XP to Windows 7 will it slow down an old computer

  johnincrete 07:09 26 Aug 14

My desktop PC is about 10 years old and is still running XP. My daughter's desktop is about 7 years old and is also running XP. Her computer regularly runs slowly so we put in 4Mb of memory and is now running OK. She regularly runs a big accounting program that previously often ran very slowly. WE had plans to have our computers upgraded to Windows 7 but two experts have said that doing so would slow the computers down and both advised that we should wait until the computers died.

My daughter uses internet access via Firefox to locate educational materials and also to manage her school's Facebook page. I have limited access to the internet, using only a selection of trusted sites like this.

What advice do you have for us - should we upgrade to Windows 7?

  onthelimit1 08:44 26 Aug 14

I've done this with several old XP PCs and laptops. I've found that as long as there is a least 2Gb of RAM, they all run reasonably fast (not up to the speed of more modern ones with faster processors, but certainly usable and more secure). Worth running the MS Upgrade Advisor first.

  Jollyjohn 08:44 26 Aug 14

Only if you invest in new hardware. XP is still OK if you are sensible about your internet use, as in using Firefox, being careful what you download, keep your anti virus up to date and run Malwarebytes occasionally.

I would not wait until the computer stops working as this makes it harder to retrieve data. Plan to upgrade one at a time. There is a specific Windows XP to W7 transfer wizard that does a good job.

Finally I would still recommend W7 over W8. There is nothing wrong with W8 but there are a few bugs still to be ironed out, in my humble opinion.

  HenryF75 11:16 26 Aug 14

Like onthelimit I have used the same PC with all windows versions from XP up to win 8.1. The biggest problem you will have going to windows 7 is most likely finding drivers and software to replace the stuff you have that might not be compatible. Windows 7 though has a compatibility mode that generally helps.

  spuds 11:25 26 Aug 14

I would certainly suggest that you run MS Upgrade Advisor suggested by onthelimit1, before going further!.

  Batch 12:40 26 Aug 14

Using Win7 32bit overcomes many of the issues with availability of drivers.

You'll probably find that most (if not all) XP 32 bit drivers work with Win7 32 bit. I'm still using a Canon scanner which I used with WinME and I'm still using the same drivers with Win7 and it works fine.

  johnincrete 12:58 26 Aug 14

Thanks all. I'll run MS Upgrade advisor

  Jollyjohn 15:57 26 Aug 14

A further point is that XP, a 32bit OS can only address just over 3GB RAM. A move to W7 64bit OS will address at least 16GB RAM, only limited by what the motherboard will accept.

  Batch 17:59 26 Aug 14

To be quite honest, I think that upgrading computers as old as these to Win7 will achieve little other than a bit of added security.

Performance wise I don't think there would be a huge difference, although the bigger OS that is Win7 (esp 64 bit) might slow things down a tad just because of the size of the programs etc. and your disks are likely to be quite slow by today's standards.

On your existing hardware I would tend towards sticking with XP and making sure that the security is good (good AV, firewall and browser). By the sound of it you aren't likely to be visiting dodgy sites.

In any event, can your PCs run 64 bit (are they 64 bit processors)? 10 year old desktop definitely sounds iffy. 7yo lappie - maybe. What are the specs (model, processors, motherboard etc.)?

  Batch 18:00 26 Aug 14

Oops - should have been 7yo desktop

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