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This is a discussion on Upgrade of Windows7 within the Windows 7 , Windows Vista Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. The OS of my laptop is Windows7 and its configuration is as follows. Processor Intel (R) Pentium (R) 1.73 GHz


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Old 10-15-2019, 10:21 PM   #1
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The OS of my laptop is Windows7 and its configuration is as follows.

Processor Intel (R) Pentium (R) 1.73 GHz 1.73 GHzRAM (installed memory)* 1.00 GB32-bit Operating System (system type).

I want to know if it's possible to upgrade to Windows 8.1 or should I simply buy a new one? I'm aware upgrade involves some hassles on making backups etc.

The laptop I'm currently using is HP, several years old and has been very satisfactory. However, Windows 7 is quite outdated now and it apparently cannot handle heavy applications in many websites .. making browsing slow. Furthermore, MS won't be providing updates for Win.7 after Dec.31, 2019. If I buy a new laptop (leased out), I'm debating between HP and Dell (IBM is too costly). Between HP and Dell, which one would you suggest?

Your opinion on my above queries would be very helpful.
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Old 10-15-2019, 10:58 PM   #2
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I want to know if it's possible to upgrade to Windows 8.1 or should I simply buy a new one?
Of course it's possible, but buying a new one is the best option with the least hassle because you will be upgrading everything in one go.

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However, Windows 7 is quite outdated now and it apparently cannot handle heavy applications in many websites .. making browsing slow.
Talking of heavy web applications, Windows 7 is NOT the problem. Your 1GB RAM is the problem. That's the minimum required by Windows 7. Don't expect much from that, let alone heavy applications. Judging by the configuration you gave, it's not worth the trouble trying to upgrade the RAM either.

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Furthermore, MS won't be providing updates for Win.7 after Dec.31, 2019.
The actual date is January 14, 2020. It's close nonetheless.

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If I buy a new laptop (leased out), I'm debating between HP and Dell (IBM is too costly). Between HP and Dell, which one would you suggest?
Whichever brand is fine, just go with whatever your preference is. I'm a HP person, but I've also used Dell models that I really enjoyed working with. Opinions will vary widely. Some swear by Dell, others swear by HP, while others will recommend other "better" brands like Lenovo. Depending on your location, market availability and after sales support might play a bigger role in determining what brand you should buy. Your IP places you in Canada, is that right?
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:08 PM   #3
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Thank you very much Stancestans. That was very helpful. I think so too I should buy a new one and so far I've liked HP best. Yes I'm located in Canada. I didn't hear of Lenovo before. Is it supposed to be of same standard as HP .... and similar price range?
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:19 PM   #4
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Lenovo is a major PC brand and some sources even rank it higher than HP and Dell. They have a full range of offerings, from budget models to powerful mobile workstations. Have a look here https://www.lenovo.com/ca/en/laptops/c/LAPTOPS
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:31 PM   #5
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Many thanks again. I'll explore that link.
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:34 PM   #6
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How much are you willing to spend, maximum? Your budget will help us guide you better.
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:43 PM   #7
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Approximately $500 for HP. Of course i know brand new would be lot more. But leased out ones, I suppose, would come within this range. The Hp laptop I'm using now, purchased 2009, leased out after it was used for 2 yrs. It was in great condition. I paid $500 but I guess laptops were costlier back then. It's still working good for its age. As you said the RAM is the issue ... plus a few hardware problems as well e.g. one side of the spacebar doesn't respond. So yes, buying a new one is necessary. But this one has run for a total of 12 years. That sounds quite amazing. That's why I thought it would be a good idea to settle for Hp.

Can you also please give me an idea on what kind of configuration would be best while looking for a new laptop?
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Old 10-16-2019, 05:44 AM   #8
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At CAD $500, settle for no less than:
7th gen Core i3 processor
4GB RAM
500GB hard drive
Windows 10

With a little bit more cash, or occasional sale offer, you might get one with a cool 8GB ram and a small SSD drive (128GB) or 1TB hard drive. An example of what you can get is here https://www.amazon.ca/Lenovo-ideapad...11&s=pc&sr=1-2

Asus is also a globally recognised brand and has some very good models to offer at that price range. See https://www.amazon.ca/Asus-X540BA-RB...GYSRQ8CC0JT2MK for example.
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Old 10-16-2019, 12:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
IBM is too costly
IBM sold their personal computers division to Lenovo. several years ago. They have taken the IBM quality and improved it.
Quote:
Lenovo is a major PC brand and some sources even rank it higher than HP and Dell. They have a full range of offerings, from budget models to powerful mobile workstations. Have a look here https://www.lenovo.com/ca/en/laptops/c/LAPTOPS
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Old 10-17-2019, 12:24 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Stancestans View Post
At CAD $500, settle for no less than:
7th gen Core i3 processor
4GB RAM
500GB hard drive
Windows 10

