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  1. #1

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    Backing-Up Memory...Help Me Out!

    So, I've been having problems with my Dell Inspiron 1100 laptop (from 2003) where when I turn on the computer, after the Dell splash, I hear an annoying and loud beeping, much like a fire alarm. After a little while it stops, and usually loads to Windows, as long as it is plugged into a power source (sometimes it doesn't boot all the way, but that's another story and, with your wisdom, may be the result of my problem...).

    Here's the deal. I handed my laptop over to a technologically advanced friend and he physically cleaned out the inside (because apparently it was disgusting. Whoops.) and used a contact cleaner to make sure everything was spic-and-span. Apparently, after doing this, he has reported that there is no more beeping when it is turned on. Yay!

    The bad news...he said I am low on memory...VERY low...about 2 gigs. He said I need to empty out my trash, delete my music, and get rid of programs and other stuff I don't need.

    So here's my question...I plan on backing up my large amount of pictures stored on the computer with CDs, however, I was wondering about external hard-drives. Would it be wise of me to purchase one and transfer the memory? Is there any brand that's better or more suggestable over others? Any information would be greatly appreciated as I don't know how much longer it's going to last!

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Re: Backing-Up Memory...Help Me Out!

    First of all, you are not running out of "memory, you are running out of "storage", or hard drive space. You never want to use more than about 75% of the space that you have. For example, if you have a 20 GB (gigabyte) hard drive, you should leave 5 GB unused, since the computer needs room to work properly. Without enough free space, the computer will become sluggish, and can even lock up.

    Using an external hard drive can give you plenty of extra storage for pictures, MP3's, and any other data you may have. It will also make your data "portable", so that it can be used on other computers. External drives made by Western Digital and Maxtor are well built and dependable, and reasonably priced. You should be able to get a 2.5" 80GB external drive for less than $100.00.

    It is also a good idea to keep a backup of important data (like pictures) on CD or DVD, so that when a hard drive fails (not if), you won't lose it for good.

  3. #3

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    Re: Backing-Up Memory...Help Me Out!

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Video View Post
    First of all, you are not running out of "memory, you are running out of "storage", or hard drive space. You never want to use more than about 75% of the space that you have. For example, if you have a 20 GB (gigabyte) hard drive, you should leave 5 GB unused, since the computer needs room to work properly. Without enough free space, the computer will become sluggish, and can even lock up.

    Using an external hard drive can give you plenty of extra storage for pictures, MP3's, and any other data you may have. It will also make your data "portable", so that it can be used on other computers. External drives made by Western Digital and Maxtor are well built and dependable, and reasonably priced. You should be able to get a 2.5" 80GB external drive for less than $100.00.

    It is also a good idea to keep a backup of important data (like pictures) on CD or DVD, so that when a hard drive fails (not if), you won't lose it for good.
    well said... your friend should also look into how much RAM your computer has as this helps with lock ups and system response time as well...dell should sell ram, i wouldnt buy it from compusa because well dell has a neat way or monopolizing their product so nothing is upgradeable heh... but i would say transfer your pictures and music to a portable HD rather than discs...discs they get scratched and lost and then worthless... portable HD is the way to go, dont get a cheap brand either you will pay for it later...western digital is the way to go... hand the computer to your tech friend and find out how much RAM you have its a definate upgrade you might need to keep your computer happy on a day to day basis...
    "Permane Ser Sentados Por Favor"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ride Warrior View Post
    I'm glad that you have an interest concerning postal delivery, mousephreak. We've needed better mail service for some time now. Therefore, with the power vested in me it is of great delight that I dub thee, Head Post Office Dude of Random. Arrise and start licking those stamps! We're backed up, and time is money.
    If you won the lottery what would you do?
    Quote Originally Posted by Wally View Post
    Buy a bunch of monkeys and have them re-enact the Civil War for my amusement.

  4. #4

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    Re: Backing-Up Memory...Help Me Out!

    Two other things:

    Ask that techie friend to run a diagnostic on that hard drive, especially if it's a few years old. They do go bad, and it can start slowly and cause those "doesn't boot all the way" problems.

    The one I use is Spinrite from Gibson Research and it will often recover all the files from drives that won't boot or run, since it bypasses the drive electronics and accesses the heads directly - if it can't read something it'll try going over the same spot 1,000 times with the heads in slightly different spots, and figure out what he data is supposed to be.

    For drives that are in good shape it goes through and checks everything - and if the drive starts slowly going bad from old age, and it was starting to move data from bad sectors without any warning, Spinrite will warn you.

    If the hard drive has problems, they are one of the few parts on a laptop computer that it makes sense to swap out. And through the magic of industrial progress you can get a lot larger ones now than even two years ago, for less money.

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  5. #5

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    Re: Backing-Up Memory...Help Me Out!

    I back up my pictures and files on cd's ...lately I have been using dvd's. They hold more. I just purchased my laptop and it only has an 80 gig hard drive in it, but I was very happy to learn I can replace it with a larger hard drive. Maybe this can be done on yours as well.

  6. #6

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    Re: Backing-Up Memory...Help Me Out!

    Quote Originally Posted by mousephreak23 View Post
    well said... your friend should also look into how much RAM your computer has as this helps with lock ups and system response time as well...dell should sell ram, i wouldnt buy it from compusa because well dell has a neat way or monopolizing their product so nothing is upgradeable heh... but i would say transfer your pictures and music to a portable HD rather than discs...discs they get scratched and lost and then worthless... portable HD is the way to go, dont get a cheap brand either you will pay for it later...western digital is the way to go... hand the computer to your tech friend and find out how much RAM you have its a definate upgrade you might need to keep your computer happy on a day to day basis...
    My BF backed a lot of his stuff up on an external hardrive and it went bad. When it went bad he lost a lot of his stuff. There are many options to back up data, but none are perfect.

  7. #7

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    Re: Backing-Up Memory...Help Me Out!

    Wow, thanks for all of your responses! I now stand corrected in my use of computer terminology and jargon.

    And thank you for all of your suggestions. I certainly will ask my techie guy to run those other tests and I will ask those other questions (like, RAM).

    Just, thanks.

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    Re: Backing-Up Memory...Help Me Out!

    Quote Originally Posted by MissChristine View Post
    Wow, thanks for all of your responses! I now stand corrected in my use of computer terminology and jargon.

    And thank you for all of your suggestions. I certainly will ask my techie guy to run those other tests and I will ask those other questions (like, RAM).

    Just, thanks.
    np just get it fixed!!
    "Permane Ser Sentados Por Favor"
    "Watch out for anything that ssssslliittherzzz"
    "Launch control, LV....Go ahead....All video recorders off."


    Quote Originally Posted by Ride Warrior View Post
    I'm glad that you have an interest concerning postal delivery, mousephreak. We've needed better mail service for some time now. Therefore, with the power vested in me it is of great delight that I dub thee, Head Post Office Dude of Random. Arrise and start licking those stamps! We're backed up, and time is money.
    If you won the lottery what would you do?
    Quote Originally Posted by Wally View Post
    Buy a bunch of monkeys and have them re-enact the Civil War for my amusement.

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