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Good experience with refurb Latitude laptop

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Dennis Nicholls, Dec 11, 2017.

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  1. Message #1 of 39 Dec 11, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
    Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    I've been getting by with just a desktop, but have wanted a laptop too for various reasons, e.g. using the diagnostic tools for my Boxster in the garage. Looking at Craigslist didn't inspire much confidence in the used machines offered there.

    These days Newegg appears to be the broker for the corporate/commercial grade Dell refurbished PCs. They offer among other refurbished items the Dell Latitude laptops. These were built with a sturdy mag alloy case - a better choice than their home-use Inspiron offerings. I decided to try one of their refurb e6420 laptops, which was offered on a Black Friday week special at $140, free shipping. https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834854944

    The unit showed up and I plugged it in with the AC adaptor. After waiting a while I turned it on and it booted right up into a new clean install of Win 10 (32 bit). This was disappointing. I checked for the as-built configuration using the Dell tag number. It was shipped originally with Win 7 32 bit for some reason. At least the original 250 GB 5400 rpm disk had been replaced with a 500 GB 7200 rpm disk.

    The DVD was read-only, so at the same time I ordered a DVD-RW that was the Dell original for $20 from a Newegg partner. You have to reuse the Dell latch and bezel but otherwise it's just a slide in fit. I then performed a Win 7 image backup to DVD-R (yes I'm paranoid).

    The Win 10 32 bit was a disappointment, but at least the refurbisher, US Micro, stuck an official Microsoft Win 10 Home product key sticker on the bottom of the unit. I discovered that MS lets you change from 32 bit to 64 bit Win 10 for NO CHARGE in the same version of Win 10, i.e. home to home, or pro to pro. You go to the MS website and create a Win 10 install disk using "Media Creation Tool". It took some time but I successfully performed a clean install of Win 10 64 bit.

    Once I was running in 64 bit mode it made sense to upgrade the RAM from 4 GB, so I ordered another 4 GB SODIMM for $30. I installed it today and ran the Dell BIOS RAM tests.

    This is an amazing bargain. I'm only in it for $190, and this laptop sold new in 2012 for around $1,200. Apparently these Latitude laptops were sold in quantity into the corporate world, and get dumped into the refurb market after five years or so. The performance compares favorably with the cheaper laptops offered today: Intel i5 quad processor, 8 GB RAM, 500 GB 7200 rpm disk.
     
  2. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I picked up a refurbished HP desktop recently, too. I was a little reluctant to go the refurbished route, but got an i7 quad core desktop with 16GB of RAM, 1TB hard drive, four USB-3 ports (and a bunch of USB-2 ports), DVD-RW drive and Windows 10 64-bit for $500. The unit sold for about $1,300 originally, and has been fine since I installed the system a couple of months ago. I added a 500GB SSD drive for $150, and the system runs quite quickly.
     
  3. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    A lot of these corporate machines are leased, not bought. 3 years and 5 years are common. (My current work laptop is being retired, and I have no option to buy and keep it because it's coming off lease and going back to wherever it came from.)
     
  4. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Where did you get it?
     
  5. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I bought it through Tiger Direct. Coincidentally, I just ordered a refurbished HP all-in-one PC for my wife today through them for $299, as well. Her very old small footprint Dell Xino PC died this morning.
     
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  6. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Mine was a black Friday week special at Newegg with only a 60 day exchange warranty, but many of the refurbs there now boast a 1 year warranty.

    And Aaron's probably right about 5 year leases being the norm, since my machine was built in early 2012.
     
  7. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    This is all very useful information to know, as I suspect the refurbished route will likely be our only affordable option once our 2012-2013 Acer Laptops kick the bucket. Hopefully, NOT this year, at any rate! :unsure:

    CHEERS! :)
     
  8. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    The two HP refurbished units I bought from Tiger Direct came with one year warranties. The desktop unit looked brand new, except it came with a 3rd party keyboard and mouse (not a big deal since I have a Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse). The all-in-one is supposed to arrive on Tuesday, so I'll see what that one looks like then.
     
  9. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Wow, Tiger (the place I bought my first 386 PC!) has a lot of great deals, but 90% of them are out of stock, and their product search doesn't seem to have any way to filter on that. Too painful!
     
  10. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I didn't notice too many out of stock items when I was searching for a new PC for my wife on Friday morning, but I wasn't really paying that much attention. They may just be slow on taking old items which have sold out off their website, especially on the weekend.
     
