|Pic copyright Argos|
See this baby? Just bought it off Argos at an amazing price - under £350! It's an online offer only (didn't even know there was such a thing) and it just shows what desperation will do re online searches etc.
I didn't even know you could get anything with 12GB ram - and 2TB hard drive... I tell you, I cannot wait to get it (meantime, I'm backing up everything on to my external hard drive, ready to transfer back). I'm so excited!
Of course there's a small catch - it's Windows 7. However, for me that's a bonus. Here's why... (read on after the break if you're really interested - it's a looong story)...
My current machine (1TB hard drive, 4GB ram) came with Windows 7 Home already installed, and I just loved it. However, when Windows 8 came out there was an amazing offer (as a download for £29 or buy the discs for £49) so of course I went for it. What a mistake! I have had nothing but trouble ever since - it actually lost its C drive at one point (when it tried its own Microsoft diagnostic and repair!) and I ended up using a free disc from PC Pro magazine which installed partitions so I had a C drive again.
Trying to reinstall Windows 7 with my recovery disc didn't work. Why? Because those clever people at Microsoft have Windows 8 overwrite anything you already have on your machine, and if you want to go back you have to have the set of discs for Windows 7 - which costs over £130! And what they didn't tell me when I asked for help is that they have a 90 day warranty. It wasn't on the website, and didn't come with the literature accompanying my Windows 8 discs, which I bought direct from Microsoft. Online help just said I had to pay again. And the problems went on...
So after just over a year of Windows 8, I have totally had enough of battling with my computer - at less than 3 years old, it continually crashes for no reason - Windows diagnostics say no problem, defrag says no problem etc - yet the screen goes black and it just turns itself off.
This may be due to some security vulnerability - every time I scan, I get the same 3 virus alarms - yet Kaspersky, and now McAffee, don't seem able to either prevent, detect or remove them. I installed Malware Bytes Pro, and this gets rid every single time. And it does a full scan. Scanning with Kaspersky and McAffee also crashed the machine.
It's been a little more stable since my free upgrade to Windows 8.1 Pro, but it still crashes. Hence I'm buying a machine that comes with Windows 7 again, and has installation discs (in case I need to reinstall). The nice guys at Maplins (computer & electronics shop) reckon Windows 8 will be OK in 18 months or so, when they have ironed the glitches out completely - so if you are thinking of updating, you might want to hold back a while.
Another couple of things about Windows 8 - which is really aimed for those with laptops and tablets, who are used to scrolling: it's not really good a good system for a PC. Also, Windows Media Centre does NOT come included. If you have Windows 8 Pro, you have to buy it (cost me £6.99) and if you have the ordinary Windows 8, it's £99.99! It comes FREE with Windows 7. As do the games: Freecell etc. On Windows 8 you have to search for the correct app to download.
So all in all, I am very disappointed in Windows 8, it's wrecked this computer (never mind about running their compatibility thing - it isn't reliable) and it's cost me a lot of time, stress and money. And I'm pretty disgusted re Microsoft support. I think they are so big now that they just don't care... If I had the money I'd go for a Mac, but I don't. So there we are.
As I said, I cannot wait for my new machine! I'll keep you posted.