worth keeping an old laptop, advice please


Old 03-04-18, 11:03 AM
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worth keeping an old laptop, advice please


i have an old HP pavilion dv6000 laptop that is about 10 years old originally running windows vista.
a while back it started getting progressively slower and slower and taking longer to boot up, eventually freezing completely.
while i am no computer expert i managed to reinstall a new copy of windows 7 i had from my newer dell desktop.
the laptop ran reasonably well for a few days and eventually started getting progressively slower again with very delayed keystrokes, now sometimes it does not even boot properly.

this computer owes me nothing and is only used as a secondary/backup computer.
is there something else i should try before i scrap it?
dont want to invest a lot of time or money?

thanks for any advice?
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Old 03-04-18, 11:13 AM
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I would keep it, but I'm a "pack rat extrordinare"! If you decide to trash it, download the software and "wipe" the drive. You'd be amazed (many are horrified) at what can be found out from a drive.
Old 03-04-18, 12:24 PM
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your preaching to the choir
i take a sledge hammer to all old computed hard drives

this machine was amazing in it day but seems to be a paperweight now?
Old 03-04-18, 12:39 PM
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I'm still using a Toshiba laptop from 2006 and running Vista. It needs a new hard drive. It has a hard time keeping up with me and slow booting. I'm going to put a 250G SSD in it.
Old 03-04-18, 06:21 PM
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Put Linux on it.

You'll still be able to surf the web, read your emails, and type a letter.

It's free and much more secure than Vista.
Old 03-05-18, 04:20 AM
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It's possible it has a hardware issue. 2 different OS's doing the same thing is a good clue, possibly the hard drive is on its way out, it can be tested by downloading the drive MFG's diagnostic tool. You can look in device manager to find the brand of the drive.
Old 03-05-18, 04:44 AM
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I'd think
A- update the BIOS and install 4 gigs of RAM,
B- install a 32G micro sd card in a low-profile SD card adapter, so the SD card reader is available for "readyboost" memory caching.
C-upgrade to Windows 7, then upgrade to Windows 10
Total cost should be about $40-$60

D- consider an upgrade to the hard drive
Add a 1 Terrabyte hard drive for about $50

Result is a laptop that should run much faster, for web-email-word processing.
Can double as a gigabit wired media server
Can rip DVDs for you, stream music and 7 channel Dolby via SPDIF.

First, you'll need to check the BIOS version, the amount of RAM, and the hard drive size.
Some shipped with 500megs of ram, manual says they'll take 2 Gigs, bios updates seem to allow 3 Gigs on some, 4Gigs.on others - depends on which chips are on the particular laptop.

So, update the BIOS, you may be able to fit 4 gigs of RAM

Update to a fast SD card, and the laptop can use that for ReadyBoost.
Instead of a full sized SD card, I prefer a micro-SD card and a low profile SD card adapter,
so the SD card doesn't stick out of the laptop (but you need tweezers to remove the card).

Upgrade to Windows 7. I didn't bought with disks, I just bought a license upgrade code for $25 and then download the Windows 7 upgrade from Miscrosoft website.
Then free upgrade to Windows 10 (still seems to work)

Last edited by Hal_S; 03-05-18 at 04:59 AM.
Old 03-05-18, 05:49 AM
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Hal is spot on in my opinion.

More than likely, that laptop came with just enough memory to run the OS & a few other tasks as it was at the time. Over the years, software, apps etc update & sometimes, especially the OS, significantly increases in size, which uses more RAM (memory) to run/operate. Its kinda like a balloon, its fine with a little air in it, but the more you put in it, the more its stretched, until eventually, its at its max & its explodes... or in the case of your computer, just wont run. Its so stuffed with data, until it cant process any more data. There's just no room in the memory to process it.
Now, my explanation was simple one, not exact. I just tried to put it in very simple basic terms to make it easily understood.

So, like Hal said, if you can upgrade (or increase) the amount of ram it could help. BUT, there are thousands or reasons that could be the root cause of your laptop to cause it to slow or stop functioning all together.
Could be that some parts are just worn out, out dated &/or at the end of their life. And it could be any number of parts including RAM, processor, hard drive, motherboard, on & on.

I'd say, generally speaking & just using face values.... the laptop has served its purpose, has run its course & is at the end of its life.... mainly because its out dated & wont really be worth putting much money into. You could spend $100 on RAM & give it a try but, do you even want to put that much into it? Also, RAM changes over time too, so depending on the RAM that you need, may not be easy to find... just depending.
Old 03-05-18, 07:16 AM
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My W7 system slowed down tremendously and I assumed it was software until I accidentally checked some of the Windows Logs. Sure enough, there was a ton of “Disk Error” messages in the logs going back months and progressively getting worse. I don’t know why W7 doesn’t give you some direct notification that there is a problem with a HDD – but it doesn’t.

You can check the Logs via-

Control Panel-->System and Security-->Administrative Tools-->Event Viewer

Look at : Windows Logs-->Application

Also, you can use the drive built-in S.M.A.R.T technology which will give you an extensive report on the health of the drive. But you need a utility to pull that information from the drive. You can download Speedfan (it’s safe, it monitors fan speeds, temps, HDD, etc.) and it’s easy to get the SMART report using Speedfan.
Old 03-06-18, 11:06 AM
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Sometimes hard drives dying from old age will tend to get progressively slower. However, a Windows OS also will get slower over time, but usually not dramatically slower -- enough to be noticeable in keyboard response time -- in a matter of days or (single digit) weeks. So the operative question is, is it the usual Micro$loth product quality causing this, or is it dying hardware?

