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PriceisRightx26's avatar

Should I update my computer?

Asked by PriceisRightx26 (1255points) March 25th, 2016

First things first, I’m probably the least tech-savvy person of Generation Y.

Things that I know about my laptop: it’s a 5 year old HP with Windows 7 (there’s also a sticker on it that says “Intel inside// CORE i7).

Recently, my laptop has been running so slow. Issues opening/closing stuff, things closing on their own. I don’t download stuff (aside from school documents), no pirating or anything like that. I don’t have that much on here; lots of usable memory available. I’ve had a couple computer-friendly pals check it out and they can’t find anything suspicious. I have Norton and it hasn’t found anything suspicious. I had a Trojan a few years ago, though that was professionally handled. The only other thing that sticks out to me is that Netflix and Amazon keep prompting me to update/download Silverlight.

As for updating, my browser keeps suggesting an update for Windows 10.

Should I do the update? Is that something that might be a terrible idea since my laptop is a bit older? Is my laptop just flat out kicking the bucket at this point?

Feel free to ask more questions if you need to, though I can’t promise I’ll have answers. Honestly, my knowledge of computers is pitiful.

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11 Answers

kritiper's avatar

I assume you’ve deleted cookies and defraged the disc? Windows 10 may require a faster processor and/or more memory, so it may not work on your unit. Check all of the system requirements before you go that way, if you do. Might help to ask at a local computer repair store. Get more advice. Just sayin’...
(I have very little knowledge of computers and sometimes hate their guts and want to grab a large hammer and smash mine to smithereenies. Best of luck with yours.)

PriceisRightx26's avatar

The only cookies I know about go in my tummy :p Is this stuff that is safe to figure out on my own or should I leave it up to the professionals?

kritiper's avatar

You should be able to do this yourself. If I can do it, you can, too! Do a system search for “cookies” and there should be a doohickie to click on to delete. Also, do a search for “defrag disc” and follow directions. Or find a 14 year old (or some other person who knows what to do) to help.

PriceisRightx26's avatar

So my laptop gave me some weird warning about another program controlling the defrag process, which my friend thinks it’s Norton, and that it’s probably routinely doing that for me. He thinks my hard drive is probably just dying :( I’m gonna back up my laptop this weekend and try doing the stuff with the cookies and whatnot, and see how that goes. If it is the hard drive, is it worthwhile to replace it? He said he could replace it for me, so I wouldn’t be paying in-store prices. But he also is heavily suggesting that I just replace the laptop. The laptop was like $1200, though, and I’d rather not dish that out right now.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@PriceisRightx26 “he laptop was like $1200, though, and I’d rather not dish that out right now.”

It’s usually better to buy a new laptop than replace the hard drive. But if you are not computer-savvy at all, may I ask why you chose an i7 in the first place? Are you a hardcore gamer? Because if not (and maybe even if so), you don’t need that kind of processing power. It sounds like the person who sold this to you took advantage of you. You probably could have bought something at a quarter of the price you paid.

Zaku's avatar

Personally, I despise Windows editions after Windows 7, because they add the “smart phone” interface and loads of pointless privacy violations and anti-features, and don’t seem to add any actual features that I want. On the other hand, they are designed to try to be more for non-technical people… but even so, they do that by adding more different stuff to learn.

The other issue is whether an update will actually work well with your hardware or not.

If I were you, and you basically like Windows 7, I would keep it, but look for a techie person to clean it up and to turn off the Windows 10 upgrade nagging. The slowness is probably due to unwanted crap programs running or the hard drive and/or registry filling up with stuff you don’t want. It should be possible to eradicate those and run as fast as it ever did, if you get someone who knows what they’re doing to clean it up.

BosM's avatar

Five years is a good run with a laptop although if the issue came on all of a sudden there is likely an issue. You will eventually need an upgrade. Try troubleshooting first.

Performance is determined by the CPU, memory, and disk drive(s). A primary reason disks slow down is fragmentation. Type Defrag in your windows search (click the Start button), follow the prompts, if fragmentation is greater then 10% defragment the disk. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/improve-performance-defragmenting-hard-disk#1TC=windows-7

Slowness can also be caused by other issues as well (hardware failure, software/driver/virus conflict, etc.) and requires troubleshooting to know for certain. Start by making sure Windows Updates are current as well as your Anti-Virus definitions (and scanning is scheduled on a regular basis). If you installed or upgraded software recently it may be causing an issue. You’ll want to consider that in the troubleshooting process and research warnings that appear.

If you Google the issues being experienced by your laptop’s make/model you will find forums/communities (HP, Microsoft, etc.) where others with similar problems sought and received help. A search for “Norton controlling defragmentation process” revealed a Norton discussion forum where someone recommended you turn off disk optimization by navigating in Norton to: settings/task scheduling and uncheck disk optimization.

Researching issues will help you learn and solve problems. Here are a couple of links: Performance & Maintenance in Windows 7. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/performance-maintenance-help#performance-maintenance-help=windows-7&v1h=win8tab1&v2h=win7tab1&v3h=winvistatab1
Delete/Manage Cookies in Windows 7/Internet Explorer
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/internet-explorer/delete-manage-cookies#ie=ie-11-win-7

Good luck

PriceisRightx26's avatar

@dappled_leaves Some gaming, but also a lot of bio/chem/med tech programs.

@Zaku Yeah, I’m hardpressed to change when it comes to technology. I only recently upgraded from an iPhone 4, and that was because I had to with the new contract. I don’t want the new, shiny, latest, high tech gear. I’m an old lady in that sense, haha. I’m happy with Windows 7, I’d hate to change it. Though, my friend said that the hardware specs (or something like that) on this machine probably aren’t sufficient for todays software, anyways.

@BosM Not completely out of nowhere, probably relatively progressive and me just ignoring the little warning signs until my activities became well impaired. I’m still using the laptop, but I do suspect it’s condition will continue to decline if left unattended. Thanks for the links!

PriceisRightx26's avatar

@dappled_leaves can you explain why it’s better to replace the laptop rather than the hard drive? genuinely curious, not being an ass

Seek's avatar

When you change out the hard drive you have to reinstall the operating system and everything else. If you’re not tech-savvy it’s a major pain in the ass.

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