With a little bit more cash, or occasional sale offer, you might get one with a cool 8GB ram and a small SSD drive (128GB) or 1TB hard drive. An example of what you can get is here https://www.amazon.ca/Lenovo-ideapad...11&s=pc&sr=1-2
I see. I wouldn't mind spending a bit more if the difference is that much. Certainly will remember these points while buying.
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Old 10-17-2019, 12:27 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by spunk.funk View Post
IBM sold their personal computers division to Lenovo. several years ago. They have taken the IBM quality and improved it.
Okay, but what about the price range for a slightly used Lenovo ... same as IBM was?
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Old 10-17-2019, 12:30 AM   #12
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I recall until some years ago, you purchase a computer (even a refurbished one), they would give the OS installation disk free ... in case you need to reinstall anytime in future. I guess no more such perks any longer, right?
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Old 10-17-2019, 01:54 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Songbird_2016 View Post
Okay, but what about the price range for a slightly used Lenovo ... same as IBM was?
Forget IBM, they haven't been in the pc business for years. Lenovo is a staple brand for business models (just like IBM was). Having explored the options available in Canada, Lenovo seems to have the largest range of models to choose from. Dell's options were prohibitive in price, even for its budget options. HP's options were two models if memory serves me right, and none of them was budget friendly. I did a lot of exploring on its online store and other online stores (Amazon, Newegg, Best Buy, to mention a few) and HP's options we're very few within that price range. As for the price of a used Lenovo, the general rule is the price will be lower than that of a brand new one. I've never been a fan of buying used stuff. Their prices can be very tempting, but the uncertainty of how reliable they are is always there. Don't get me wrong though, used ones can just as easily last for a decade, while brand new ones can fail before they hit three years. It eventually comes down to what you're comfortable with.

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I recall until some years ago, you purchase a computer (even a refurbished one), they would give the OS installation disk free ... in case you need to reinstall anytime in future. I guess no more such perks any longer, right?
Methods have changed. These days, you download the OS for free from Microsoft and create the installation disc or USB flash disk yourself. Systems that come with Windows installed at the factory use a special partition on the internal hard drive to store the OS installation source files. The manufacturer also includes the necessary utilities that allow you to use this partition to reinstall the OS or to create recovery media. USB flash disks are dirt cheap, and in this day and age, it's my opinion that every computer user should have at least one. CD/DVD drives are becoming less and less common in laptops, so if this is a requirement for you, make sure the one you buy includes it.
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Old 10-17-2019, 02:10 AM   #14
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Not a fan of Lenovo. They have made one or two questionable decisions over the years.

https://thehackernews.com/2015/08/le...t-malware.html

https://thehackernews.com/2015/02/le...h-malware.html
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Old 10-17-2019, 03:10 AM   #15
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Quote:
HP's options were two models if memory serves me right, and none of them was budget friendly. I did a lot of exploring on its online store and other online stores (Amazon, Newegg, Best Buy, to mention a few) and HP's options we're very few within that price range.
Had another look at Best Buy Canada for HP laptops. Found some interesting options. Have a look here https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/collect...253aBest%2BBuy

Look out for descriptions of their conditions, for example; "open box", "refurbished"

The following options look promising:
https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product...glish/13785584

https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product...glish/13792622

If you fancy a big 17.3" screen, here's one for a bit more bucks:
https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product...ws-10/11558156

Quad-core Pentium:
https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product...ws-10/13499152

Lenovo Ideapad 100 series AMD options:
https://www.lenovo.com/ca/en/laptops.../p/88IPS101207

These are not recommendations or endorsements, but just examples of what you can have at that budget. Avoid those with Celeron and AMD-E processors. Once you've identified something you like, let us know so we can offer our opinions.
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Old 10-18-2019, 01:57 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Stancestans View Post
As for the price of a used Lenovo, the general rule is the price will be lower than that of a brand new one. I've never been a fan of buying used stuff. Their prices can be very tempting, but the uncertainty of how reliable they are is always there. Don't get me wrong though, used ones can just as easily last for a decade, while brand new ones can fail before they hit three years. It eventually comes down to what you're comfortable with.**
Yes I understand.

*
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Originally Posted by Stancestans View Post
**
These days, you download the OS for free from Microsoft and create the installation disc**...
I never knew this. If MS OS are available to download free for creating installation disks, why do I hear OS disks being exorbitantly costly if purchased?**

*
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Originally Posted by Stancestans View Post
**
CD/DVD drives are becoming less and less common in laptops, so if this is a requirement for you, make sure the one you buy includes it.
*

Glad u told me. Never knew this either. I would definitely need a CD drive. I wouldn't even know how to handle anything else more sophisticated.


