Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Laptop 2.0

I have been without my laptop since it died six weeks ago. I didn't have any of my recovery disks here in Australia, so was waiting until I went back to the UK in a couple of weeks. However, I discovered my friend Dave had a Windows XP disk so decided to borrow that a few days ago.

Formatting my hard drive and re-installing windows was much easier than I expected it to be, following these instructions on the Dell website. The only problem was that not everything worked as I didn't have all of the required drivers (I am guessing this is where the recovery disk that came with the laptop would have been more helpful?). Downloading them (via a second PC that would connect to the internet) was a bit painful and cumbersome. At least Dell had them all in one place.

My laptop is currently running much more smoothly and quickly than it did before. Windows was booting up in about 20 seconds before I installed Service Pack 2 which has slowed things down a bit. In truth I should have re-installed Windows six months ago, but the fear of losing data held me back.

So far I haven't noticed anything missing that I really need. iTunes is proving the biggest pain. As my computer died I didn't get a chance to deauthorise my old account. Importing my music library is going to be painful. If anyone has any idea please let me know. I am currently putting it off.

I'm going to buy some additional RAM from my friend Sarah. Then I hope my laptop will be good for another 12 months. £500 saved.

I read a few blogs by people saying that they did a full re-install every year. I'm not sure if I am brave enough to do that yet, time will tell. It's certainly made a big improvement.

Update: I forgot to mention that I've been unable to get the modem that went down in collateral damage when my PC bust working again. Not sure what is going on there......


  1. You resurrected this modem-killing PC...Franken-P-C must be destroyed! I am deeply concerned for your safety, the state of the fan in that thing could be described as a fire hazard. Be safe.

  2. Yeah, I don't think the beast is going to last indefinitely!

  3. If you don't have a modem how are you accessing the interweb?

    Do you still refer to switching on your computer as "firing up the beast"??

  4. I've borrowed a modem from @shakespearemate. Sadly it isn't wireless though.

    The beast is taming into a friendly pet.

  5. For your iTunes library you could try something like Music Rescue. I've never used it, so can't vouch for it's success rate, but it seems to do what you need. I'm sure that other listings magazines are also available.

  6. Recovering my iTunes library turned out to be easier than I feared in the end.

    Firstly, I installed a new vopy of iTunes. Authorised the PC for my acocunt and plugged in my iPod which transferred all of my purchases into my library.

    Then I went File / Import Folder. I thought I was going to have to add the individual albums one by one. But I added the top level folder from the library on my back-up hard drive and it brought in all my music. I was impressed by this as I thought you had to add records one by one. I've lost some of my album artwork, but that isn't too bad.