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Simple reason: SSD are more expensive than HDDs per Gb at the moment.
Simple solution: fit a 1TB SSD - might cost you a ton but well work it. And whilst you are at it put as much RAM in the thing as it can handle - 16Gb minimum - which will speed things up.

Simples?
Another for SSD. I have a Windows desktop ‘all in one’ 23inch touch screen. Which is nearly 9 years old. Ancient in IT terms. It went dreadfully slow. About 2 years ago I put a second drive in which was made the primary drive. It’s an SSD. Only 240 gb. But it does all the work. It boosted the boot up and usability speed massively. It will now continue to serve my purposes for a few more years to come.

I would not make a new purchase without an SSD boot disc. SSD’s have come down a lot in price lately.

Also having iPads and iPhones I will wholeheartedly agree that the compatibility issues are a pain in the butt. Mostly down to Apples intransigence. But they are nice and an Apple desktop would compliment my set up, but, like Buckman, find they are too expensive.

Incompatibility example: Someone earlier mentioned Amazon Prime cloud free photo storage. It‘s good, and a better interface than Apples I think. However. When linked to an Apple device. All videos get automatically uploaded and there is only limited storage for them. This is because Apple store videos in the same folder as pictures. If anyone knows a work around I would be interested.



John
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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Getting a clean, fresh copy of Windows 10, and I mean clean rather than a reinstall of the image held on the computer itself, is easy and legitimate; you down load it from Microsoft. It is the Download Tool, LINK.

You need any viable computer and download an image from MS to a clean USB stick. That then boots your computer to start installing and downloading a new OP.
You don't need any license codes etc, if your is now legitimate there is all MS needs held on the motherboard, you don't get involved at all in that issue.
This can be done even if the Hard drive is a brand new one or the old one.
If using the old one there might be an option to recover your Word and Excel, but I am not confident on that point. I use Open Office so recovery of MS Office has never been of interest to me.

Anyhow going that route gets a nice clean install, of the latest generation of Win 10 and without the clutter of legacy from earlier versions or the computer makers programs. In itself that will be as fast booting as that machine as is can be.
However, at the same time if changing out the Hard drive is physically an easy task, I would definitely buy and install an SSD solid state drive, even a small one, 120 GB costing about £20 will do. If you don't store too much data on the laptop, there is little need to spend more on a bigger drive. An SSD will really speed things up.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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I bought a new HP laptop a month ago, it wasn’t the cheapest at £550 but it’s super fast, it’s got a touch screen so use it like my iPad, the big draw back with decent laptops is they have hardly any storage, I’ve been used to buying a laptop with at least a terabyte of storage whereas this came with 250 GB, They expect you to use the cloud or memory sticks to store everything on, I’ll go the memory stick route myself, other than the memory it’s an absolute cracking bit of kit, I switch it on and it’s ready to use in about 30 seconds, memory sticks are cheap enough nowadays.
The current laptop is i5 at 2.8GHZ with 8GB RAM. HDD on my current laptop is 930GB which is actually too large. I have never used Cloud storage as do not like sharing my data with an unknown entity. My data is mainly backed up on USB flash drives kept separate from the laptop.
I used Paintshop 2018 64bit for editing photos but to be honest it is probably an overkill for the amount of times I now use it and that is mainly to resize pictures. Occasionally a touch up, but I am not very good at that so seldom use that function. Annoyingly I keep getting upgrade pop up box messages from Corel although I have it clicked as off.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Getting a clean, fresh copy of Windows 10, and I mean clean rather than a reinstall of the image held on the computer itself, is easy and legitimate; you down load it from Microsoft. It is the Download Tool, LINK.
Not sure how you would go about it if you reformat the hard drive as there will not be an OP to initialise unless you are referring to the laptop reverting back to Win 8 and then upgrading via the link to Win 10.
BTW what is the best method to save bookmarks and also emails?
 
