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I have an old laptop [c.2007 Sony Vaio 1gb(supports 2gb) 1.83ghz duo core 17" 160gb] currently running xp. I have never rebuilt from scratch and now it's running like a dog - I also suspect the HDD may be on its way out.

Is it worth buying another gig of memory/hdd and getting W7, should I toss it or should I just reinstall XP?

I ran the W7 upgrade wizard and it seems like most things will work save the touchpad (I use a mouse anyway)

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migrated from Oct 1 '10 at 21:17

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

Windows 7, when running with the features as Windows XP, has the same requirements and performance.

You can turn off:

  • Application Experience
  • Certificate Propagation
  • Desktop window Manager Session Manager
  • Diagnostic Policy Service
  • Function Discovery Host Provider
  • IP Helper
  • Network List Service
  • Netowrk Store Interface Service
  • Offline Files
  • Power
  • Program Compatibility Assistant Service
  • Superfetch
  • Windows Backup
  • Windows Connect Now - Config Registrar
  • Windows Font Cache Service
  • Windows Search
  • Windows Update

Although nearly all of these services have almost impact on system performance.

Some might have value that you'd miss. (e.g. PCA)

Some speed up the system compared to Windows XP (e.g. Font Cache, SuperFetch).

Some are noticeable in that you'll hear the hard-drive going (e.g. Windows Search), but highly tuned to use Windows Vista's new "background priority I/O" - so that any "real" activity always take priority over background I/O.

Beyond that, turning off Windows Desktop Composition and ClearType can help with the graphics card not being very 3D capable.

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Totally worth the effort. I have an old Dell Inspiron 6000 (purchased in 2005) with 1.5gb of Ram, a 100gb hard drive, and a 1.4Ghz processor running Windows 7 Professional. It's a basic machine but its perfect for a lot of the administrative tasks I do from home connecting back to the office, etc. I'm impressed with how nicely it runs and how smooth stepping up to 7 was. Go for it!

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Good to hear that. It has a sticker saying Vista compatible on the front, so I'm assuming that it would be even better with W7. How quick does it run and also how smooth was the install e.g. put CD in drive, click a few buttons then everything worked ok? or were there many driver issues/other problems? – adolf garlic Oct 1 '10 at 12:51
It does well remotely connecting to work, browsing the web, Office 2010 runs well on it too. I'd say it's in the 7 out of 10 range performance-wise. I did an upgrade from Vista Business which took about 3 hours to complete but everything, and I mean everything, worked after the upgrade. Zero issues. No issues with drivers or anything else. I was prepared to have to wipe it clean and do a fresh install if it failed but no bumps at all. You're going to have to do a clean install so you'll finish super fast and be back up and running. Fresh installs are very quick. – Mitch Oct 1 '10 at 13:02

Depends what you want to do. I would warn you to confirm what your laptop's video hardware is and check the availability of the video driver;

Many of the older laptops had the ATI radeon 9200 - 9500; Most of them are worthless under Win-7 and won't display any of the nice GUI effects.

It's worth a try, but your "Windows Experience" may never get higher than 1.0

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Your machine has plenty of power for Windows 7. You could probably get a fair bit more life out of it by adding another 1GB (although 1GB isn't that bad) and buying a new HDD.

But first, confirm the HDD is itself dying and not the drive controller.

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