Monthly Archives: March 2013

Spring Break Project: Laptop Refurb

My project this week is to refurbish my old Compaq Presario 2100.

I sold some stuff on eBay last week, so now I have a few bucks burning a hole in my pocket. I thought about buying something like an Acer TimelineX that I could tinker with. My husband suggested that if I wanted something to tinker with I should dig out the old Presario. He was joking but I thought it was a good idea.

The Presario was collecting dust on a shelf in the basement because it started having HDD problems and eventually quit booting.

I brought it upstairs, plugged it in, and hit the power button, and what do you know…it fired right up! I spent several minutes looking around for a way to reset it to factory settings, like in Windows 7…no such luck. I guess Windows XP doesn’t give you that option. I powered it down because we were going out to eat. However, when I got home and tried to fire it back up – nothing – it had stopped booting again.

I did a little research on YouTube and found that this is called the freezer effect. Apparently my HDD has physical damage. the cold air in the basement caused the metal components of the HDD to contract and move freely again. The effect is temporary, though, and usually only works once.

I did a little shopping and found that I could get a replacement HDD pretty cheap. So, this is my plan for the week: replace the HDD, and while I’m at it, upgrade the RAM and replace the battery. I’ll let you know how it turns out.


eBay is a Gadget Fanatic’s Friend


I think the Samsung Galaxy Note series of smartphones are the best phones ever made…for men…who wear cargo pants.

I ordered a Note the day it was released by AT&T and enjoyed using it as my phone/tablet for a year…until it fell out of my tiny little girl pockets onto a concrete floor and cracked the screen. The phone was still fully functional…but now it was UGLY!


First, I consulted YouTube and watched several videos about screen replacement. I determined that replacing the screen myself was iffy and too expensive to risk it.

Next, I checked out eBay. I figured I could pick up a used Galaxy Note or SII, maybe even an SIII pretty cheap. Maybe not. Used phones were selling for more than $300 and ones with cracked screens…$200+

Finally, I knew what I had to do, what I always do, sell my old gadget on eBay and and get a new gadget. In this case I sold my Galaxy Note for $276 and bought an iPhone 5 for $200.

Now my only problem is deciding what gadget to get with the remaining $76.