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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    UK
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    Default Re: Decisions, decisions. Which laptop?

    foloowing on from what chris has said:

    in windows OS 'libraries' are the places that windows has set up for you to keep your userfiles such as the 'my documents' folder - like a lot of people I save userfiles in other places and it's important to make sure these don't get overlooked

    there are lots of programs to deal with disk imaging/cloning such as those mentioned and acronis true image which i use [not free] and macrium - I use acronis to make regular offline images of the whole syatem as backup - files can be extracted, or the image restored, if the OS gets infected beyond repair

    as I understand it, cloning to a new computer is a seperated process whereby the the system on one computer is adapted to the system on the new computer to take account of the differences in the hardware etc as it is installed - in my experience it is never 100%

    whether you attempt it yourself, or get someone else to do it, I would also strongly recommend an offline backup image is made first, and kept aside, just in case [which is what chris is refering to as 'cloning the original drive to a spare HDD' - you could use a flash drive if it is large enough and not a 'cheap throwaway', but it does need to be stored longterm somewhere where it is unlikely to get overwritten accidentaly]
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  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Kington, Herefordshire. I used to live on a boat on the English waterways
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Decisions, decisions. Which laptop?

    Of course!

    I was reverting to the old BBC days when the library was where you would put commonly used procedures.

    N

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    410

    Default Re: Decisions, decisions. Which laptop?

    Acronis is an excellent software program, trusted and used at corporate level. Acronis is capable of imaging a drive and cloning which, as Handrawn states, is a completely different process.

    Taking an image can be likened to creating a .web or .xar file. You need Xara to open the file again. Likewise if you create a drive image in Acronis you need Acronis to reimage. If your drive is brand new this means using a bootable USB or DVD with Acronis preloaded to install the image, or loading Windows and Acronis and then overwriting.

    Cloning is an exact copy of the drive byte for byte (pixel for pixel keeping to the graphics theme), it alters nothing. Cloning a drive to go back in the same machine is by far the safest and quickest way Using a backup solution for everyday running is only slightly less important than your heartbeat, but it isn't the best way to swap one drive to another on the same machine. Think of a RAID setup, the most common being 'mirror' or RAID 1. This setting clones the data simultaneously to 2 identical drives. Cloning isn't a backup tool, sure it can be used as one, but it's sole purpose in life is to take ALL the data from one place and unceremoniously plonk it into another place. Everything will be in the same place, icons, programs, personal data, Google and Facebook spying cookies, even the settings you changed that now annoy you but you forgot how to change back.

  4. #14
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    Feb 2007
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    UK
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    Default Re: Decisions, decisions. Which laptop?

    point taken re-clone

    I have been using acronis for nigh on 15 years it is on that very short list of cannot do without programs...
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  5. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Bracknell, UK
    Posts
    7,988

    Default Re: Decisions, decisions. Which laptop?

    Theo you're getting a lot of advice. I understand the process of upgrading to SSD and have done the DVD-drive SSD swap.

    If you buy a new machine and play these games, please remember you may screw up your warranty too, so for that reason alone I would suggest buying the machine you want rather than a new machine to mess about with.

    My wife has a Dell laptop that she always complained was slow. It was. I cloned the HD to an SSD and swapped it. She has had this machine now for several years and has not complained about the speed since the SSD was installed.

    SSDs are now pretty cheap. My wife has a machine with a 240GB SSD and is nowhere near full.

    Your machine is getting old, but you will be amazed at how much faster it is with an SSD. The requirements for Xara software are quite modest, so probably the SSD swap will make you happy. It's the easiest thing to try.

    A 480GB drive is very cheap to buy. A 1 TB drive can be bought for circa 150. Check how much space you are actually using and will need.

    I wouldn't do the DVD-drive swap-out.

    Have a think. I currently use a laptop with a 500GB SSD only. I have a network drive attached via WiFi and I also supplement my storage a bit using a 128GB low-profile USB drive that is permanently plugged in.

    Over the years our family has bought loads of Dell machines - they tend to be cheaper and easier to upgrade/repair than some other makes. My wife once purchased a Sony Vaio. It was super stylish and she loved it but had big issues with the power supply plug and replacement parts were problematic to source. We will never buy another.

    Good luck and keep it simple. Go for an SSD clone and swap-in or buy another machine.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    UK
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    Default Re: Decisions, decisions. Which laptop?

    I would agree with Paul re the invalidation of manufactures warranty; I have a laptop I swapped the HDD for SDD; that involved dismantling the laptop because the HDD was not in it's own caddy, but integral and that makes a lot of difference

    one 500GB SSD is fine for that machine, I didn't swap out the DVD [which also would have meant some dismantling] - paying someone to do this has to be offset against the cost of a new compiter; new computers give you a good chance to reasses your actual need

    On my main computer I have total 1TB SSD; it is fast, but not enough because I deal with a lot of uncompressed music and a lot of high res images, so I still need external [HDD] storage of several TB

    it all depends what you want/need/do...

    keep it simple, yes
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  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    410

    Default Re: Decisions, decisions. Which laptop?

    We've left poor Theo behind on this thread. He casually asked if anyone had a preference in laptop brands...my fault, sorry.

    My youngest daughter has a talent for drawing, she can scribble 3 lines on a piece of paper and it looks like the Mona Lisa. I do the same and it looks like 3 lines on a piece of paper. I did the same thing here. I do this stuff on a regular basis and I need to step back and realise not everyone sees a computer as a pile of plastic, circuit boards and screws that can be taken apart as fast as a Lego tower.

    The whole cloning/DVD swap out came from showing available options if buying a new machine capable of doing what Theo required was too price restrictive. In order of preference:
    Option 1 - Buy new
    Option 2 - Buy an SSD larger or same size as your original HDD
    Option 3 - DVD caddy for HDD

    There's also the difference in location which affects supply and prices. Here in Aus. Asus and HP are popular choices. Acer and Dell float near the bottom of the wish list. Cost of parts are slightly higher in the UK than here, but a quick Google informs me I should move and set up shop in the UK. The labour rate for common repairs over there is a fair bit higher than here.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Bracknell, UK
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    Default Re: Decisions, decisions. Which laptop?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris M View Post
    Google informs me I should move and set up shop in the UK. The labour rate for common repairs over there is a fair bit higher than here.
    The rates may be higher, but the costs of everything are too!

    ..and a distinct temperature difference too!

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Australia
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    410

    Default Re: Decisions, decisions. Which laptop?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    But on the down side.

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    Not my hand. I'm up a tree 2 streets away screaming like a schoolgirl.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
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    Bracknell, UK
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    Default Re: Decisions, decisions. Which laptop?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris M View Post
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    Nobody likes a show-off ... ;-)

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