Jan 3, 2012
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My current laptop is i7 at 3.60GHz My data is also backed on a USB flash drive and kept separate from the laptop i prefer it that way .
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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The current laptop is i5 at 2.8GHZ with 8GB RAM. HDD on my current laptop is 930GB which is actually too large.
Not sure how you would go about it if you reformat the hard drive as there will not be an OP to initialise unless you are referring to the laptop reverting back to Win 8 and then upgrading via the link to Win 10.
BTW what is the best method to save bookmarks and also emails?
You don't need to reformat the hard drive if using the Windows 10 download tool I identified.
The download tool on the USB stick, steps over any need for an OP to be on the hard drive as the stick contains the OP system to boot the computer and then go get a fresh copy of the latest Win 10 version directly from MS.
Going that route ensures all the legacy clutter of previous WIN versions etc buried in your computer are avoided, a factor in achieving faster booting.
Getting the computer to boot from a USB stick might require telling the bios to go look there. With a new SSD it will find it, and not screw up anything you have on the removed HHD, if that is a less worrying option.
The detailed instructions are all there in the link I provided to work through making the "tool" and using it.

==========================================
The processor and memory you have despite being 7 years old remain a good basis for the very limited asks you are making from a PC. Its gaming and heavy video editing that need the faster processing.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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You don't need to reformat the hard drive if using the Windows 10 download tool I identified.
The download tool on the USB stick, steps over any need for an OP to be on the hard drive as the stick contains the OP system to boot the computer and then go get a fresh copy of the latest Win 10 version directly from MS.
Going that route ensures all the legacy clutter of previous WIN versions etc buried in your computer are avoided, a factor in achieving faster booting.
Getting the computer to boot from a USB stick might require telling the bios to go look there. With a new SSD it will find it, and not screw up anything you have on the removed HHD, if that is a less worrying option.
The detailed instructions are all there in the link I provided to work through making the "tool" and using it.

==========================================
The processor and memory you have despite being 7 years old remain a good basis for the very limited asks you are making from a PC. Its gaming and heavy video editing that need the faster processing.
Thanks for a very informative answer, but not being tech savvy I am unsure. Do I go to the link and download the WIN 10 OP and save it to the flashdrive?
One of the reasons I thought of reformatting is that old legacy stuff may be slowing down the unit which is why it freezes.
More annoying is that the Internet no longer automatically connects although it is set as such. Yesterday it did connect automatically, but after I had loaded FF and gone to some webpages, it froze. It was showing as connected to the Internet, but every time I clicked on a link I got an error message stating to Try Again.
I am hoping that a reformat of HD would get rid of a lot of junk that may have downloaded onto the laptop over the years. I have done defrag, cleaned up files etc, but it is no better.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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As said the "how to" is all accessible via that link I gave. Yes, in essence, you down load an image onto a clean USB stick.

However, I would suggest you change the HHD out for a cheap SSD, £20 from 7dayshop for example. Peek into the computer to see if the HHD is easy to get at or look on Google for doing that on your machine.

That the WiFi link is dicky may well not be cured by a fresh Win 10 install, it could be hardware or driver. However a USB stick wifi adaptor is again a low cost item that gets over failed onboard wifi .An example not price checked
Or from Currys
 
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Sep 7, 2020
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Many different ways to configure and use a personal computer but here's a few points to consider - whether they are important to you depends....

1. SSDs are more expensive per byte than HDD.

2. SSDs will be faster accessing your data than an HDD. This will make programs load and run somewhat faster but doesn't necessarily mean your interaction with the machine will be faster, e.g surfing the Interweb, writing documents or even processing digital images.

3. SSDs have a shorter useful life than HDDs. Of course this depends on what you do and how long you expect to still use the same machine. I don't mean reliability but how long you can keep writing to them.

4. Memory sticks ditto #3 but even more so.

(Think of the poor people who bought early Tesla cars - https://www.tomshardware.com/news/flash-memory-wear-killing-older-teslas-due-to-excessive-data-logging-report)

5. Consider using a small SSD in your laptop just for the OS and Programs. If you don't mind the extra bit hanging on to the laptop use an external HDD for your data. If your laptop dies you can easily plug it in to another machine. About £40 for 1TB.

6. Have a good backup strategy - not just your data but all your operating system and programs.

7. Cloud backup - how sensitive is your data and how long before your cloud provider says - "sorry what we gave you for free, we're now going to charge you for". Or the service is off the air.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Many different ways to configure and use a personal computer but here's a few points to consider - whether they are important to you depends....

