The School year is about to start and many students are looking for a good deal on back to school notebooks and laptops, but if you need to make it one more year with an older computer there are a few things you can do to breathe new life into your laptop.
The first thing you can try is to clean up your machine with a software tool like System Mechanic that contains a collection of tools to clean up the digital detritus that bogs down old computers. System Mechanic will clean, defrag and repair the registry on your laptop as well as accelerate your notebooks startup with numerous fixes.
System Mechanic pulls all of these tasks into an easy to use package and allows you to click, “Repair All” to clean up and speed up your system. I was able to use this on my father’s desktop which is Running Vista and it helped easily remove unwanted programs from startup and helped extend the life of his desktop. We had to reinstall FireFox after we ran System Mechanic to fix some browser issues but it wasn’t clear if that was related to System Mechanic.
The tool has earned the praise of others as seen in the video review of System Mechanic below.
Right now though, you can get System Mechanic for $24.95 and System Mechanic Pro for $39.95 with the coupon code LEARN on iolo.com. This coupon code is good through the end of September.
Upgrading your hardware is another way to give your old notebook a boost without breaking the bank. Upgrading the RAM on your machine, often referred to as memory, will give your computer a boost in running multiple programs like a web browser, iTunes, Word and a chat application at the same time. It will also make copying large files a bit snappier.
To find out what type of RAM you need and how much your laptop can handle you should visit Crucial.com and find your model or use the Crucial System Scanner tool to see exactly what you have and what you can replace. Crucial will provide a direct link to order the new ram which can usually be installed with a screwdriver in a minute or two. If you want to save money you should look at other retailers like NewEgg and compare prices on the RAM as there are often sales on RAM.
Here’s a video showing how to replace the Ram in a laptop.
Between these two options methods you may just be able to make it through another year with your laptop. Another option, though more involved for some users, is to reformat your hard drive and reinstall Windows from scratch. This plan requires the Windows Installation CD, an External hard drive for your current data and a few hours of time. For novices you may want to try the first two methods first and leave this to a knowledgeable friend if needed.
If you need more storage space to go with your faster computer you should look into a cheap external hard drive that can provide you with double or triple the storage of your notebook for under $100. These external hard drives are great for storing pictures and videos that may not fit on the smaller hard drives of older notebooks and you don’t need to open up your computer for this upgrade, just plug it into an open USB 2.0 port.
These steps tackle some of the biggest complaints of users who have an older computer and when you’re all said and done you may be able to clean your system, upgrade your RAM and get an external hard drive for around $125-$150 with a bit of bargain hunting.