What to do with a slow laptop, upgrade or buy a new one.

23
Posted 1st Feb
Daughter has a 3 year old laptop hp255 and is so slow it can't be used. It seems a waste to bin it and buy another one. Hp255 A4 4ram it was slow when new now nightmare.
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Has it got a hdd or an ssd in it? Because upgrading a hdd to ssd can make a very big difference.
And upgrading ram ^
Have read have read its the chip slowing the thing down and not an easy fitting an ssd.
Edited by: "eelvis" 1st Feb
eelvis01/02/2020 10:37

Have read have read its the chip slowing the thing down and not an easy …Have read have read its the chip slowing the thing down and not an easy fitting an ssd.


It's very easy usually but haven't had the same brand as you. YouTube how to replace HDD in laptop and you should get an idea.
YouTube say wasn't easy but can get a refurb for 100 bucks just don't want to bin it.
Too new to junk. A good clean up of the current drive and a an SSD should help a lot. Try using CCleaner which is free. Then EaseUS cloning programme (also free) to do the disk swop. You need to buy a drive adapter which is about £5 and a new SSD which is about £60. Plenty of videos on Youtube on how to do it. I'm a tech numpty and managed it on my 8 yr old laptop which is still going strong. Worth the effort as even if you choose to upgrade as you can flog the old one on ebay.
Could just be it has a virus or something running in the back ground that is using all the processing power. Have a look on task manager. Also look around for some free PC cleaner software, always worth a try .
Cleaning up the junk and freeing up space works wonders most of the time.
Was slow the first time I used it, new. Ok for young daughter but not usable now.. Will try not wipe. But she has nothing on it.
Reinstall/reset windows should fix most problems with it being slow.
If going to reinstall go to hp website and down load all your drivers for laptop to usb.
Before you reinstall.
If it's an AMD A4 processor, it will never be particularly quick - SSD and more RAM would help a bit though. You would get more performance if you put a Linux on or ChromeOS on it, but with the additional caveats depending on what it gets used for.
Change to an SSD hard drive and re install Windows. It will then boot up in a few seconds rather than a few minutes.
Edited by: "markpj777" 1st Feb
I hate posts like this (not being nasty to YOU eelvis - I'll just add!) as I don't understand how a laptop can be "slow" without their being a root cause. When people say to me "Gosh my computer is soooooo slow!" I always think the same thing. There's a reason...

@eelvis You say it was 'slow' from the moment you bought it? Why A) buy a 'slow' laptop? B) Not wonder why a 'new' laptop with 4gb Ram is SO slow? I have several laptops - one with 512mb Ram and it flies. The one I use the most for general stuff is only 2gb (but I love it!) and; with an SSD upgrade; it's also very nippy. I think it's from 2007! Boots in about 13 seconds.

I would suggest many things but they have already been mentioned. A good scan with some antivirus/malware software first to make sure there are no 'nasties' lurking that can cause excessive processor usage (slowdown) and also DO consider a factory reset to maybe speed it up. Without looking it up, what processor does this machine have?

What OS is this machine using? What sort of things is it used primarily for? The reason I ask is because if it's a machine for browsing/surfing - might I suggest an alternative OS? Perhaps something along the lines of a USB Live version of Linux Puppy? You can pop it on a stick, and then (after making the boot order in the Bios USB first) boot the laptop directly to Puppy. It's very Windows-esque in design and includes all the normal things like browsers and email etc. Boots in seconds and is extremely frugal on system resources. This also means you can leave the original OS on the HDD for use on those occasions when it's needed.

If you wish to have a look: puppylinux.com/

There are MANY other great Linux distros but the one above just seems to 'work' and causes no issues - especially on older, slower hardware.

Well, I hope you can get it sorted eelvis. Like you say, there's no point in getting rid if you can make it useful again without too much fuss. I feel with a little "tinkering" you could have yourself (or your daughter) a great little machine again.