1. SSDs are more expensive per byte than HDD.

2. SSDs will be faster accessing your data than an HDD. This will make programs load and run somewhat faster but doesn't necessarily mean your interaction with the machine will be faster, e.g surfing the Interweb, writing documents or even processing digital images.

3. SSDs have a shorter useful life than HDDs. Of course this depends on what you do and how long you expect to still use the same machine. I don't mean reliability but how long you can keep writing to them.

4. Memory sticks ditto #3 but even more so.

(Think of the poor people who bought early Tesla cars - https://www.tomshardware.com/news/flash-memory-wear-killing-older-teslas-due-to-excessive-data-logging-report)

5. Consider using a small SSD in your laptop just for the OS and Programs. If you don't mind the extra bit hanging on to the laptop use an external HDD for your data. If your laptop dies you can easily plug it in to another machine. About £40 for 1TB.

6. Have a good backup strategy - not just your data but all your operating system and programs.

7. Cloud backup - how sensitive is your data and how long before your cloud provider says - "sorry what we gave you for free, we're now going to charge you for". Or the service is off the air.
I use MS Office 2007 Word, Excel and Outlook quite a lot and would prefer to keep on using them as do not like to pay a monthly subscription for the latest MS versions which offer nothing extra special that I will use.
Agree about Cloud as it is only a matter of time before they start charging as nothing is free.
Really think Dell is the way forward once I have got past OH with a persuasive argument. I still need Skype although it is very outdated, but is cheaper than using the phone for overseas calls to people who do not have Smartphones
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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With DELL I have always purchased for their DELL Outlet "refurbished" or "scratched" products, saving significantly on the "new" costs and always got excellent machines hard to tell they were anything but new.

I also don't use the "Home" but "Work" side of the outlet, preferring and only needing solid working PCs not gaming machines.

To get bang for bucks I would "filter" by, 15" plus screen, a i5 processor, a minimum of 8 GB memory, on board graphics, and without doubt a SSD main OS drive, as gaming and these days video editing are features I don't need. I would be happy with a low power consumption 15 Watt processor, not the hotter running faster ones.

Skype is a freebie from MS, so available with any PC you might buy.
Just ensure you know you Skype name and password so you can access your account from a new install.
 
Sep 7, 2020
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I use MS Office 2007 Word, Excel and Outlook quite a lot and would prefer to keep on using them as do not like to pay a monthly subscription for the latest MS versions which offer nothing extra special that I will use.
I can understand that. Until a few months back I was also using MS Office 2007 but then decided to go for Office 365. A few reasons really. Security updates were no longer being issued for 2007 and I needed something I could run across several different devices and be in sync for email, contacts and calendar purposes. Plus I could get my daughters onto the the plan as well.

But you right in that the basic functionality is much the same - it just looks different.

Subscription services seem to be coming more usual these days. I've just signed up to Adobes Photography plan which gives me the latest version of Lightroom and Photoshop and that does have some very usual features that my years old versions don't have and that I use.

We sign up to an ISP for using the Internet or streaming video services or mobile phone plans and so on - so it's not suprising this is coming to software. Pays your money etc etc etc....

BTW: I've used Dell machines for many, many years both at home and at work and they were always very good.
 
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The Dell Inspiron 14 7000 seems to tick all the boxes, however no USB C, but not sure if that is important for future proofing? I do need an earphone jack so that is important to me.
Also had a look at the MS subscription personal at £60 annually so that may be worth getting as originally I thought it was £12 or more a month.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Another for SSD. I have a Windows desktop ‘all in one’ 23inch touch screen. Which is nearly 9 years old. Ancient in IT terms. It went dreadfully slow. About 2 years ago I put a second drive in which was made the primary drive. It’s an SSD. Only 240 gb. But it does all the work. It boosted the boot up and usability speed massively. It will now continue to serve my purposes for a few more years to come.

I would not make a new purchase without an SSD boot disc. SSD’s have come down a lot in price lately.

Also having iPads and iPhones I will wholeheartedly agree that the compatibility issues are a pain in the butt. Mostly down to Apples intransigence. But they are nice and an Apple desktop would compliment my set up, but, like Buckman, find they are too expensive.

