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cx 04-25-2019 08:23 AM

New Computer for Windows 10
Looks like ol' Bill Gates has decided to cease support for Windows 7, which I currently use, come the first of the year and not only thinks everyone should switch to Windows 10 but says we should all buy a new computer upon which to run the new system. Got a big ol' popup telling me so. Says he:

Originally Posted by Herr Gates
Going forward, the best way for you to stay secure is on Windows 10. And the best way to experience Windows 10 is on a new PC. While it is possible to install Windows 10 on your older device, it is not recommended.

I currently use a Toshiba Satellite laptop, to which I've added more RAM, with a remote monitor and keyboard.

Two questions: Has Windows 10 evolved into something at least tolerable, or should I just plan to slit my wrists come January?

Any recommendations for the new computer that I absolutely must have to run the system?

smifwal 04-25-2019 09:00 AM

I tried to update to windows 10 a few years back, it was not pleasant and went right back to windows 7. My wife says they have made some improvements to it to make it easier to get around but I haven't tried it myself. I am headed to best buy this afternoon to look at computers, mine freezes up on me and google bogs it way down. I will report back

PC7060 04-25-2019 10:18 AM

Hi CX,

We’ve used windows 10 on dozens of machine for several years. It’s very stable and has significant security improvements over windows 7. I’d say you were pretty fortunate to go this long; I’ve got a computer I set up for my Mom and I recently noticed it’s in the same boat.

Regarding the new hardware; I alway go with Dell laptops; either the Latitude series or the Precision series. My favorite is the Precisions; we have systems that are still running strong after 6 years. We upgraded all of our systems to solid state drives a couple years ago and it was like we got a new machines.

I avoid the Inspiron Series as they seem to have a 1 year life span.

The solid state drives are a very nice performance boost but we typically upgrade those in house because Dell is a bit proud ($$) of their drives.

And as you say..

My opinion, worth price paid ;)

PC7060 04-25-2019 10:24 AM

Also wanted to say the built in windows antivirus is very dependable and we pair it with the paid version of Malwarebytes to get reliable protections with low overhead.

I’d definitely go with the Professional version of Windows 10 too. Comes with built in Bitlocker encryption capability which is a must have for us.

PC7060 04-25-2019 10:50 AM

As a FYI, if you want to keep using your current hardware, that's an option too.

We've installed Windows 10 on legacy hardware systems (4 years and older) in combination with a solid state drive and have been very happy with the performance. As I recall we didn't have any issues finding drivers for the hardware but that may not be the case for all systems.

cx 04-25-2019 09:18 PM

Thanks much, PC. The only Dell I've ever owned was an Inspiron model. Didn't last long, but long enough for me to get a taste of their legendarily horrible technical service phone bank. It wasn't as bad as I've heard advertised, though, it was much worse than that. The only thing that kept me from throwing it out the window was our good friend and my computer hero, Joe Gleason. He helped me through whatever problem I had whilst I was out in the desert of western New Mexico on my way to a place with even less resources for a couple months. I spent two hours on the phone with Dell with no results at all. Took Joe about ten minutes to walk me through whatever it was.

But recently I've seen where Joe mentioned that he, too, had purchased a Dell Something and was fixin' to be real happy with it. I'll have to give that some serious thought.

You say you put the solid state hard drives in your own machines. How does one know if he's buying a Dell with such drives already installed? Just by looking at the price tag? :D

Is buying a Dell and changing out the hard drive something I want to even consider doing myself? I'm actually very handy at working on things electrical, including computers, I just never can figger out how to operate the damn things. I'm a little surprised there are still hard drives that are not solid state. I expected that to become the norm years ago, but that just goes to show what I know about computers.

Shawn, I'll be interested in hearing what you find in your shopping.

PC7060 04-26-2019 08:27 AM

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Originally Posted by CX
Is buying a Dell and changing out the hard drive something I want to even consider doing myself?

Prepare yourself the the technical equivalent of the "modified" versus "un-modified" thinset discussion!

