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When is it time for a new computer or laptop and what can you do to get old laptop to keep going

car10002

Novice Member
Hi

Was wondering what are clues it's time to get a new computer or laptop and what can you do to get your laptop to keep going bit longer until you get a new one.

Currently have a laptop that's getting old, had it for a few years and it was secondhand when buying it and it had no hdd but put one in and got it going.

Max memory is 2 gig and originally it had a gig but upgraded memory and it's got maximum memory in it and it's getting slower and slower. Haven't really got the money for a new one at moment and wondered what you could do to get it to keep going longer,

Have a younger laptop with 4 gig memory (could probably take more memory) that has a broken screen, think that's all that's wrong with it, wonder wether it might be better to put a new led panel in it and use that for a bit.

Thanks
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Computers don't slow down as they age, so a machine becomes useless when it physically breaks or the tasks you're using it for start needing more speed or capacity than it has.

2GB of memory could be the limiting factor, but anything with 2GB of support is likely to be very old so it could easily be something else too. I'd definitely look at the alternatives, the cost of replacing the screen or buying something newer second hand.
 

12harry

Well-known Member
You could buy another new HDD and install the OS on the new HDD... As you have an older Laptop, it's probably not feasible to install a SSD for the OS( and far too pricey!). A new HDD should give the computer a new lease of life, as all the collected junk will be absent . . . and if it doesn't fix things, when you do update, you will be able to duplicate important files ( Although for security you should already move them/copy to an external HDD which is disconnected and stored somewhere dry/cool/safe.
You can buy empty external "Caddies" which should find a home for the older HDD which ( When everything is Working OK for a month! ) can be Formatted ( ie cleaned-out ) . . . if the laptop doesn't have space for them both.

A new Laptop HDD should be faster, have more capacity and draw less power than the existing one (See Spec labels)....
Whilst this route is NO G'TEE to speeding-up yr PC.... it should restore it to the condition it was when you first got it running . . . but you will need to reinstall Program Files, but that's hardly a huge issue.
EW is of course right that the electronics is unlikely to be slowing-down . . . but you could try giving the innards a good dusting.... and check the fans are OK, since "overheating" might be causing the Processor to run exceptionally slowly. Another possibility is the battery supply may be running at slightly reduced voltage, putting the PC into a Slo-Mode to conserve power. However, if you are powered using a mains adaptor, this is unlikely to be the cause . . . probably - but worth checking the op voltage...getting a suitable "dummy" load may be difficult.

Your next PC ( Must it be a Laptop? ) - there are plenty of s/h PC's about with a minimum Quad Core, 4 ( or *?) Gb RAM and preferably a dedicated Graphics card, having 1G of dedicated memory . . . your Local dealer may have such . . . and be pleased it's going to create a NEW happy customer. It's just that Desktops are far better Spec. for the same Money..... and if it has an HDMI output . . . you could use a TV as monitor . . . until funds allow ( but check with the Dealer. . . . ).

Good Luck
 

sutek89

Active Member
I think an SSD is ALWAYS worth it. Definitely the best upgrade you can do to any system, and when the laptop packs up you just take it out and use it in something else. I've got a desktop, 2 laptops, and an Intel nuc for the TV at home and I've removed all mechanical drives now, will never go back.
 

andjarnic

Novice Member
3 biggest upgrades... SSD, RAM and GPU. CPUs are almost not an upgrade these days.. I mean, each new generation is slightly better than the last.. mostly it is the motherboard with new stuff these days, like NVMe SSDs are a huge step up even a good one from the 2.5inch SSDs. GPUs darn near double in performance every year or two, and RAM upgrades help as OSs, apps, etc take up more memory. For me the single biggest upgrade was the SSD hands down. GPU would be 2nd, but unless you are a gamer, the motherboard GPU is plenty good for most things, even decent at gaming.

I digress though.. for an old computer, to me the best thing you can do is put a Linux OS on it and set it up for a few utility uses for the home network if you are into getting involved with all that. The best would be a media/NAS sort of use, putting in old HDs and making them available over the network. Main problem though is the power it sucks.. cheap NAS solutions use less power so are better at being up 24/7. But Ubuntu or Alpine, etc all run pretty good on only a GB or two of RAM with low GPUs and such. I still say slap in a cheap 60GB to 120GB SSD regardless for the shear boost in speed it gives.
 
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