Btw I got reminder today MS will stop supporting Win.7 Jan.14, 2020. You're right, it's mid Jan.*

All of the info everyone provided was greatly helpful for me. Finally I just want to know point-wise (or to summarize) the configuration I need to keep in mind before purchasing otherwise I may end up confused at the computer store. I'm no computer genius at all and with a limited budget, I'm trailing behind in regard to information & knowledge on state-of-the-art technology that have flooded the markets. Though I do spend a lot of time on my computer, my online work is quite basic like running a blog, a forum, pinterest boards and sometimes downloading a favorite video or two from twitter.* And of course I do quite lot of research at online alternative news sources for my writings. These are the times my poor old laptop often freezes with it's 1 gb ram usually because of the influx of commercials.* However, my online work is simple, nothing complicated. Quoting you on the purchase of a laptop (my preference Hp) approximately around $500 (okay if it's a bit more but hopefully not too much higher), you mentioned the config:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stancestans View Post
"At CAD $500, settle for*no less*than:
7th gen Core i3 processor
4GB RAM
500GB hard drive
Windows 10"*
I think for a user like me, this sounds fairly good. Plus, I will make sure it has a CD/DVD drive.* Would you suggest any other requirements I may need to remember? Btw, what exactly is "7th gen core i3 processor" ? Excuse me for these dumb queries, but it helps much to get an idea of everything.

I will find a Best Buy branch closest to my area in Toronto. I would presume Best buy is reliable, right?
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Old 10-18-2019, 05:13 AM   #17
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It's the 7th genaration of the i3 processor or the computer chip to give it it's simple name.
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Old 10-18-2019, 12:05 PM   #18
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I never knew this. If MS OS are available to download free for creating installation disks, why do I hear OS disks being exorbitantly costly if purchased?**
It's the license to use Windows that you're paying a fortune for, not the media in which a copy is stored. Downloading a copy is free, but activating it requires a license. If you buy a brand new laptop with Windows preinstalled at the factory, then it comes pre-activated using a special license called an OEM license, which the manufacturer, for example HP, acquires from Microsoft. The cost of that license is factored into the price of the product. This license is embedded into the firmware (BIOS) of the system, so every time you need to reinstall the version of Windows that it came with, the setup process automatically uses that license. This is not so different from how things were when OS discs were supplied with a system. Those copies were also pre-activated using OEM licenses.

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Glad u told me. Never knew this either. I would definitely need a CD drive. I wouldn't even know how to handle anything else more sophisticated.
Flash disks are even easier to use, but of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to whichever storage option you prefer.


Quote:
Btw I got reminder today MS will stop supporting Win.7 Jan.14, 2020. You're right, it's mid Jan.*

All of the info everyone provided was greatly helpful for me. Finally I just want to know point-wise (or to summarize) the configuration I need to keep in mind before purchasing otherwise I may end up confused at the computer store. I'm no computer genius at all and with a limited budget, I'm trailing behind in regard to information & knowledge on state-of-the-art technology that have flooded the markets. Though I do spend a lot of time on my computer, my online work is quite basic like running a blog, a forum, pinterest boards and sometimes downloading a favorite video or two from twitter.* And of course I do quite lot of research at online alternative news sources for my writings. These are the times my poor old laptop often freezes with it's 1 gb ram usually because of the influx of commercials.* However, my online work is simple, nothing complicated. Quoting you on the purchase of a laptop (my preference Hp) approximately around $500 (okay if it's a bit more but hopefully not too much higher), you mentioned the config:



I think for a user like me, this sounds fairly good. Plus, I will make sure it has a CD/DVD drive.* Would you suggest any other requirements I may need to remember? Btw, what exactly is "7th gen core i3 processor" ? Excuse me for these dumb queries, but it helps much to get an idea of everything.

