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Old 2009-09-13, 15:59   Link #1
Shadow Kira01
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Laptop Upgrades

Recently, I have decided to upgrade my XP laptop instead of getting a Netbook for the purpose of traveling abroad. However, it seems to be in pretty bad shape. Although I have already performed a clean installation of XP Home, I still have to figure a way to add all the drivers so it will restore to factory settings.

Aside from that, I will have to update the hardware itself. Thus, I have some questions..

1) For a laptop, is it possible to change the internal dvd writer? I have seen internal dvd writers sold in stores for a much cheaper price than the external usb ones which I usually buy. Apparently, my Super-Multi Double Layer DVD Drive is no longer functional.

2) Secondly, I only have 512MB DDR2 in one slot while the other is empty which means all I got to do is replace that one with an 1GB DDR2 and also add one into the empty slot. However, it also comes expansion modules. Not sure what that is.. Does it mean I can add another 1GB DDR2 to it? Is it some kind of memory slot?

3) Also.. Is it possible to change the graphics card? Mine is an ATi RADEONŽ XPRESS 200M with up to 128MB DDR shared video memory. This obviously isn't good for gaming..

...although the laptop is said to have up to 2 hours of battery power without recharge but for some reason, mine lasts for like 10 hours in power saver mode. For that matter, do most Netbooks also come with the power saver feature?

Many thanks..^^
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Old 2009-09-13, 23:54   Link #2
chris
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1) For a laptop, is it possible to change the internal dvd writer? I have seen internal dvd writers sold in stores for a much cheaper price than the external usb ones which I usually buy. Apparently, my Super-Multi Double Layer DVD Drive is no longer functional.

Depends on the laptop but most yes you can as long as you get the right drive, you really are best off replacing it directly with a drive that was ment for the original laptop i know the old ibm t21 laptops there was a small slide neer the drive that would allow it to pop out but that was a long time ago and i haven't changed a laptop drive since.

2) Secondly, I only have 512MB DDR2 in one slot while the other is empty which means all I got to do is replace that one with an 1GB DDR2 and also add one into the empty slot. However, it also comes expansion modules. Not sure what that is.. Does it mean I can add another 1GB DDR2 to it? Is it some kind of memory slot?

Depends on if the motherboard in the laptop can support the ram and what speeds the motherboard supports. I personally don't like to mix ram also if you have ram that you get that is 1gb but slower speed it may reduce the speed of the other ram so you would have more ram at a slower speed.

3) Also.. Is it possible to change the graphics card? Mine is an ATi RADEONŽ XPRESS 200M with up to 128MB DDR shared video memory. This obviously isn't good for gaming..

Oh dear not this question. Humm well it depends on the laptop (most you can not) and even so its not worth the time and effort usually.

I hope this helps ^_^
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Old 2009-09-14, 03:28   Link #3
GHDpro
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1) Replace DVD drive

This is not out of the question, but a little tricky. Most laptops aren't made with the ability to easily replace the DVD drive, so you'll probably have to remove the whole bottom cover to do this.

2) Upgrade RAM

I suggest finding the manual for your laptop and consult it for memory upgrades. That way you're sure what memory will fit. If you don't have the manual any more, try the manufacturer's website.

3) Replace video card

In most cases this isn't possible. Either the video chip is on board (on the motherboard) or the expension card is propitiatory (and you'd need a part specifically made for your laptop).
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Old 2009-09-14, 04:58   Link #4
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow Kira01 View Post
Recently, I have decided to upgrade my XP laptop instead of getting a Netbook for the purpose of traveling abroad. However, it seems to be in pretty bad shape. Although I have already performed a clean installation of XP Home, I still have to figure a way to add all the drivers so it will restore to factory settings.

Aside from that, I will have to update the hardware itself. Thus, I have some questions..

1) For a laptop, is it possible to change the internal dvd writer? I have seen internal dvd writers sold in stores for a much cheaper price than the external usb ones which I usually buy. Apparently, my Super-Multi Double Layer DVD Drive is no longer functional.

2) Secondly, I only have 512MB DDR2 in one slot while the other is empty which means all I got to do is replace that one with an 1GB DDR2 and also add one into the empty slot. However, it also comes expansion modules. Not sure what that is.. Does it mean I can add another 1GB DDR2 to it? Is it some kind of memory slot?

3) Also.. Is it possible to change the graphics card? Mine is an ATi RADEONŽ XPRESS 200M with up to 128MB DDR shared video memory. This obviously isn't good for gaming..

...although the laptop is said to have up to 2 hours of battery power without recharge but for some reason, mine lasts for like 10 hours in power saver mode. For that matter, do most Netbooks also come with the power saver feature?

Many thanks..^^
OK firstly, what is the make of your notebook?
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Old 2009-09-14, 16:25   Link #5
Shadow Kira01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
OK firstly, what is the make of your notebook?
What does that have anything to do with it?

