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Question Need advice for old 2008 laptop running WINDOWS 7

Remobz

Platinum Member
Jun 9, 2005
2,470
1
81
I need advice here. I have an OLD OUTDATED 2008 Dell Inspiron 1525 laptop. It is a Core 2 Duo with only 3GB DDR2 ram. It came with Windows Vista but I upgraded to Windows 7 a few years ago. Can Windows 10 even run on my outdated system? What would be the best advice for me?
I have Windows 7 Home retail version product key and Windows 7 PRO OEM key as well.
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REPLY
 

Steltek

Golden Member
Mar 29, 2001
1,894
81
91
In general practice, Win10 will probably not run any worse than Windows 7 does. If you are able to live with the performance limitations of running on 3GB of memory, you have nothing to loose by trying out Win10. I'd make sure the most recent BIOS is running on the machine if you try to upgrade, and as always do a good full backup before you make the attempt. If you use Dell Quickset for display control functionality, you'll need to search for at least version 8.2.20 for Windows Vista on the Dell website.

Worst comes to worse, you also ought to be able to throw any decent Linux distro on it if you want.

BTW, you can probably get a compatible 2GB DDR2 SODIMM for less than $10 on eBay to kick the memory up to 4GB. I also recall several people reporting in the Dell forums getting it to run with 6GB on that model using a 2GB and a 4GB module (even though 2x2GB is supposed to be the limit of the Intel GM965 chipset). It is only worth trying, though, if you can find a cheap 4GB DDR2 PC2-5300 or PC2-6400 SODIMM (as even used 4GB DDR2 SODIMMs usually run over $40 each).
 

Remobz

Platinum Member
Jun 9, 2005
2,470
1
81
In general practice, Win10 will probably not run any worse than Windows 7 does. If you are able to live with the performance limitations of running on 3GB of memory, you have nothing to loose by trying out Win10. I'd make sure the most recent BIOS is running on the machine if you try to upgrade, and as always do a good full backup before you make the attempt. If you use Dell Quickset for display control functionality, you'll need to search for at least version 8.2.20 for Windows Vista on the Dell website.

Worst comes to worse, you also ought to be able to throw any decent Linux distro on it if you want.

BTW, you can probably get a compatible 2GB DDR2 SODIMM for less than $10 on eBay to kick the memory up to 4GB. I also recall several people reporting in the Dell forums getting it to run with 6GB on that model using a 2GB and a 4GB module (even though 2x2GB is supposed to be the limit of the Intel GM965 chipset). It is only worth trying, though, if you can find a cheap 4GB DDR2 PC2-5300 or PC2-6400 SODIMM (as even used 4GB DDR2 SODIMMs usually run over $40 each).

I made up my mind. I am going to switch to linux or either just stick with Windows 7 home and be very careful. I do not do any banking or have anything important on my system. I rarely download files unless needed from trusted websites.

What version of linux do you recommend for windows users like me? I need a distro recommendation as well? 32 bit versions no doubt.

Will Linux pose a driver problem for me? I cannot find any old Windows Vista drivers for my Dell anymore. There are all gone from Dell website. I upgraded to Windows 7 and use basic drivers.
 

Steltek

Golden Member
Mar 29, 2001
1,894
81
91
The Vista32 drivers are still available on the Dell Inspiron 1525 support site. You have to use the pull down box to change the OS from the default XP to Vista32.

The basic drivers should be fine - that laptop is old enough that Win7 and later should detect everything important and assign appropriate drivers. If you check Device Manager and drivers are missing for something, do a Google search for the PCI device IDs of the hardware and you can probably find a driver that will work. Most of it will be oddball things like drop sensors that you can probably live without. If not, the Vista drivers will more times than not work for Win7. The only Vista application you might need for Win7 is the Dell Quickset application as it controls things in Windows like screen dimming. The Vista version linked in the Dell support site will work just fine under Win7 as far as I know.

