Phase 1 of the laptop refresh project (replacement battery and new RAM) has gone off mostly uneventfully so far. My initial test of the battery gave me a bit of a surprise when the laptop shut itself off after 30 minutes and 86% capacity. For a while I thought I had a dud battery until I realized that it was probably the laptop power profile setting that caused it to turn off. Resetting it to a different profile that didn't automatically hibernate or shut down gave me much better results, with the laptop running for about 3 hours doing distributed.net work (with the CPU throttled down to half speed on battery power). After a couple of tests, I'm much more confident in the battery now.
The added RAM has done much to improve the performance of the laptop. No more green disk like blinking on constantly while Windows shuffles memory pages in and out of virtual memory. Althought Windows still acts pretty dog slow, it's much better than it was.
The new hard drive arrived today, so phase 2 can begin any time. Probably won't do anything until the weekend though. The so far plan is to:
- remove the existing drive and place it into an enclosure
- install the new drive
- create two 60GB partitions on the new drive
- install Windows on one partition
- install Linux (either Fedora 10 or Ubuntu) on the other partition
- restore data from the old drive and reinstall applications