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Author Topic: Acer Netbook-life expectancy  (Read 3050 times)
AF5CC
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« on: May 15, 2014, 07:12:08 PM »

I have a 5 year old Acer Netbook that I bought from Tigerdirect as a reconditioned item.  It has worked really good over the 5 years given what I paid for it. Recently it goes through periods where it acts very sluggish and has certain programs (usually internet browsers) freeze up.  I defragmented the hard drive, ran spyware software, ran a registery cleaner, all the usual stuff but it still acts this way from time to time.

Does it sound like the harddrive might be going?  I know that they have a limited life on them.  What kind of life expectancy can I expect from a Netbook, in terms of the harddrive?

73 John AF5CC
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KD8SZL
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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2014, 07:32:59 PM »

It's a factor of used vs. free space. As you reduce the amount of work space and the number of active programs you'll start to see a machine slow down. Look at how swap space, aka virtual memory is utilized. OS's include utilities for this. Either clean house or buy a bigger disk. Defrag is an incremental fix. More disk space = more runway, similar to more memory.
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AF5CC
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« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2014, 08:00:36 PM »

The hardrive is about 85% empty.  I don't use it for much other than webbrowsing, email and logging.  What else should I check?

John AF5CC
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KF6QEX
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« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2014, 10:39:20 PM »

Try a different browser for a few days.
Some anti-virus etc programs are causing more occasional slowdowns than others, and what worse (or better), the issue seems to go away after an update or two down the road.
If you are using a wireless connection a cell phone or cordless phone or general interference could be wrecking havoc with the wireless connection. And most of the time the signal strength shows no indication there is anything wrong.
Last but not least, is the issue of RAM. Less than 2GB will give you trouble depending on how many and how "big" of an application you are running.
Outlook for email, will slow the machine down to nothing depending on it's mood Smiley
 
Replacing the hard drive is not such a bad idea. They are easier to replace when they are alive and you can get your data off of them.
 



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K7EDL
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2014, 06:37:44 AM »

back up anything you have to have, Pictures etc and get ready to buy another.  Is it running XP? if so it is out of date,   New laptops are so cheep and the batteries are so lacking that after 5 years your probably better off buying new than replacing the hard drive. 
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2014, 08:28:32 AM »

5 year life for a 2-1/2" SFF rotating disk drive, if used often, is a pretty long time.  I've had drives like that which didn't last that long...maybe 3-4 years.  Depends how much use it gets and how good the drive was to begin with.

Could be a different problem entirely, but based on symptoms I wouldn't exclude the HDD from the "usual suspects."

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AF5CC
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2014, 01:33:58 PM »

Based on the scans I did it looks like the hard drive is 85% empty, so being filled up shouldn't be the source of the problem.  I don't store much on it, mainly ham radio programs like MMTTY and Digipan, and old contest logs. 

Not sure how to check for bad sectors.

XYL will be unemployed as of next week, so any major purchases are off the table for a while. If it needs a new hard drive, that should be cheaper (hopefully) than a whole new netbook.'

Thanks for the feedback so far.

John AF5CC
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2014, 02:19:53 PM »

New drives are very inexpensive nowadays; but of course you'd need to load an OS and all the drivers for whatever the netbook has...sometimes those can be downloaded from the various peripheral vendors' websites, but some might not be so available.  Do you have the original CD-ROM or something containing all the drivers?

Based on the scans I did it looks like the hard drive is 85% empty, so being filled up shouldn't be the source of the problem.  I don't store much on it, mainly ham radio programs like MMTTY and Digipan, and old contest logs. 

Not sure how to check for bad sectors.

XYL will be unemployed as of next week, so any major purchases are off the table for a while. If it needs a new hard drive, that should be cheaper (hopefully) than a whole new netbook.'

Thanks for the feedback so far.

John AF5CC
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M6GOM
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« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2014, 03:30:32 PM »

A SSD drive will transform that netbook. You only need something like a 120GB one.
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AF5CC
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« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2014, 05:00:33 PM »

Did a full reset on the netbook this afternoon, which is pretty much reformatting the HD and reinstalling XP. Seems to be running better now. Only installed the really needed programs.  Thanks for all of the help so far.

73 John AF5CC
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AF5CC
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« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2014, 10:23:28 PM »


Outlook for email, will slow the machine down to nothing depending on it's mood Smiley
 


I have been using outlook express for email.  Does OE take a lot of resources?  I could just check email thru the web browser (Firefox in this case) instead

John AF5CC
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M6GOM
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« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2014, 03:23:58 AM »

As the size of the email database files increase as you never delete the stuff in the sent item folder etc OE gets very slow.
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