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raymac46

Vista Cleanup

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raymac46

One of my coffee buddies asked if there was anything I could do to fix up his wife's old laptop - usual complaints about slowing down, blah, blah, blah.

I had a look. It's an Acer 5516 from 2008-2009. Athlon X2 TK-42 processor, 690V chipset, X1200 video and running Vista Home Basic. I don't see how it could have been anything but a dog from the time it left the factory.

I used CCleaner to clean up, Malware Bytes to scan for malware and then defragged the hard drive with Defraggler. Ran a virus scan too. It was pretty clean - just takes forever to boot. I thought it ran a little bit better after the defrag.

Vista is a 32 bit system - Google Chrome isn't supported any more so I installed Pale Moon.

I advised my friend it's time for a new machine but in the interim I took a bit of the hard drive and installed MX-15 Linux. I was surprised how well this old junker runs with Linux, but I don't know if they'll want to experiment with it. They have Firefox and Chromium to browse with. I set up Grub so it remembers the last thing run so they can just keep running Vista if they want to.

Another example of someone who'd be far better off with Linux but really the only solution that will appeal is a new Windows machine. I've given up trying to convince new users to try Linux. :'(

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zlim

It probably only has 2GB of RAM. Even though a 32 bit version of Windows can only use a bit over 3GB, it might be worthwhile to up the RAM to 4GB. I've done that in our 32 bit computers (Win 7). The video is shared on that Vista laptop so she has less than 2GB to do anything.

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lewmur

It probably only has 2GB of RAM. Even though a 32 bit version of Windows can only use a bit over 3GB, it might be worthwhile to up the RAM to 4GB. I've done that in our 32 bit computers (Win 7). The video is shared on that Vista laptop so she has less than 2GB to do anything.

I agree. On a system like that, going from 2 to 4gb of RAM can do wonders.
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raymac46

This one has 3 GB of RAM. I didn't look into an upgrade since the 32 bit O/S wouldn't support much more. With Linux the O/S was only using a bit over 350 MB.

I have an old desktop here that has the same core logic chipset as the laptop I was working on. It has an Athlon X2 processor that runs faster, a discrete video card and 6 GB of RAM - running 64 bit LInux. A good performer still, which shows that an old desktop is a better value proposition than an old laptop.

Edited by raymac46
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LilBambi

Think you did all you could do to beat a dead horse; more than enough actually. Shame they won't try the Linux install you put on it. Linux does so well on older systems and is generally safer if you run as a standard user with sudo or su to root only as needed.

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Dr. J

It seems that, through windows, Microsoft have a frighteningly large grip on humanity. The majority of people I know don't care how their computer works, they just want it to work, and windows is pretty good for that (from a certain perspective). Having said that, If windows yielded nothing but trouble for an old machine someone had asked me to look at, I'd probably switch it out for Debian Stable, write a simple script to handle updates with a single command, give them a quick overview and wish them luck. Maybe a bit harsh, but in any case, the average Joe doesn't need the latest hi-spec <censored> any department-store salesman will try to push on them, and the Linux learning curve isn't as daunting as it used to be.

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lewmur

It seems that, through windows, Microsoft have a frighteningly large grip on humanity. The majority of people I know don't care how their computer works, they just want it to work, and windows is pretty good for that (from a certain perspective). Having said that, If windows yielded nothing but trouble for an old machine someone had asked me to look at, I'd probably switch it out for Debian Stable, write a simple script to handle updates with a single command, give them a quick overview and wish them luck. Maybe a bit harsh, but in any case, the average Joe doesn't need the latest hi-spec <censored> any department-store salesman will try to push on them, and the Linux learning curve isn't as daunting as it used to be.

IMHO, the learning curve from XP to Mint 18 is MUCH easier than the curve from XP to Win 10. Especially for people who use their PC for "social media". IOW, checking their Facebook, Twitter and email plus a little net browsing.
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raymac46

I agree that Linux would be the way to go with an old system like this but you can't force it on people. They'll always find some weird thing they do in Windows like a library ebook that requires Adobe Digital Editions, or they'll use some Windows app for photos that doesn't have a Linux version. Sometimes WINE will help but probably won't.

They always appear to be happier buying a new machine and I'm not going to advise otherwise.

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Dr. J

They always appear to be happier buying a new machine and I'm not going to advise otherwise.

Such is the nature of consumerism...

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goretsky

Hello,

 

A few thoughts, in no particular order:

 

• Thoroughly disassemble and clean, including replacing thermal paste and, if needed, fans.

• Upgrade to 4GB (should be relatively inexpensive) or 8GB (pricey).

• Wipe drive, reinstall OS and apps, reload data from backups, or consider replacing HDD with an inexpensive SSD.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

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LilBambi

It seems that, through windows, Microsoft have a frighteningly large grip on humanity. The majority of people I know don't care how their computer works, they just want it to work, and windows is pretty good for that (from a certain perspective). Having said that, If windows yielded nothing but trouble for an old machine someone had asked me to look at, I'd probably switch it out for Debian Stable, write a simple script to handle updates with a single command, give them a quick overview and wish them luck. Maybe a bit harsh, but in any case, the average Joe doesn't need the latest hi-spec any department-store salesman will try to push on them, and the Linux learning curve isn't as daunting as it used to be.

IMHO, the learning curve from XP to Mint 18 is MUCH easier than the curve from XP to Win 10. Especially for people who use their PC for "social media". IOW, checking their Facebook, Twitter and email plus a little net browsing.

Agree.

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