- how to tell if a lap top is out of date / knackered?
my laptop, bought in 2008’ish’, seems a bit slow/under powered now when watching youtube or vimeo. Seems to pause the video/audio whenever I do anything else on the machine while the video/audio is playing. Its got a AMD turion 64×2 processor and 2gb RAM, running vista. Is this out of date now?
is it beyond upgrading (are laptops upgradeable?), it seems to struggle with processing large image files in photoshop or video files.Posted 4 years agodawsonSubscriber
if its never been wiped you may see an improved performance if you back up your data, format the drive and do a clean install of the OS.
its 5 years old so its getting on a bit, but should still be ok.
Edit: it is just about getting to the age where I would think twice about spending too much time faffing, when a newer laptop is only £300ishPosted 4 years ago
it’s never even been defragged, let alone re-installed. I don’t have the disk for windows as it didn’t come with the laptop. Can you get a disk from microsoft to re install the OS, or do they expect you to buy new?
its a 17″ widescreen so it would be nice to rescue it rather than replace it. how much RAM can you stick in an old machine?Posted 4 years agomikewsmithSubscriber
Depending on which version of windows you have you may be able to do a restore/repair (W7 allows you to do this and you can get an iso of windows from a few sources) Your laptop may also have a recovery partition – right click on Computer in the start menu and hit manage then disc manage (i think) which will show you if there is another partition.
Google the laptop make and model to see the specs on RAM etc. the manufacturer may still have details online and a driver pack etc.Posted 4 years agomatt_outandaboutSubscriber
We share an office with a company, that is chucking in new RAM (from 2gb to 4gb) and a new small SSD drive(as they use server, but you could use Skydrive or similar) with windows 7 / office 13 on similar age / processor machines. I am amazed how fast they are…IIRC the tech said it cost about £80 a machine.Posted 4 years ago
Check out how much free space the hard drive has. A mature Vista installation will have filled it with system restore points. The spec you have quoted is perfectly adequate, no real gains to be had by adding anything. Your best bet, as others have said, is a fresh install or ditching Vista for another operating system. At the end of the day Vista is the problem, it’s pants!Posted 4 years ago
I’ve got about 20GB free of about 220GB HD space. lots of photo RAW files and music on it taking up space.
I do a bit of RAW file editing in elements 6, and very occasional video editing using windows movie maker. Seems OK if a bit sluggish.
If I’m going to wipe it for a new install do I need to back up anything except the data files from the hard drive? I’ve got files I know about backed up to a remote drive, but do I need any operating system file backed up?Posted 4 years agorobdobMember
I think my laptop is about 4 years old. Best advice I got from an expert was to upgrade to Win7 from Vista as Vista is a heap of crap that makes computers slow. I did that and it was like buying a new PC! I got the full version and did a clean install. As an advantage it got rid of all the crap Acer put on it as well. 🙂
I got the 64bit version. You might want to put more memory in it if you can.Posted 4 years ago
I’ve got about 20GB free of about 220GB HD space.
There is your problem, no breathing room or lung capacity for your system to work. The file formats do not matter ( to a degree!) Windows itself is only happy if free space is above 20%, and happier still the more space there is.Posted 4 years agosobrietyMember
It’s more than 6 months old, so ‘yes’ it’s out of date.
The best thing I’ve done for a laptop of that vintage was to upgrade the RAM to 4 or 8GB, switch the HDD for a SSD (you can put the old HDD into a caddy and use it as storage), and get rid of vista for a 64 bit version of Windows 7 or 8.
The machine I did it to was from 2007, and those changes made it feel like new – Vista is a horrible OS.Posted 4 years ago
Cut the smoke and mirrors about memory, please, the OP seems to have a 32 bit OEM system. It will only recognise 3gb, max.
We have established that his drive is full, with no efficient room to buffer video, etc.
Solution is create more space, simple.
Adequate suggestions have already been made.Posted 4 years agouser-removedMember
Beaten to it by Trampus. I have a seven year old laptop running Vista and looked into upping the RAM a few years ago – a bit of Googling told me this ^^^. Except I was told 4gb? Also 32 bit… Anyway, that’s what I installed and it did give noticably speedier results.
If you go to Crucial and download their scanning tool, it’ll tell you exactly what to buy in terms of RAM.
And yes, keeping piles of files on your HD will slow it right up.Posted 4 years agothejesmonddingoMember
It it’s an Acer 8920g or similar,I have one,I bought a cheap copy of Windows 7,and a new bigger hard drive,installed the win7 as a clean install on the new drive,put the old drive in a caddy,transferred the files I needed,and voila,much better performing laptop,and when I’d formatted the old drive,a virtually free external hard drive.Win 7 is available from about £80.If you take the back off,there are spaces for 2 sata hard drives,one of which will be free.Posted 4 years agogravity-slaveMember
If you’re considering an OS upgrade rather than new machine I think it’s worth considering Linux and spend the money on hardware. You can go 64 bit for free and sirens a bit if money on an ssd, leaving all original data intact then boost the ram.
Ram, SSD and Win7 is over half way to buying a new machine.Posted 4 years agoCougarSubscriber
Wow. What a lot of misinformation.
I don’t have the disk for windows as it didn’t come with the laptop. Can you get a disk from microsoft to re install the OS,
You will almost certainly have a recovery partition on there, which you can access by some form of keypress on boot. Different vendors do different things, so you’ll have to either google it (eg, “dell factory reset” or suchlike) or give us some information on what you have beyond “a laptop”.
