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out with the old?

by babypix / June 29, 2008 7:00 AM PDT

I have a 7-year-old (ouch!)Gateway laptop running Windows XP. I often get a message in a speech bubble saying I have no high speed port for my wireless router (although it seems to work fine). The new external hard drive won't work at all though. Can I go from USB 1.1 to 2.0? I have a sinking feeling this won't work. Husband wants a new digital camcorder but I am afraid we won't be able to connect to it. The laptop is used for no work purposes; we use the internet, email, and download from the digital camera to it (not even music or iPod usage). Any advice would be appreciated.

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The other issue.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 29, 2008 7:04 AM PDT
In reply to: out with the old?

How big is that hard disk? Digital Video and putting such to DVD usually means I must have 10 to 20 GB free. Got that?

As to USB 2.0, you add such via the laptop's PC-Card. But if it's FIREWIRE, so much the better. Example cards follow.

More are at and these are not very expensive.

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are you shaking your head sadly?
by babypix / June 29, 2008 7:24 AM PDT
In reply to: The other issue.

we ARE worried about available space and hoped that the external hard drive would take care of it (Ex: put all the photos there and free up the laptop for other things). And I couldn't even tell where to look for that info but checking under "my computer" says 128 MB; I used to have a Mac and it always seemed to be right there to see how much room you had left.

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With 128MB RAM you don't want to do this.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 29, 2008 8:30 AM PDT

Video work would be too tedious as capture may fail and DVD creation should be a 2 day run.

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RAM ahd HDs are two different things. . .
by Coryphaeus / June 29, 2008 10:52 AM PDT

128 Meg is RAM, not the hard drive.

Double click My Computer, right click the C: drive, and click Properties to see the hard drive space used and available.

128 Meg is below bare minimum for any type of video work. The Add-on card for USB-2 or Firewire will enable you to connect to the external drive and/or camera, but if I were you I'd add RAM to the max.

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perhaps there is hope
by babypix / June 29, 2008 12:22 PM PDT

Thanks, I checked and it says:
File system NTFS
Total size 18.6 GB
Free space 10.4 GB

can this support a new USB card and an external hard drive? about the video, really I just want to store "baby eating blueberries" and "my first steps" kind of stuff. I am not looking to "polish" anyhting or do much in the way of editing, just make copies for Grandpa mostly.

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Should be barely possible.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 29, 2008 11:39 PM PDT
In reply to: perhaps there is hope

The card I noted has BOTH USB 2.0 and Firewire at a great price. Firewire is the best way to do the transfer (please see our camcorder forum sticky) and I noted that card for the best possible outcome.

You'll want Windows XP and if you are still on Windows 98 or ME then just forget it for now.

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USB 2.0
by Phil Crase / June 29, 2008 10:47 AM PDT
In reply to: out with the old?

Yes you can get a USB 2.0 PCI slot card to upgrade. A camcorder is going to be a different ball game they function best through a firewire input, not USB. Also your system may need some upgrading to get it to do what you want it to do, so do a little research. You may be better off upgrading to a newer system hat already has the hardware upgrades.

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Re: USB 2.0 card
by babypix / June 29, 2008 12:30 PM PDT
In reply to: USB 2.0

We are still researching cameras so I will keep in mind the USB vs. firewire concern.

About the card, I think there is a thread here in "storage" forum that says XP pre-dates USB 2.0 and so I wouldn't be able to add a card anyway. None of the other posts seemed to mention this so I didn't know how accurate that was or if I had misinterpreted what I read. I am a little squeamish about actually opening the case of the computer. I distinctly remember as a child being told by my father that you NEVER open the casing of anything! Hard to get past taht feeling!

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