For a one off personal system, I'd typically say it's better for you to buy one with the "SSD Storage" installed.. However, I just looked at the Dell site and found that the Precision 3530 series we just bought which goes for $700-1000 doesn't offer the SSD option. I asked our IT Engineer who cynically (like me :)) said that is Dells way of forcing you up into the 7000 series systems for an extra $800-1000.

Since you are comfortable swapping memory and such, I'd get a Dell configured with a "500GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive" and then buy this Samsung 850 EVO 500GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-75E500B/AM) and clone the Dell drive over to it (FYI: When using offline hardware cloner, the original and target drive sizes need to match)

The cloners are very simple to use; put the original drive in the "A" Slot and the new SSD in the "B" slot and hit Clone. And then walk away cuz the blinky lights are hypnotic and you'll waste a bunch of time watching the copy progression. At least that what happens to me. :D

Our current cloning favorite is the Inateck USB 3.0 to SATA Dual-Bay USB 3.0 Hard Drive Docking Station with Offline Clone.

The Inateck also functions as a dock for a connected harddrive; I keep mine connected all the time and use it as a location for my systems backups.

We just started buying the 3000 and 7000 series Precision for our office. The Engineers use the 7000 with NVIDIA video cards and the normal people are getting the 3000 series which are lighter and cheaper option. Both are dock-able to monitors and keyboards using the USB C or Thunderbolt connectors; we prefer Thunderbolt because of the faster performance and the ability to drive two monitors.

Attachment 208218

smifwal 04-26-2019 09:08 AM

The nice lady at Best buy after asking a few questions, recommended this one.


After taking what she told me I did some more digging and found this one on Amazon. I coupled that with a aftermarket warranty. I have had real good luck with refurbished items in the past.

HP Envy 795 Desktop PC - Intel Core i7-8700 6-Core 16GB 2TB 7200 RPM HDD+256GB SSD NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3 GB GDDR5 (Renewed) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M7C5MPK..._JJXWCbE7D7MFS

I am basically using my computer for the streaming, and light business stuff Excel,Word, QuickBooks ect. Last computer I bought was a tower only at Costco and it has served me well but this is like a Lamborghini compared to what I am working with now. I use my TV as a monitor and we have a12.9 in iPad for the mobile around the house stuff. I know very little about computers as far as how they function and had never heard the term solid state drive till PC mentioned it yesterday. But my take away from her expanded explanation was that it is a must have, and that I didn't need both partitions to be solid state, just the one that the operating system is stored on. The Amazon one had more ram (epandable to 64), bigger solid state drive and another terabyte of storage. Either one of these is probably over kill for what I am using my computer for but I would rather have more than I need than not having enough. I am not sure if this helps you, as this was a kind of tailored to me and sounds like you are more computer savvy than I am. I pretty much told her I want to click it and it appears, like magic

PC7060 04-26-2019 10:06 AM


Originally Posted by me
The Inateck also functions as a dock for a connected harddrive; I keep mine connected all the time and use it as a location for my systems backups.

It is also very helpful to be able to mount the drive from your old systems in the dock so you can copy data to new systems. The old drive can then become the backup drive.

cx 04-26-2019 04:49 PM

Guys, I really appreciate all the extra effort here.

Shawn, I gave up on desktop computers years ago (when I burned my last two) and went to using a laptop exclusively with a big monitor (so I can actually see what's on there) and a remote keyboard that is actually useful. Don't wanna go back to having more than one computer and, while I no longer travel to ceramic tile functions, I want that computer to be portable.

PC, when you speak of having the hard drive permanently docked, you're speaking of the device you linked in post #7? Had never seen nor heard of such devices. Only problem I see is that it appears that the Dell laptops you referenced don't appear to have more than one USB port and I already use three, one for my keyboard, one for my printer, and one for my speakers, which is 'zackly how many my current Toshiba has available. Am I missing something?


Originally Posted by PC
Both are dock-able to monitors and keyboards using the USB C or Thunderbolt connectors; we prefer Thunderbolt because of the faster performance and the ability to drive two monitors.

