Skip to comments.(Vanity) My laptop died, need cheap OS
Posted on 09/05/2012 9:02:46 AM PDT by GeronL
My Toshiba Satellite L305 has crapped out. It did not come with the reinstallation disk. I can get a new hard drive but I need an O/S. It is too old to run Windows 7, which I can't really afford.
Does anyone know where I can buy a Windows Vista Home Premium (or sumtin') disk or product key for a good price?
I have old Vista discs you can have.
Linux is free.
Linux is free and should run just fine on your old hardware.
Is there a license sticker on the laptop with the registration code? If so, you can do a google search and download a legit image of the appropriate version of windows. I believe digital river might be the host.
If it worth the expense to you - you can generally recover most data even from a crashed hard drive.
darn, I also lost Microsoft Office 2007 and a video editing program. That hurts.
Regardless of the OS you choose, I'd try putting the damaged drive into a cheap USB drive enclosure and then attempt to access it and retrieve some files. Hiren's Boot Disk version 10.6 on CD should have the disk and file recovery tools you need.
No backups, eh?
I always use separate partitions for OS and data. You can just back up the data partition. You can even reinstall the OS without touching the data, if the disk is physically good.
nope. If I had saved everything, I would be able to reinstall with the old product key, right? dang.
Yes, that often works. Usually the boot record or the OS is corrupt, but the data is fine. I have pulled a lot of data off of damaged hard drives, just mounting them as secondaries.
I would still need a valid product key, how would I go about getting one from someone who upgraded to 7 or something?
BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP.
External hard drives are cheap as dirt now.
Nope, that’s the thing. I am pretty broke.
disk is fried
But it’s not “cheap”.
even if its just a stopgap measure I will have best Buy install a new harddrive and I will put Ubuntu on it. At least I will be able to get online and stuff.
Look for an Inspiron 9400. It's their 17" multi-media package and usually sells for $200 or less. I've bought about 5 or 6 of them for friends. I always manage to find the 1920x1200 ones, but even the lower res 1440x900 ones are great.
The older Inspiron 9300 is a nice 17"er too, but it has an IDE HD instead of the newer SATA.
BTW - I guess you are too young to remember when Toshiba screwed us, broke the law, and sold our silent submarine propulsion technology to the commies. F*ck Toshiba! Never buy their products!
I doubt I have the budget for even a USB drive enclosure
A lot of the time when a disk fails you can attach as a 2Nd drive a recover the data. All you need is something like this.
KINGWIN USB2.0 TO SERIAL ATA & PARALLEL ATA ADAPTER CABLE KIT - USI-2535
Mfr: Kingwin Model: USI-2535
FRYS.com #5466019 UPC: 859813001441
USB 2.0 to SATA & IDE adapter w/ back up button.
Connect to three different sizes of drive mechanism to USB. (2.5”, 3.5”, and 5.25”).
Support both SATA & IDE types of drives.
Dual output power supply with power on/off button, standard 4 pin power output and new SATA power output.
AC power cable.
SATA II & USB 2.0 compatible.
I use Win2k, fully patched with the official updates as well as the unofficial ones on MSFN’s 2k forum. Those give me some XP app compatibility.
See if you can borrow one. I've recovered all sorts of thousands of files for others after their O/S crapped out.
sadly my niece just got a $1200 Sony Vaio with 8 GB RAM
Also - you don’t want vista on that turd. Find XP if you can, but then you’ll have lots of fun trying to find drivers - not an easy thing to do with Toshiba.
Putting Ubuntu ISO onto the USB card now
“need cheap OS
Ubuntu (Linux) - free is better than cheap.”
I’ve put it on a few friend’s compters who were in the OP’s position. I prefer Windows but if you don’t have the disks to reinsall it sure beats buying a new copy. It also depends on what you do with it. The people I gave Ubuntu to just used there’s to surf the Internet and do web based email.
Try the free beta release of Windows 8...seriously! http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/download. I did this with a pretty old PC that had been running XP. Once you get the hang of the new interface it is very fast and dependable. Everything worked great for me. Call MS support and tell them about your office 2007 situation. They should be able to help you download the program and get you your product key based on your registration info.
Contact Dell. Normally, they will send you installation discs for a nominal fee. I’ve done it before. If it is the first time you’ve had to ask for the discs, it is usually free, assuming you are the original owner.
This might be a good opportunity to give ReactOS a try...
wait.. Geek Squad probably took the HD out already... argh, at least they’ll give me the old HD, right? Someday....
All the info they need is all saved on the hard drive. lol
The cheapest thing I’ve always found was an OEM copy of the OS from NEWEGG. Still find XP sufficient.
Personally I’d just hold out for a new laptop rather than install Vista. I have an issue with mine where my CPU is one of 0.001% of all they ever made that does not play nice with Vista SP 1. And because of that my tech guy is iffy as to whether Windows 7 can even be installed. My daughter just bought a screaming fast Windows 7 laptop with 6 gig drive for just over three hundred bucks.
Good. I shuddered when you said Vista. It's a dog and it's worse on older HW.
If I run MSWord for some reason my machine takes for-frickin'-ever to shut down.
If I use OOWriter I can shut down instantly, no problems.
I assume this is because MS won't let my machine shut down until Word is done tattletaling back to mama MS.
Go to the bookstore, spend 18 bucks on a magazine with the word “UBUNTU” on it. It has a disk inside that holds the Linux based OS. I recommend it highly.
I had a 3.5 inch that seemed "fried." It wouldn't spin or make any of the sounds associated with starting up. I replaced the controller card that is attached to the hard drive, and it spun right up. That drive is running fine, and has been for about six months since I replaced the card. I had another drive (exact same model) to cannibalize, otherwise the card would have been $20-$40.
From the looks of the 2.5" drive in my hand, the card is removable without entering the disk area. Eight little screws.
If your drive rattles, then the head is probably off its pivot. I've never had any success in recovery from that, although I think it is possible, in principle, at substantial cost.
Mark this post as a Place Holder.....
....for a hilariously clever, self deprecating, witticism regarding Tenacious1’s technological ignorance and lack of real contribution to this thread.
If nothing else, burn a CDROM for a LIVE version of Puppy Linux and boot it from scratch without installation. You’ll see what your old PC is actually capable of and if you still want Windows, well you’ll know what the alternative is.
I ran a laptop with no HD at all, for a few weeks. Booted off the CD, saved work to a flash drive. A bit slow booting up and starting programs, but hey, it kept me online!
Maybe I'm missing something here but why contact Dell for a Toshiba machine?
My son installed Linux for us on a netbook. Linux performs wonderfully. It is surprisingly user friendly. And, I could sit back, drink cocoa and laugh at virtually all malware and viruses being shuttled around the web.
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