  11. Message #11 of 39 Jan 10, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
    Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    The refurbished HP Pro One 600 all-in-one PC showed up from Tiger Direct yesterday. When I started it up, it began installing Windows 10 Pro (the refurbished HP tower PC I bought last fall already had Windows 10 installed). Not a big deal -- it just took awhile for that task to complete. It came with a Dell keyboard and mouse -- the tower PC came with an off-brand keyboard and mouse, which I never used. My wife is happy with the Dell keyboard, so all is well there.

    This is the first "all-in-one" PC I've ever dealt with. My wife's PC needs are pretty simple -- mainly just a web browser and Microsoft Word -- and her desk doesn't have a lot of room, so this form factor works well for her. The computer system unit is molded to the back of the monitor, with the DVD-RW drive on one the side, and two USB ports and what appears to be a media card reader on the other side. The power button is in a bad spot, though, on the bottom right side of the monitor. I have already accidentally powered the PC off once while attempting to adjust the monitor on its stand. :huh:

    The unit only has a single power cord, so I was able to clean out power cables for the monitor, speakers and external hard drive (I gave her my old WD Passport USB 3.0 drive for data backups, which doesn't require a separate power supply). Getting rid of the Dell Xino system unit (which was pretty small) and old external hard drive cleared up some desk space, too -- the WD Passport is quite small, and easily sits below the monitor). My wife is quite pleased with the setup so far. As the saying goes -- happy wife... happy life. ;)
     
  12. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    This IS an interesting discussion. I never new such a market existed.

    It seems to parallel the automobile market: New>Leased>sold as used after 3/5 years. Makes sense.

    But the difference is that the discounts seem much better than with cars.
     
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  13. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    My wife--out of the blue--last night asked me for her old work files dating back from the late '90s through 2007! I was stunned. My mind started reeling as to whether they would be included in my most recent back-ups of her data...or if I was going to have to dust off some old 3 1/2" floppies or Zip discs. :eek:

    Her writing docs are so important to her that we even signed her up for Carbonite a couple years ago after a massive laptop failure which claimed several documents which she had been currently working on. (We had older backups...but nothing with her recent changes at the time of the crash).

    Fortunately, I had her old work files included on my current duplicate 2TB external drive backups. I copied them onto her laptop and immediately informed her about how lucky she was to have me in her life! :laugh:

    Happy wife, happy life indeed! :D
     
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  14. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Mike, my wife was quite pleased that I had all her data backed up, too. I have a lot more elaborate backup procedure for my PC, which has our financial information, my extensive photo portfolio, all the MP3 files I converted from our compact discs, and digital video conversions from our home videos during our travels. Her PC just has her personal documents, so luckily the single external hard drive I used for her worked out fine. I'm not sure I could have recovered anything off her old PC by removing the internal drive and installing it in an enclosure. Luckily I don't have to attempt that.

    I currently use Crashplan for the online, offsite portion of the backup procedure for my PC. I need to find something else by autumn of 2018 when my subscription expires, since Crashplan is moving away from offering their services for personal use and to an enterprise-only solution. Whatever I select should probably offer support for multiple computers so I can back up her files, too. Crashplan only supports a single PC under my current plan.
     
  15. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    I use DVD-Rs for backups. As optical media progresses they remain backwards compatible. Regular CDs are now about 4 decades old but your PC optical drive can still read them. Not so for floppies, ZIP drives, etc.

    If you need off-site backups in case your place burns down, just swap them with a trusted friend across town. I've never trusted this whole "cloud" thing, and the recent Meltdown and Spectre flap has confirmed my suspicions.

    I got started working with computers with punch cards and punched paper tape, later moving on to open reel mag tape. Good luck reading that stuff these days.
     
  16. Message #16 of 39 Jan 10, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
    Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Scott: Carbonite offers multiple drives under their basic plan. Not sure it would fit your needs, but you should check it out.

    We're paying $99/year for a personal computer+ service--"Carbonite Safe PLUS"

     
  17. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    WHAT?!? You don't have a USB Zip drive?!? :eek:

    [​IMG]

    I do! :D
     
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  18. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    I view backups as being needed in three situations.
    A hard disk crash
    B software corruption by malware
    C house burns down with PC inside

    I have a second hard disk in my desktop and the Win7 backup utility (still there in Win10) does an image backup to it once a week. It takes care of situations A and B. I've had situation B twice and it was only a few minutes effort to load "last week's" image.

    The data DVDs take care of option C. You can't use an image backup there since your MS licenses are tied to a particular machine, and you need to buy new software to go with the replacement machine.
     
  19. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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  20. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    They're cool.

    :D
     

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