And I'm not familiar with either of those terms. USB I recognize, of course, but USB C rings no bells. And for sure I've never heard of Thunderbolt.

smifwal 04-26-2019 05:26 PM

Burned them up, What are you doing with your computers? :smash: The one I have now, the only time it gets shut off is when the power goes out. Probably why it is running like poop

cx 04-26-2019 05:58 PM

Oh, I wasn't abusing my computers, Shawn, I burned my whole motorhome back in '09 with all three of my computers on board. My laptop was nearly always in the truck, towed behind the motorhome, but that particular night it was in the motorhome. Lost much data and a whole lotta other stuff that night.

The current computer stays on alla time. It's connected to a small inverter and runs off the coach batteries, so it's not even affected by power outages. Only time it's turned off is when I'm parked out in the forest for a couple months at a time and need to conserve battery power. But they seem to get plenty clogged up no matter how I use'em. Just lucky, I guess.

PC7060 04-26-2019 09:15 PM


The Dell 3530 has three USB 3rd gen high speed ports (standard USB type connector) plus a USB C port which is a bit like the apple lightning connectors used on IPhones.

I realize now, I used the term “dock” in a couple different contexts.

1. The Inateck device I linked to in post 7 can either clone drives as a standalone device or be used to connect a second drive to the computer as a connected hard drive dock.

2. The computers are dock-able meaning the an expansion docking device can plug into the USB C port to provide connection to a monitor, network and several more USB ports for the keyboard / mouse. Previously this was achieved by docking the computer on a fixed base that mated to the computer using a connector that was proprietary for each manufacturer. New systems are configured with open standard ports such as USB 3 and USB C along with Thunderbolt so that a docks (aka expansion modules) by Dell, HP or Targus (etc.) will work for any computer with the matching port.

What this means to me is I’ll have to buy all new docking hardware because the dozens of legacy Dell docks we currently have are no longer used on the new Dell computers! More $$ to Mr. Dell. :crap:

This article discusses the merits of various docking solutions.


Hope this helps!

smifwal 04-26-2019 09:21 PM

are we talking USB-C like on my galaxy S8+, PC figure as long as we got you here I might as well learn all I can.

PC7060 04-27-2019 05:24 AM

Shawn, yes, you are correct. I’m a iPhone user myself and wasn’t aware the new Samsung phones use the USB-C until you mentioned it.

This links described the USB C interfaces:


And this article provides more information about USB interfaces versus Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt can communicate at speeds of up to 40 gigabytes per second and was configured with a unique connector in versions 1 and 2. However, with the release of Thunderbolt 3, it now runs as hardware/software protocol over a USB-C connector. As if the this wasn’t already confusing enough. :suspect:


Basically, the laptop and smart phone companies are standardizing on this easier to connect and much faster interface. Except for Apple which did its own thing with Lightning. Which has nothing to do with Thunderbolt (unless they are characters in a upcoming Marvel movie series )

davem 04-27-2019 06:23 AM

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CX, one can also use a usb hub like this one. From the image I'm sure you can discern it's function. :)
One thing to check on is what inputs your monitor takes. Many new laptops are HDMI output.

cx 04-27-2019 09:00 AM

Yeah, I got at least one of those laying about, Dave. My experience was that they caused things to slow down considerably when in use. Could be just perception, but I think it was actually making a difference.

Still had to use one when out in the mountains doing owl research on accounta having stuff connected for our mapping and GPS programs and such.

This HDMI output means I'm now gonna need to get new monitor and keyboard, too? Hate it when they do that sorta thing.

PC7060 04-27-2019 09:45 AM


No need for changing monitors or keyboards; the two series I recommended include SVGA output connector for driving one standard monitor along with three standard format USB ports. For multiple monitor configuration there are plenty of docking options (see previous post) available that connect to the laptop via USB C support SVGA, DVI and DisplayPort in addition to HDMI.

