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Desktop what?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by LGOberean, May 1, 2012.

  1. LGOberean

    LGOberean Poster Extraordinaire

    May 31, 2008
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    My desktop is probably dead. After being out of town for several days, I tried to reboot my computer, I got some startup repair page, or something, and from there a blue screen with warnings. That computer is old in computer years; I've had it for more than 6 years. So I'm looking at various options.

    1. Get the old desktop repaired.

    2. Buy a new desktop.

    3. Buy a new laptop and do away with the the big CPU thing altogether.

    Not inclined to do option #1, just because the desktop is old.

    I'm considering option #3 because I want to do some recording, and I think a laptop might prove more convenient for that application. I don't really have the setup for recording right now. I have no software program for this, all I have is a Zoom2.

    I am not very computer savvy. I use my computer for writing, language research and just normal stuff. I'm not a gamer. At all. I've owned PCs to this point. I'd be loading my favorite software on it for language study, and like I said, I'd like to start using it to record my music. I play solo gigs and play and sing in a duo. Recording live is something I'd like to do, and so maybe a good laptop versus a desktop?

    Any input? Pointers? Suggestions? Recommendations?

  2. tfsails

    tfsails Friend of Leo's

    Oct 11, 2010
    Richmond VA
    If you get a laptop and are used to the desktop's keyboard, I think you can get a dock to put the laptop in which has a desktop keyboard/mouse setup.

    I wouldn't get a laptop because it's hard enough for me to type on this desktop--much harder for me to type on a laptop. Besides, they're more expensive and I'm cheap.

    New computers are a helluva lot cheaper these days then 15 years ago when I bought my first one.

  3. LGOberean

    LGOberean Poster Extraordinaire

    May 31, 2008
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    Oh, I almost forgot to mention, my wife has a Toshiba NB (Net Book?) 305 that is a few years old, and she rarely uses it anymore since she got her iPad. I actually use it more than she does these days.

    Would this little Net Book work well for recording? Should I use this for mobile recording and just get a new desktop? Or should I still be looking at something in the way of a new laptop?

  4. tap4154

    tap4154 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 14, 2009
    Southern California
    I'm using a 7- 8 year old Toshiba Portege laptop since my desktop died a few months ago. Picked up a wireless keyboard and mouse and already had powered speakers, and it's as convenient to use as a regular desktop. I was like you, wondering if I should get another PC, or a new laptop (this old one is pretty small and slow), and I think I'll get a new laptop. Even without an "official" docking station, I can just unplug a few cables and can take it on the road.{keyword}

  5. ifallalot

    ifallalot Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Feb 24, 2012
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Have you tried actually running the startup repair? Can you boot off of a Windows CD and run disk repair on your hard disk?

    I understand that the computer is old in computer years, but it can probably be saved just so you can get your stuff off of it.

    The Net Book probably won't work for recording with the limited amount of RAM and hard disk space they have. If you were to buy a new desktop you could buy the tower only and reuse all the peripherals from your old desktop

  6. telleutelleme

    telleutelleme Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Jan 15, 2010
    Depending on the age (BSOD - blue screen of death says its old), option 2 & 3 are viable. Most systems come packaged with most of the peripherals so unless you added something special, you won't be saving anything but your data. That can be retrieved easily by using Knoppix; which looks like windows and boots from a CD or DVD and is free.

    One quick test is to boot into safe mode (f8 usually) and then just restart; which will sometimes clear up a simple problem. Blue screens are usually related to a driver being damaged, or an update gone wrong or new software that isn't compatible.

  7. LGOberean

    LGOberean Poster Extraordinaire

    May 31, 2008
    Corpus Christi, Texas

    Thanks for the tip about the wireless mouse & keyboard. That'll probably be good to have if I decide to go with a laptop instead of another desktop.

  8. fezz parka

    fezz parka ---------------------------

    Hit it with a hammer.:lol:

    Then buy a Mac.:cool:

  9. LGOberean

    LGOberean Poster Extraordinaire

    May 31, 2008
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    I don't know that I have the Windows CD. We had a house fire 2 years ago, and there's a lot of stuff that didn't make it. Or is very thoroughly lost at the moment.

    Thanks for the heads up about the Net Book's RAM.

    As for the CPU/tower alone thing, my limited experience leads me to believe that telleutelleme's observation about systems coming packaged with most of the peripherals is probably right.

  10. chulaivet1966

    chulaivet1966 Tele-Holic

    Nov 17, 2011
    If it were me....

    I would not invest in another desktop at all.
    If I HAD to replace a DAW I would go with a good (based on reviews and one's own gut feel judgment) appropriately setup laptop and buy a proven audio interface to go with it.

    My desktop DAW is about 8 years old and works fine but if it give up the ghost I would by a new audio interface and migrate to my 2 year old Dell Inspiron with 4 gig of ram and 17" monitor.
    I'd use my 28" external monitor along with it in the studio space
    Of course, It may force me to retire my Gina20 and Delta 44 both of which I've been using since they were released.

    I believe laptops have matured enough to be used as a DAW and just don't think desktops are a must anymore....not to mention the real estate needed for them. some point (determined by our wallet thickness:)) it becomes very imprudent to waste time with a dated computer/motherboard.
    Id' bite the financial bullet and upgrade.

    That's my take on it....good luck on you decision....carry on.

  11. LGOberean

    LGOberean Poster Extraordinaire

    May 31, 2008
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    Thanks for the tip about Knoppix; I'll check into that. And I thiink I'll go back to my computer (I'm working from my wife's home computer right now) and see if I can do that Safe Mode thing. I haven't installed any new software lately or done any updates, so I'm not sure how that relates to the present thing. I'm just afraid that it's like you said: BSOD.

