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Ways to speed up an old laptop?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I was talking to a friend on skype, and he offered me his uncles old laptop that he got to sell for spare parts, and he asked 30$ for it. Naturally, I said "10$." and he said deal. So now I'm going to be getting from what he told me, an old laptop with ethernet, 2 usb ports (one of which I'll use for a wireless card since it never had wireless), 256mb of ram (I know, hardly anything), and a 2ghz (single core I assume) cpu.

It also runs on Windows XP. I can assume it needs a VERY good cleaning, and I might put some AS5 on there to replace the 6+ year old stock paste. Besides nuking the hard drive, what can I do to speed it up, since it will probably be slow? I'll run Ccleaner, a virus scan with Avast probably, and clean up the unnecessary files, defrag the hard drive, and thats all I can really think of. Might dual boot puppy linux or ubuntu since they run faster than windows.

Anything else that I'm missing that can speed it up or clean it up?
Arcturus
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Arcturus
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post #2 of 13
Well I would definitely get some more ram if possible, and just re install a new operation system. That's all I can think of, but of coarse no matter what you do it will always be very very slow.
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Defiance
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post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
I was thinking about Ubuntu with wine running, so I still have SOME of the functionality of Windows. As much as I hate Windows, it's still the easiest OS out there, so I would rather keep it on there as another option at least.
Arcturus
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Arcturus
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post #4 of 13
You could always use linux, I've never actually used or even seen the linux OS, but I here it is pretty good, and I think it's free too.
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Defiance
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post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
It's mostly terminal based, so all commands like CMD. I don't really know any bash, so I'm pretty terrible with the terminal.
Arcturus
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Arcturus
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post #6 of 13
ubuntu is a very very good option, grab some ram!!! SSD is overkill, but could work so long as its sata not IDE.

new thermal pastes good idea. see if u can get hold of a 7200RPM hdd.

apart from that i cant think of much.
post #7 of 13
Its a shame HDD's are so expensive at the moment. They are starting to return to normal prices, but they are doing they very slowly. But yes, 256mb of ram is really low.
Defiance
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Defiance
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Samsung 840 EVO 250GB Western Digital 3TB Black 1TB External HDD External Optical Drive 
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post #8 of 13
What's your ideal usage for this laptop?

I have a similar laptop @ 2.6GHz P4 Sony VAIO.
Thing is a hog.

Had to use it for a month while my hard drives were being RMA'd with Seagate (never again, will I use standard RMA).

For basic web surfing (I mean, basic.) it was alright, once I started opening 10+ tabs in Chrome (I like to multi-task, what? biggrin.gif) it started to lag, and any video conversion was out the door.

It's battery was also, god awful.

It's a great backup computer by all means, but expect nothing..
post #9 of 13
Yea, I had a laptop once, it was alright, it had a basic AMD 2.4ghz dual core, 4gb of ram and a HD 4200. I was able to do alot on it, even play COD 4 on low, at about 25fps if i was lucky, but they are great for portability and business use. Especially for 10 bucks lol
Defiance
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CoolingOSKeyboardPower
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CaseMouseMouse Pad
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Defiance
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Samsung 840 EVO 250GB Western Digital 3TB Black 1TB External HDD External Optical Drive 
CoolingOSKeyboardPower
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post #10 of 13
Step 1. Download nLite, look at an nLite netbook guide to see how to strip it down, do it, format the HDD, and install the nLited XP biggrin.gif . This will cut down RAM usage ridiculously, to the point where I'd think 256MB may just be enough (I've run it on a 233mhz PII laptop, with ~188MB of RAM.. took 5 minutes to boot, but once it was in, it was decent. So no whining about 2ghz CPUs!). If you can upgrade the RAM for <$20, go for it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lostmage View Post

It's mostly terminal based, so all commands like CMD. I don't really know any bash, so I'm pretty terrible with the terminal.

Please tell me you're joking. If you want, you could run something like Ubuntu without touching Terminal. There are all of about 3 commands needed to install, search for, and uninstall programs. Or, you could just as easily explore through the package manager (think: Linux Appstore) and install stuff from there.

I would recommend Peppermint Two OS. http://peppermintos.com/ . It's basically a completely stripped-down Ubuntu, runs way faster/uses less resources. Something like 180MB at boot, maybe 230MB with >10 tabs and a music player open. It also uses a lot of cloud apps.
 
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