Hi people, I just want to give you some pointers on computers and what you should ask when looking into buying new or second hand.
First and foremost second hand computers older then 5 years is no go zone if you are looking for an office jock.
>Hard drive is old and they have a life span of about 3 years "depending on load" if passes was done or low level formatting shredding and other disk intensive processes. So please BACK UP every day and make a mirror image of the disk because when it crashes you can still recover by just mirroring the image back onto a new drive and restore your backup on it.
When buying a second hand computer the person selling it must do 3 things for you, Ask him to do a memory test for you, a Hard drive integrity test and a system bench. This will detect if the hard drive is good or bad, if the RAM is still working properly and if the OS and drivers are installed and working correctly. If the system bluescreens the computer display or goes black or blue you find the door and go. Also ask to see the inside and what you want to see is nice cables with play between the components "IT MUST NOT BE TIGHT" For the love of all things good cables don't like to be twisted or strained and can cause problems especially the cable running from your hard drive to your motherboard.
Fans must be free of dust CPU fan must be spinning silently... When the computer is off, ground yourself and feel if the fan is turning freely or not. IF the fan isn't moving freely you will get trouble later on. Power-supply must be clean and 400WATTs minimum! Do not think for a moment a 300WATT supply will cope with the load. They simply don't... They are pushed into there max output and a simple slow starting fan can make your life complicated. Fans take a lot to start up before spinning freely so if there is a Box fan installed again check that it is turning freely when off and make SURE it starts up with a good constant spin. If not it will slowly kill your power supply. Please don't listen for any tech if they try to explain to you anything other that is written here.
Now the next 3 things you want is DRIVER DISK or Files! You want them on a DISK not on the hard drive or USB drive you want them on a DVD or CD because it is READ ONLY media and CANNOT be messed with by a virus. NOW before and after the burning of the DVD or CD do a VIRUS SCAN with a updated antivirus. PUT THE DISK in a SAFE PLACE WHERE YOU CAN FIND IT!" Drivers is not made out of GOLD and will degrade over time "get corrupted" and reinstalling them will be needed eventually. NEXT step is the OS itself... if it is a doggy copy again find a door and go... YOU DON"T NEED THAT IN YOUR LIFE. Firstly you cannot do updates secondly when your installation gives trouble or die, you will need to recover and 9 out of 10 times you will need the OS disk "CD OR DVD disk OR USB" and if they cannot provide you with one find a door and go. It is pointless just to have the license sticker on the side or top of the box and you don't have the actual OS to install from. YES modern laptops want you to make a recovery thumbdrive/flashdrive or DVDS and make sure you have those in hand when you go or else your life is going to get complicated.
Spend the money! I know it is expensive but if you don't get a OS with then go buy one. Yes there are other ways but don't fool yourself eventually it will come back and bite you in the behind.
To sum up:
>> check inside for dust
>> check that fans run freely
>> check power supply "400Watts or better" "Must be dust free"
>> Do memory test
>> Do Hard disk test
>> Do bench test
>> Do virus scan
>> Make sure you have copy of drivers
>> Make sure OS is legit and that you have the "recovery disk, installation disk or USB"
>> Bluescreen or blackscreen "is unacceptable"
>> computer must be 3 years or younger "5 years and older can be problematic"
>> Clone your installation
>> Backup every day.
>> Freezing is unacceptable
>> Keep all disks and backup safe and accessible when needed.
It is your money so make sure it buys the best possible system available to you.