As a diagnostic, you can make a bootable thumb drive and boot a Linux OS off it and see if you still have the same keyboard lag. If you don't, that would tend to incriminate the hard drive. But if it still is laggy, you might have motherboard or power supply problems.

If you want to do this with minimum investment of resources, download the disk image of a "small footprint" Linux and load it on a thumb drive. Which, of course, presumes you have a thumb drive you can donate to the cause. Unfortunately the really, really small Linux images (DSL & Puppy Linux, both <100mb) have a fairly high "geek quotient" and you might not find them particularly useful once they're booted, so I'd recommend you use Xubuntu, which is a light-weight version of Ubuntu, one of the more user-friendly Linuxes.

Xubuntu images are here. Presuming it's a 64-bit laptop, get the image named xubuntu-17.10.1-desktop-amd64.iso. It it's 32-bit, get xubuntu-17.10.1-desktop-i386.iso. They're both about 1GB in size, so DSL & Puppy Linux are considerably smaller (you also could get away with using a much smaller capacity thumb drive with them). They're all free for the taking.

You'll also need a utility that can copy the disk image to your thumb drive and make it bootable. My favorite at present is Rufus, which is free, and you can get a copy here.

Rufus is a "portable" app, meaning it runs without having to be installed. It makes no changes to your system and when you're done you can delete the file and be shut of it, no harm, no foul. Put the Linux disk image and the Rufus executable on the same Windows PC and start Rufus. The Rufus is simple to use and their website has pretty comprehensive directions. Just tell it where the thumb drive is and where the disk image is and press go.

You might have to enter the laptop's BIOS and change the boot order so it tries to boot off the thumb drive before trying to load the OS on the internal hard drive. Depending on the BIOS, you also might be able to interrupt the boot-up and access the "BIOS Boot Select" menu, which will let you change which drive it's booting off of but only for that one instance. The next time you try to boot, it reverts to the old configuration.

If Linux performs well, and particularly if it doesn't slow comparably if you leave it running a few days, that's a pretty good indication that the laptop's non-replaceable hardware has some life left in it.

Last edited by Fred_C_Dobbs; 03-06-18 at 11:10 AM. Reason: I can't spell for sugar
Old 03-06-18, 01:56 PM
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You could spend $100 on RAM & give it a try but, do you even want to put that much into it?
Nah, older computer memory is cheap, dirt cheap.

4 Gigs for a HP pavilion dv6000 laptop is only $19.96 on Amazon.

DDR2 PC2-5300 • CL=5 • Unbuffered • NON-ECC

The newer SSD drives are no longer expensive, but you can always reuse them,
if the laptop dies, you just drop the hard drive into another computer for additional storage.
Old 03-06-18, 02:59 PM
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Obviously, I didnt google it.

But, to the OP..... you need to buy exactly what you have in there or, remove the old RAM & install all new RAM. You cant mix RAM. Well, you can, (correct me if I am wrong Hal) but its only gonna run as fast as the slowest stick of RAM you install. And, some RAM wont work with other RAM. So, find out what RAM will work in there... like brand & speed etc & buy either one stick & remove the old stick (sometimes there are two slots), OR buy two sticks of the same RAM. Best not to ever mix RAM.
Old 03-16-18, 04:50 PM
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Oh, one other post-script and reason to consider an upgrade to Windows 10...

The newer implimentation of Windows 10 includes "applications" (sorry Tron, it's no longer "programs"
What I've found is that the Windows-Store Applications are about HALF as CPU intensive as running the comparable program or website.

So- watching Youtube through a browser, is 60% CPU, but using a Windows 10 3rd Party Youtube App, would only be 30% CPU.

Basically, if you use online services - Youtube, streaming TV, streaming music, the switch to Windows 10 allows you to run the relatively smaller APP, instead of requiring the overhead to run a web browser, and THEN stream content from the website.
Old 03-17-18, 07:23 AM
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Post Script to the Post Script

Biggest thing you can do to speed up an old computer, disable all the "start up services". Basically, every program you ever run, will install a "check for updates" service, or a "load me first" service" to make the program faster. The end result of all these "helper" programs is to bog down older CPUs, which are trying to do 200 different things at once.

Example, old NC10 netbook on Win-10 was running 80%-99% CPU usage for minutes or an hour after booting.
Disable ALL services, and it settles down to 9% CPU in about a minute.

Process to disable startup services under Win-10 below, XP, Vista, Win-7 and Win-8 are similar.

Press Win + R to open Run dialog >
Type: msconfig and click OK;
Go to Services Tab
Make sure Hide all Microsoft services under Services tab is NOT checked>
Check "load system services", uncheck "load startup".

Click APPLY or OK [/B]to save all changes>
Go back and individuall enable only those services you recognize and use, e.g. Dropbox, Antivirus.etc.>
Reboot PC >
See if any functions are missing, e.g. "sound service" and then enable them.>
Reboot. >

Enjoy faster computer.>

Last edited by Hal_S; 03-17-18 at 09:25 AM.
Old 03-17-18, 10:21 AM
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"dont want to invest a lot of time or money?"

Lots of input above as to how you could resurrect this machine, but all of those will take some time...so, if you don't want to invest that, I would say ditch it. Remove the hard drive, take a hammer to it. Then toss.

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