We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Contact Forum Editor

Send an email to our Forum Editor:


PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the Forum Editor know who sent the message. Both your name and email address will not be used for any other purpose.

Tech Helproom


It's free to register, to post a question or to start / join a discussion


 

Upgrade RAM or downgrade operating system


Ian in Northampton

Likes # 0

I bought my daughter an Acer Aspire One D257 - despite the fact that it came with Windows 7, but only 1GB of RAM. I really wanted an XP machine, but it seems they no longer do them. I know that W7 Starter was supposed to be much more able to run in 1GB than full-up W7 - but I was still nervous.

Well, inevitably, the netbook hangs periodically - just becomes unresponsive for a few seconds. Given that it's pretty new, the only cause seems to me to be W7 thrashing around in too little memory.

So, what to do? I could upgrade the RAM to 2GB. It'll support that, and I've found a video of a guy doing it on YouTube. It doesn't look too painful - but I'm very nervous about pulling small PCs apart and putting them back together.

Alternatively, I could downgrade the netbook to XP. I'm well versed in installing XP - but the problem that occurs to me is the driver problem: if XP isn't supported on the machine, will I be able to identify and downlolad all the XP drivers I'll need? I've found a couple of very helpful sites, and I think it's do-able - although the sites refer to the slightly earlier model in the Acer Aspire range.

But before I take the plunge, I thought I'd ask the wizards of the forum what they'd do - or, in fact, if any of them has come across this problem before, and how they fixed it?

Anyone?

PS: a third option I'm thinking about is to dual boot the machine, which is easier to do when W7 is already installed than when XP is already installed. That way, unless I inadvertently turn the thing into a brick, even if the XP installation doesn't work, she'll still have the W7 installation to fall back on.

Like this post
chub_tor

Likes # 0

I have a HP Mini 210 that came with 1Gb RAM and Win 7 Starter. It was slow. I upgraded to 2Gb RAM and Win 7 Home Premium with the result that it is a delight to use. It will never be a speed machine but it is perfectly useable. Personally I would upgrade the RAM first, try again and if you are still unhappy then revert to XP. I would be interested to read what others have done.

Like this post
robinofloxley

Likes # 0

For future proofing, upgrade the RAM.

See Crucial System Scanner

Nothing to stop you dual booting as well.

There are plenty of people here who will advise if you get stuck. But it should not really be difficult if you use common sense and take things slowly.

Like this post
robinofloxley

Likes # 0

Oh and shop around when you know the part number of the memory (if you decide to buy)

At least check amazon.

Like this post
gengiscant

Likes # 0

Definitely go for the extra ram option. Your user manual should show you and there are plenty of videos to guid you, and as you quite rightly said it is not to painful. Usually it requires to remove 4 screws and then sliding the RAM into the available slot and as it can only go in one way you should not have a problem. You will almost certainly see an improvement.

Like this post
Ian in Northampton

Likes # 0

Many thanks guys. Interesting stuff.

The YouTuve video I was talking about is this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqQ3kdtUNFc

chub_tor: I assume you found upgrading the memory pretty painless?

Like this post
Ian in Northampton

Likes # 0

Thanks Robin/gengiscant. Yeah, the video shows detaching the keyboard, which makes me shudder slightly - and the guy has his body between the camera and what he's doing at the crucial :-) stage, which isn't helpful.

I'm sensing a definite consensus here...

Like this post
chub_tor

Likes # 0

The HP Mini is interesting to take apart to change the RAM and I was a bit daunted at first. I expected to undo a screw holding a flap to get access or undo some scres to remove the back. It took a bit of Googling and a youtube video to show me how to get at the clips holding the back on (they are under the battery) but having watched it a couple of times I found it easy to do.

Like this post
Ian in Northampton

Likes # 0

I found another video on YouTube which seems to confirm the approach of the first video - so I've ordered the memory upgrade. I went for Crucial: at £11.99, it seemed pointless to shop for a lower price, given the Crucial reputation. I'll try to remember to update the thread once I've attempted the upgrade.

I may still do the dual boot thing - but only when I have a day to spare...

Like this post
robinofloxley

Likes # 0

Oh, that is very reasonable. Last lot I bought was 2 x £20.

When you get time, this dual boot guide seems pretty good.

Have fun.

Like this post
Ian in Northampton

Likes # 0

Well, I just spent a totally nerve-wracking hour or so doing the memory upgrade. Once I'd got round the idea that I could use more force than I felt comfortable with removing the keyboard, we made progress - but it took a fair while for to get up the courage to be a little rough with it. Unscrewing the screws to release the back cover was fine - and again, it took more force than I felt comfortable with prising off the back cover. Replacing the memory module itself was by far the easiest part of the operation. One little disaster was that I'd been trying to ensure that the keyboard stayed connected, as it's supposed to be a somewhat flimsy connection - and it came away. However, I got it back in place, and reassembled everything. Then I found I couldn't get the battery in because I hadn't properly located the lugs for the back cover... So, I had to get the keyboard off again, unscrew all the screws again, prise off the back cover again, refit the keyboard again etc. etc. But the system booted fine, it recognised it had 2GB of RAM - and, best of all, the keyboard still works. It's too early to say whether the RAM upgrade has fixed the slowness/freezing problem - but I'm hopeful. If it doesn't, I still have Plan A (XP downgrade) and Plan C (dual boot W7 and XP) to fall back on.

Summary: it's an eminently do-able upgrade, but probably not for the faint hearted.

Thanks to all of you who contributed to the thread.

Like this post

Reply to this topic

This thread has been locked.



IDG UK Sites

OnePlus Two release date rumours: Something's happening on 22 July

IDG UK Sites

13in MacBook Air review, Apple's MacBook Air 2014 reviewed

IDG UK Sites

5 reasons to buy an electric car and 5 reasons not to

IDG UK Sites

Evernote Skitch: the best way for creatives to doodle feedback