5 ways to give a laptop a new lease on life

Most companies don’t have huge budgets for replacing users’ PCs and laptops. In this guest post, Jeff Davis offers some tips for squeezing more time out of old machines. 

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Executives, managers, and IT professionals work with powerful laptops that were built for business. They are not easy to dump to make place for a new one. However, laptops grow old. They become slow, unresponsive and take too long to get some basic work done.

If exchanging a user’s laptop for a new one isn’t an option and if you’d like to give alaptop a fresh lease on life, there are ways to do that. Here are five tips:

Get that junk off the PC

People visit thousands of websites. They attract malware, spyware, and download more applications that they need. All those gigabytes of data that does nothing but to slow down a PC or Mac.

The first rule: Get rid of all this junk. Preston Gralla of PC World has a huge list of handy tools you can use to do just that. A few years’ worth of web surfing, installing new applications and uninstalling unnecessary ones, and saving and deleting files would have probably taken their toll on users’ machines.

Get a backup and delete or uninstall what you don’t need

Every journey begins with knowing where you are and where you want to go. For getting your laptop a new life, you’ll need to know what’s making the laptop slow in the first place. There’s work to be done.

For starters, get a backup done to an external hard drive to make sure none of the data is lost. Spend time some to delete or uninstall applications that aren’t used at all. You won’t believe how many such applications could have crept into your laptop over time. Likewise, carefully pick and choose data that the user doesn’t need.

Then, go for a complete reinstall of your operating system (Windows/Linux/iOS). Keep in mind that the original disk with the OS (especially windows) could also contain bloatware. Use an external application such as Revo Uninstaller, Total Install, or PC Decrapifier.

Upgrade for the fresh install

Chances are that the OS one the machine has a new upgrade available.

Watch out for reviews on upgrades for stability issues and bugs. If satisfied, go for a new software install. OS has Mavericks as its latest offering and Windows users are to decide whether they’d work with Windows 8 or go for a recent Windows version of Windows 8. Alternatively, if it’s possible with your infrastructure, try to see if you can work with Linux.

 Go for a hardware upgrade

Hardware is critical when it comes to the performance of a laptop. A simple step is to go for a memory upgrade — it’s easy and cost-effective. Older laptops have slower internal hard drives and maybe it’s time for the need for speed. If you are still running on a 4200-rpm rotational speed, go for a 5200-rpm or a 7200-rpm.

Check which type of hard drive the machine is using, the model number, and get the manufacturer information. Use a tool such as Apricorn to clone your old drive and transfer data from the old drive to the new one easily and effectively. Alternatively, you may use a tool such as HDClone 4 (free and premium).

Promote good housekeeping practices

Most of the times, laptops slow down due to the files and applications people use during the course of their work. Good housekeeping practices go a long way to extend the life of your laptop. Now that you might have a fresh new OS install and possibly upgraded hardware, it’s time to do some documentation and file keeping 101 refresher courses. Some tips to pass on to users:

Only keep folders you need with respective files within each folder. Go for the cloud backup if that helps you to keep your files safe and duplicated. Try to use as many cloud-based applications that don’t necessitate installs on your computer. Keep your utility, maintenance, and system tools handy. Jeffery L. Wilson has a helpful list of some of the best tune up facilities. Finally, refuse to download applications you don’t need. Keep it clean.

How are you going to resuscitate your laptop? Have I missed any tips?

Author Bio: Jeff Davis is living in California and currently associated with Quick Laptop Cash – A place for selling a laptop online. He has been in this field for the last 6 years and is responsible for troubleshooting issues. Interact to discuss projects, technology solutions.