Wiped clear laptop question

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Sarah_B
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Wiped clear laptop question

Postby Sarah_B » Sat Sep 27, 2014 4:15 pm

Could anybody advise, if given the option from work, whether it is worth getting a wiped clear laptop please?

I think perhaps for free we can get old laptops. However, then Windows etc, the T'interweb, Microsoft packages etc I presume will then all need to be added.

I do need to buy a new laptop for personal use so am trying to calculate how much is the most worth paying for an laptop from work in good working order. Even if I buy a £400 new laptop I will still need to buy the Microsoft packages anyway.

Looking for some advice if anyone knows. My thoughts are if I can get an old work laptop get one. However, although I have added Microsoft packages to a laptop before never the Windows operating system and this may be difficult if that is wiped too?

Thank you

andy_landy
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Re: Wiped clear laptop question

Postby andy_landy » Sat Sep 27, 2014 4:39 pm

if you buy a £400 new laptop it will generally come with at least some basic version of the various microsoft packages (possible time-limited, worth checking if you go this route).

the 'wiped clear' laptop... is that completely clear? ie. not even windows installed? a windows license / install will probably set you back £100 or so.

if all you need it for is t'interweb / email / browsing... maybe worth considering going down the linux route? not for everyone, for sure, but certainly worth thinking about.

Sarah_B
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Re: Wiped clear laptop question

Postby Sarah_B » Sat Sep 27, 2014 4:51 pm

andy_landy wrote:
the 'wiped clear' laptop... is that completely clear? ie. not even windows installed? a windows license / install will probably set you back £100 or so.

if all you need it for is t'interweb / email / browsing... maybe worth considering going down the linux route? not for everyone, for sure, but certainly worth thinking about.


Not sure if 'wiped clear' means without Windows. I will need to check if given the option to get a work laptop. Just weighing it up at the moment.

Nah, I would need Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint as well, not sure what the linux route is however I see that even if I buy a new laptop I will need to buy these packages anyway.

Sounds to me I need to check I get Windows on the laptop and if a license is only £100 then still cheaper than a new laptop and the Microsoft packages I would need to purchase anyway.

Perhaps this is a stupid question but how do I go about getting Internet Explorer?

Thank you andy_landy for your reply.

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annie
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Re: Wiped clear laptop question

Postby annie » Sat Sep 27, 2014 5:23 pm

Hardly anyone except computer people use Linux. It's non-standard and tricky for the uninitiated. I've been a computer professional for over 25 years and even I don't like it.

A "flattened" computer will need an OS first. XP is still viable, and cheap as chips. Avoid Vista at all costs. Windows 8 is just pathetic. It might even still have a Windows OEM license number on the bottom of the case.

You can get cheapy Windows 7 licences from Bowlers on a Saturday if you fancy... or, of course, there's less than ethical methods too :)

Aria Computers will flog you Windows 7 for £70-ish, if you must. Alternatively, look at eBay for second hand software.

Be aware that you'll probably need to use another computer to download the laptop's drivers first.

Windows is far from perfect, but then no OS actually is. However, in terms of standardisation, it's still your best option.

Oh and by the way, check the hardware stats. Anything older than 5 years will be next to useless.....
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munchkin
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Re: Wiped clear laptop question

Postby munchkin » Sat Sep 27, 2014 6:03 pm

Unless you are fairly IT literate I wouldn't bother. I bought one a while ago and spent hours trying to get the thing working. Installing the various software I needed was fine but trying to get the compatible drivers to get the sound, display, wireless, (if it is old it may not even have wireless built in - you should check that if you need it), etc working properly is a pain.

Laptops are lower spec. than the desktop equivalent anyway so as Annie says you need to be very careful what you are buying otherwise you might find that the OS or software you want to run on it won't work properly. The other point which is key is how you are intending to use it. If you want to be able to unplug and use it wirelessly (see above) and run on the battery then you will need to know that the battery is OK before you buy . Depending on how it has been used the battery may well be shagged and they are expensive to replace.

Last one I bought was relatively new and a decent spec. off ebay for £150 ish...

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annie
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Re: Wiped clear laptop question

Postby annie » Sat Sep 27, 2014 6:10 pm

munchkin wrote:Unless you are fairly IT literate I wouldn't bother. I bought one a while ago and spent hours trying to get the thing working. Installing the various software I needed was fine but trying to get the compatible drivers to get the sound, display, wireless, (if it is old it may not even have wireless built in - you should check that if you need it), etc working properly is a pain.

Laptops are lower spec. than the desktop equivalent anyway so as Annie says you need to be very careful what you are buying otherwise you might find that the OS or software you want to run on it won't work properly. The other point which is key is how you are intending to use it. If you want to be able to unplug and use it wirelessly (see above) and run on the battery then you will need to know that the battery is OK before you buy . Depending on how it has been used the battery may well be shagged and they are expensive to replace.

