With a crack, a flash and the smell of burning copper, there goes my old laptop.
It’s faithfully chugged along now for over two years, fullfilling my every need. But now its gone. The adapter blew a few minutes ago. Along with the loose connections behind the LCD (resulting in the odd verticle line or two of coloured pixels), the 2 minutes of battery life, its been on the way out for a while.
Still a shame tho, and an inconvenience. It has all my old documents and my massive video library on its HDD. According to FJS, its going to cost nearly 70 quid +vat to get a new adapter. Not sure if its worth it. though. I could spend the money instead on a Network HDD enclosure, an external optical drive, and cannibalise the ram chips for my advent.
So, I’ve pretty much decided to swap out the 80gig hard drive in my advent for a larger one (probably around 250+) so I can dual boot XP/W7.
Now, I’ve heard about “ghosting” software that allows you to clone hard drives, but I don’t have any. Plus I’m not that comfortable with opening up my advent and removing the wireless card to get at the harddrive during the upgrade. I figured that if I took it to a place to get upgraded, then they might do it for me, even if they charge a bit for it. First place I tried was PCworld. Got my last laptop there and upgraded it there too. They did an alright job so I thought they might be worth the repeat visit.
They flat out denied that it was possible to clone drives. When I pointed out that it would be a little difficult to reinstall XP since the advent (which was bought from them) had no optical drive nor any recovery media, they offered to burn an OEM XP installation disc for £50 with another £30 for an external optical drive. I said I’d have to think about it (80 quid plus the 100 odd I was going to pay for the new hard drive, extra ram and installation seemed a bit pricey). I left the store. I’m not paying for something I already have. I have two legitimate copies of XP, both with valid license keys. I’m not paying for a third just to pad out PCworlds coffers.
Next I phoned MicroDirect. One of my friend’s uses them so I thought I’d give them a try. They started off by telling me that it was possible with software like Norton Ghost (a plus for them since PCworld denied that such software existed). When I asked if it was a service they performed if I bought the new HDD from them and paid for them to install it, the man on the phone to his credit admitted he didn’t know. The people he needed to ask were not in on the weekend. He couldn’t see a reason why the wouldn’t but said that he couldn’t give a definite yes or no without asking them first. He suggested I phone back or call in on monday.
First time I’ve ever dealt with MD, so far a very good impression. If they can’t do it, far enough. At least they didn’t try to deceive a customer so that they could sell a service.
Oh, and the reason why I want to clone the drive is simple. Last time I upgraded my laptop’s HDD, I must’ve spend two or three days, installing windows, downloading all the updates. transferring all my data and reinstalling all my software. An ordeal I’m not prepared to do again. So much so, I’m willing to pay money to someone in order to not have to do it again.