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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger RussB's Avatar
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    Help on a decision about an old laptop.

    My daughter received a retired HP550 (FW385AT#ABA) form her Mother-in-law that was going to be thrown out by her office. It is rather old, has only 1G RAM and no HDD, it was removed and destroyed. Looks like it had an HP # 455954-001 described as "160GB SATA hard disk drive - 7,200 RPM, 2.5-inch form factor, 9.5mm height". These are no longer available or a little more than the daughter is willing to put into this old thing at about $170.
    One question is "will most any HDD that fits the description in quotes work?"
    I booted an Ubuntu CD in it and everything else appears fine. She plans to use this for her 4 children ages 3-9 to use.
    Second question "is this thing worth putting $100 - $200 into or should I toss it and find something better. It may need another Gig of RAM and an OS that she and the kids can use.

    Looking for a few opinions and maybe a source for a <$75 HDD for this thing.
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    If it originally came with a 160GB SATA hard drive, then there should be no real problems (providing the hardware is good) using it with an appropriate OS and almost any SATA drive.

    $100 investment - no problem if you have that amount to spare.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    You can find the service manual for the laptop here:

    http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport...Fc01627018.pdf

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    RussB (2012-03-30)

  5. #4
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    Why people destroy perfectly good disks is beyond me. DBAN will safely remove any sign of the original data and it's free. Then the computer is ready for it's new life.

    cheers, Paul

    p.s. As satrow said, put a new laptop drive in and then run Ubuntu. Cheap and easy.

  6. #5
    5 Star Lounger RussB's Avatar
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    Found a used HDD for $20, 160Gig 7200 RPM works fine. Daughter does not like Ubuntu though.
    The HP550 has a MS OS sticker with 5x5 code on the back and a Windows Vista Basic tag on the front.
    Anyone know if the code will work for any of the Vista Home installs or with 'Basic' only?

    If I need Vista Basic that may not be easy to find? Maybe I will try to purchase a used XP.

    I cannot envision a business purchasing a laptop with Vista Basic, that is strange to me.
    Do you "Believe"? Do you vote? Please Read:
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    DETAIL in your question promotes DETAIL in my answer.
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  7. #6
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Vista Home Basic from Ebay
    Windows XP from Ebay

  8. #7
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    Hi Russ,

    try to loan a friends copy to install the os. You have the legitime code . You may find a copy of the original someware to download on the net too.
    Often those machines were supllied with a basic version installed and an upgrade to a pro version if desired.

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