Help finding a laptop for a friend under £340 please

19
Found 24th Jun 2017
I am trying to help a friend find a laptop, they are not great with computers (just through lack of use) and can't get online to look as their current laptop has slowed to the point of being unusable, and it's Vista anyway so not really safe to use (AFAIK). They don't have a smartphone either.

I have suggested using their old laptop as a Chromebook but they are not keen for some reason, I think they are not willing to pay for the USB stick in case it doesn't work.

They would like a 15.6" screen and a DVD drive, Windows 10 and a minimum of 4GB RAM. They are not keen on second-hand or refurbs unless it's a great deal, as they are a bit of a perfectionist so might not be happy with scratches etc.

Unfortunately I didn't spot the Lenovo deal at Very in time, as that might have been suitable. (https://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/lenovo-ideapad-305-intel-core-i3-processor-4gb-ram-1tb-hard-drive-15-6-inch-laptop-2718962). But there are some reviews saying they are slow, which wouldn't be great.

I was thinking maybe a SSD would be a good idea, but I'm not sure how much importance should be placed on this relative to something like the processor or RAM as I have never had an SSD myself.

For a laptop with an SSD, how does this look? laptopsdirect.co.uk/len…asp

I was also looking at this refurbished HP laptop yesterday on laptopsdirect, Core i5-7200U, 15.6 HD screen, Windows 10, 8GB RAM, 1 TB hard drive for £349 (http://www.laptopsdirect.co.uk/refurbished-hp-pavilion-15-au185sa-15.6-intel-core-i5-7200u-2.5ghz-8gb-1tb-a2-z3d13ea/version.asp). It's gone now, but I don't know whether something like that with a core i5 processor but a hard drive is better than a i3 but a SSD.

Thanks for any help.
Community Updates
AskLaptop
19 Comments
I got this one at Xmas - amazon.co.uk/Len…7KM

was £279 then so might be able to find, put a SSD in and a hard drive caddy, so 240gb SSD and 1tb for around £340 or a bit less
Thanks, I didn't think of swapping a hard drive for a SSD. In that case, the HP refurb would have been a good buy. No wonder it sold
£340 is a kinda weird pricepoint, but whatever floats their boat. Save £340 by backing up any existing data and then downloading W10 installation ISO and just clean install onto existing lappy, presumably from dvd media. No activation / key required. You may need to borrow a rewritable DVD to use as W10 installation media if your buddies are too cost-concious to buy one. microsoft.com/en-…s10

Their old laptop is a Vista laptop from somewhere around 2008, maybe earlier, I can't imagine it would run Windows 10, would it?

Edit this is what I know about it: Toshiba laptop, Intel Core 2 Duo T5250 1.5 Ghz, 2 GB RAM, 150GB HDD, Vista Home Premium.

AndyRoyd

£340 is a kinda weird pricepoint, but whatever floats their boat.



I don't know how we ended up at £340 except that a local shop offered her a Lenovo Ideapad 110, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD for £319 and I have been trying to convince her that this isn't a gret deal and also to spend a little more, so now we are at 340.

Edited by: "milady" 24th Jun 2017
milady

Their old laptop is a Vista laptop from somewhere around 2008, maybe … Their old laptop is a Vista laptop from somewhere around 2008, maybe earlier, I can't imagine it would run Windows 10, would it?Edit this is what I know about it: Toshiba laptop, Intel Core 2 Duo T5250 1.5 Ghz, 2 GB RAM, 150GB HDD, Vista Home Premium.


No problem to run 32bit version of W10 on that spec and it will certainly provide better user experience than even a clean Vista install. To cover all eventualities you may possibly need to change internal wifi card, or obtain a USB wifi dongle (£2), maybe have one to hand to see if it is required after W10 installation complete.
AndyRoyd

No problem to run 32bit version of W10 on that spec and it will … No problem to run 32bit version of W10 on that spec and it will certainly provide better user experience than even a clean Vista install. To cover all eventualities you may possibly need to change internal wifi card, or obtain a USB wifi dongle (£2), maybe have one to hand to see if it is required after W10 installation complete.



Thanks. I did look into this, but some articles online suggested that drivers may not be available for such old hardware for Windows 10. Also, I am not really capable of changing anything inside a laptop (I'm not tech-savvy, just happen to know more than my friend). Finally, I doubt my friend would go for this, as she won't even let me run Cloudready from a USB stick. I am also getting a bit tired of spending my time on other people's computer problems and then having them complain to me when I am doing it as a favour anyway.

Thanks for the suggestion, though.
Edited by: "milady" 24th Jun 2017
milady

Thanks. I did look into this, but some articles online suggested that … Thanks. I did look into this, but some articles online suggested that drivers may not be available for such old hardware for Windows 10. Also, I am not really capable of changing anything inside a laptop (I'm not tech-savvy, just happen to know more than my friend). Finally, I doubt my friend would go for this, as she won't even let me run Cloudready from a USB stick. I am also getting a bit tired of spending my time on other people's computer problems and then having them complain to me when I am doing it as a favour anyway.Thanks for the suggestion, though.


