I've got a couple of hundred thousand miles on a three-year-old notebook that has been accumulating minor but costly problems. I also use a desktop and a netbook, but since I travel between work locations, the notebook has served as my workhorse.
In the past, when I was ready for a replacement computer, I've always updated to something new and I always incurred the added cost of repurchasing a program or two. This time around, I would need to repurchase Word and some costly assessment software.
It occurred to me that I could buy a used, replacement notebook and swap out the hard drives, but the decision hinged upon finding an identical notebook in excellent condition. Luckily, I was able to find just one for sale online, supposedly in like-new condition, but of course it was much cheaper than what I originally paid for mine.
It was returnable, so if it wasn't in excellent condition, I could get a refund, less shipping cost. I was also a little nervous about the possibility of some minor, unknown hardware difference that might gum up the works, but I decided to take a chance.
I ordered last Saturday and the replacement arrived on Thursday. As promised, it's in like-new condition. Actually, it looks and operates like it's brand new. Everything is tighter, the LCD is brighter, and I can't find any wear on the shell. The previous owner couldn't have used it all that much.
I swapped out the hard drives and it's working perfectly. And now I also have a back up battery, a clean back-up hard drive, power cord, LCD and DVD player.
I know this wasn't an act of genius, but for some reason I hadn't thought about this option until last Saturday. I guess I was lucky to find an identical notebook that was cheap and also happened to be in great shape.