help me dump these netbooks
December 16, 2010 3:07 PM   Subscribe

I have two hard-drive-less Dell Mini 9s. What is the best way to make some money getting rid of them?

I'd really like to sell them so I can get a new computer. They were good for a while but somehow I kept ending up frying the SSD.

I looked online, and the SSD's that go inside of them are selling for $100 for 16 gb! I was expecting to get maybe $100 each, so that wouldn't get me much money. There might be better deals on SSD's, but I was hoping for something around $30 I could slap in there, reinstall XP, and ship out.

So, what's my best option? Find a 2GB drive, install, and sell? Sell them without hard drives? Install on an external hard drive, and sell that along with them?

Alternatively, are there any surprisingly useful applications that I could use these for? Like, I donno, somehow installing linux without needing a HD, and using these netbooks as dedicated media servers or something? Please give me your advice!
posted by rebent to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have a Dell Mini 9 with an SSD, but SSD wasn't the only option on those machines, was it? Couldn't you put a regular netbook HD in there much cheaper than $100?

That said, I'm not really sure that you're going to even recoup the costs of the HD if you did that on the sale. Check eBay and see what they are going for used to get a better picture of what it's worth before doing that.

If you keep them, consider giving XBMC Live on a USB stick as a media player (not server--that would be silly if you have no HD). I really like the Dell Mini 9 as a portable media player with XBMC.
posted by mcstayinskool at 3:14 PM on December 16, 2010

Response by poster: the drive is too small for a regular HD. It only accepts a pint-sized SSD!
posted by rebent at 3:22 PM on December 16, 2010

If you kept frying the SSD perhaps there is something wrong with the internals of the notebook. Wouldn't be very nice to sell that to someone.
posted by lakerk at 5:31 PM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Go to then to their buy or sell forum and you can buy orig mini 9 ssd's for a hell of a lot less than a hundred dollars... Either in the 8 or 4 gb size..heck you might be able to sell them without the ssd's there...
posted by knockoutking at 6:00 PM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

I feel your pain. That generation SSD drive sucks; not as reliable as the newer ones. But, the cost of early-adopter.

There's 50mm PATA Mini PCIe SSD for $70, or there's hacks for using larger SSD's on a mini.

Personally, I've been using Ubuntu on a USB stick. It's too bad the SD-card slot doesn't work for boot purposes. It also boots off an external DVD drive.
posted by hungrysquirrels at 6:11 PM on December 16, 2010

Response by poster: Lakerk: it's totally my fault, not the hardware (as far as I know).

The last drive that got fried was when the Pagefile.sys was taking up about 25% of the SSD's storage space. I kept deactivating it, but when I rebooted, there it was again! So.... I deleted it. And, somehow, after that, the ssd was never recognized as a hard drive again. couldn't boot, partition, format, or anything! ah well, live and learn.

Knockoutking, thanks for the tip. That's probably what I will do.
posted by rebent at 5:05 AM on December 17, 2010

To echo knockoutking with an explanation: a lot of people (like me) bought refurbs with a small hard drive and proceeded to upgrade it with a bigger Runcore drive, which are faster than the ones Dell provides, and are not as overpriced relative to performance as the ones Dell offers. So there's a lot of drives that people yanked out sitting around.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 7:50 AM on December 17, 2010

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