PC7060 04-27-2019 09:52 AM

Regarding USB port extenders slowing down performance, that wouldn’t be an issue with a newer laptop with USB 3 ports. The port extender Dave posted is a good one; I find the ability to shut off specific ports with a press of a button very handy.

cx 04-27-2019 11:03 AM

I didn't recognize those as buttons for that purpose, PC. I'm thinking that would be a useful feature.

PC7060 04-27-2019 12:29 PM

Especially in a power limited off the grid situation!

davem 04-28-2019 06:56 AM

USB3 is super fast,so you can plug all your gizmos into the hub then you only have to plug one thing into the laptop. I like it at work because I have to take my laptop to meetings several or more times a day. Easy in, easy out. :)

jgleason 04-28-2019 02:52 PM

I just bought one of these for my Dell XPS laptop. I'm mostly on WiFi but there are times I'd like to be wired. The Dell I have doesn't have a standard network port but it does have USB-C, Thunderbolt. What I like about the Totu is it gives me back a bunch of options in one small device.

USB C Hub, Type C Hub, TOTU 11-in-1 Adapter with Ethernet, 4K USB C to HDMI, VGA, 2 USB3.0 2 USB2.0, Micro SD/TF Card Reader, Mic/Audio, USB-C PD 3.0, Compatible for Mac Pro and Other Type C Laptops
Learn more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M8HLGBF/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_dbHXCb6KT899S

cx 01-16-2020 11:12 PM

Well, I got an official notice that Herr Gates is no longer supporting my Windows 7 and recommends that I should have already bought a new computer with his uber wonderful Windows 10 on it, so I'm now officially procrastinating on said purchase and re-education. :rolleyes:

This looks like the machine PC recommended earlier. Price seems acceptable (on accounta I got no idea what it should cost), so I clicked on the button to "Customize and Buy" to find out what were my options. That's when I got the screen I linked above, which made me wanna continue procrastinating.

How they expect us mere mortals to understand all that nonesense?!!

The first thing I knew I wanted was additional RAM. But even at that they managed to confuse me by offering an upgrade to 1x8GB or 2x4GB. I added a second 4GB card to my current machine and I get by OK with 8GB, but why would they offer two fours, or one eight and either one for the same price? Is there any difference in the performance either way?

And would having 16MB really make a difference to the user who doesn't play games and such?

Says it has a SATA Class 20 Solid State Drive. I do know I want the SSD and was glad to see it in there, but I dunno what Class 20 is. Best I can tell online, I'm not the kinda user who really needs a Class 40. Or 50. Can anyone comment on that?

If any of youins geeks wanna look through some of those options and find the ones make you say, "Oooooo, I'd get that," please feel free. I'm not worried about spending more dinero to get what I want, but looking at that list I'm very much aware that I might no know what I want.

ss3964spd 01-17-2020 09:22 AM

While I don't count myself to be on the bleeding edge of geekdom, cx, I have bought a number of PC's in my lifetime and have used even more, and live in the professional hell known as IT.

If you not one to upgrade your PC every few years - and that you're still running Win7 indicates you're clearly not one, buy the best you can afford. IMO, you don't need to max out on the processor speed, but you do want to bump RAM up to 16G if possible. If there is an option to bump Video memory, do that, too.

The SSD they are specifying will be fine for your needs, unless you are storing, or intend to, tons of data/photos.

If you are not going to use the laptop connected to a separate large monitor get a laptop with a touch screen. While you're clicking that touch screen option button consider, too, opting for a better screen if there's one available, our eyes are not getting any younger. On the touch screen, it sure makes enlarging photos posted on the forum really easy, so there's your justification for it if you needed it.

My personal fav is Microsofts' line of Surface Pro pc's, but I'm sure you can find what you want/need from any of the big names.

cx 01-17-2020 10:23 AM

Thanks for the input, Dan.

Nope, not an update every few years kinda guy. More of an upgrade when forced to do so guy.

I can upgrade from 4GB to 16GB memory for $165 so I'll do that.

I rarely use the machine without being connected to a peripheral large screen and keyboard, but still want the option of portability. Don't see any option for touch screen or video memory in their list, but doesn't seem much of a loss in my case.

