Introduction: New Life for an Old Laptop

Picture of New Life for an Old Laptop

I apologize for not having pictures in progress or comparison data. I wasn't planning on doing an Instructable until after it was done. This just shows the possibilities of what can be done..

So my cousin gave an older laptop to this Lazy Old Geek (L.O.G.)

Well, the first problem was that there was no AC adapter. So I took the product # off the bottom, RM666AV and looked it up and came up with Compaq Presario V3100T. Search with this I ordered this AC adapter:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01B1F6ANS?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00

At the time it was $6.29. Got it in and charged up the laptop. It worked. It had Windows XP.

Then I broke the RULE. When I worked as an electronics tech, we had a rule: If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

But I thought (stupidly) I’m pretty good at this stuff so I started to take the laptop apart. Well, I got it mostly apart, but started having problems and said “Oh, Oh!” and reassembled it.

Ok, so I powered it up and it came up with the Windows Error screen (See picture). Ok, so I selected Start Windows normally. Well, it started up, then came back to the same screen. Only this time, I couldn’t select anything with the touchscreen or keyboard. Anyway I tried the other options, still no go.

“Oh, Oh!”

Well, somewhere in here I looked at upgrading the CPU. Compaq-HP doesn’t have any documentation on this one but some searching suggested I probably have an Intel T1350 CPU and suggested a T7200 would fit in the same socket, but I couldn’t find any documentation that it would actually work with this motherboard and Bios. But I found some on ebay and they were only $2.60@ so I ordered a couple of them.

Step 1: Fix Attempts

Picture of Fix Attempts

Well, I had an old Windows XP installation disk, so tried it. It came back with a no hard drive found error. Not good, I took out the Hard drive and tried it in a desktop. Seemed okay. Put it back into laptop and tried Bios. It had a hard disk test, ran it and it was okay.

Set it aside for several days. Well, I found these videos on Internet and watched them. The second one is in Spanish and the translation is terrible. But it is very detailed and I like where he labeled the screws of where they were taken out from. (Wish I’d done that)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wG-HNbCRODk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9Ezmakjw1A

Well maybe I didn’t have something hooked up. So I disassembled it all the way down to the motherboard and reassembled it. Still the same.

Thought about, maybe the SATA hard drive wasn’t supported by my version of XP, so I decided to try Windows 7 64bit. See picture.

Well, I tried to install but it came back with an error that I had a 32-bit system and the software wouldn’t install. “Oh! No!”

Well, I probably could have bought and tried a Windows 7 32-bit version but didn’t want to do that. Anyway, I was pretty sure the T7200 was 64-bit capable and it was already on order. I didn’t know if it would work in this laptop didn’t know if the motherboard-Bios would support 64 bit and I didn’t know if I screwed something else up along the way.

Oh, well, might as well wait for the T7200 CPU.

Anyway, got the CPU in, installed it using thermal paste and cleaned out the fan.

Well, I hard to disassemble and reassemble probably five times for various problems but got it together.

I also decide to replace the Hard drive with an SSD (See picture). For SATA interfaces, this is pretty easy. In this case, you have to remove the hard drive, detach it from the holder, remove connector adapter, then reverse with the SSD.

Well, I installed Windows 7. When I used to mess with Laptop software, I thought you had to get drivers before installing but apparently, the newer laptops have standard hardware so this wasn’t required.

Well, after installation, I did a Windows Update. This actually took about 15 hours the first time and a few more times to get installed. Then I got several more updates overr the next few days.

Mostly works good. Occasionally, the WiFi adapter doesn’t work and sometimes have to reboot it to get it to work. By the way, I had six screws left over (not sure where they go).

Conclusion

Cost

AC adapter $ 6.29

T7200 $ 2.60

SSD $41.00

Win7 $48.00

Was it worth it, maybe not but I’m a Geek was up for the challenge. I don’t have any data about it being faster, but I think the faster CPU, going to 64bit and the especially the SSD makes a big difference.

Step 2: Lenovo 3000 N100 Laptop

Picture of Lenovo 3000 N100 Laptop

Well, this one was a lot easier.

I already had an SSD in it.

I replaced the T5500 CPU with the second T7200.

It had Windows Vista but I bought another Windows 7 64bit.

The CPU was easy to change as it’s under one of the covers on the back. See picture

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQRAjlUYL90

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xn6Lnv3tPEw

Worked fine.

Conclusions: Well, for me it was worth it. The laptops are a little faster and they both have Windows that is still supported. Pretty good deal for a little money and a lot of work.

Comments

KrazyK4 (author)2016-03-19

I've done that with my old laptop now! Instead of XP we used Vista but it became slow and lagged all the time. I think it might be becuase Vista needs more hard disk to work. Well done and thanks!

msuzuki777 (author)KrazyK42016-03-19

Make sure you have a good anti-virus. What I used to do is every once in a while start fresh and reload the Operating system (Vista). This clears out all of the junk that clutters up a computer after a while.

In this case, I would hesitate as I don't think Microsoft is supporting Vista anymore.

LOG

gabgra11 (author)2016-03-19

Wow. The amount of work put into this is amazing! I wish more people put the time into fixing their electronics instead of just throwing it away. This tutorial is great!

msuzuki777 (author)gabgra112016-03-19

Thanks, I'm a bit of a hoarder of discarded electronics and try to recycle at least parts of them.

LOG

rebeltaz (author)2016-03-18

Just curious where you got the SSD? That's pretty cheap isn't it? Or have I been under a rock for too long? ;)

msuzuki777 (author)rebeltaz2016-03-18

Oh, by the way, I bought just bought two for $78 from Newegg.com.
I think they were on sale.

LOG

rebeltaz (author)msuzuki7772016-03-18

lol... That's still a good deal. I may have to check that out. I've never used one myself. Are they any better than a magnetic drive? Any pros/cons you can share about them?

msuzuki777 (author)rebeltaz2016-03-18

I put SSDs in most all of my computers (and I have many). They're much faster probably 8-10 times than magnetic drives. No moving parts. They seem to be more rugged and I'm fairly certain, less power.

Disadvantages: They have a limited life. But I've used them for years and never had a problem. They're much more expensive per gByte. I only know of SATA interface but almost everything is these days.

Like I said I use them a lot.

Be ware that most laptops have only space for one HD/SSD so make sure you get a big enough one.

You'll probably see a lot of advertising about this one being faster than others but you'll probably not notice a dfference.

LOG

msuzuki777 (author)rebeltaz2016-03-18

Oops. you're right. I thought it was $41 for two but it was only one. I will change that.

LOG

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Bio: Lazy Old Geek
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