Laptop help

Posted 26th Feb

We've been given a laptop by a family member. We thought we could use itto show the kids how to use it and get them use to it for school.

However it takes around 9 minutes for to Windows to load in. Around 5 minutes for word to open.

This is info on the laptop....

Intel celeron cpu b815 1.6 ghz

4gb ram, only 2.65 usable

Windows 7 operating system

Is it meant to be this bad?

Can I do anything for it to work in a normal kind of way?

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Have you done fresh install of Windows or are you using it as gifted?
Maybe install an SSD and Windows 10 for faster boot times and daily useage.
What is the exact model of the laptop?
Depends on whether you want to spend any money tbh. You could throw another 4gb ram if there's a spare slot, upgrade to Windows 10 and throw in an SSD to replace that HDD and it'll be a lot better.

Other than that you could try a fresh install of Windows 7 but as it's not supported any longer it won't ever get security updates.
It came with a Windows 7 disc, I did a fresh install. Before I freshly installed it, it was as slow as it is now. I "thought" it might cure it.

Its going to be used as an offline device. The kids are fascinated with word, paint.

i don't mind spending a little on it. It was free, and the kids will benefit from using it.

Its a Toshiba satellite c850 -10c

Thanks for the advice.
A fresh install will probably be followed by a crippling auto updates for some time.
An ssd upgrade will cost £10-20 for a 120gb or 240gb and a W10 licence is about £6 on eBay.

You can install W10 with Microsofts Media creation tool for free as a trial run to see if that helps the laptop run faster before installing the SSD or buying a licence.

That laptop was never the fastest or the best but should be more useable for under £30.
You don't need to buy a dodgy Windows 10 key from ebay, the current Windows 7 key will be valid for Windows 10.

That's a sandy bridge CPU so it's not ancient and while 2.6GB of memory isn't a huge amount, neither is it so low as to cause this.

So no, I wouldn't expect it to be that slow. There's something wrong.

If it's still doing it after a wipe and a fresh install then that rules out most issues (although it could still be a bug in something that got reinstalled afterwards).

It's worth trying a bios reset just in case.

It looks like the memory and drive are accessible so if it's got two memory sticks then I'd probably try it with just one at a time (shut it down to change them) in case one of them is faulty.
According to this Windows 7 to 10 upgrade for free still works…20/
Though I guess not such a crucial upgrade if only intended being used as an offline device. Guess a good time to get an SSD if currently seem on a wee bit of a price climb.
EndlessWaves must have posted at same time as you. Agree those loading times sound wrong which was why I suggested might be still doing installs. Certainly something that needs to be solved
Could be a physical issue like the fan being full if dust, and or the thermal paste has been contaminated by said dust and not working efficiently.
Either of those scenarios could be making the laptop throttle back the CPU to prevent over heating.
Another way to see if it's just windows is to install a portable Linux distro on a flash drive and see how that runs
Could install a hardware monitor to check if overheating is a possible issue. Just been reminded of a relative's laptop which had issues of just hanging for ages. She'd bought a laptop cooler which indicated it might have been getting hot so did the fan cleaning bit and replacing thermal paste. Also put in a cheap SSD (thanks to hotukdeals ) and it seemed to run fine. Subsequently found the hard disk I'd removed was going home which I believe was probably the main issue.
The laptop you have is old and simply lacks oomph to run Windows 7, let alone 10.
Letting kids use computers is great. The best lesson they will ever learn is that the computing world does not revolve around MS Windows. Most SMART devices these days and IoT run on Linux.
I strongly recommend you install Linux Mint Cinnamon distro along with Libre Office and maybe Xpaint (others available) onto the laptop. It will run much faster and it won't cost you a penny and only a small amount of time. You will save so much time by not having to resolve Windows update issues every month or more.
Edited by: "tardytortoise" 27th Feb
tardytortoise27/02/2020 09:32

The laptop you have is old and simply lacks oomph to run Windows 7, let …The laptop you have is old and simply lacks oomph to run Windows 7, let alone 10

Had to google oomph : oomph

Just hoping this guy hasn't run into the venus fly traps in the carnivorous plants display. Just teasing
I reckon it could be fixed by installing an ssd and taking out the hd.

Some of these old laptop drives take ages to boot windows. I cloned one of my ssds onto a spare laptop drive as i wanted a spare drive for retro gaming. I went from booting into windows in around 10 seconds to taking minutes for windows to load properly.

I find laptop drives totally unsuitable for running windows now as they are that slow.
Just quickly posting.

Managed to find another ram stick in my draw. It boots in around 2 minutes with this in. System still seems slow in response. Ie opening folders. Would spending around 100 pound for a used laptop be better or spending on this. I don't want to flog a dead horse
Thanks for the replies ill try and read them tonight. Been using it, seems to be too g fine, little lag
Edited by: "raquel2011" 27th Feb
4GB, 2.65 usable suggests it is losing out by having a 32 bit OS version installed instead of a 64 bit.

The Celeron B815 (1.6GHz) is a fairly slow CPU, but is socketed so an upgrade to that might be possible (I'm doing one on another laptop - getting to it is a pain though, many screws and cables to release). See YouTube videos for typical disassembly.
I3-2310m @ £6.50 on ebay, would bump it from 1.6GHz to 2.1GHz, 2 core 2 thread to 2 core 4 thread and integrated graphics from HD to HD3000.

If you have already made a clean install, that sorts out added bloatware, though a factory install can have bloatware of its own.

If it only had 1 stick of RAM, a second one may boost performance with dual channel. Paired (and can usually get away without matching, other than speed) 4GB for 8GB total, and installing a 64bit OS (Win10 can be installed in 64b using a key, but if doing an upgrade based on the installed licence, have to upgrade in same grade, then re-install in 64 bit - there is no way to migrate 32 to 64 in situ)

Most likely cause of slow startup, the HDD is probably a slow 5400RPM model, and may be in poor condition.
Switching to SSD would help massively... as low as £17 for an off-brand 120GB at Amazon, to about £27 for a choice of 240GB models - and should be reachable by an access cover.
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