Kind regards, Phsy.
As said by others the very first thing you should do is swap the HDD for a SSD and reinstall windows. I don't know what your daughter is using the laptop for, in terms of what software she is running on it, but it should be fine for everyday web based tasks.
Learning Windows 10 System Admin from scratch can take foreverrrrrrrrrr.
Before doing anything like fitting SSD or RAM I would do a reinstall. There is a slim chance you may have a copy of Windows 10 on a hidden partition on your hard disk.
There are loads of guides and youtube videos on the net to help you and there are a few different methods.
Here is just one
techadvisor.co.uk/how…23/
Once you succeed with a reinstall, see how it goes.
Utimately though I would repurpose this machine by installing a Linux Distribution. Unlike Windows Linux only needs a low spec machine so it will fly on your HP. Don't expect to run fancy games but it will cope with all the browsing you can throw at it and do office based stuff.
eelvis01/02/2020 10:37

Have read have read its the chip slowing the thing down and not an easy …Have read have read its the chip slowing the thing down and not an easy fitting an ssd.


While indeed for some cheap laptops you have to disassemble them to change the HDD, if I'm not wrong, it's not the case for the laptop you have. As you can see at 0:33, to access the disk bay is a matter of removing a screw.
Rather than throwing it away, you should buy an SSD (256GB it's enough, around £25), as everyone else here mentioned.
With this money not only you'll learn something new (IT related stuff) but also you'll mostly improve the laptop. The SSD can later be reused in other computers if you want to discard the laptop completely.
The Linux thing is a good idea to test, as you can run them from a usb to see what you think before installing, if also run a CPU benchmark program in safe mode to see if the CPU is throttling (caused by the fan being covered in dust from "laps", and I'd check the amount of thermal paste on the CPU too
Edited by: "esar" 1st Feb
TBH after reading the OP say that it was slow from new, I'm wondering if it is full of OE junk programs, particularly an early version of Norton or McAfee. I had this problem with a laptop and nothing would improve it until I striped out all the bloatware the manufacturer had installed. Another potential issue is if there is an OE anti virus and another anti virus was installed. The list of possible issues goes on for ever, so someone suggested a clean instal of the Operating System, as there is no data to save, and go from there. If you get a brand new OS working reasonably well, then all the rest of our suggestions make sense.

ps If its running Win 8.1 I'd get rid of that too, free upgrade to Win10 through Media Creation Tool.
Edited by: "airbus330" 1st Feb
Rasbian x86 usb boot drive
do you have the full spec? what processor, and whether SSD or HDD?
Phsycronix01/02/2020 12:26

I hate posts like this (not being nasty to YOU eelvis - I'll just add!) as …I hate posts like this (not being nasty to YOU eelvis - I'll just add!) as I don't understand how a laptop can be "slow" without their being a root cause. When people say to me "Gosh my computer is soooooo slow!" I always think the same thing. There's a reason...@eelvis You say it was 'slow' from the moment you bought it? Why A) buy a 'slow' laptop? B) Not wonder why a 'new' laptop with 4gb Ram is SO slow? I have several laptops - one with 512mb Ram and it flies. The one I use the most for general stuff is only 2gb (but I love it!) and; with an SSD upgrade; it's also very nippy. I think it's from 2007! Boots in about 13 seconds.I would suggest many things but they have already been mentioned. A good scan with some antivirus/malware software first to make sure there are no 'nasties' lurking that can cause excessive processor usage (slowdown) and also DO consider a factory reset to maybe speed it up. Without looking it up, what processor does this machine have?What OS is this machine using? What sort of things is it used primarily for? The reason I ask is because if it's a machine for browsing/surfing - might I suggest an alternative OS? Perhaps something along the lines of a USB Live version of Linux Puppy? You can pop it on a stick, and then (after making the boot order in the Bios USB first) boot the laptop directly to Puppy. It's very Windows-esque in design and includes all the normal things like browsers and email etc. Boots in seconds and is extremely frugal on system resources. This also means you can leave the original OS on the HDD for use on those occasions when it's needed.If you wish to have a look: http://puppylinux.com/There are MANY other great Linux distros but the one above just seems to 'work' and causes no issues - especially on older, slower hardware.Well, I hope you can get it sorted eelvis. Like you say, there's no point in getting rid if you can make it useful again without too much fuss. I feel with a little "tinkering" you could have yourself (or your daughter) a great little machine again.Kind regards, Phsy.



