Need some help reviving an old PC

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  1. Posts : 21,421
    19044.1586 - 21H2 Pro x64
       #11

    Upgrading to 8 GB RAM would help too, but first the SSD and see how it is after that.
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 4,453
    Win 11 Pro 22000.708
       #12

    bigseb said:
    Yeah already copied over her files.
    Imaging isn't just copying files. It is creating an image of the operating system, which can be restored if things go wrong with an update. You'd need another HD to save the image to, though.

    I haven't used it, but Macrium Reflect Free is frequently recommended for the purpose. (I use Acronis True Image, which isn't free.)

    I'll second the recommendation to replace the laptop's HD with an SSD. At least in the US, the cost has gone down enough to make it a reasonable choice. It would make the laptop much quicker.

    I have a 2008 vintage laptop (came with Vista) that has Win10 X64 installed on it, even though it has only 4GB of RAM (the max allowed for it). (I needed X64 to run some particular job-related software.) I don't use it much any more, but it runs OK. Especially with a 120GB SATA SSD. I recently updated it to 20H2, without a hitch. That, even though it uses a motherboard with an nVidia chipset (nVidia doesn't make those any more, just graphics) and an AMD CPU.

    I don't have much to offer in terms of an elderly user being unwilling to switch to Win10. There are utilities to make 10 behave more like 7, but I haven't used any and can't make recommendations. Upgrade it, regardless, for security reasons. Maybe learning a new OS will improve her mental flexibility.
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 7,964
    Windows 11 Pro 64 bit
       #13

    NavyLCDR said:
    Replace the HDD with an SSD.
    Installing a SSD will result in a significant speed improvement. Check how much data storage she uses since a relatively small disk say 256 GB might suffice. You can buy a 240 GB SSD for only 25, although the commonly recommended Samsung 870 Evo and Crucial MX500 are c. 40.
      My Computers


  4. Posts : 17,049
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 22H2 Build 19045.4170
       #14

    bigseb said:
    Yeah already copied over her files.
    Seb,

    I hope you don't mind but that seemed to me to be a strange response to Paul's post.

    A system image is much more than a simple file copy. It can be used to restore the computer to the software state it was in at the time the image was made - including bootability, Windows & applications, Windows & applications settings / preferences, any data files on the same disk, ...

    If you make a system image before doing any changes then you'll be confident of at least getting back to square one if it all starts going haywire.
    [I can now see that bobkn has also referred to this subject]

    Macrium Reflect [free edition] is often recommended in this forum for making system images. Other utilities are available but this one is so commonplace that you can get plenty of help for it.

    Backup and Restore with Macrium Reflect - TenForumsTutorials
    Macrium Software Macrium Reflect Free
    Macrium USB - TenForums
    Macrium Reflect KnowledgeBase - user guide [version-independent link]

    It can also make bootable system images. This facility is called viBoot and it requires Win10 Pro.
    Macrium viBoot - Macrium KB
    Macrium viBoot - Create Virtual Machine using Macrium Image - TenForumsTutorials



    While you're thinking about backups, consider Backup and Restore Device Drivers - TenForumsTutorials as well.
    But I do not know if there was a Windows 7 equivalent of this procedure so you'll have to look around SevenForums if you are not going to upgrade the computer to Windows 10.

    All the best,
    Denis
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 21,421
    19044.1586 - 21H2 Pro x64
       #15

    bigseb,
    There are some good videos on YouTube to help you with Macrium Reflect if you decide to use it.
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 137
    Win10
       #16

    If you have all the important files backed up, then do a win10 upgrade and then perhaps a clean install of win10 and then replace her important documents and files
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 58
    WIndows 10
       #17

    I guess I don't understand why nobody has mentioned it. If the System is old, and CPU challenged (don't know its age), one of the problems that really can slow down a System is disk fragmentation. If the System is HDD-based, I would first defragment her HDD before anything else.
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 18,452
    Windows 11 Pro
       #18

    FroggyTheGremli said:
    I guess I don't understand why nobody has mentioned it. If the System is old, and CPU challenged (don't know its age), one of the problems that really can slow down a System is disk fragmentation. If the System is HDD-based, I would first defragment her HDD before anything else.
    Nobody has mentioned it yet because disk fragmentation is not nearly as much of an issue with Windows 10 as it was with earlier versions of Windows. In addition, the power/age has little to do with the affects of fragmentation. The performance specifications of the hard drive influence the affects from fragmentation much more than cpu specs.
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 58
    WIndows 10
       #19

    NavyLCDR said:
    Nobody has mentioned it yet because disk fragmentation is not nearly as much of an issue with Windows 10 as it was with earlier versions of Windows. In addition, the power/age has little to do with the affects of fragmentation. The performance specifications of the hard drive influence the affects from fragmentation much more than cpu specs.
    In the OP the System was identified as Windows 7. It was also mentioned that the problem has been around for a long time and the System user was oblivious of the issues as they developed.

    I have dealt with many Systems (Win7 & earlier) whose unsophisticated users have never defragmented their HDD_based Systems for the life of the desktop/laptop. When this was done, the System slowed waaaay down and became almost unusable... the exact description offered in the OP. Defragmentation would almost be a first step/check in dealing with a situation like this. It would be even worse if the System HDD was of the 5900rpm variety (very common for low cost Systems).
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 18,452
    Windows 11 Pro
       #20

    I agree it wouldn't hurt as a first step.
      My Computer


 

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