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Windows 7 on a second hand computer !

shermans
Rising Star
Posts: 1,076
Thanks: 32
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Registered: 07-09-2007

Windows 7 on a second hand computer !

I have just inherited a Packard bell 351 desktop computer.  It is less than three years old and has a Celeron 2.9 Ghz processor which is faster than my current 2.6 Ghz.  I am therefore thinking of swapping, but it would mean re-installing all my software.  Therefore it occurs to me that, if I am going to go to all that trouble, I might just as well think about installing Windows 7 while I am about it.
I wonder if anyone who has experienced Windows 7 would care to answer a couple of questions for me  ?
1. Is it worth the added expense or should I just stick with XP ?
2. Is Windows 7 suitable for a three year old computer ?
3. How much RAM should I instal ? Currently it has only 256k which is ridiculously low, so it needs upgrading anyway.
4. Will there be compatibility issues like there were with Vista ?
Any other observations would be most appreciated.
12 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Windows 7 on a second hand computer !

If you wanted to, (could do) you might think about removing the orignal HDD and installing it in the "new"! computer.... then you will have all your old software/files and XP available, and can "PLAY" with whatever other system you care to put on the "new" computer....
You can also go to crucial      http://www.crucial.com/uk/systemscanner/?click=true ;       and get a scan, to see what upgrade of memory you can add to the "new" computer....
Community Veteran
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Windows 7 on a second hand computer !

First thing which would happen if you did that is that the XP installation would be unvalidated (is that a proper word  Grin) as it is probably OEM and locked to the original computer
Superuser
Superuser
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Windows 7 on a second hand computer !

Quote
2. Is Windows 7 suitable for a three year old computer ?

I've had problems on older systems, particulary with lack of graphics drivers available in Windows 7.
Steve
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 6,802
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Registered: 13-07-2009

Re: Windows 7 on a second hand computer !

Windows seven is worth the expense but not an an old computer as you would not get the full benefit,windows 7 needs atleast 2bg ram minimal for 32bit and around 16gb hdd space,you would be better puting a linux flavour on it in my opinion,or stick with xp,either way the ram needs upgrading and i would say 2gb at least for any system.More information about windows 7 in my signature.
If you want to run Windows 7 on your PC, here's what it takes:
■1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
■1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
■16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
■DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
Additional requirements to use certain features:
■Internet access (fees may apply)
■Depending on resolution, video playback may require additional memory and advanced graphics hardware
■For some Windows Media Center functionality a TV tuner and additional hardware may be required
■Windows Touch and Tablet PCs require specific hardware
■HomeGroup requires a network and PCs running Windows 7
■DVD/CD authoring requires a compatible optical drive
■BitLocker requires Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 1.2
■BitLocker To Go requires a USB flash drive
■Windows XP Mode requires an additional 1 GB of RAM, an additional 15 GB of available hard disk space, and a processor capable of hardware virtualization with Intel VT or AMD-V turned on
If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
shermans
Rising Star
Posts: 1,076
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Registered: 07-09-2007

Re: Windows 7 on a second hand computer !

Thanks to you all for the advice.  The answer seems obvious. Sad
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Windows 7 on a second hand computer !

install Linux?
Community Veteran
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Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Windows 7 on a second hand computer !

Quote from: pierre_pierre
install Linux?

Obvious really  Grin Ubuntu will work in 256Mb of ram and a 2Gb HD, with full office and internet etc already installed  Cool
shermans
Rising Star
Posts: 1,076
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Registered: 07-09-2007

Re: Windows 7 on a second hand computer !

This is actually off-topic but following the talk about Ubuntu / Linux which is not really practical for me as I have other computers on the network and also a large amount of data and cannot risk incompatibility issues, nevertheless it might be worth looking into for another computer.
Please don't laugh but I have a 92 year old mother who wants to use a computer - that is in fact where the inherited computer came from !  She has used it a little on dial-up over the last three years but due to its location, was finding getting to where it was installed increasingly difficult due to mobility problems.  We decided therefore to take it away, and to replace it with a laptop (with keyboard and mouse) which could be kept on the dining table.
But before we go to that expense, we thought of trying her with an old Windows 98 laptop that I have kicking about - it aready has WiFi and even works perfectly well on broadband, but is slow to boot, and I am not sure that she has the patience for that !  It is a 366 Mhz Pentium II with 192 Mb of memory (it was advanced for its age, even came with a DVD player).
Do you think Ubuntu might be a temporary solution on that hardware ?  All she would do is a little surfing and some emails.  I assume Outlook Express would not work and she would have to use webmail.
We really do not want to go to the expense of buying a new laptop until we are sure that she can and will use it.  Using the old Compaq would simply be a a trial run, and Ubuntu might make it work faster.  At 92, I do not have a lot of confidence that she will do any better than before but she is insistant !
Superuser
Superuser
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Windows 7 on a second hand computer !

Quote
Do you think Ubuntu might be a temporary solution on that hardware ?  All she would do is a little surfing and some emails.  I assume Outlook Express would not work and she would have to use webmail.

You can use Mozilla Thunderbird as an email client on most Linux systems.
Ubuntu might be a little slow on 192Mb memory, it really needs 256mb. I would try Xubuntu http://www.xubuntu.org/ . Its Ubuntu but with the XFCE desktop and is more lightweight on memory requirements, it should run fine in 192mb. Download the live cd iso http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/xubuntu/releases/9.10/release/ , burn it to a cd and try it. You can boot direct from the CD and check that it works before you install it.
W1ngD1ngs
Grafter
Posts: 215
Registered: 17-09-2009

Re: Windows 7 on a second hand computer !

Quote from: shermans
This is actually off-topic but following the talk about Ubuntu / Linux which is not really practical for me as I have other computers on the network and also a large amount of data and cannot risk incompatibility issues, nevertheless it might be worth looking into for another computer.

In a previous employment I ran a network with 64 users on windows, three servers again windows but also ran a linux machine in the server room  using Ubuntu.  I had no problems integrating it into the network using samba.  Roll eyes
Community Veteran
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Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Windows 7 on a second hand computer !

With a laptop of that age, you would be better off looking at puppylinux (http://www.puppylinux.com) as this is a small distro that will run well in 192Mb and will do wifi etc. Thunderbird is available and Firefox (or Icewheasel) is installed by default. It will run from a cd or can be installed to HD.
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Windows 7 on a second hand computer !

Linux also supports all the standard file formats very well. There is no problem working with images, MS Office formats (using Openoffice) and so on. Things you might have difficulty with are proprietary formats from specialised Windows-only software, things like Desktop Publishing, CAD and so on. Even then, there are often ways of exporting data in a format that can be used by a Linux application.
Something like Puppy is likely to be easier to use and more reliable than Win98.