: 188

    Actually there is something that you can use to hook your Laptop Drive up to a Desktop, but you need to know if it's IDE or SATA. With SATA Drives you can just hook them up and not worry about need an adapter so long as you have an avaliable SATA Port/Cable. But if you do in fact have an IDE Laptop Drive you'll need an Adapter. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812203012 something like this would do just fine. It just really sepends on if the Drive is SATA or IDE.

    (Please correct me if I'm wrong.)
     
  7. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    You can buy a cheap 2.5" hard drive enclosure. You would need to know what type of interface you have between the HDD and the motherboard though. It will either be IDE or SATA, and you can probably contact Dell for more information on this.

    As for your build, $700 is more than enough; you'll most likely be able to get something for comfortably under that amount. And you cannot use anything from the laptop.

    And without further ado, here is the build:
    Grand Total = $580 approximately, not including shipping or rebates. All prices are in CAD unless otherwise specified (such as in the rebates).
     
  8. merfman

    merfman TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 58

    I Was just wondering how I would find out if its a SATA or IDE hard drive? Im really new with this computer stuff so, not sure haha
    Thanks for the help
    EDIT: I just took the hard drive out of my laptop and it is a SATA 80GB Hitachi Drive. So, is the link you provided the one that I should buy to hook up to a desktop or something else? Also do they sell them at like Futureshop or Bestbuy, instead of ordering it online?.
    Thanks again for the help


    Thanks Rage. Im gonna look into all of this and start building it pretty soon.
    Thanks again
    Merfman
     
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