PC7060 01-23-2020 08:22 PM

Hi CX,

Sorry I missed this earlier.

RAM: go with 1x8GB ram. This will preserve the other slot for future growth. Our office uses 8GB ram standard with heavy users getting upgraded to 16GB. A heavy user is usually folks that have several large spreadsheets up at once or engineers doing 3D modeling.

Edit: If you want to go with 16GB, that’s not a bad plan. While you probably won’t need the 16GB ram now, it will be useful as your new fast machine becomes loaded down with Windows 10 updates over time.

As Dan said, SATA Class 20 is good option. Class 20 is rated consumer grade speeds but is still much faster than the old spinning drive.

Edit: I checked the other options and was impressed with the NVIDIA chipset and graphic cards.

Good luck!!!

cx 01-23-2020 08:43 PM

Thanks, PC. The single 8GB RAM with potential upgrade makes sense and saves a hunnert bucks. And I know I'm capable of installing another 8GB board if Dan's correct that I'll be wishin' for 16 Gigs by and by. :)

How 'bout the price? Nine hunnert bucks with the RAM upgrade sound reasonable? Doesn't scare me at all, but I'll take a bargain if I should be lookin' for one.

PC7060 01-23-2020 09:10 PM

That’s a good price with the 1x8GB upgrade and the solid state drive.

I’d say go for it!


Originally Posted by CX
How 'bout the price? Nine hunnert bucks with the RAM upgrade sound reasonable?

I’m being forced to upgrade my 4 year old system too. New systems are nice but it’s a pain to migrate over. :blah:

cx 01-23-2020 09:43 PM


Originally Posted by PC
New systems are nice but it’s a pain to migrate over.

And you have no eye-dee how bad it's likely to be for thems as know diddly squat about how to do it! :D

But I think I've lined up a local guy to "help" me. Help as in I give him dinero and he makes my old stuff be on my new machine, of course, but I'm hoping to gather a little education in the process. Maybe hafta give him a lot more dinero for that part, but I don't yet know that.

ss3964spd 01-24-2020 07:38 AM

I think 900 is a pretty solid deal considering the component set.

Itza giant pain to migrate. After you receive it I'd recommend that you plan to surrender a large portion of your day to baby sitting it through all the Windows updates it will likely want to do once you've connected it to the net and completed the initial set up, and I'd want all that done before handing it off to he-who-has-more-patience-than-you.

There will be a crap load of bloat-ware, and some of it will load at each start up, you'll want to remove that stuff.


cx 01-24-2020 10:34 AM


Originally Posted by Dan
you'll want to remove that stuff.

And how will I recognize "that stuff," Dan?


Originally Posted by Dan

PC said earlier that the Windows 10 protection alone was pretty useful and recommended adding the paid version of MalwareBytes. How say you?

ss3964spd 01-25-2020 10:27 AM

Removing bloatware programs you don't need/want is pretty straight forward, just Google Windows 10 bloatware - lots of tutorials. But it isn't all that necessary since most of them are just taking up space on the SSD.

What you probably do want to do is disable/remove programs you don't use from starting automatically when you turn the machine on, as those can impact speed/performance. Easy to do: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/...e-startup-apps

Windows Defender, MS's built in AV, is pretty decent, and is what I use on my tablet, but I use the tablet only for internet , and it doesn't stay on, and thus connected to the internet, for long periods. Previous and current desktop runs Norton (now a subscription service), and has for well over 15 years . Norton is a high overhead (impacts speed/performance to some degree) program but is very good. I've never had virus on that machine, even with 5 people sharing it.

cx 01-25-2020 11:03 AM

Much appreciated, Dan. I used Norton many years ago and banned it from further consideration back then due to some serious problems attributed to having it on my confuser (diagnosis by paid geeks) and never had any truck with it since.

I'll try that tailoring of start-up when I get the new machine (early February) and see what I can do with it. That function apparently not available with Windows 7, or at least I can't find it on this machine.