I will find a Best Buy branch closest to my area in Toronto. I would presume Best buy is reliable, right?
Best Buy is a top-rated e-commerce platform in Canada and it seems to have a good number of stores in Toronto. Walmart is also a good option. Amazon, Newegg and Costco are also alternatives. You have many options to choose from, so finding a deal within your budget should be easy provided you stick to the guidelines/your requirements . Don't let overzealous sales personnel try to sell you something you're not conversant with. You can always pause and ask back here.
A Core i3 processor is a type of processor (cpu) made by Intel. The processor is the brain of your computer. The faster the processor, the better the overall performance of your system will be, and the more capable it will be at handling multiple and heavy tasks. Intel offers Celeron, Pentium, Core i3, i5, i7, i9 and X processors (these are not all they have to offer) and they all come in generations. 7th gen is just a short form for "7th generation". The type of processor that a system has is a major, if not the main, selling point of the system. 7th generation processors have a model number beginning with 7, for example, Intel Core i3-7600. A sixth generation one would have a 6 in its model number, for example Intel Core i5-6600. I have a HP Probook with a 3rd gen processor (Intel Core i5-3380M), and so on. Intel Celeron are at the bottom of the pile (on that list above) and the cheapest. They are designed for very low power usage and are equally poor performers, hence my advice to stay away from them. You would find Celeron processors in a lot of brand new laptops that cost $300 and lower. At your budget, there is no reason to settle for such poor performance. A good Pentium processor or Core i3 will serve your needs well. Of course, a Core i5 or higher would be even better, for certain use cases, but they cost a lot more and may not be value for money if your computing needs don't need that much power. I have very roughly brushed through the subject of processors, but all you need to keep in mind is that the oldest generation you should settle for is a 7th generation processor and nothing older. The processor will be named something like "Intel Core i3-7xxx". If you come across a higher generation within your budget, then even better, for example Intel Core i3-8xxx. The processor type IS ALWAYS indicated, like I said, it's a major selling point.

Your online endeavours will benefit from even more RAM, and I suggest you go for 8GB instead of 4GB, even if it means spending a bit more. Imagine that's 8x what your current laptop has! 4GB is still plenty for your use case and a huge improvement from your current 1GB, but settle for it ONLY as a LAST RESORT. With more RAM, you'll be able to open a lot of tabs on your browser and additional programs like a word processor and seamlessly switch between them without hanging/freezing/lagging.
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Old 10-18-2019, 11:11 PM   #19
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Many, many thanks Stancestans. Excellent suggestions. I'll make a note of these points. Might return with some more questions later if some confusion arises before buying.
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Old 10-19-2019, 06:22 AM   #20
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Many, many thanks Stancestans. Excellent suggestions. I'll make a note of these points. Might return with some more questions later if some confusion arises before buying.
One more thing you might want to take note of is the screen size of the laptop. While exploring the options within your budget, there were a lot of 14 inch laptops on offer. I personally hate them because I'm used to larger displays and my work often involves working with multiple program windows on screen. Their smaller size adds a bit more portability, at the expense of other features like a dvd drive. There are too few 14 inch laptops with dvd drives, they almost always don't have them. I suspect your old laptop is a 15.6" (simply referred to as 15 inch laptops) model, so moving to a smaller size may have a negative impact on your experience. The difference in size doesn't seem like much, but it's very noticeable when changing from one to the other. My main laptop has a massive 17.3" screen and I love the extra screen space it offers for my multi-window work. If you'll mostly be using the laptop on a desk at home/office as opposed to out and about, then the extra portability of a 14" model doesn't matter much. Your use case sounds like it needs sufficient screen space and a smaller screen size would be a deal breaker. To put it all down in a checklist that you can use to verify a purchase before checking out, look out for the following main features:

1. What type of processor does it have? Is it an Intel or AMD processor?
If Intel, which type?
Celeron? (move on and don't bother with it)
Pentium?
Which model specifically? The model number helps verify its features via a quick Google search.
Is it a Pentium Silver or Gold series?
Is it a quad-core or dual-core?
What is its speed in terms of GHz?
Core i3/i5/i7/i9/X? Is it 7th generation or higher? If not, look at another offer.
If AMD, which specific model? How many cores does it have (dual-core, quad-core etc) and what is its speed in GHz? If AMD-E, look elsewhere. Those are the equivalent of Intel Celeron processors.
If not any of the processor types mentioned above, ask here for further advice
This is the part that will easily confuse you because there are so many different options available, but as I said, you can always ask for more guidance here before purchase. We'll verify the processor type as long as you provide us its exact model number. The processor is a major selling point and is always indicated. Verifying this will not be a problem. All you need to do is ask.

2. How much RAM (memory) does it have? Minimum is 4GB, recommended 8GB. Nothing less than 4GB. Let 4GB be the absolute minimum. If an offer with more memory is available at a smaller price increase, then go for it. Its a worthy investment. Memory is expensive and changing to a higher capacity later will be costly.

3. How big is the screen? 15.6" is "the standard". Bigger may be better depending on your preference. Smaller may negatively affect user experience. Maintain the same size of your current laptop or go bigger.

4. What type of storage drive does it have?
Hard disk drive (HDD)?
500GB is the absolute minimum, 1TB is recommended.
Solid State Drive (SSD)?
128GB minimum.
5. Operating system
Windows 10 Home is recommended. Windows 10 Pro is even better, but it won't come easy at that price. Avoid Windows 10 in S mode, also known as Windows 10 S.

6. Optical disc drive (DVD Writer)
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