To start this off, I want to say here that I have Zero (0) experience working with or on laptops.
I was just given a Sony Vaio VGN-FJ290P laptop. I was told when I was given the laptop that it needs to have the hard drive replaced, because sometimes the thing will boot up and work and other times it errors out? It does not have an OS on it right now?
The Specs of it are:
Either a 1.73, 1.86 or a 2.0 GHZ Intel Pentium M processor FSB speed of 533MHZ
1GB of DDR2 PC-4200 Ram
80GB SATA 5400 RPM HDD (broken)
a CD\DVD Optical Drive that can read and write cd's and dvd's
14" WXGA LCD Screen 1200X800
So what should I do first? Should I try to load a copy of XP on it or should I just order a HDD & Ram? Right now it only has a 80GB HDD in it and if I were to replace it I'd like to replace it with something much bigger. When i wrote to Sony tech Support all they sent me back was a canned response that said it comes with a 80 or 100GB HDD and that it "MAY" be able to run a bigger one, but they don't know?
Does anyone here think that it can handle a 250Gb or 320GB hard disk? Is there any way I can check or test it to see?
Right now it only has 1GB of ram in it (probably 2 X 512MB) and it can only handle 2GB so I plan on ordering 2 X 1GB ram strips from Crucial.
I've been told that the battery also does not last long and that the laptop get pretty hot?
I can't afford a new laptop, because if I could I would have never accepted this one? But If I were to fix this one and use it for awhile then some how get a new one, I would give this to my 14 year old daughter. Either way the laptio would get use if I were to fix it.
I build and work on Desktop PC's all the time so I'm thinking this won't be much harder?
I figure between new ram, a hard drive and a new battery would cost me about $150.00.
Any hints, help or advice to get this running and/or running at the best possible speed etc would be greatly appreciated!
It's possible to gut a laptop and fix it up, but it is a PITA and it's simply not worth the time or money. It seems that you have a good game plan to get it going again though. There isn't much you can do about the heat, save for ensuring that it is used on a flat-hard surface in order to allow the heat to dissipate. You could also look into a laptop cooler, but they typically only lower temps by a few degrees. In regard to the hard drive, it would probably be easier to buy a new 2.5" drive, roughly 250GB (you probably won't need a 320GB drive), install the new ram (ensure you get the correct kind), and load a copy of XP on it.
Save the receipts though, as if the error is from a bad motherboard, you'll want to return the items and get your money back.