  12. cobrat

    cobrat Tele-Holic

    Nov 25, 2009
    New York
    Was this machine sold retail as brand new or was it already used when you got it 6 years ago? What is the brand/model and the technical specifications if you know them?

    If it was brand probably can use it for at least a few more years until the migration to 64 bit computing is complete and renders all 32 bit CPU based machines completely obsolete unless you're content with using older software.

    It's too bad you don't live nearby or I don't live near you as this sounds like something I can help you with.

    Incidentally, I am typing this off of a 2005 Pentium M based Latitude D610 that was part of a pair of such notebooks a friend's company dumped on me due to heat issues. Both are working quite swimmingly now after cleaning out the dust and replacing a $5 CPU fan in one.

    Also, know many people who are still running machines as old as Pentium IIs in the late '90s because all the need their machine for is office applications and basic internet access. With cheap RAM upgrades...they're still humming along on XP or various distros of linux.

  13. chabby

    chabby Friend of Leo's

    Jan 11, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    The same thing happened to me and my desktop was barely 3 years old.

    What I did (and I'm very happy about it) was buy the largest and best laptop I could afford? Why did I go large? Because bigger is cheaper and the only reason they are going smaller is for travelers. The business travel world is the ones driving the laptop smaller and smaller. It certainly isn't the ergonomic of use, because my big Toshiba is way easier and more comfy to use than a tiny notebook.

    The thing is drop dead powerful and is very strongly built for around 600 bucks.
    I will never get ba desktop again as the laptop is just way better for me.
    And it's better for everything.

  14. tazzboy

    tazzboy Former Member

    May 5, 2005
    How about build a new PC desktop.

  15. Big John

    Big John RIP

    Feb 1, 2006
    Austin Tx.
    +10 !!
    Use your wifes NetBook for day to day stuff and then use 'GarageBand' that is bundled with your Mac to record with - simple.

  16. Alamo

    Alamo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 15, 2006
    Berlin, Germany
    Not necessarily, even though it is what, 6 years old?
    BSOD is a MS error screen which you can google and sometimes find a hint in which direction to search. Hard-or Soft-ware related.
    I've had this happen on my brand new win7 desktop. turned out one 2GB ram module was faulty. exchanged that and it's running fine since.

    Could it be that desktop enclosure has never been opend?
    if so, I'd open it take out the memory modules and clean them carefully with a soft brush to get rid of dust. the slots where they came from too.
    dust can get conductive - which may result in a BSOD.
    then get a vacuum cleaner or compressed air with a small extention nozzel inside the case for some more dusting off and getting rid of the dust bunnies.

    also, after aprox. 5 years of service the mainboard battery can die and lose the BIOS information.

    put everything back again and try to start it.
    if again its a blue screen write the stop code down and google it.
    restart in safe mode and try to get to the device manager for more info.

  17. dented

    dented Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Apr 17, 2006
    Back at the Beach
    I still have an HP desktop that is ancient but still runs well. So I keep it to use the software that I cannot migrate to a newer PC. Recently my HP Dv7-2170 laptop died. It is a 17.3" screen and was top of the line 2 years ago. I used it every day and it also started going into startup repair never to come out of it. I took it to the egeeks and did a data recovery. They haven't told me what is wrong with it yet.

    I have a Sony Vaio Netbook and it is too small for any productive use. I use it to travel with and do small things on the road.

    Time is money for me. I went and bought a new HP Dv7 6C90us 8gb screamer. Can't wait for the repair. Maybe they can fix my old rig but I want to move ahead. The replacement value of the injured laptop at today's specs is about 250.00 bucks. I will have to spend that much to repair it with the data recovery. Out she goes. Will sell it for scrap on CL when all done.

  18. LGOberean

    LGOberean Poster Extraordinaire

    May 31, 2008
    Corpus Christi, Texas

    I still haven't decided what to do about the computer, except maybe to reject the going Mac idea.

    I did check into my Net Book's status. Turns out my wife bought one with 2GB RAM, and it has something like 173 GB space available on the hard drive. What kind of RAM would I need for recording on a computer? For that matter, what software program for recording would you recommend?

  19. uriah1

    uriah1 Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Feb 12, 2011
    You might think of a pc or a mac.

    Many good programs also have synth/midi and built in clicks, drums, reverb, comps and different items and copy sets that help add varying tracks to help in final construction of your master track. Multi xlr in capabilities.

    Not sure all that would be available on a net book.

    Maybe they have one specific for those .

  20. LGOberean

    LGOberean Poster Extraordinaire

    May 31, 2008
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    Yeah, I'm doubtful that the Net Book can be used for recording purposes, but then again I didn't really know how much RAM I need for recording, hence my question about RAM and programs.

    Another update. I've taken the computer in to a local shop to have it diagnosed (and fixed, if it's under $100). Decided to go that way primarily because the computer was not as old as I thought.

    I actually took my wife's word on how old it was, and she was thinking 6 years or more. She has a business where she upgrades a lot, and since I'm retired/less computer savvy, we just have an arrangement where I get the hand-me-downs (that's the deal on computers, cell phones, even cars). She forgot about a more recent upgrade. Turns out the CPU tower (Dell Inspiron) was 3 years old.

    $30 or so to diagnose it is acceptable. If it's not worth repairing (though I'm not really expecting that diagnosis) then I'll figure out what to do next. I'm still inclined to go with a new laptop if the news on the Dell is bad. We'll see.

    In the meantime, I would like to hear suggestions for recommended recording software.

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