Should I upgrade my Windows Vista PC or buy a new one? | Technology


My Windows Vista PC works perfectly and I have Kaspersky Internet Security. I have been told that I need a new PC because I could get a virus now, as Microsoft no longer supports Vista. A new PC that replaces the one I have costs about $ 1,200. And it's a pity when I'm not having trouble, but I'm worried it might be hacked. ksallatt

I thought that I would write about Windows Vista that Microsoft stopped supporting on April 12th. However, the questions continue, and this week, other three have made me return to the frog.

I also agree that it's good to keep the kitten running, even though hard drives tend to fail as they grow older and old PCs are not as effective as modern machines. (They use more electricity, but no more than a filament lamp.) No matter how you do not buy a new machine, you can upgrade from Vista to Windows 7 or 10 or even Linux.

Vista works well

If your PC is running Vista well, it should also run Windows 7 or better. To check compatibility, download Microsoft's Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor . If the result is positive, buy a Windows 7 upgrade or a full copy of Windows 7 – they are the same. There are many sources for cheap copies of Windows 7, but as always, be aware of it.

Overall, I think it's best to upgrade to Windows 10 which is significantly safer than Windows 7. Microsoft does not support upgrades from Vista (launched in January 2007) to Windows 10 (July 2015)). The distance is too wide. Therefore, there is no upgrade advisor to test it. But if your pc is running Windows 7, it will probably run Windows 10.

Microsoft supports an upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 so you can always try it without buying a copy of Windows 10. If that does not work well, you can easily roll it back to Windows 7 as long as you shop For 30 days. Then, [10459024] Windows 10 removes its backup of the old operating system to save space.

Regular readers can remember that I recommended moving to Windows 7 as quickly as possible (especially from Windows XP) and keep it as long as possible. But after two years of Windows 10, I think it's much better.

If you hold Windows 7, remember that support ends January 14, 2020. It will give you two and a half years after which you may want to buy a new PC.

If your PC can not run Windows 7 or 10, you can always try Linux. I recommend Linux Mint . This will not run your existing Windows programs, and you will have to learn many new things. The transition becomes easier if you can do most things in a web browser and if you do not need any Adobe, Microsoft or Apple software, including iTunes. There are replacements, but they involve some victims and even more learning. It depends on how much you appreciate your time.

Jos is in the same boat as ksallatt. His HP has a 2.4GHz Intel Q6600 processor and 2GB of memory. Q6600 has a PassMark benchmark score of 2971 so this is a mid range PC that could run Windows 10 well, but I highly recommend upgrading the memory. Use Crucial's System Scanner to check the upgrade options, but I would dump 2GB and install 8GB.

In fact, given the current state of Chrome, Google must provide free 8GB upgrades to anyone using it.

Vista does not work well


In the UK, very few people still use Windows Vista (green line) while Windows 10 (light blue) has overcome Windows 7 (yellow). Photo: StatCounter

Other readers report that Vista is not working well. Jacob says, "Vista Home Premium no longer works on most of my websites," while Jade says, "It's getting stuck and I'm hard for almost everything. I'll be waiting all the time." Again, run Upgrade Advisor to see what's on. The hard part decides whether to upgrade or buy a new PC.

Jacob's desk has a 2.33GHz Intel Core2 Q8200 and 8GB memory. Q8200 has a PassMark score of 2825 primarily because it is a quadcore chip. It has about half of a modern Core i3-6100 performance, but it's still good enough to make the " mid range " table. It must run Windows 10 well, especially with 8 GB of memory, so follow the upgrade advice above.

Jan and Rob have a Dell Inspiron 530S laptop with a 2.83 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E8300 with 3GB of memory. The E8300 has a PassMark score of 1996 primarily because it has two cores instead of four. This drops into " low mid range " table.

The Inspiron 530S is definitely running Windows 8.1 so it needs to run Windows 10 and there seems to be drivers available. While 3GB is less memory than I would like, you run 32-bit Vista now, so 32-bit Windows 10 should be OK. You would get better performance by installing more memory (some models could take 8GB), upgrading to 64-bit Windows, and replacing the hard drive with a 2.5in SSD (solid state drive). Use Crucial's System Scanner to check the upgrade options and then decide if it would be better to put cash on a new laptop. Your Dell may be 10 years old. These things do not last forever.

Jade has an Acer Aspire 5610-2328 laptop with a 1.6 GHz Pentium T2060 processor, but she does not mention the memory. From the show I would guess 2GB or even less. The T2060 PassMark score is only 675 which puts it on the " low-end " table. Frankly, I'm looking for a minimum score of at least twice that and 10 times what's preferred. (My current Dell desktop, purchased in 2011, scores 6,282.)

Jade, you could upgrade Acer with more memory and an SSD, but it's really not worth it.

I do not recommend Linux because you say you are "not good at all computer stuff". However, as you use your PC for social media, YouTube and the like, you can probably replace it with a cheap Windows 10 laptop (preferably with 4GB memory) or a similar Chromebook . You have used your iPhone instead of your PC, but are there any things that the iPhone can not do? If not, you may also consider replacing your PC with an iPad .

Free Windows 10

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You can get Windows 10 or free through a number of loopholes – for now. Photo: Microsoft

Although the free upgrade offer ended almost a year ago, you can still get Windows 10 without paying for it. If your PC was licensed and enabled, you can still upgrade using the Windows 7/8 / 8.1 product key. You just need to download Windows 10 and Media Creation Tool and create an installation DVD or USB thumbdrive.

Microsoft has also maintained the well-known loophole for people who need "utilities" like the magnifier, screen reader and keyboard on screen.

Of course, you still need to upgrade from Vista to Windows 7 first.

There are two other ways to install Windows 10 directly by making a "clean installation." This removes Vista and all your programs and data, so you need to make backups before proceeding.

The first: Join the Windows Insider application. This allows Windows 10 for free to act as guinea pigs for error testing. The downsides are that it is full of telemetry, there are quite a few buildings, and of course it is buggies than the version used by paying customers.

The other is to install Windows 10 without activating it. You will get a watermark on your desktop, you can not personalize it, and a few features do not work. However, it is a perfectly usable system, far more secure than using a piracy of Windows, and it costs the same as Linux .

Microsoft may change the rules at any time. It can close the loopholes and make non-activated copies more painful to use. But it wants everyone on Windows 10, so it can not squeeze down for a while.

Do you have a question? Send it to Ask.Jack@theguardian.com

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