I ordered the new machine with the larger hard drive, a single 8GB Ram with space for another 8GB card. Cost plenty dinero and I guess we'll see if it was all worthwhile. :)

I bought, for 44 bucks, one year of promised help from actual English speaking geeks at Dell. I'd never heard of that "service" whereby you get to contact only USA-based tech service instead of overseas tech service. From my past experience with Dell I think that might be the very best part of this "deal."

I was not aware that new laptops now commonly do not have CD/DVD drives in them at all. Was gonna be a deal killer for me on accounta for two months a year as a bread and butter item I need to be able to run a particular topo map program that still has DVD based maps. Elected to buy a separate USB connected DVD drive instead and hope it works.

Bottom line: I gave Herr Dell a gaggle of dollars and he promised to send me a miraculous new machine to further complicate my life. More to follow.......

PC7060 01-25-2020 11:31 AM


Originally Posted by CX
gave Herr Dell a gaggle of dollars and he promised to send me a miraculous new machine to further complicate my life.

So true!!! :D

I’d definitely avoid norton, it’s a computer hog. We’ve found built in window defender combined with malwarebytes to be highly effective at protecting our systems.

We also require our team to keep Windows User Access Control (UAC) enabled to ensure no can not be silently installed by bad actor websites.

The default, built-in UAC elevation component is the credential prompt. By default, UAC is set to notify you whenever apps try to make changes to your PC. We require all users enter their credentials (password) before software can be installed. We only allow elevated user ( admin) to change the computer setting or software. But since your the primary user I’m sure you’ll have admin rights.

A lot of people disable this notification and end up hosting a bunch of the bloatware or denial of service bots because of it.

cx 01-25-2020 11:44 AM

Sounds like I need to bring my new toy up to Virginia when I get it and let you and Dan fight over what should and should not be installed on it. :D

Been meaning to get up that way for a long time, anyway. Haven't seen our old site friend RobZ for many years and there area a couple more peeps up there I'd like to visit. Hellofa long drive, though. :(

Maybe Joe Gleason could drive down and enter into the battle. Doubt that Shawn would wanna come alla way from Kansas.

I'll let y'all know when I get my machine and decide if I still really, really don't like Windows 10. Thanks again for all the help.

ss3964spd 01-25-2020 12:02 PM


Originally Posted by cx
and let you and Dan fight over what should and should not be installed on it.

You've clearly not had the pleasure of meeting PC in person, ain't no way Imma gonna challenge the man. Besides, he might be more of a geek than I am. :D

Is Rob Z still around? Haven't seen him here in years and years.

PC7060 01-25-2020 01:41 PM

You’d certainly be welcome if you make it this way, CX. You’d fe at home in Fredericksburg, VA than my old digs in Fairfax. Definitely a feel of the south here; the confederate cemetery is right next door if you want to visit the resting place of some of your Texas brothers and the Federal cemetery is a mile or some away. The federal and confederate rein-actors fire ceremonial canon at each other on Memorial Day; pretty cool but a bit startling when you are expecting it.

Dan’s got a nice place up in Fairfax that he just keeps making better. I have not been around there for a few year but I remember his neighbors house had a major fire at the time that were dragging their feet on repair and I could see Dan was highly motivated to get over there and get er cleaned up! :D

PC7060 01-25-2020 01:46 PM


Originally Posted by Dan
I've never had virus on that machine, even with 5 people sharing it

Hi Dan :wave:

Norton is definitely a good product but I hated the size of the install. Has it gotten better under the subscription based service?

Tiger Mountain Tile Inc 01-25-2020 02:55 PM

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What's really annoying about Windows 10 is the button down in the left corner. They want you to integrate all your platforms into one with the one being Windows, of course.

So they suggest apps, have that Cortana thing, Norton prompts and they want you to use Edge, Outlook, and MSoffice.

My computer is starting to run slow and I may have to figure out how to remove all of that stuff. I did remove Norton, or at least most of it despite it's warnings of impending doom.

I know having the Adobe suite doesn't help speed either but at least that's something that I actually use.

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