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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    How to Tell the Life Expectancy of Battery for 2nd Hand Notebook?

    Recently I shop around for 2nd hand notebook, because I want a spare computer to learn Linux and really dont have much living space for the fourth desktop. I never give away old computers in working conditions.

    Prices are really appealing. But the serious concern is, how long will their batteries last? And how can I tell? Notebooks without working batteries will lose all their mobility, kill the very purpose of getting them in the first place.

  2. #2
    Lesser Hivemind Node Feldspar's Avatar
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    Batteries can be bought separately, but the only way to tell how long a specific laptop battery will last is to test it. This will vary between identical computers depending on what sort of life the battery has had. So, although I've never had any problems with batteries, it's probably best to get something where you can replace the battery if you need to.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    Can you suggest some one-time tests which can be run in store before purchase?

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    It's not really possible, I mean shops could do a full charge-drain cycle to assess the battery but that'd take hours.
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  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    That's not cool. New notebooks generally cost double or triple of used notebooks with same spec.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus alms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirrel View Post
    because I want a spare computer to learn Linux
    run it in a VM?
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  7. #7
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    When buying a used laptop - always assume the battery is fucked...

    Consumer Laptop batteries tend to die well inside 2 years - 'business class' machines last a bit longer, but 3 is about their limit.

    Before you buy a laptop, find out how much a new battery is and factor that into the purchase price. Make sure that's a UK-supplied/warranted (and preferrably original equipment) battery if possible, DO NOT BUY FROM CHINA!! ;)

    p.s. there are tricks you can use - for example, Dell batteries which have the led lights on them - press and HOLD the test button and you'll get a reading of 'battery state' - the fewer lights, the worse the battery.

    p.s. also, don't buy used laptops from shops - you'll get ripped-off. Get one from a supplier like Tier-One/BigPockets or other other bigger sellers on eBay and you'll get twice the kit for the same price (or the same kit for half the price).

    You even get PayPal to fight your corner if it's not as described...

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alms View Post
    run it in a VM?
    Some classmates chose this option and had their PC crushed, subsequently needed to format the whole system drive. No one know what went wrong, and they claimed they had followed instructor's steps (at least they claimed so). Besides, I don't ever have mobile computer so really give myself an excuse to obtain one.

    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    Make sure that's a UK-supplied/warranted (and preferrably original equipment) battery if possible, DO NOT BUY FROM CHINA!! ;)
    I am doomed.

  9. #9
    Lesser Hivemind Node
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    Quote Originally Posted by alms View Post
    run it in a VM?
    Even simpler would just be to install Linux on a separate partition and dual boot. I think that just about all the major Linux distros have fairly step-by-step instructions in the installer for doing that sort of thing.
    "Swans are so big, they're like the Ostriches of the bird world"

  10. #10
    Network Hub FurryLippedSquid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirrel View Post
    Some classmates chose this option and had their PC crushed
    Gawd knows what they were doing. It really isn't risky in the slightest.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus alms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny252 View Post
    Even simpler would just be to install Linux on a separate partition and dual boot. I think that just about all the major Linux distros have fairly step-by-step instructions in the installer for doing that sort of thing.
    I don't know why you would think it simpler, since it entails repartitioning your system drive (unless of course you had a dedicated set of partitions laid out in advance, which isn't probably the case) plus personally I hate the guts of rebooting.

    Had dual booting Linux for longer than I can remember (still have it now) and nothing beats the ease of clicking on an icon. I wouldn't get rid of it as long as I have a roomy, mechanical system disk because it saved my ass at least once.

    Quote Originally Posted by FurryLippedSquid View Post
    Gawd knows what they were doing. It really isn't risky in the slightest.
    Guess he's not the only who needed an excuse for an upgrade...
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by alms View Post
    I don't know why you would think it simpler, since it entails repartitioning your system drive (unless of course you had a dedicated set of partitions laid out in advance, which isn't probably the case) plus personally I hate the guts of rebooting.

    Had dual booting Linux for longer than I can remember (still have it now) and nothing beats the ease of clicking on an icon. I wouldn't get rid of it as long as I have a roomy, mechanical system disk because it saved my ass at least once.
    Really? I've always found VMs a right pain to try and use - finding a decent, free one is hard enough! Repartitioning is just a few clicks in the Windows disk manager. I'll go with you on rebooting - though SSDs are making the time taken less of an issue.
    "Swans are so big, they're like the Ostriches of the bird world"

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus alms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny252 View Post
    finding a decent, free one is hard enough!
    I've never used any ready-made VMs, I simply download the ISO and install it like I was on a real computer. Linux can be installed pretty quickly that way. As for the software, VirtualBox does it for me, with it I've even rebuilt by hand a Debian install that I smashed to pieces by misusing an alpha piece of software - saved me from having to reinstall everything from scratch.
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  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Boris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny252 View Post
    Really? I've always found VMs a right pain to try and use - finding a decent, free one is hard enough! Repartitioning is just a few clicks in the Windows disk manager. I'll go with you on rebooting - though SSDs are making the time taken less of an issue.
    VirtualBox. It's free (and open source if you care about that). It works and is very simple. There's probably loads of Youtube videos explaining exactly how to use it, because it is quite popular.

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus alms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boris View Post
    There's probably loads of Youtube videos explaining exactly how to use it, because it is quite popular.
    I only need to resort to a tutorial once, to boot an existing system from an USB enclosure because some features are not (yet?) exposed through the UI.

    Installing a new system from scratch is really straightforward, probably more so than doing it onto an actual machine.
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