The HP 8440P arrived and I did a better job on the initial setup and transferring files from the old machine to the new laptop. I made a rescue CD right after the first power up and seeing Windows 7 loaded properly. Load up any software programs before you transfer any file via the Windows 7 Easy Transfer. Stay off the internet and hold off loading any anti-virus software until you load all of the basic software on your new laptop/PC. I use Microsoft Office 2003 and if you load that software before transferring files all of your Outlook setting are transferred so moving to a new computer seems almost seamless. If you load the Microsoft software after the Win 7 transfer you will need to add all of your settings (email) from your old PC/laptop. Most third party software did not transfer though most of the individual files worked fine after reloading the third party software. External hard drives and jump (USB) drives are very cheap and make baking up your files easy. If a storm comes and you have to Bugout because your home is destroyed, that little USB jump drive or External hard drive can rebuild all your files or can be printed at any Office Depot/Max of all your critical paperwork!
While I said many nasty words about the refurbished Dell Latitude 4310 because the problems I dealt with fighting a Windows update glitch. I think the Dell is a good bugout/prepper laptop, based on price ( under $200.00 @ newegg.com) , the exterior is metal and it packs a good bit of power for it’s small size. I was quite surprised how well the battery held for a refurbished machine. Batteries can only take so much charging, and if you use a laptop like I recommend you get a backup battery and for daily operations remove the battery from the laptop and use the cord power only , charging up the battery occasionally and then remove the battery so it does not over charge. Laptops do not need a battery to work if corded power is applied.
I recommend you start learning about Linux/Unix type software systems. If you use a Windows OS (Operating System) you set all automatic updates to “off “and decide when to install updates. Unix/Linux is a great operating system for older PC’s and laptops. Open Office offers a darn good software suite that is mostly compatible with most Office files.
If you are on any Windows type operating system make a printout of the “System” this is a big print job, but it is comprehensive. If you choose to use an Unix based system you will need all those details for divers for hardware and stuff. I suppose some may think I’m a bit paranoid on software and other stuff. I prefer to retain as much control as possible over my machines, rather than trust the software corporations to do whatever updates they feel like pushing!
The only hardware upgrade I have left is my cable modem and perhaps a new router. I’m not sure I need a new router as the old linksys router is doing a great job since I upgraded the software to open source dd-wrt software. I want to build a couple of new desk top PCs for Mom and I but that will have to wait a couple of months as we settle into winter and are sure all of the basics needs are rock solid.
Overall I have been very pleased with the “refurb” laptops from newegg.com. Both the Dell and HP have been a good upgrade (for us) to Windows 7 and do good job for most business and personal applications. These are not machines that can run high end Video games or CAD programs as they use Intel integrated graphics and shared memory.