Computer Related > Old Vista laptop Computing Issues
Thread Author: Lemma Replies: 8

 Old Vista laptop - Lemma
My daughter would like to have a laptop to use for internet browsing and photo backup. Thanks to the grandchildren she can’t get near the various household devices and won’t touch her husbands, She asked me if I had an old laptop that might suit. I envisage that iPhone photos will be sent by email and then backed up on the hard drive and/or an external drive. Other than that just a bit of internet browsing.

I have what was a very nice Toshiba laptop that I hung on to from work. It dates back to perhaps 2005 and doesn’t look to have been switched on for five years. However whilst old and clunky by modern standards it’s a solid piece of kit. I switched it on and it connects to the WiFi, but runs very slowly. I am currently defragmenting the disc and have removed all stored files. I am a long term Apple user and would appreciate any help in setting this up.

Issues I would like to address are whether or not Vista is ok to use, if not what else? How to speed it up so that windows open and close promptly. Also would it need a virus checker, there is an old version, 2014, of AVG. Just update this or look for another freebie?

I would password protect it for her exclusive use. Finally I really don’t want to spend anything on this, just not worth it. I do have an old e ternary hard drive she can have.

Thanks in advance for any help.
 Old Vista laptop - Crankcase
Have you considered putting Ubuntu (easiest Linux to install but there are loads of others) on it instead of Windows? For the purposes you describe it would do what you want and is usually dead easy to install, free, and likely to run quicker than any Windows version.

You could always ditch it and start again if you didn't get on with it, or it didn't "just work" on your laptop; it probably would though.

Just a thought in case you weren't aware.
Last edited by: Crankcase on Sat 26 Jan 19 at 15:26
 Old Vista laptop - Zero
Yes one of the linux distributions would be good, tho I would go for "Mint" its the closest looking to Mac or windows.
 Old Vista laptop - No FM2R
I read somewhere, and I cannot remember where, that the newer Linux distributions had got sufficiently heavy that whilst they were still quicker than windows the difference is not as significant as it used to be on older machines.

Is that accurate?
 Old Vista laptop - Kevin
I think it's probably more to do with Microsoft's efforts to clean up their code rather than Linux getting "heavy". It also helps if you don't install stuff you don't need or stick to 'lite' versions on older low-spec machines.
 Old Vista laptop - VxFan
>> Also would it need a virus checker, there is an old version, 2014, of AVG. Just update this or look for another freebie?

Ditch AVG. That was the one thing that slowed my old Vista laptop down. As soon as I removed it and used Microsoft's own virus protection instead, the difference in speed was amazing.

btw, MS stopped supporting Vista back in April 2017.

edit, it looks like MS also stopped supporting MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials) too for Vista.
Last edited by: VxFan on Sat 26 Jan 19 at 20:11
 Old Vista laptop - Lemma
Thanks everybody, looks like Linux is the way forward as there is no virus protection available now for Vista. As it happens a virus infection, despite full protection, on a desktop running Vista that was my main machine at the time was the driver behind switching to Apple. I managed to get it sort of running again and recover the data but it cost me two days and was the last straw. iMacs/Macbooks have done me very well ever since with absolutely no problems at all.
 Old Vista laptop - tyrednemotional
I'd echo Z and recommend you try Linux "Mint".

Easy to install, and quite "Windows-like", (though not entirely).

A little bit of experimentation, and the profile of use you've envisaged (browsing, photo storage, etc.) should be pretty seamless.

It worked very well after I loaded it onto an old XP machine I had as an experiment.
 Old Vista laptop - sherlock47
Funnily enough yesterday I installed MINT v18 on an old Dell Laptop that showed a Vista install as a clue to its age.. It had been running W7 and I was surprised that the install of Linux did not noticeably speed it up. It works well enough r browsing and photos etc.

The only problem on install was that it did not immediately load drivers for the integrated Broadcom wifi. (It did not flag this , so took a little digging). This however was easily solved by connecting an ethernet cable and going on line wired to download the necessary updates.
Latest Forum Posts