Are computer store used laptops OK? Need for DSL ISP.

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by John Ritchie, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. John Ritchie

    John Ritchie Guest

    I'm looking for a used laptop that I can use mainly for the internet
    with a DSL
    ISP. Are they usually in good shape if refurbished, etc. if I get them
    from a computer store that sells nothing but used and refurbished
    computers? What requirements would it need to use a DSL ISP?
    Thanks for any advice.

    John Ritchie, Aug 7, 2007
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  2. John Ritchie

    - Bobb - Guest

    I'd buy from a place that has some sort of warranty.
    *****AND make sure to get the OS CD that came with it. ******
    I have seen a LOT of used laptops at shows that have the same copy of
    Windows installed. Works fine at show. You get it home - try to update
    something online and it fails Microsoft security check - because 400 other
    PC's have same serial number from that reseller. Tell seller up front
    that you need to have a CD / license, in case hard drive dies. Without
    it, it becomes a boat anchor.

    Unless really old laptop, it will probably have modem/network built in.
    ISP might require either Linux or Windows 2000 / XP. That's all you'd
    NEED. As for what you'd WANT ... a lot of memory ? Fancy graphics ? Disk
    space ? up to you.

    As for requirements, go to your local DSL's website
    ( like )
    and they'll show whether they support Windows 98, Linux etc.You MAY find
    that DSL not an option depending upon where you live. So first go to ISP
    site and enter your phone number.
    ( as an aside ...)
    On my street, once fiber was installed on the poles around here, I could
    no longer get the $14.98/month DSL. They only now offer FIOS as part of a
    $99/month package an option for me. AND as part of the install, they
    remove all current telephone wiring. Once you decide that you don't want
    FIOS , they remove the fiber - leaving you with ... no place to plug in a
    telephone. SO check out your options first.
    - Bobb -, Aug 7, 2007
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  3. John Ritchie

    Paul Guest

    From a hardware perspective, laptops are not as reliable as desktop
    computers. And that isn't saying much. Even when "handled with kid
    gloves", laptops can wink out at the three or four year mark. Repairs
    are super-expensive, even if you do the repair yourself by swapping
    motherboard or panel.

    Some of the old, slower units, ones that don't burn up too much power,
    might last longer. So part of the problem is the operating temperature
    of the high performance ones.

    A local computer shop probably cannot refurbish them in a meaningful
    way. Replacement LCD panels might cost a couple hundred (unless they
    take parts from different machines, to make a good one). Similarly,
    the motherboard is expensive if bought from the manufacturer. Easier
    repairs, would be changing out the hard drive. They aren't likely to
    replace anything expensive, as their used price would not cover it.

    Other things that wear, are hinges. Hinges can be cracked or broken,
    or no longer maintain enough tension to remain upright. A refurb
    operation, might be to glue broken parts together. In some cases, they
    can buy replacement hinge components.

    Ask specifically, if the battery is covered by a warranty and for
    how long. I'd expect a new battery, with a used laptop, as some
    battery technologies deteriorate from the day they are manufactured,
    and if you get stuck with an old or original battery, there might not
    be many charge/discharge cycles left in it.

    Take a good look at the screen, for scratches or wear marks. The design
    of some laptops, makes it easy for the keyboard to mark up the screen,
    and that may not be a sign of abuse, but just bad design. You should
    check for any stuck pixels when viewing the product, and you may need
    to try a few things, like opening a few windows etc., to catch that.

    I'd say there is a good chance to get "taken to the cleaners". I would
    check local USENET groups, and see if any of the computer stores in
    your area, have a "reputation" for bad customer relations or dealing
    in bad faith. My local USENET groups are a great source of info, because
    any customer that gets screwed, will yell like a pig :)

    There is nothing special for DSL. When you get your ADSL modem, it may
    come with a built-in router, and either wireless or wired Ethernet ports.
    For example, some ADSL modems now, have four wired Ethernet ports on them.
    On my setup, the ISP provided a simple ADSL modem, and I had to buy a
    router to go with it. You can get routers that have both wired and wireless
    ports, so if the modem you get doesn't have enough connectors, there are
    ways to fix it. My wired router only cost $40 when I got it less than
    a year ago, and my original router, which also had four wired ports, cost
    a few hundred. The price has dropped quite a bit, and you shouldn't have
    to pay a lot to get extra connectors.

    On the laptop itself, it needs an Ethernet interface. There could be an
    Ethernet RJ-45 connector on the laptop itself. Or, the laptop may not have
    Ethernet at all, in which case you want to make sure the laptop has a
    PCMCIA or PC Card or Expresscard slot. With an expansion slot for
    a separate hardware device, you can buy an Ethernet device and plug it
    into the expansion slot. Then an Ethernet cable goes from there, to your
    router (or to the ADSL modem/router if it has enough Ethernet connectors).

    Some ISPs will offer to rent you a router, to get the extra ports. If
    they only cost $40 to buy one yourself, you can save in the long run
    by just buying one.

    Paul, Aug 7, 2007
  4. John Ritchie

    John Ritchie Guest

    To Paul and Bobb. Thanks.

    John Ritchie, Aug 8, 2007
  5. John Ritchie

    jdl Guest

    Maybe try Craigslist. Can get some excellent deals on CL because the
    sellers are not paying anything for the ads and they don't want to
    hassle with putting it on ebay.
    jdl, Aug 14, 2007
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