A while ago I gave an old laptop of mine to my son to do his homework on (although what he actually did was play Minecraft!).  However he soon gave up on it because it had slowed down to the point where it took about five minutes to load up and then just chugged and whirred and didn’t do much else.

Ok it wasn’t a top-spec laptop but it was less than five years old and running Vista so I decided to investigate.  The main problem seemed to be that the hard drive was just full which was bizzare as I’d stripped everything off it.  So I decided to do a factory reset which immediately freed up about 12GB of space.  However this very quickly disappeared as Vista downloaded over 100 updates.  Now I wasn’t about to pay money to upgrade to a newer version of Windows, particularly as I just needed this laptop to have Office-style software, email and a web browser.  The latest versions of Windows are also quite memory-hungry so an upgrade probably wouldn’t help anyway.

The solution quickly became apparent – a different operating system was needed.  Some quick research suggested I should go for a Linux based system.  Linux is an Open Source system used by companies all round the world on servers and mainframes.   The Ubuntu version of this system seemed to be the most user-friendly and came packaged with all the software I needed and options to add more tools from an app store.  And the best thing is that it’s completely free.

I had a few issues erasing Vista and getting the new operating system working but it now works a treat.  So rather than the old laptop going in a land-fill it’s now had a completely new lease of life and should work into the foreseeable future.

If you are interested in reviving an old XP/Vista pc or laptop drop me a line and I’ll give you some advice.  Alternatively I’d be happy to replace the old operating system for you for a small fee.

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