Don’t Give Up on Your Old Laptop Just Yet

Do you have an old laptop? Is it slow as the DMV?

My old (2010-era) Toshiba Satellite had become horribly sloth-like, taking 5-6 minutes to fully boot to the point where I could connect to wifi. I thought of replacing it, but there was really nothing else wrong with it and laptops are expensive. So I did some research and learned that I could do some upgrades.

I bought a new batch of memory, replacing the 2GB chips with 4GB chips. And I bought a 500GB SSD (solid state drive) to replace the old 500GB hard drive. These, I read, were the changes that would give me the most bang for the buck. Cost me $214 total.

For my updates, I didn’t have anything key on this machine so did not need to copy stuff from the old hard drive, and I had the OS disk to reinstall Windows. Replacing the memory and hard drive were quite easy, it took about 15 minutes. I had to adjust the SSD as it wasn’t booting properly the first time, but after re-seating it it was fine.

Now, my 7-year-old laptop boots to the login screen in about 10 seconds (I kid you not) and is ready for a wifi connection in about 1 minute. It’s super-fast all around, and feels like a brand new machine. Especially after I cleaned it up a bit.

For the price this was a great approach. I didn’t need a new laptop – yet.