As far as Linux is concerned, 3GB is enough memory that any decent distro ought to work fine. I doubt you'd have many driver issues as the installers as a whole have come a long way and are pretty much bulletproof for the most part. A good place to go for basic distro information and current release information is www.distrowatch.com. I presently use mostly Linux Mint MATE, but will otherwise try anything that looks interesting from a desktop perspective.

If you find the video performance for a distro to be too slow to live with on your machine, you might try to stick to "light" desktops based on things like Xfce. However, I do thing you ought to be okay with most any version.
 

ArisVer

Golden Member
Mar 6, 2011
1,223
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81
I recently upgraded a Core2Duo notebook that used to run Vista to Windows 10 (an acer Aspire 6930G).
It had 4GB of RAM, 3 is good but 4 is better.
The big difference between this one and yours, is that it has a dedicated graphics card, an NVidia GeForce 9600M GT, and that I replaced his HDD with a 240GB SSD. The SSD alone makes a huge difference.

Overall the notebook was quick and as a bonus I replaced his 2GHz T6400 cpu with a 2.8GHz T9600.
Felt about the same as my sandy bridge Pentium B980 notebook.
 

ArisVer

Golden Member
Mar 6, 2011
1,223
6
81
Something that I forgot to mention is that I had issues with the infrared and bluetooth drivers. The website has Vista and 7 drivers, tried them both, but Windows 10 would not accept them.

Not a problem for the infrared as he is not using it.
For the bluetooth I installed a usb bluetooth dongle and everything is fine.
 

JWade

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
3,081
31
91
www.heatware.com
i have loaded many c2d laptops with win10 and runs same as windows 7, heck even loaded some atom netbooks with win10home and ran ok. 4gb and an ssd and it will be fine, or of course linux like you said. not sure on what processor you have, but for $8 you can upgrade to a 2.4ghz t7700 off of ebay.
 
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JackMDS

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 25, 1999
28,967
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Win 10 1903 Runs well on 1525. I know because I have one.

No matter what OS you use, its takes few $$ and 20 minutes to upgrade to 4GB memory and SSD, it makes a Big difference in performance.

:cool:
 
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Remobz

Platinum Member
Jun 9, 2005
2,470
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Win 10 1903 Runs well on 1525. I know because I have one.

No matter what OS you use, its takes few $$ and 20 minutes to upgrade to 4GB memory and SSD, it makes a Big difference in performance.

:cool:
I really need a new cheap laptop. Due to crushing medical and other financial bills I can't afford anything right now. Hopefully, sometime in the near future I can afford a cheap laptop with better specs.

My only hope right now is using a OS like Linux which is good for older laptops like mine. Many people on other forums advised me against using Windows 10. for numerous reasons. Linux Mint might be my best bet now.
 

Remobz

Platinum Member
Jun 9, 2005
2,470
1
81
Win 10 1903 Runs well on 1525. I know because I have one.

No matter what OS you use, its takes few $$ and 20 minutes to upgrade to 4GB memory and SSD, it makes a Big difference in performance.

:cool:
My laptop runs sluggish with Windows 7 right now. Windows 10 is not an option for me and no money for upgrading either. Besides, that money could be put towards a new laptop in the future. Going Linux might be my best bet.
 

balloonshark

Diamond Member
Jun 5, 2008
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Two weeks ago I upgraded an old dual-core laptop from Windows 7 to Windows 10. This summer I found 2x4GB of RAM sticks for $13 each on ebay which replaced the 1x2GB from the factory. I already had an SSD installed which also helped.
 
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vailr

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,341
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Replacing the spinning HDD with an SSD should be the priority #1 upgrade.
A 2.5" SATA SSD can be found for under $20 for a 128 Gb version, or 256 Gb for a few dollars more. The free upgrade to Windows 10 would be second, which should run OK on an SSD, even with just 3 Gb of system memory.
 
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