Good idea to replace most of the components?
I'm planning to buy an old unit with what I believe has the 1.83 Core Duo processor. I'm pretty sure the hard drive is toast. It will not load the OS, I can't reinstall the OS, verify, fix, partition or ect the hard drive. (I don't remember exactly what the error stated) I don't think it's a board issue, I'm obviously here though as I don't know everything. The battery also doesn't charge/the unit won't stay on without wall power. I don't see that happening only because the OS isn't installed... but see above comment on not knowing everything. It also only has 1GB of Ram, so I'd up that to 2GB.
Obviously, I'm looking at a fair amount of what I'd consider non difficult repairs. Maybe a new unit would make more sense, but I'm really wanting to tackle this and feel good about the accomplishment. As long as I'm not missing anything, replacing the RAM, HD and battery is what I'll intend to do to get it working for my needs. The main question I have then is on the HD. I've looked around different sites and found many different reports on what I can use. Some say 120GB is the max, others say nothing above 250GB... and here says 500GB will work fine. Obviously not a huge price difference with whatever I'd choose, and bigger is better, but I don't want to buy something that won't work.
Any ideas, thoughts and experiences would greatly help.
You can use any 2.5" SATA hard drive on your machine, and a 500GB drive should work just fine. For your money, a larger drive is the better deal, unless you can pick up a 120GB on eBay or CraigsList for $30 or so.
What happens when you try to load the OS? Does the machine power on and boot off of the reinstall media, but the OS load fails somewhere in the process? Let us know exactly what happens. Knowing this is what will help determine the state of the laptop in general, which is important, because you don't want to start buying parts for a machine unless you've first ruled out a bad logic board.
If the battery won't charge, 95% of the time it's just a bad battery. I'd borrow a known-good one from a friend in order to verify this.