Old Laptop with windows 7 & only 2gb memory

Robie
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Old Laptop with windows 7 & only 2gb memory

Post by Robie »

Hi

Not sure if where this question should be posted so please change/correct/let me know as necessary.

Quite simply, I have an old Dell laptop (the newer one is used by the finance minister, i.e. the boss/wife) with only 2gb memory (no, I can't add more memory to it unfortunately) and Windows 7 is really struggling even with all other useful software uninstalled. In fact, Chrome is struggling too which worked fine few years ago. I can't load more than couple of apps before it goes belly up.

Someone suggested, I should install Linux instead of Windows 7. The issue is I don't know anything about Linux plus does it have all the apps we have on Windows 7 (e.g. Chrome, Internet Explorer, Word, Excel, etc.)? Any suggestions welcome, including throwing the wife out and snatching her newer laptop.

Thanks.
Robie

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HansV
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Re: Old Laptop with windows 7 & only 2gb memory

Post by HansV »

Browsing should not be a problem. Microsoft Office isn't available for Linux, but for most purposes, LibreOffice is a good (and free) alternative.
Best wishes,
Hans

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HansV
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Re: Old Laptop with windows 7 & only 2gb memory

Post by HansV »

Before you try Linux, you might see if reinstalling Windows from scratch improves performance.
Best wishes,
Hans

Robie
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Re: Old Laptop with windows 7 & only 2gb memory

Post by Robie »

HansV wrote:Before you try Linux, you might see if reinstalling Windows from scratch improves performance.
Doh! I should have thought of that but I think it may be more memory issue than anything else. I had Windows XP on it years earlier and it worked fine.

I will reformat the hard disk and re-install Windows 7 and see what happens.

Thanks Hans.

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StuartR
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Re: Old Laptop with windows 7 & only 2gb memory

Post by StuartR »

I would not use a Windows 7 computer connected to the Internet, the risk of being infected by something exploiting a known vulnerability is far too high. Either install Linux and learn how to use it, or accept that it is now history and plan to replace it.
StuartR


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John Gray
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Re: Old Laptop with windows 7 & only 2gb memory

Post by John Gray »

Conversely, our charity has upwards of 75 computers and will be using Windows 7 at least until it runs out of support in January 2020.
Practising 'safe computing' and frequent backup/imaging, and with decent firewalls and updated antivirus will minimise problems - and you could always reinstall again if something really drastic occurs!
You will have to assess whether you have anything important on the laptop which could be stolen or compromised by a successful attack...
John Gray

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Robie
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Re: Old Laptop with windows 7 & only 2gb memory

Post by Robie »

StuartR wrote:I would not use a Windows 7 computer connected to the Internet, the risk of being infected by something exploiting a known vulnerability is far too high. Either install Linux and learn how to use it, or accept that it is now history and plan to replace it.
Interesting Stuart. Why do you say that?

I have the Windows anti virus MSE installed with auto update. I use Spybot, CCleaner, Malwarebytes, etc.
At work, we are using Windows 7 with *no* plans to update to Windows 10.

Robie
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Re: Old Laptop with windows 7 & only 2gb memory

Post by Robie »

John Gray wrote:Conversely, our charity has upwards of 75 computers and will be using Windows 7 at least until it runs out of support in January 2020.
Practising 'safe computing' and frequent backup/imaging, and with decent firewalls and updated antivirus will minimise problems - and you could always reinstall again if something really drastic occurs!
You will have to assess whether you have anything important on the laptop which could be stolen or compromised by a successful attack...
I don't have anything important on it. I use it to connect to the work computer and some browsing - that's it. I have very few programs installed on it.

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StuartR
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Re: Old Laptop with windows 7 & only 2gb memory

Post by StuartR »

Old software, like Windows 7, tends to accumulate vulnerabilities. Even though Microsoft still offer some limited support, I don't expect this to be good enough given the huge effort being put into developing and sharing exploits by the criminal community.
StuartR


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Argus
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Re: Old Laptop with windows 7 & only 2gb memory

Post by Argus »

This month's patch-Tuesday showed us that there is no lack of vulnerabilities in the latest OS versions.
2018-10-11_A.PNG
How long do you provide security updates for your products?
Updates will be supported for the duration of the product’s lifecycle.
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Argus
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Re: Old Laptop with windows 7 & only 2gb memory

Post by Argus »

The above said, I agree that an old computer, now being 2nd or 3rd, that has been upgraded over time to more recent operating systems eventually will struggle with some system requirements (I've seen people trying to move from XP to Vista with 512 MB RAM). Of course, as mentioned, it also depends on what software is supposed to run on the computer (that's one major component making hardware obsolete).

I agree with Hans that it is worth trying reinstalling Windows. (Some flavour of Linux is of course a good option.)
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JoeP
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Re: Old Laptop with windows 7 & only 2gb memory

Post by JoeP »

IMO, with 2 GB of Ram you'll be hard pressed to get good performance with Chrome. It may be OK if that is all you are doing but if you try to run any other programs your PC with slowly choke as you have seen. A reinstall of Windows may help for a while.
Joe

jolas
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Re: Old Laptop with windows 7 & only 2gb memory

Post by jolas »

Still one more upgrade option. Install a SSD drive. Of course cloning to the new SSD will get you back quickly but installing clean would probably a better option.

Robie
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Re: Old Laptop with windows 7 & only 2gb memory

Post by Robie »

Thank you all for your very valuable input - much appreciated. :clapping:

I have not quite decided what I want to do with this old laptop but will format the hard drive and re-install Windows 7 fresh. Hopefully, that will keep me going for a while. After that I may have better understanding of what I should buy and also of course more importantly, the funds.

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stuck
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Re: Old Laptop with windows 7 & only 2gb memory

Post by stuck »

I suspect many will laugh at this idea but...

My Acer netbook only has a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom CPU and only 1 GB of RAM and it runs Win 7 Starter Edition (32 bit) at a sedate but usable speed. It also has a copy of Office 2010 Starter, which again gives a sedate but usable version of Word. I bought it back in 2012 as a device to get me around a 7 week tour of NZ, i.e. provide internet access and offline back-up of my digital pictures.

It has also acted as stop gap for my youngest son while he was at university (while his proper machine was getting fixed). He wrote essays on it for a few weeks until we could meet up and I could hand over his own laptop again.

These days it generally sits idle at home but I do still take it with me on holiday so I can back-up pictures. It also allows me to surf the web / check my webmail at a reasonable speed using the latest version of Firefox.

Ken