Sunday, November 6, 2016


Hope you all had a pleasant day.

I finally finished the last of the laptops for the Marine Mammal Care Center. I got stalled for a bit after they picked up the first one because the took the power supply and it took several days for my friend to bring me another one.

Rather than fight with cleaning up the existing Win 7 install, I whacked the drive with DBAN and proceeded to do a clean installation of Win 7, and then snagged all the correct drivers for it from the Dell support website.

The third one was a bit more involved, as the "pointing stick", a little nub in the middle of the keyboard that you can use like a mouse, had failed, and sent the cursor sailing over to the left side of the screen as soon as it booted up.

Since I've never met anybody who uses that thing, I took the laptop apart and unplugged the cable for it where it plugged into the motherboard.

Then lather, rinse, and repeat as I did the #2 laptop.

These laptops originally came from Dell with Windows 7 Professional, but it was the 32-bit version. This limited memory to less than the 4GB that was installed from Dell, and made my collection of used memory useless. When I did the fresh install I used the 64-bit version, and was able to bump the installed memory up from 4GB to 8GB. It took a bit of searching on the Dell support site to find the 64-bit versions of all the drivers, but it was worth the effort to give these old laptops double the memory.

And I installed the GWX Control Panel to keep these machines from getting infested with the Windows 10 OS.

I'm glad these are finished, and now I can get back to doing my own projects again.....


  1. Lol, I like the way you think.
    "Ain't nobody ever gonna use that anyway, I'm just gonna unplug that thing".
    I couldn't tell you how many times I've done things like that.

  2. I specifically asked my "customer" if any of them used it, and they didn't even know it was there, or what it was.

    One of the guys knew what it was, and said he hated the damn things, so since it would involve spending a few $$, we all agreed to just nuke it from orbit....

  3. I've been looking at some refurbished machines on line at different places, because I want to run my Quicken program in parallel for a bit before I switch from Quicken 2007 to the new Quicken, just in case the new one doesn't convert the 2007 files to a format usable with the new program. Most of the computers I've seen offered run Windows 7. I guess that would work if all I want is to run the new Quicken.

  4. And I'm sure they appreciated the help!

    1. Yeah, they were pretty happy. They have *some* money for stuff like this, but seeing as how they just reorganized the transition from the previous operating company they're being very careful with how they spend their funds.

      The place was originally set up by Harcourt-Brace-Jovanovich in 1986 as a concession towards their buying Marineland, which they sneakily closed three months after they bought it, and moved all the marine life to their other sea parks, like Sea World.

      That company has since gone through numerous revisions, and decided they no longer wanted to operate the MMCC. friend organized a 501C(3) to take it over, and here we are today....


Keep it civil, please....

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