Last one I bought was relatively new and a decent spec. off ebay for £150 ish...



Good points... a laptop without wifi these days is pointless, and most laptop batteries die after 3 years....
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Sarah_B
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Re: Wiped clear laptop question

Postby Sarah_B » Sat Sep 27, 2014 6:26 pm

Thank you for raising these points.

The laptop has wifi and when I'm in my house (which is where I would use it) it's always on the mains so battery life is not critical to me.

I think the key thing for me is ensuring that I am provided with a laptop with the Windows Operating System installed otherwise I think it'll be too much hassle.

If it has Windows will I still need to find a way to add Internet Explorer? And if so how will I go about adding this please?

Thank you

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annie
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Re: Wiped clear laptop question

Postby annie » Sat Sep 27, 2014 6:37 pm

If it HAS Windows, just get onto your wifi, and run Windows Update, that'll ensure that you have the latest updates and Internet Explorer (which is in every copy of Windows) - although I use Google Chrome myself.
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Sarah_B
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Re: Wiped clear laptop question

Postby Sarah_B » Sat Sep 27, 2014 6:45 pm

annie wrote:If it HAS Windows, just get onto your wifi, and run Windows Update, that'll ensure that you have the latest updates and Internet Explorer (which is in every copy of Windows) - although I use Google Chrome myself.


Thank you annie, that's great advice and thank you for your earlier advice too.

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annie
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Re: Wiped clear laptop question

Postby annie » Sat Sep 27, 2014 6:58 pm

No prob. Good luck :)
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oswaldgold
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Re: Wiped clear laptop question

Postby oswaldgold » Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:17 am

any new latop you buy will have a licence for the OS included, refurb machines (which i think is what you mean by "wiped clean") should have an OS licence as well but make sure you ask.

RE: the MS Office licences, just use OpenOffice - https://www.openoffice.org/. it has all of the core functionality of MS Office and is compatible with all of the same file types.

gitface
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Re: Wiped clear laptop question

Postby gitface » Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:39 am

annie wrote:Hardly anyone except computer people use Linux. It's non-standard and tricky for the uninitiated. I've been a computer professional for over 25 years and even I don't like it.

A "flattened" computer will need an OS first. XP is still viable, and cheap as chips.


I'm surprised by that. Not just because Linux is now generally easier to install and use than Windows, but because you describe yourself as an "IT professional" and you're recommending an OS for which support ended in April. I'd be inclined to stay clear of XP these days...

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annie
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Re: Wiped clear laptop question

Postby annie » Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:43 am

An ex-corporate or ex-education laptop will usually not have an OS licence, as these are usually covered by VLK, KMS or MAK volume licencing. If it does have one, there will be a Windows sticker on the base, however laptops made before 2007 will have an XP licence, ones made between 2007 and 2009 will have a Vista licence, and ones made after 2009 will have a Windows 7 licence. These are not transferrable... and any laptop that has Vista on it should have Windows 7 installed ASAP. Vista truly, truly sucks.
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annie
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Re: Wiped clear laptop question

Postby annie » Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:49 am

gitface wrote:
annie wrote:Hardly anyone except computer people use Linux. It's non-standard and tricky for the uninitiated. I've been a computer professional for over 25 years and even I don't like it.

A "flattened" computer will need an OS first. XP is still viable, and cheap as chips.


I'm surprised by that. Not just because Linux is now generally easier to install and use than Windows, but because you describe yourself as an "IT professional" and you're recommending an OS for which support ended in April. I'd be inclined to stay clear of XP these days...


You're kidding aren't you?? Linux is a pain in the ass, especially for end users used to Windows OSs. As for XP... it remains perfectly serviceable for older laptops with limited hardware. This "support" argument is kinda immaterial to people who are not in a corporate environment, as there are plenty of third party security products to cover run-of-the-mill internet paranoia. I know people still running Windows 2000 on old hardware perfectly acceptably. How are my years of experience relevant to that?
One must always be wary of the march of the right-wing. I advocate public flogging/confiscation of assets/rehoming of their young

gitface
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Re: Wiped clear laptop question

Postby gitface » Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:02 pm

annie wrote:You're kidding aren't you?? Linux is a pain in the ass, especially for end users used to Windows OSs. As for XP... it remains perfectly serviceable for older laptops with limited hardware. This "support" argument is kinda immaterial to people who are not in a corporate environment, as there are plenty of third party security products to cover run-of-the-mill internet paranoia. I know people still running Windows 2000 on old hardware perfectly acceptably. How are my years of experience relevant to that?


Linux is a pain in the ass in your opinion. Most people who haven't tried a recent distribution think that.

If I was inclined to pay for an operating system (which clearly I'm not), I would expect timely security updates. I was surprised you were advocating otherwise.

It was you who mentioned your "years of experience". Not me.


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