Upgrade hand me down laptop- Worth It?


Mar 20, 2015
Sorry, this is going to be long. I got a Toshiba Satellite M105-S3041 (specs here: http://www.cnet.com/products/toshiba-satellite-m105-s3041-14-1-core-solo-t1350-win-xp-home-512-mb-ram-80-gb-hdd-series/specs/) from my aunt last year for college. But I dropped it one too many times and it blue screened. I had a fellow workstudy look at it (they're in computer engineering) and they said that the hard drive was dead. Recently I started looking into getting a new laptop, but I realized that it would be cheaper to upgrade my old sluggish laptop, rather than buy a new cheap sluggish laptop. Since it's been a year, I no longer care about whatever info is on the hard drive with one exception that I will write below, so I figure that I will just get a new one. I also wanted to upgrade the ram (512 is paltry). But I know little about hardware, so I figured that I should ask for some advice before I start buying stuff.

Here are my questions. I looked into hard drives and found some cheap Toshiba MK1246GSX and Toshiba MHY2120BH ones used on ebay with 120 GB of storage. I figure that I won't use much anyway, but I wanted a second opinion. I was also wondering if I should bother trying to get Windows XP off of the hard drive. I was thinking of just using one of the less intensive Linux OSs.

I looked into compatibility and from what I could tell, any ram that was DDR2 PC2-5300 200 pin would work. But I am not sure. I was trying to decide between getting 2GB and 4GB, since this is a pretty old laptop and I am not sure it will survive long enough to make the price of 4GB worth it. I like to think that most of what I do is not all that labor intensive, but I am guilty of opening multiple tabs and from what I've read 2GB can't even handle that. Almost forgot, I am not sure if upgrading the ram means that I have to do a 1x2 or 2x2 configuration. One site I saw said that you need to, but another said that the 512 ram is in one of the slots by itself. Also, I read on a board that one of the slots can only be reached by taking the whole computer apart and if that is true, I would rather just buy one 2G ram.

From what I looked up, the processor is subpar, but it would take a paid professional (or someone with more skill than me) to replace it. Would the computer run okay even if I left it in?

Lastly, is it worth it? Should I just get a new laptop? I was looking at the HD Stream, but it seems like the upgrades would make my laptop do the around the same for around $30 or $40 (that is, 2GB ram, a 120GB hard drive, and leaving in the 1.86 processor). Then again, maybe I should just wait and save up for a laptop that is actually up to date. Thoughts?