Phsycronix01/02/2020 12:26

I hate posts like this (not being nasty to YOU eelvis - I'll just add!) as …I hate posts like this (not being nasty to YOU eelvis - I'll just add!) as I don't understand how a laptop can be "slow" without their being a root cause. When people say to me "Gosh my computer is soooooo slow!" I always think the same thing. There's a reason...@eelvis You say it was 'slow' from the moment you bought it? Why A) buy a 'slow' laptop? B) Not wonder why a 'new' laptop with 4gb Ram is SO slow? I have several laptops - one with 512mb Ram and it flies. The one I use the most for general stuff is only 2gb (but I love it!) and; with an SSD upgrade; it's also very nippy. I think it's from 2007! Boots in about 13 seconds.I would suggest many things but they have already been mentioned. A good scan with some antivirus/malware software first to make sure there are no 'nasties' lurking that can cause excessive processor usage (slowdown) and also DO consider a factory reset to maybe speed it up. Without looking it up, what processor does this machine have?What OS is this machine using? What sort of things is it used primarily for? The reason I ask is because if it's a machine for browsing/surfing - might I suggest an alternative OS? Perhaps something along the lines of a USB Live version of Linux Puppy? You can pop it on a stick, and then (after making the boot order in the Bios USB first) boot the laptop directly to Puppy. It's very Windows-esque in design and includes all the normal things like browsers and email etc. Boots in seconds and is extremely frugal on system resources. This also means you can leave the original OS on the HDD for use on those occasions when it's needed.If you wish to have a look: http://puppylinux.com/There are MANY other great Linux distros but the one above just seems to 'work' and causes no issues - especially on older, slower hardware.Well, I hope you can get it sorted eelvis. Like you say, there's no point in getting rid if you can make it useful again without too much fuss. I feel with a little "tinkering" you could have yourself (or your daughter) a great little machine again.Kind regards, Phsy.


Windows 10, no virus and daughter machine for minecraft bought a cheap one for a 10 year old comas but couldn't believe with 2 tabs open it was slow.
Hi eelvis. I'll be honest - I'm not quite understanding your sentence. Whats a "comas?" Also, I'd agree. I can't believe a laptop would be slow with 2 tabs open - which leads me to believe there's something else at work here. It should be more than capable really. I just tried my 13yr old Dell with 2gb Ram and Intel T7200 (so not a modern machine by ANY standard) and I can happily open 10 tabs on Seamonkey browser.

Remember that virus's and malware can work quite differently. A virus scanner might not pick up malware. Use something like Malwarebytes Anti-malware to have a scan of the machine too. Just in case. I know you say there's "not much on there" but if she's into playing Minecraft (I don't play it by the way) I bet these "worlds" they create aren't small when saving. Do you know how much room is left as when the HDD gets a bit overloaded or near full capacity, they start to slow down. Also, as it's a HDD - when was it last defragged? That can help with file access times.

I had a look on Youtube and there are many simple guides for HP 255's. I don't know what your exact model is - i.e. G3, G4, G7 etc. but they all look fairly straight-forward to open. If you have an optical drive in the laptop, seriously consider downloading and burning a copy of Linux Puppy. You can boot a "live" OS directly from the CD/DVD into Ram and have a play to see how the machine would operate. This does NOTHING to your existing setup as it runs entirely from Ram - therefore you can't damage anything.

Do you mind me asking if you are computer "savvy" yourself? Would you be confident in doing some of the suggestions that have been made? We never consider that the person asking the question might have NO computer experience at all. Would your knowledge extend to cracking the laptop open and swapping out a drive, for instance?
Never opened one before
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