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Need Frugal Computer Buying Help

My computer has died. Right now, I am going to the library to check my mail. I don't have much money to buy a new one. So far the best deal I have found is a Compaq from Walmart for about $500. That is where I bought my last one, and it lasted me quite a while. But it will cost me just under $500 to fix it.

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The new one comes with a 17 inch monitor, twice the memory of my old one (40 GB), a faster processor, a video card (didn't have that), etc.

So, I was just wondering if anyone knew of an even better deal somewhere else. If it was even just for the tower, that would be OK, as long as my hp monitor, keyboard, scanner, mouse, and digital camera would be compatible.

I have searched, but boy there are a lot of computer store sites out there!

Thanks!
Heather

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October 19, 20040 found this helpful

Hello,

Have you tried the yahoo group : Freecycle...

there are many out there.. & probalby one in your city or county :-)

You just never know .. you might get a computer :-)

My dd has gotten a double stroller... (the lady was moving and didn't need it anymore. Right now she is getting two igloo dog houses for us :_)

It's just as the name impiles.. FREE !!

Worth a shot ..

Lisa

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October 20, 20040 found this helpful

I saw an ad in the newspaper where aol is selling a laptop with all the extras for right under three hundred. You do have to agree to use their service. Looked awfully good to me. I bet you could go to their site and find out the info

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October 20, 20040 found this helpful

You could also consider talking to your local high school. Sometimes the tech ed department will fix computers for community members. Its very possible that something minor is creating major problems. Some of these kids really know what they're doing!

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October 20, 20040 found this helpful

Stay away from Compaq. Have you tried EBay. I bought a brand new digital camera on EBay and it is great. You might also try Outpost.com which is Fry's web store. They always have good deals.

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October 23, 20040 found this helpful

I don't know where you are so I don't know specifically where to direct you, but find a good computer repairman/builder in your home town and see what he can do. Get a good computer from a reputable tech and if it has any problems take it back to where you got it. We have a guy like that in this town, and if I need a box and don't feel like building it myself I'd be beating his door down in the morning. Go with the independents. You don't want an HP, a Dell, or a Compac. If you were in my town (Greenwood, SC) I'd introduce you to my friend Bob. Bob would fix you right up. He's one of the best.

- Alph

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October 24, 20040 found this helpful

I'm with Alph! When my old beast blew a gasket, I went to my local computer shop and they did an "upgrade". I was able to use my own hard drive, floppy drive, cd drive, programs and peripherals like monitor, keyboard and mouse, so only needed the case, power supply, memory, mother board and processor. Cost? Way, way under $500.00

Good luck and hope you find a solution.

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October 26, 20040 found this helpful

You can also check with your local college, they may do repairs. The universities around here just throw them out, you can check with their mantenance dept. I got a printer for free, they had upgraded to a faster model.

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October 27, 20040 found this helpful

We built most of our computer ourselves...don't panic its not hard!!! I did it and I am not the sharpest tack in the box. We bought our computer half built from www.newegg.com. Then we put it the appropriate video card, memory, and modem.

We now own a computer that would cost about 2000.00 at Dell that we built for around 500.00.

P.S. When you learn to do this you are your own tech support!!!! and you don't have to worry about propriatery hardware and software (hardware and software that only works with certain brands)

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October 27, 20040 found this helpful

Thanks for all the wonderful ideas! We did go to our local computer store and he quoted us $500. It would be the same or cheaper to buy a new computer! The reason it would be so expensive, is we have Windows ME, and he won't fix it without upgrading to Windows XP. Too many problems. So that means a memory upgrade as well. All the parts came to about $450, and labor was about $50 (one hour's worth).

We checked out eBay, and have you ever really looked there for a computer??? It is a minefield!! I bought a laptop from there (which I ended up selling to my Mom) about 4 years ago, brand new and in the box. Great buy, but I also never got over the worry (after someone mentioned it to me later) that it might have been "hot". Don't get me wrong, I LOVE eBay, and am also a seller there. But there is something a little off about a person selling a brand-new in the box computer for half price and only having one and not having a store. I just don't want to risk it again. Just me.

We checked out Outpost.com and THANK YOU SO MUCH for that link!!! We think we found what we want. It is a tower with keyboard, mouse, and speakers for $300. It has 2x the memory, and Windows XP and 4x the USB ports of what we have now. We don't need a new monitor. Ours is working fine. Now we just have to wait until payday...

A word of warning about Walmart computers. A good friend of mine is a manager at Walmart. I talked to him last night about it all, and he said he and another friend of our's both had also bought this same Walmart hp deal about 4 years ago, and their computers have already died. He was surprised mine had lasted so long. Ends up the fan is too small to properly ventilate the tower, so it overheats. The Walmart deals look good, but they are built cheap and are not expected to last more than a few years. The old adage is true: "you get what you pay for!"

Thanks to everyone that responded!

Heather

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October 27, 20040 found this helpful

Alph,

Oh, by the way, I am in NE Wisconsin. Too far to meet Bob. :( Thanks though!!

Heather

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