Incompatibility example: Someone earlier mentioned Amazon Prime cloud free photo storage. It‘s good, and a better interface than Apples I think. However. When linked to an Apple device. All videos get automatically uploaded and there is only limited storage for them. This is because Apple store videos in the same folder as pictures. If anyone knows a work around I would be interested.



John
I’ve got my videos which are very high MB having come from a micro Digital tape camera. They are held on a compact hard drive connected via a USB to the MAC desktop. Keeps them “ isolated “ but available when I require to access them. I also keep quite a lot of pictures and videos in the MAC Pictures folder system. So they are kept away from Photos app but still backed up on Time Machine. However as Catalina OS is 64 bit and doesn’t run Picassa I am now quite limited in what I can do with these as far as viewing or editing.
 
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I’ve been reading this thread and it’s extremely interesting and informative, unfortunately a fair bit of it goes over my head, I’m hoping that no longer than next July I will more or less finish working and I can dig a bit deeper into the workings of the laptops, as I mentioned I recently bought the new laptop and I decided to get 4 older laptops out of the loft and look what’s on them with a view to downloading mostly pictures that are on them, spent a couple of days messing with them and shoved in a cupboard for a time when I can spend the time that’s needed due to my outdated PC knowledge, very interesting reading through the clever PC experts tips. Keep it coming all.

BP
 
Jun 16, 2020
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I’ve got my videos which are very high MB having come from a micro Digital tape camera. They are held on a compact hard drive connected via a USB to the MAC desktop. Keeps them “ isolated “ but available when I require to access them. I also keep quite a lot of pictures and videos in the MAC Pictures folder system. So they are kept away from Photos app but still backed up on Time Machine. However as Catalina OS is 64 bit and doesn’t run Picassa I am now quite limited in what I can do with these as far as viewing or editing.
Year before last I bought a converter gizmo with a choice of cables. These connected my two old video cameras and a VHS recorder to the PC via USB. Once I got the hang of it I just let each film run asit only worked in real time. That didn’t matter because it did not takemuch monitoring. Ended up with 60gb‘s worth. Then edited each, trimmed, put titles on and joined some together. Took forever but I enjoyed doing it. Just used free software.

Still got loads of photos to digitise. So many are just scenery, very nice but could be anywhere. They will need to be binned.

like you I have them backed up to a USM hard drive.

John
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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I use MS Office 2007 Word, Excel and Outlook quite a lot and would prefer to keep on using them as do not like to pay a monthly subscription for the latest MS versions which offer nothing extra special that I will use.
If not spending money where there is no pressing need appeals, invest an hour of your time playing with one of the open source, "free" "Office suites". These read Word and Excel and you can save in that format as well. In many ways, particularly for the non professional user like myself, these are very similar to MS Office. Saving in "Word, etc" is better in that if saved in its native format those with MS Office will not be able to read it. Unlike these open source programs that typically just get on and reads about any processing format thrown at it.

Nothing to lose having a play, and potentially money to be saved.

Of them, my choice is Apache "OpenOffice" LINK
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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Year before last I bought a converter gizmo with a choice of cables. These connected my two old video cameras and a VHS recorder to the PC via USB. Once I got the hang of it I just let each film run asit only worked in real time. That didn’t matter because it did not takemuch monitoring. Ended up with 60gb‘s worth. Then edited each, trimmed, put titles on and joined some together. Took forever but I enjoyed doing it. Just used free software.

Still got loads of photos to digitise. So many are just scenery, very nice but could be anywhere. They will need to be binned.

like you I have them backed up to a USM hard drive.

John
Yes that’s basically what I had to do as each 1 hour of mini digital tape is about 16 gig. But had to load them in real time.
 
Jan 3, 2012
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I just use Microsoft office 365 free online Microsoft word , Power point, Excel, and Onenote for my saved documents, spreadsheets and presentations..... I do not like spending money on subscriptions when there is no need .
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Regarding MS Office 365 all I need is Word, Excel and Outlook. Being retired the stuff like Access, One Note and Publisher are not much use to me. Powerpoint maybe if I get around to collating our photos as I believe I may be able to then mirror it to our TV or Smartphones.
I am not even sure what OneNote does as never had a need for it? Although included is 1TB of Cloud storage again being old fashion I prefer to keep my stuff on my computer and flashdrives rather than send it into the unknown. After all if you kick the bucket and OH is not very tech, then may they cannot access the info etc?
 
