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Standard User ARD
(knowledge is power) Wed 27-Aug-14 10:25:17
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Win XP- Vista upgrade!


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An aged relation is missing her Win XP laptop since MS withdraw support. It’s primary use was online banking and shopping. She uses her tablet for most online activity but finds the small screen difficult for checking accounts and spending the contents. Would the laptop “upgrade” to Win Vista 32 bit (basic or business editions)? Here’s the spec:

• INSPIRON 1300 CELERON M PROCESSOR 380
• MEMORY 768MB (1X512+1X256) 533MHZ DDR2 S
• HARD DRIVE 40GB IDE (5400 RPM)
• DVD+/-RW (READ/WRITE) 8X FIXED INTERNAL
• BATTERY PRIMARY 4-CELL 29W/HR LI-ION
• WIRELESS CARD DELL 1370 MINI PCI (802.11)
• ENGLISH - GENUINE WINDOWS XP HOME SP2

It’s a good little machine, performing above what I’d expect from the above spec. All Vista drivers are available from the Dell site.

The best alternative I can suggest for her is a secondhand Win 7 laptop but I doubt she’d appreciate this suggestion. Linux is out. It took forever to get her used to the rudiments of Windows.

This is a crazy idea but, trouble is, the laptop is of sentimental value.

Thanks smile

Edited by ARD (Wed 27-Aug-14 10:45:52)

Standard User micksharpe
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Wed 27-Aug-14 11:28:11
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Re: Win XP- Vista upgrade!


[re: ARD] [link to this post]
 
I have a similarly specced lappy (an E-Sytems PC World jobbie) that came with XP and it's now running Windows 7 quite happily. OK, it's not as fast as my up-to-date desktop but it works and it's all right for general browsing and office work. Windows 7 worked with the pre-installed 1GB of memory but I decided to upgrade to 2GB. Crucial's website indicates that the Inspiron will also take 2GB. Why not run Microsoft's Windows 7 compatibility checker and see what it spits out. Don't worry too much about the performance score. It's bound to be low.

If your relation wants to keep her laptop, the inevitable problem down the line will be battery life and finding a replacement. I can no longer get a new battery for my lappy so I have to use it permanently plugged in to the mains. Try and source a spare battery ASAP if you can.

If you can secure a spare battery, then I suggest you get Windows 7, a 2GB memory kit (will need to be a complete replacement) and perhaps also a solid-state drive.

"All things are ready, if our minds be so."--Henry V

Edited by micksharpe (Wed 27-Aug-14 12:56:35)

Standard User ARD
(knowledge is power) Wed 27-Aug-14 11:39:53
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Re: Win XP- Vista upgrade!


[re: micksharpe] [link to this post]
 
Thanks your reply. Since posting, I’ve been checking out second hand and refurbished laptops plus the lowest-priced new systems but my relation is so attached to this one, despite preferring her tablet. I think I’ll probably price up a RAM upgrade and get Win 7 installed. Battery life isn’t a problem. She has only ever used the laptop for short periods and always connected to the mains.


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Standard User micksharpe
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Wed 27-Aug-14 12:34:26
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Re: Win XP- Vista upgrade!


[re: ARD] [link to this post]
 
You may need to disassemble the Inspiron to install a 2x1GB memory kit. Read up the procedure before you place your order. With the E-system, I had to remove the keyboard to install one of the memory modules.

"All things are ready, if our minds be so."--Henry V
Standard User ARD
(knowledge is power) Wed 27-Aug-14 13:27:19
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Re: Win XP- Vista upgrade!


[re: micksharpe] [link to this post]
 
The RAM is surprisingly inexpensive, I hope to manage the upgrade myself but if not I'll ask a local teckie to open the case and fit the memory before I load Win 7. That said, memory + OS adds up to a lot when you consider the price of a new low end laptop.

Edited by ARD (Wed 27-Aug-14 13:31:06)

Standard User rogerfp
(newbie) Sat 30-Aug-14 16:22:55
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Re: Win XP- Vista upgrade!


