Jump to content

Blackouts and Recommendations

Recommended Posts

HI Brian,

It's been awhile since I've talked with you or Damien. I hope you are doing well. I'm glad to see you guys have this forum going, for I need someone to talk with about my Windows 10 (auto upgraded from windows 7) Dell Latitude laptop. I experienced black flickering when browsing so I took it into get it fixed. I was thinking it might have been a virus from an email. no viruses, two malware were found and easily removed. they told me the black outs is from 100% processing and if I don't do anything it would get worse and crash. they recommend: doing a backup of my system, a clean re-installation of Windows 10 64 bit version, increasing RAM from 3GB to 8GB (or add 1GB to make it 4GB) or with 4bit OS I could increase it to 8,16,32, or 64gb and putting the back-up data back on the computer. They checked my HD (250GB) and it was 100% in good condition, passed all the tests, but they still recommend I replace it with a new HD (240GB) because it has 4,000 days on it (10 years), and they said they as well as me wouldn't be happy if six months from now the HD crashed. Even though they are impressed with my good condition of HD, they said they expect it wouldn't last long with computer updates using more and more memory. And that Windows 10 is the last Windows OS being released, that Microsoft plans to just release updates for it. Lastly they recommended installing Bit Defender to replace Microsoft Security Essentials.

I have not been into computer technology since when you last knew me and have anxiety. So I am very nervous about doing a re-installation and having something go wrong with all the stuff they recommended. Lastly, I don't know about the HD recommendation. It seems to me that if something is good why fix it? But I also don't want a crash. However, I researched about HD and apparently they're supposed to last much shorter than mine. As well as some are bad from the beginning and some are great.  And there's something called SMART that can let you know the diagnosis of your HD if it's good, caution or bad. So maybe I could just run that and replace it if it gets to caution?
Lastly, I'm not good at telling if a person is recommending to help or make a sale. SO I needed someone I trust to talk with to help me sort all the information out. You always gave honest answers back in your FB group, so I thought of you. I hope you don't mind the long post, I wanted to be as specific as possible. Thank you, I look forward to your reply.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

meant to put this in as well: I don't have Lightroom on this computer, I have a program similar to photoshop but not as large. I do have a sewing program. I rarely run either anymore. It's basic computing on this laptop, but may change in the far future. However, I still have a LOT of photos, more so than normal because I' haven't been able to delete lately with anxiety.  therefore I don't know which RAM to get.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Black flickering when browsing? It's probably a inverter board problem, worn display cable, possible bad display OR the port on the motherboard that attaches to the video cable could be wacky. Tough to tell. Can you move/wiggle the screen and see if you can force the issue?

I do agree, 3GB of RAM is NOT what you want with Windows 10. Actually, I recommend RAM be 16GB at the minimum with Windows 10. As far as selling you a new 240GB SSD drive.

>> *SIGH* <<

If you are going to go to the trouble of replacing that HD, get a larger hard drive. A 240GB HD is microscopic by today's standards. You want at least a 500GB main drive, better if it's 1TB. I don't care how new a 240GB SSD Drive is or how fast it is, the thing won't do you any good if it's full. I do agree with future Windows Updates you are going to run out of room but they are not looking long term. I hate bad advice mixed in with decent advice. It just confuses people. That said, I'm surprised they didn't recommend a larger hard drive, though I'm sure they didn't have one in-stock. Sure! Let's tell her she is going to run out of room but sell her the same sized HD. (Approx.) Stupid up-sell. SMDH.

Now for the 4000 days part. While it is true that SSD media does wear out over time, you would have to do something silly to really kill it. Like Defrag a SSD Drive. Never do that. I think Windows 10 won't let you, which is a good thing. If you just use the computer and don't write / erase stuff on a constant basis, it is probably fine. To clarify, if you aren't writing and erasing 40GB+ on a daily basis for the last 10 years, the drive is probably fine. Especially if its passing S.M.A.R.T. tests.  I'm more concerned about the remaining free space than anything, plus SSD drives have come a long way during the past 10 years, so replacing it with a larger one isn't a bad idea.

Here is a decent article: How Long do SSDs Really Last

To quote the article:


Usually, manufacturers give an estimate with the so-called terabyte(s) written (TBW)– especially when it comes to enterprise SSDs, but also for consumer versions. Because of the fact that by using Wear-Leveling the data will be distributed evenly over all cells, this figure is supposed to tell how much data can be really written in total on all cells inside the storage chips and over the whole life span.

A typical TBW figure for a 250 GB SSD lies between 60 and 150 terabytes written. That means: To get over a guaranteed TBW of 70, a user would have to write 190(!) GB daily over a period of one year (In other words, to fill two thirds of the SSD with new data every day). In a consumer environment this is highly unlikely.

Samsung states that their Samsung SSD 850 PRO SATA, with a capacity of 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 or 1 TB,  is “built to handle 150 terabytes written (TBW), which equates to a 40 GB daily read/write workload over a ten-year period.”  Samsung even promises that the product is “withstanding up to 600 terabytes written (TBW).”

A normal office user writes approximately between 10 and 35 GB on a normal day. Even if one raises this amount up to 40 GB, it means that they could write (and only write) more than almost 5 years until they reach the 70 TBW limit.


Now we come to the hard part.

It sounds like this is a 10 year old laptop. Are you really sure you want to put money in this thing? Because if it were me, I'd be looking at a new laptop. Here is why: RAM prices are pretty high right now. They usually are at this time of year. So figure about $200 for the RAM. This might be less, or it might be more. Now, let's look at the cost of replacing that SSD Drive: Samsung 860 Pro - 1TB. That's about $300. So we are at $500, conversationally speaking. Plus, we need to purchase a program such as Acronis to clone the data from your old HD to your new HD, unless you want to install a fresh OS. Or pay someone / some tech place to do this for you. Figure about $150. So now we are up to $650 on a 10 year old laptop that would be best to nuke and start all over again with a fresh OS / New HD. With your anxiety, this sounds like a recipe for disaster. Personally, I'd rather have you network the two laptops together (it's easier than you think) and copy stuff over. This way if anything were to screw up, you have the original Laptop to go back to. As soon as you start messing with the old one, you introduce variables.

So let's talk budget.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...