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Onenote for Windows 10 I have never used my stuff stays on the laptop unless i getting a new one then i download it onto Flashdrives first time i have had to dowload music for my car but i use Skpe i find that very useful .
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Oh dear. I ordered and paid for a laptop from Dell for delivery on 2nd Dec. That got changed to 3rd December when I got the invoice. The 3rd has come and gone and still no sign of laptop.

Checking delivery progress this morning it is sitting at some UPS warehouse and has been there since 2nd Dec. Checked UPS on Trustpilot and not exactly glowing reviews and in the meantime I am seriously out of pocket.

Total joke contacting Dell about order as can hardly understand the person due to very foreign accent and keep needing to ask if they can repeat themselves, then they hang up even though I have been polite and patient. This does not bode well if I have an issue! :confused_old:

I am not sure of my options now as considering cancelling the order, but it seems it is nearly impossible to do this as no UK contact number?
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Oh dear. I ordered and paid for a laptop from Dell for delivery on 2nd Dec. That got changed to 3rd December when I got the invoice. The 3rd has come and gone and still no sign of laptop.

Checking delivery progress this morning it is sitting at some UPS warehouse and has been there since 2nd Dec. Checked UPS on Trustpilot and not exactly glowing reviews and in the meantime I am seriously out of pocket.

Total joke contacting Dell about order as can hardly understand the person due to very foreign accent and keep needing to ask if they can repeat themselves, then they hang up even though I have been polite and patient. This does not bode well if I have an issue! :confused_old:

I am not sure of my options now as considering cancelling the order, but it seems it is nearly impossible to do this as no UK contact number?
I’m sure if tracking shows it at UPS then you will get it. We have had a few delays on internet orders. But given shops have been closed, Black Friday and Christmas it’s not too surprising.

But good luck with any aftersales support. Dell never did feature too well even when they were very popular.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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I get the distinct impression that Dell's business model has gone off the rails. 30 years ago their service was regarded as class leading. But roll on to to day, and there are so many different providers who offer choices, and Dell is no longer the cream, yet the still have relatively high prices.

A Canadian web site that does reviews about computers, (mainly gaming orientated}, recently they did a secret shopper series about purchasing from a number of providers including Dell.

I link to the final edition which does a round up of the experience.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Go5tLO6ipxw


Spolier - Dell came out worst

Ordering - Far too much effort to get you to take out warranty insurance, not listening to customers requirements

Delivery reasonable but not great

Tech support - Failed to ask relevant questions to identify model and the problem

Performance - it worked, but other providers managed to get far better performance for the same money
 
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I get the distinct impression that Dell's business model has gone off the rails. 30 years ago their service was regarded as class leading. But roll on to to day, and there are so many different providers who offer choices, and Dell is no longer the cream, yet the still have relatively high prices.

A Canadian web site that does reviews about computers, (mainly gaming orientated}, recently they did a secret shopper series about purchasing from a number of providers including Dell.

I link to the final edition which does a round up of the experience.

Spoiler - Dell came out worst
Ordering - Far too much effort to get you to take out warranty insurance, not listening to customers requirements
Delivery reasonable but not great
Tech support - Failed to ask relevant questions to identify model and the problem
Performance - it worked, but other providers managed to get far better performance for the same money
This morning I decided to do a search for reviews on Dell. Came across Trustpilot and read some rather damning reviews which I should have read before ordering. Reviews are even worse than UPS! Even Apple are beginning to look good and I dislike Apple!
Now thinking that maybe when the unit arrives I should send it back unopened and pay the carriage fees.
Problem is of course besides PC World whom I prefer to avoid if possible, which other High Street store can supply decent delivery, and after sales service where you can speak to someone based in the UK?
In addition to some other requirements I need a screen that is about 14", but many of the good laptops/Notebooks seem to be 13".
 

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