[re: ARD] [link to this post]
 
TBH I wouldn't even consider it as Windows Vista and consequent OS's require a much higher spec of hardware than XP. In my opinion to a multiple of x4 to get acceptable performance. Forget what Microsoft state as minimum spec - that just misinformation to sell more boxes.
However if you do decide to pursue this then you need to upgrade to 2GB of Ram, upgrade the Hard disk to 80gb 5400rpm (which is probably the max you will find for IDE 2.5" drives) as Vista requires up to 15-20gb to install and provide space for temporary files. An SSD someone suggested is a No No on the basis that they are only available as Sata.
Ram and HD will set you back around £50 (+Vista if you haven't already got a copy) and it will still be a painful experience to use. The other consideration is that the Laptop must be getting on for 8/9 years old. Having spent all the money and time how will you feel if it has a hardware malfunction in the near future?
Standard User micksharpe
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sat 30-Aug-14 21:55:42
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Re: Win XP- Vista upgrade!


[re: rogerfp] [link to this post]
 
This is pure hogwash. I have Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit installed on a PC World E-System with the following hardware specification:
  • Intel Celeron M 420 @1.60GHz
  • 2GB PC2-4200 RAM (originally 512MB)
  • 37GB 5400rpm HDD (SATA I)
Time to boot (to login screen) is 56 seconds (less than half the time that XP took, iirc). Log-in is a rather leisurely affair since I load quite a lot of software (Apache, MySQL, etc) but Mozilla Firefox loads in less than 10 seconds. Microsoft Word 2013 loads in about the same time.

Naturally, performance is not as good as my 64-bit Intel quad-core i7 desktop but it is adequate for general Internet browsing and e-mail, which is all that the OP's relative seems to need. I did a clean install rather than an upgrade, iirc, and I still have 5.6GB of disk space left with 12.4GB of user software and data installed.

I hadn't noticed that the HDD on the Inspiron is PATA (IDE). However, the OP isn't interested in installing a solid-state disk but PATA SSDs are still available and at reasonable cost, for example.

The Windows Experience Index for the E-System is as follows:

Processor: 3.0
Memory: 4.4
Graphics: 2.3
Gaming graphics: 3.0
Hard disk: 4.3

I would be interested to know what the values are for the Inspiron.

I will carry on using my E-System lappy until it gives up the ghost or until I can afford to replace it with a MacBook Pro. Until then, Windows 7 rules, even on a [censored] old laptop.

Why is "cr-ppy" censored? [sigh]

"All things are ready, if our minds be so."--Henry V

Edited by micksharpe (Sat 30-Aug-14 21:57:18)

Standard User XRaySpeX
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 31-Aug-14 00:49:27
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Re: Win XP- Vista upgrade!


[re: ARD] [link to this post]
 
Just keep running it as XP until it gives up the ghost and then buy a modern replacement.

She's only using it for browsing familiar, and therefore safe sites, and emailing. She's attached to it and would have some learning curve getting used to a newer Windows, even Vista.

1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 16 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 20 Meg WBC
Standard User rogerfp
(newbie) Sun 31-Aug-14 11:18:12
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Re: Win XP- Vista upgrade!


[re: micksharpe] [link to this post]
 
Brand new Lenovo laptop £169 (with Cashback) from EBuyer 1.86Ghz CPU, 320G HD, 4G Ram, Windows 8.1 64bit, etc, etc compared with spending a possible £50 for parts (a new HD is essential as an 8/9 year old HD is probably already failing with bad sectors that aren't showing up yet and slowing down), possibly the cost of a Vista/Win7 DVD and potentially he may have to pay someone to fit the ram. An upgrade is a bad idea so a clean install is the only recommended way to go. On that basis its very likely that the install may not go to plan and more money might be spent on a techie to finish the job. No contest in my book and he gets a full manufacturer12 months warranty. How's he going to feel if in a few months a hardware failure occurs?
Any PC/Laptop over 5 years old is just scrap when you consider that 1 year in techno world world is equivalent to around 4/5 years in almost any other aspect of life!.
56 secs to boot!!!! - you must have the patience of Job.
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