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Reviving an Old Computer

Over time, laptops and desktop computers tend to slow down either due to aging hardware, overheating, system bloatware or virus infections. Fortunately, there is a way to revive an old system by following a few steps and one does not need to purchase an entirely new system. One important aspect is deciding what the computer will be used for. For example, a very old and outdated laptop with limited capabilities may not be able to be used for editing videos and running complex software such as Adobe Suite, however, it can be used for taking notes, surfing the internet and simple work-related tasks. Here are a few examples of what can be done to revive an old computer.

Switching to a New OS

With Microsoft’s abandonment for Windows 7 support, many are wary of switching over to Windows 10. While many improvements have been made to Windows 10, it is still a bit resource-intensive, especially with the amount of bloatware that installs itself with the system. Microsoft has received a lot of criticism for how they handled this new version of Windows, although it is still a better alternative to the infamous Windows 8. Experienced users can reduce the amount of junk that comes alongside a new installation of Windows but it’s the casual users that are mostly affected by this. This is where Linux comes into play. Although it is much less popular than Windows, it has gained some amount of popularity, especially in the last decade. Learning a new operating system can be a daunting experience, and learning Linux is no different. The major reason why many users avoid switching to Linux is that most of the software that runs on Windows cannot run natively on Linux and requires some workarounds or replacing the usual Windows apps with their Linux counterparts. 

While doing more complex tasks on Linux requires the users to learn this new desktop environment, doing simple tasks such as surfing the web or taking notes is done almost exactly in the same manner. Most of the world’s fastest computers work on Linux and it has been demonstrated many times that when it comes to old hardware, going with a Linux operating system can reinvigorate an old computer because it is more lightweight and uses fewer resources. The amount of resources that Linux uses depends on the distro (distribution) and there are many of them out there. A few examples to start with would be POP OS, Linux Mint, Ubuntu and Fedora.

When it comes to gaming, Linux is known for having fewer options because most of the games released on PC are meant for Windows. For Linux however, this can be addressed by using a third party software known as Wine, a software made by the Linux community to make Windows games compatible. Since we are looking to bring back an old computer, most demanding games may not work, however, there are online alternatives to satisfy some gamers. Many online casino games, for example, can be played directly in the browser which means that they can be played on any system. The most popular of these casino games are slots, which themselves are not very demanding and can offer many hours of entertainment. Better yet, many online casino games can be played for free, which is another huge benefit.

Cleaning the Registry and Temporary Files (Windows 10)

Why should the registry be cleaned? Everything that is being done on Windows 10, every new software installation and changes, is recorded within the registry. To have a general idea, a page or an article that was visited and its URL has been recorded, as well as details of the programs that have been installed uninstalled or changed in any way. The problem is that the registries remain there even past their usage as Windows programs don’t do a very good job by removing all of the files associated with them when uninstalled. While one may not notice the improved performance when the registry is cleaned regularly, it will make a major difference when cleaning it after a long period. There are several tools available to clean temporary files, cache, cookies, as well as registry, however, this can also be done manually. The benefit that these tools can provide is that they can be scheduled to automatically remove these files. 

Programs running in the background may also be a reason that results in having a sluggish performance, especially when booting up. By using the Windows Task Manager, in the Startup tab, users have the possibility of turning on/off programs that start alongside Windows, even non-essential ones, that continue to run in the background even if not being used. By turning off some of them, or uninstalling the unused ones, users can reclaim some of the system resources that can be used to perform other tasks.

Hardware Cleaning and Maintenance

Probably one of the most important aspects of improving the performance of a computer is opening it up and cleaning the dust. Using a computer for a few years will accumulate dust over time leading to components inside to overheat, which in turn slows down the performance. Cleaning a desktop computer is much easier than cleaning a laptop, however, the same basics apply to laptops as well. By using a can of compressed air, one can remove the dust that is preventing the proper air circulation.

When it comes to the hardware itself, most people recommend replacing the storage device. Most of the old laptops came with an HDD. Hard disk drives are known to perform worse over time and because they moving mechanical parts, they tend to be the first component in a computer to fail. Many have reported that just by simply replacing the HDD with an SSD has drastically improved the performance.

Taking into account these few tips should be enough to greatly improve the performance of an old computer without needing to switch to a new one. Cleaning the hardware and switching or cleaning the operating system will improve the lifespan of the computer as well as its performance.