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  #1  
Unread 08-19-2009, 01:37 PM
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Default Computer Deal of The Month

This is the undisputed computer deal of the month... and one of the best deals I have ever seen. It's the Acer Aspire 6530 that my friend found for sale at Best Buy. My friend Scott checks for deals daily and this is the brand that he always looks out for at Best Buy. He has scored laptops from there for $200 and $300 before and it just amazes me. Yeah they are Acer but that brand has developed into a fine laptop over the years. But this model really took me by surprise. They went up for sale and in the same day they were all sold out. You just can't beat a NEW laptop for under $400. It was $379 as advertised on the Best Buy website. Pricing out the door (OTD) was a couple cents under $430.





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Unread 08-19-2009, 01:47 PM
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I have always been into tech and consulting so I figured that I type something up about how things are changing in computer tech. I just can't believe how cheap this laptop is. Of course I downgraded from Windows Vista to XP. This is a no-brainer. Although this particular laptop IS eligible for the Windows 7 FREE UPGRADE when it becomes available for consumers.

The one problem with the Acer 6530? The website and packaging brags about a 250 GB hard drive BUT with the backup partitions from Acer being so huge only 110 GB of the hard drive is usable or "see-able" by Windows. What a deal breaker for most people! Later on I'll throw out some tips on how to format the hard drive into a single partition and then load XP onto it. It's not so easy at all but it's doable without any consequences. Don't let this lack of a full usable 250GB drive deter you from buying this laptop. Even Windows Vista can be configured to be very manageable. Heck, I use Vista as my primary OS on my desktop machine. But laptop hardware is designed for battery life and low system heat. Vista was designed to drain battery life and increase system heat IMO. If you don't have a pretty fast computer than Vista is going to bog down even after you optimize it and it just gets worse with time.



In my experience a fresh format on a laptop with XP Pro will provide MUCH better results. Will Windows 7 be any better for laptops than Vista? I hope so but we'll have to wait for now.
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Unread 08-19-2009, 01:54 PM
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I'll be putting up some pictures soon. But for now I'll mark this post with the intent of talking about loading Windows XP on the Acer Aspire 6530. Just for kicks if you google around for this particular model you will come across the Acer 6530G model. It seems to be the same exact thing but with more hard drive space.. and better video capability. I've only uncovered info on it by way of UK websites so I don't expect them to be sold over here. That's just my opinion though.
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Unread 08-19-2009, 01:58 PM
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Also when you go ahead and use a Windows Install disk you will have problems with the partitions that are available (or not!) when you begin the process. You won't be able to load XP onto the hard drive until you remove the factory loaded partitions, and 4 appeared in my case. These are not normal partitions though. You will have to use DOS commands to force delete them. You can do this from the command prompt, you know, windows+R -> cmd etc etc.

Here is what you will get if you just try and reinstall Windows XP/ Vista:
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Unread 08-19-2009, 02:13 PM
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Now you have all the drive available after the deletion of the partitions. Very good. Now you will put the drive back into the Aspire 6530 and begin with the XP install process. But what's this? The installed doesn't even see a drive? That's because the motherboard uses a raid type controller for the SATA interface of course. There is a software driver that needs to be integrated into the XP install disc and this can be done but what a pain in the butt. Everyone knows that this will take a lot of time and another program to do so. There are even a couple blogs that go through the WHOLE process and it is long. I have done it before for other reasons.



Alas, all of this can be avoided... how? Well you can override the AHCI SATA functionality and use standard IDE confg SATA. Just load up the BIOS and you will see it as an available setting. So what's the difference between AHCI and not using it? You will find tons of info on this subject and it just is applicable to hot-swap situations and high speed data transfer (so I've read from a few extremely scientific peoples who have measured system performance values). None of this will effect 99.9% of us. It's a non-issue and definitely not worth the hassle.

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Unread 10-21-2009, 07:53 AM
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So after all the hard work of using DOS to erase each dumb partition you will be able to utilize the huge hard drive for all it's worth. It's pretty crazy how they say that the Acer hard drive is a 250GB drive but you can only use 110GB of it! It takes some work but it's doable. I feel bad for people that might have reformatted and then blue-screened out - and can't get around all of that. I hope this points some people in the right direction because I'm sure that all the new Acers that are coming out on the market are doing the same thing. This is a great laptop by the way. It works awesome, is quiet and is just pretty to look at. If anything the only thing that it needs is more battery life. Oh well, can't have it all!



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Unread 10-21-2009, 07:54 AM
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And some more pictures of this beauty:




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Unread 10-21-2009, 08:00 AM
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And just for fun here is the Acer side to side compared to my Lenovo T60. I love the T60 for my portable laptop. The T60 extended battery lasts a super long time and when you use the power saving features it lasts even longer. The Lenovo is indestructible and I have dropped it very hard a couple of times on the concrete to test is out accidentally .



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Unread 10-21-2009, 08:02 AM
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More pictures. The Lenovo T series is the best portable laptop IMO. The new Acer line is one of the best desktop/ semi-portable laptops for sure. So cheap and its damn fast. The screen is also very very nice as well. The Acer just comes with so many features I can't believe they are so cheap.



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