Help me upgrade: Dell 700M laptop and 8400 Desktop

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by mad doc, Nov 21, 2006.

  1. mad doc

    mad doc New Member

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    I'm somewhat versed in computers, but not really that well... so I need a hand with some stuff, if people are willing to help.

    For the Inspiron 700M:

    1.) I'm in dire need of a new HD, I'm looking at the Hitachi Travelstar 7K100, 80GB, 7200RPM - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822146047

    *Is there anyway I can just move everything from my old (30GB) HD onto the new HD? OS, files, etc? Or am I out of luck, and I just need to reinstall everything. If I'm out of luck, is there anyway to convert the old HD into an external spare HD, and keep all the files on it still(I think I've found my answer to this, but I'd like to be reassured)? I don't have a CD-R on this laptop to back anything up with (another upgrade I'll be doing)

    2.) RAM - Is anything off eBay good? or is there other places that I should go for memory? newegg? specs are: 200-pin SODIMM, PC2700 / 333 MHz - they're on dell.com so yah... I have 512MB for RAM now, I'd like to up it to 1GB

    3.) I think my cooling fan is dead, It doesn't seem to turn on anymore, and I'm not sure how to test if it still actually works. Should leave this repair to a pro or can I do it?


    For Dimension 8400
    1.) RAM - Has 1GB right now, would love to add a tleast another 1GB to it, I think I would need 2x512MB (240-pin DIMM, PC2-4200 / 533 MHz) or can I do 2x1GB modules and get 2.5GB of ram? I'm looking at Dell's site and it says you need up upgrade in units of 2. Is that so? so as I said, 2x512MB to get 1GB, and 2x1GB to get 2GB?

    2.) External HD vs. Internal HD? I've been looking at the western digital book. Is it worth it? should I just build my own external HD? Which is better? Ext or Internal?

    The desktop is fairly up to date, just needs a little bit more oomph.

    Any help would be appreciated :big grin: :bowdown:
     
  2. mdaniel

    mdaniel S is for Shiksa

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    Laptop:

    1) Yes, you can clone your old disk. You'll need some way to connect both drives to one machine at once. You can either the new drive to the USB port of the laptop, clone it, then swap. I recommend Acronis True Image software.

    2) I wouldn't buy RAM off eBay for a laptop. A lot of times, perfectly good memory simply isn't compatible with your machine. I get memory for brand name machines (especially laptops) off Crucial.com using their memory selector. It costs just a little more than Kingston off Newegg, but they guarantee it'll work and so far its been 100% in years of experience.

    Desktop:

    1) See Crucial.com's memory selector. If you have dual channel memory, always add them in matched pairs. If you currently have one stick in a dual channel motherboard, ditch it on eBay and replace it with matched sticks.

    2) Internal is faster unless you connect it via eSATA. External is more flexible because its portable. Yes, you can probably save money by buying an internal drive and an empty external enclosure. Just be careful about cooling if you intend to run it all the time. Some enclosures don't have any/much air flow. You don't want to cook your drive.
     
  3. mad doc

    mad doc New Member

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    how much of a bitch is it for an internal drive on a Dell?

    I did read about cooling issues. So either an all aluminum case or a cooling fan.

    I thought about external just for the portability. I'm just going to be putting pictures, music, and any video I have on it. Also thought about the Western Digital My book. Best Buy is suppose to be selling a 250GB My Book for like $70 this Friday, and a Seagate internal 250GB for $60.
     
  4. mdaniel

    mdaniel S is for Shiksa

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    I believe your 8400 is one of the black cases that clam-shells at the front hinges. Installing a second hard drive is very easy. They usually have a power lead right there and an IDE connector too. If its SATA, you'll may have to provide your own data cable. Either way, the drive just slides right in on the provided green plastic rails.
     
  5. Anti-social

    Anti-social We deal in lead

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    I second the suggestion on the Crucial.com ram for that. Dell's forums are big on it....seems that SOME of their systems are much pickier than others for some reason and for the "guarantee to work" guarantee they give you is well worth the little extra it will cost you. Not to mention it's good ram. Just make sure you double check Dells site again and see if you have 4 memory slots. If it only has 2 then you'll have to remove the 2 that are in there and replace them with the new modules.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2006
  6. mad doc

    mad doc New Member

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    I've got 4 slots. I already opened it up and looked. From what I'm reading, I need to upgrade in sets. so if I want 1GB upgrade, I need to buy 2x512. I might just go 2x1GB...3GB FTW! :lol:

    Well I wound up picking up a My Book 320GB for like $130. I missed Best Buy's deal, and overall, the portability thing was big. Its only going to be storing music, pictures, and video. But yea, its the black case with the clam-shell front hindges.


    One more thing... I'm looking at a couple external cases for my 2.5" laptop hard drive (30GB). I bought a Hitachi Travelstar 7k80 ...80GB 7200rpm to clone and then install into the laptop, and that seems to be the issue with the ext. cases I've been looking at, not many support the 7200rpms or they don't get enough power.

    Any suggestions? Ive been searching newegg.
     
  7. mad doc

    mad doc New Member

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    Hard drive showed up today, still looking at a good pocket sized case so I can clone my drive.
     

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