The only plausible driver issue may be the wifi driver, hence the suggestion for the standby £2 wifi dongle. Suggestion for W10 was purely to save £338 by utilising "their current laptop has slowed to the point of being unusable" which presumably otherwise (and now) has zero useability and zero value. Absolutely empathise the concept of other persons' computer issues being a tiring / thankless / frustrating experience.
AndyRoyd

The only plausible driver issue may be the wifi driver, hence the … The only plausible driver issue may be the wifi driver, hence the suggestion for the standby £2 wifi dongle. Suggestion for W10 was purely to save £338 by utilising "their current laptop has slowed to the point of being unusable" which presumably otherwise (and now) has zero useability and zero value. Absolutely empathise the concept of other persons' computer issues being a tiring / thankless / frustrating experience.



Well, you are right that it is worth a try. I will run it by her again. There is some kind of issue with the hard drive, one drive shows as full even though the visible files only amount to a few GB (even with it set to show all files). I was in the middle of trying to find a solution to this when support ended for Vista a few months ago anyway. I would worry that the hard drive issue might cause problems with the update to W10, as I don't know if it was caused by a fault with the hard drive because I didn't solve it.
I don't think it is worth spending any time or effort on this old junk, time to move on to something new and shiny.
go on Ebuyer. You get more spec for your money
bazzadotdoc

I don't think it is worth spending any time or effort on this old junk, … I don't think it is worth spending any time or effort on this old junk, time to move on to something new and shiny.



​correct, I'm sure vista eventually consumes itself, it uses up its hd with temp and back up files!
Whats the exact model of the Toshiba laptop then I can tell you what parts you can upgrade (this is the cheapest option).
milady

Well, you are right that it is worth a try. I will run it by her again. … Well, you are right that it is worth a try. I will run it by her again. There is some kind of issue with the hard drive, one drive shows as full even though the visible files only amount to a few GB (even with it set to show all files). I was in the middle of trying to find a solution to this when support ended for Vista a few months ago anyway. I would worry that the hard drive issue might cause problems with the update to W10, as I don't know if it was caused by a fault with the hard drive because I didn't solve it.


Not sure what you mean by "one drive shows as full even though the visible files only amount to a few GB" but on the assumption the laptop only has one physical hard drive then it is likely the hard drive has been partitioned and the partititon you are referring to is likely the recovery partition, where that partition may contain the Vista source (re)installation files. What would be more critical to running any version of windows would be the available space on the system drive; this is the drive usually identified as drive "C" in "My Computer". If you were going to perform a clean installation of W10 from disc, you would wipe the partition containing "C" and install W10 to that partition (wiping any recovery partition is optional, but likely best left until after W10 has been confirmed acceptably functional).
Bottom line here is that you indicate that the current state of the lappy is quote "unusable" so there is nothing to lose by going down the clean installation / custom installation W10 route, other than your time and sanity. If the W10 end result is not acceptable, splash the cash on a replacement that was expected to be spent anyway.
RiverDragon8

Whats the exact model of the Toshiba laptop then I can tell you what … Whats the exact model of the Toshiba laptop then I can tell you what parts you can upgrade (this is the cheapest option).



Thanks, I will try and find out from my friend.

AndyRoyd

Not sure what you mean by "one drive shows as full even though the … Not sure what you mean by "one drive shows as full even though the visible files only amount to a few GB"



Sorry, yes there is only one hard drive and one partition is full, but not the recovery partition. It is a 150GB drive with two partitions (not sure of terminology here), one with Vista etc. and most of the 75GB free, the other has all the personal files etc. and appears totally full even though I can only find 4GB of my friend's files. I deleted some old backups and restoration points but that was not enough to solve the problem, there is still 70GB of missing space. It was slow and absolutely unusable, with a low disc space warning popping up every few minutes. I couldn't find what was occupying the space at all.

My friend was not prepared to buy an external drive so I could not try a recovery install or some of the other soultions suggested online. I only have one external drive and I wasn't prepared to involve that as it has my stuff on it. She also didn't want me to take the laptop away and work on it at my house, so I was limited to trying to solve it at her house and found it a bit unnerving having a very tense person looking over my shoulder to check what I was doing every few seconds.

Edited by: "milady" 25th Jun 2017
well I'd start by running malwarebytes on it as chances are there is some form of infection on it. Then run ccleaner. Hopefully they would free up a bit of space between them. I used to be able to free up lots of space but I've forgotten how to do in old operating systems.
buzzard

well I'd start by running malwarebytes on it as chances are there is some … well I'd start by running malwarebytes on it as chances are there is some form of infection on it. Then run ccleaner. Hopefully they would free up a bit of space between them. I used to be able to free up lots of space but I've forgotten how to do in old operating systems.



I have run both of those already, and gone through all the typical anti-virus measures and scans etc. but thanks. There is something taking up the majority of the space that I can't find. Only 4GB of files are listed.
milady

...found it a bit unnerving having a very tense person looking over my … ...found it a bit unnerving having a very tense person looking over my shoulder to check what I was doing every few seconds.


Dude, now is the time to politely withdraw your assistance. Whatever magic you perform, it it highly unlikely that you will ever satisfy the person you describe with the personality traits you have mentioned. Provide a few suggestions (not recommendations) for new machines and wish the Vista owner well in thier search for a replacement device.
Post a comment
Avatar
@
    Text

    Top Discussions

    Top Discussions

    Top Merchants