Its a Toshiba Satellite!
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Old 2009-09-14, 17:57   Link #6
chikorita157
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Most of the time, you are pretty much stuck with the graphics card you are using because they are not a upgradable part. The only possible way to have fast graphics is that you get a device that hooks to the Expresscard slots that allow you to use a external graphics card which you can put a desktop graphics card, but the only problem is it's expensive, you most likely need to plug it in using a external power supply and hook up a monitor to it since it's a separate graphics card and you cannot take advantage of your built in display, but it will make the graphics just as powerful as the desktops which blows the laptop GPUs away.. If you have a laptop already with express card slot, you may be able to take advantage of the ViDock2 Box which is a external graphics card case which will cost around 200 dollars, but you have to buy a separate graphics card (a desktop one) which will work with the case and most of the 100-150 cards are capable with most 3D computer games. If you go that route, you may as well build a desktop just for gaming since it will cost $400 dollars just for the external graphics card case and a desktop graphics card to go with it and it won't be useful if you don't have a external monitor hanging around.

Most laptops come with tray-loading drives so it shouldn't be a problem, but the newer computer may need to open up the bottom to access the optical drive. If you don't feel like doing that, just get a external DVD Burner. These may cost a little more, but you don't need to open up your computer just to put it in and can be used on any computer.

Memory: Check Crucial and look up your model. They usually give you memory that is compatible with your machine
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Old 2009-09-14, 18:16   Link #7
Shadow Kira01
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Thanks for the site, I will check it out..
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Old 2009-09-14, 19:39   Link #8
Fipskuul
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A bit different suggestions...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow Kira01 View Post
1) For a laptop, is it possible to change the internal dvd writer? I have seen internal dvd writers sold in stores for a much cheaper price than the external usb ones which I usually buy. Apparently, my Super-Multi Double Layer DVD Drive is no longer functional.
Laptop drives are typically more expensive. So, if you can find a cheap one, refurbished and even used go with that. Cause, you can get a similar functionality using an external dvd writer, with more freedom to connect to any machine you use. And if you need to save from the hard disk space by writing to DVD, you can use a portable drive.
Quote:
2) Secondly, I only have 512MB DDR2 in one slot while the other is empty which means all I got to do is replace that one with an 1GB DDR2 and also add one into the empty slot. However, it also comes expansion modules. Not sure what that is.. Does it mean I can add another 1GB DDR2 to it? Is it some kind of memory slot?
I think that is your biggest problem. Go with the highest amount of memory your laptop allows. If it supports 2Gb in a single slot, go with that, and if it supports 4Gb buy 2. They are not very expensive (though the older the model gets, the more expensive the memory can get).

Quote:
...although the laptop is said to have up to 2 hours of battery power without recharge but for some reason, mine lasts for like 10 hours in power saver mode. For that matter, do most Netbooks also come with the power saver feature?
I had eeepc, and yes it did come with such feature. Though I haven't seen numbers as high as you mentioned with it.
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Old 2009-09-14, 20:52   Link #9
chikorita157
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Most business class notebooks I seen in reviews have battery life up to 24 hours such as the HP EliteBook 6930p, but those batteries are very expensive and bulky... The least bulky one that I seen that is a consumer model (I'm not talking about Netbooks) is the Macbook Pros which lasts 7-8 hours with a non-removable battery.

Unless you are daring enough, undervolting your processor can increase battery life, but if you improperly do it, you can cause damage or system instability to your computer just like overclocking.
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Old 2009-09-15, 01:15   Link #10
Shadow Kira01
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The reason why I am thinking of replacing the internal dvd drive is that it is inconvenient to carry an external burner while traveling, not to mention that it takes up space. It is also fragile. On the contrary, I guess replacing the internal dvd drive itself is more of a hassle.

I think I will just replace the ram if the procedures are simple enough as that some laptops require removing the keyboard in order to replace ram and if that were to be the case, I wouldn't do it as that I'd rather stick with 512MB than risk getting a new one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chikorita157 View Post
Unless you are daring enough, undervolting your processor can increase battery life, but if you improperly do it, you can cause damage or system instability to your computer just like overclocking.
Thanks for the advice but..

I don't think this is worth it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fipskuul View Post
had eeepc, and yes it did come with such feature. Though I haven't seen numbers as high as you mentioned with it.
Thanks for the suggestions.

To be honest, I am not very sure if the power saver feature can last 10 hours of battery power but it seemed to last quite a long time one day awhile back. Not sure if it was blackout or that the fuses had burned out, don't really remember.. Anyhow, I set it to the maximizing battery life mode in which the brightness of the screen itself is extra dim as well as all the features such as standby mode, screen off, etc to minimum time and it lasted almost a day but at the same time, I didn't really use it either as that it wasn't possible to charge the battery for awhile.

Generally, if I were to put it to that mode again and also use it sparingly like a couple minutes every few hours, it should be quite longlasting...
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