Originally Posted by Smurfyy
Y'know, sometimes I'm glad I have a laptop where taking it apart like that really isn't a rational option (possible - and I've done it on other machines (not mine) - but very detailed and risky). Even something as simple as cleaning out the dust takes on a whole new meaning with a laptop (so I just use air and hope for the best but see no reason why my fan wouldn't get just as gunked up as yours where air would be all but useless, but luckily hear no problem noises so I assume I'm OK).
I don't even really consider upgrades as I'm maxed out on RAM, the monitor limits the value of a better graphics card even if I could find one (and I don't think I could add one but would need to replace the motherboard and include a better one when choosing), I have plenty of space on my HDD (and an external HDD for backup and, if it comes to that, additional storage space), a new processor probably wouldn't be compatibile with the motherboard, a new motherboard is MUCH too expensive and wouldn't really help much (without a new graphics card and processor too so I could upgrade to W7 - but that's not going to happen), I have a CD/DVD+RW burner (and no reason for Blu-Ray as I have nothing Blu-Ray and don't rent or buy videos anyway), and a laser wireless mouse (the only thing I added besides the external HDD because typing was impossible with random cursor movements from brushing the touchpad - and I hate touchpads anyway).
So when I got this laptop about 4 years ago, I added a 5-year next-day in-house repair warranty (and I think it can be extended as long as I don't let it expire though I don't know for how long). So far, I've needed it only once (to replace the monitor - and they didn't just replace the whole lid but took it completely apart and changed just the monitor part (which I was surprised to discover was somewhat flexible like a thin piece of plastic)). And I have called them several times for help (which was free because of the warranty) but we were able to resolve those issues over the phone or with a remote desktop connection or both. In every case but the monitor, I was embarrased because that's what I do for a living (and you all know me from here) and still I
needed help (which usually seemed simple after it was resolved - making me feel even worse).
Anyway, I have worked with and upgraded many desktops (though never built one entirely from scratch - case and all) and have no real problems there (and didn't get extended warranties on the ones I have as I assumed I could deal with those myself for the most part - except for replacment parts and so far that hasn't been an issue on any of them (they're all Dell and have been since Dell started). Of course, I've worked on other brands in my business but they're all pretty much the same or the differences aren't enough to make a difference in being able to work on them. While I can and do do this kind of work and networking (where I need to crawl through ceilings and cut holes in walls to string cables and attach connectors,...), I much prefer dealing with software issues (easier, less physical, less dirty,...).
Then again, it sounds like you sort of enjoy it (I guess it's a bit different when it isn't your job but only a hobby even if that's sort of the case with what I do on VF and I enjoy that) and seem to also enjoy the benefits of the changes and upgrades you make, so it's certainly worth it for you.
EEK! Another "long post from Lorien." LOL! I guess sometimes (maybe more often than that) I get carried away. Oh well, some will read it, some will read part of it, and some will say "way too long" and ignore it (as I suspect is the case even with some of my posted recommendations though I hope most get read at least by the OP as I often spend quite some time drafting them despite my reply template and think they will help if given a chance).