Failing that, you may have some sort of manufacturer preinstalled utility to allow you to burn your own disc. If any major manufacturer in the last five years didn’t do one or the other (or both) of these, I’ve yet to come across it.
how much RAM can you stick in an old machine?
Check out how much free space the hard drive has. A mature Vista installation will have filled it with system restore points.
Vista uses 15% of the disk for System Restore by default. So it’ll be using, at most, 33Gb.
At the end of the day Vista is the problem, it’s pants!
Cut the smoke and mirrors about memory, please, the OP seems to have a 32 bit OEM system.
How do you know?
It will only recognise 3gb, max.
Cobblers. It’ll recognise 4Gb, max. However, you will only be able to access somewhere between 3Gb and maybe 3.75Gb depending on your system, due to technical limitations of the architecture.
And yes, keeping piles of files on your HD will slow it right up.
Why, are 1’s heavier than 0’s?
Someone else alluded to this too, and to a large extent it’s an old wives’ tale. You need enough free space for the OS to ‘breathe’ yes, and anything that will require an amount of space for temp files will start to run into problems. I’d hazard that on this machine, attempting to run defrag would fail for this reason. Beyond this though, whether your disk is 20% full or 70% full won’t make a fig of difference to performance in and of itself.
You could always use Treesize to see what’s taking up all the space. But really, here’s what I’d do.
[*]Back up all your data. Music, photos, emails, anything you need to keep. Consider Easy Transfer.[/*]
[*]Google how to factory reset your laptop. Do that.[/*]
[*]If Flash is installed, update it to the latest version.[/*]
[*]If Java is installed, update it to the latest version.[/*]
[*]Uninstall whatever trialware crap antivirus is installed.[/*]
[*]Install Microsoft Security Essentials from MS’s website.[/*]
[*]Run and re-run Windows Update until it stops offering you updates.[/*]
[*]Re-evaluate the situation. How’s it performing now?[/*][/list]Posted 4 years agooliverd1981Member
Further to Cougar’s step’s I’d make sure I did a disk cleanup and defrag at that point. You’ve essentailly got it clean again. If your machine has a license key sticker you might be better off doing a clean install of the appropriate version of Vista that includes the most up to date service pack instead of using the manufacturers recovery option. Sometimes there’s a lot of strange bloat in the recovery images.
I’m a big fan of fitting an SSD on laptops of this age – makes them run the way they always should have.Posted 4 years ago
Thanks for all the advice 🙂
Laptop is an Asus A7u series machine. 250GB HDD shows as two drives, C: ‘Vista OS’ and D: ‘Data’. was like this from the factory. Currently got about 7.5GB of 108GB free on D: and got 14.5GB free of 116GB on C:. So 108 +116 = 224GB therefore there seems to be approx. 26GB of HD space missing somewhere to get to 250GB stated total size?
I will delete a load of stuff off the drives as it’s already backed up on a 1TB remote drive, and see if that helps. It’s got a load of Asus software installed as it’s a ‘media centre’ version so has loads of stuff that automatically runs at start up.
I’ll then start looking at re-installing the OS to clear a load of space. Last time I tried defragging the disk I left it on overnight and it only got to 1%, never got further than that.
Thanks for the helpPosted 4 years ago
Vista may only use 15% of hard drive space for system restore, but it also creates a shadow copy as well. It does not have a limit for the number of these copies other than when your hard drive is full it will begin to overwrite them. The end result is little space for anything else to work other than by excessive reading and writing to the drive. . . a teeth grindingly slow process! A simple registry hack can cure this, so why MS have never addressed the problem is anybody’s guess. Oh, I know. . .Vista is pants!
Sorry about the 3gb misinformation, I did of course mean utilise. 🙂Posted 4 years agoaracerSubscriberAndyPaice wrote:
Currently got about 7.5GB of 108GB free on D: and got 14.5GB free of 116GB on C:. So 108 +116 = 224GB therefore there seems to be approx. 26GB of HD space missing somewhere to get to 250GB stated total size?
A couple of things there. Firstly disk manufacturers use a different definition of GB to everybody else – using the normal definition of GB it will only actually be ~235GB when formatted. Secondly, the chances are you have a hidden recovery partition on there.
I’m glad Cougar has already stepped in regarding Vista. Nothing wrong with it at all as an OS on a decently specced system (as is the case for the OP) – it’s only on very low spec systems where it suffered and 7 is significantly better. IME 8 is actually just as bad (keeping up the rule that you should only get an odd-numbered MS OS), so less than convinced about the suggestion of an upgrade from Vista to 8.
What a surprise that people are seeing performance improvements when installing a new version of 7 to replace on old well used installation of Vista 🙄Posted 4 years agostumpy01Member
I would replace Vista if possible with Win7, as well as doing a load of the other stuff up above (probably)….
My OH’s laptop was running Vista and was really slow. It was never particularly snappy, but even after wiping and starting again it still wasn’t great.Posted 4 years ago
We got a copy of Win7 loaded onto it and the difference is night and day. It runs an absolute ton better with Win7.gravity-slaveMember
I will delete a load of stuff off the drives as it’s already backed up on a 1TB remote drive
Bear in mind when you do that, you no longer have a ‘backup’ 😉Posted 4 years ago
If your data is valuable make sure you have it in at least 2 places at once (backup drive could be wiped, fail, get lost, stolen, etc.)
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