Upgrade acer laptop with vista home basic to windows 8?

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by think2, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. think2

    think2 Member

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    My neighbour has a 5 year old Acer Travelmate 2484 laptop running vista home basic. It's slow to startup. It's fitted with the max ram it will take - 1 or 2GB - can't remember which. The laptop is used mainly for email and web browsing.

    Will Windows 8 will run on this laptop? The win 8 upgrade assistant gives a list of incompatibilities of which the most significant seems to be that Acer Empowering Technology version 2.5.3005 can't be used. Also the display resolution might be too low for "Metro apps" but we don't care about that.

    Is it worth upgrading to Windows 8 on this laptop? Will Windows 8 start up faster and generally perform better?

    TIA
     
  2. lxskllr

    lxskllr Lifer

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    A GNU/Linux distro would work great on that, and fits his use scenario. It would also save the hassle of getting anti malware. If you want to stay with Windows, I suspect 8 will be a touch quicker, but not enough to spend money on. For staying with Windows, I think a fresh install of Vista would be your best bet.
     
  3. think2

    think2 Member

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    Thanks. Yep, Linux would be fine but this is an elderly person and switching to Linux isn't viable. After trawling the internet for a while I strongly suspect Windows 8 will perform far better than Vista, even on a 5 year old laptop. Opinion seems to be universal that Windows 8 has major performance improvements.

    This article
    http://www.extremetech.com/computing/138177-under-the-hood-of-windows-8-or-why-desktop-users-should-upgrade-from-windows-7

    says that "a lot of changes were made to ruggedize Windows 8 against malware and rootkits.". Also, I think Microsoft Security Essentials aka Windows Defender has quite a good reputation. I think I'm going to recommend to my neighbour to install Windows 8 and see how it goes.
    Thanks.
     
  4. JackMDS

    JackMDS Super Moderator<BR>Elite Member
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    Most main stream users can Not detect some of the Enthusiasts claims about "Speed" when it is not really "Huge" improvement.

    New OS with New Interface might be a challenge to some advanced age individuals.

    So it is a call between Win 8, or cleaning the Vista installation from the Junk that it accumulated during the years of use.

    It might be that one Run of cCleaner, and checking the StartUp for unneeded "Crap-loaded" can be of big help.


    :cool:
     
  5. think2

    think2 Member

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    mmm, well unless I can establish that the laptop is compatible with Windows 8 I won't be able to install it anyway. On the ACER website, the travelmate 2484 isn't in the list of compatible laptops nor is it in the list of incompatible laptops. The Microsoft Upgrade Assistant didn't report any problems with drivers but I do not know if that guarantees there won't be significant problems. I called Acer but they said to ask Microsoft. How in the world Acer could expect Microsoft to know if Acer don't know I have no idea.
     
  6. gmaster456

    gmaster456 Golden Member

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    I'm almost positive Windows 8 will run just fine on it. Do you know the full specs just to be sure? And I can assure you Windows 8 will run light years faster than Vista. Let alone a copy that's probably gone the whole 5 years without a tune up/cleaning. Set them up with a copy of Windows 8 and start8 and they'll be just fine.
     
  7. Matt1970

    Matt1970 Lifer

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    Most of the laptops that came out in the Vista era will upgrade to at least 2Gb but were notorious for only having 512 or 1GB from the factory. You can find out for sure with the model number of the laptop. I am assuming he has the same install of Vista since he got the laptop and that is a long time with any operating system so Windows 8 will be like a breath of fresh air for that system.
     
  8. JackMDS

    JackMDS Super Moderator<BR>Elite Member
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    As far as win 8 is concerned, in most cases when Laptop that run Vista reports incompatibly it has to do with amount of memory and Video.

    Memory can be upgraded. Video in most cases means that some High Level Visual aspects will not work.

    However, if the user needs are low and it is mainly Surfing, email, Facebook, Word processing machine, it might be functional.



    :cool:
     
  9. Ketchup

    Ketchup Lifer

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    If it's slow to start up, it could be due to Malware, too much garbage, excessive fragmentation, unnecessary services, and startup programs the user does not want or need.

    If you get Windows 8, is it going to be an upgrade or a fresh install?

    My thoughts are it will work better if you clean up or re-install Vista. Disable features that he doesn't need. I would hate to see your neighbor pay for such an upgrade only to end up having it run just as slow, or slower.
     
  10. lakedude

    lakedude Golden Member

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    ^this

    A buddy of mine (with kids and a wife) had a similar scenario. His laptop was painfully, noticeably slow due to all the garbage it had collected over the years. Now I'm not sure if was fragmentation, or virus or the HD being too full or too many apps for the amount of memory or something else but a fresh install made it work like new. He assumed the laptop was slow but really it was just bogged down with crap.

    Also W8 sucks bad.
     
  11. think2

    think2 Member

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    The Microsoft compatibility assistant lists memory as "2.1" - which I'm guessing means 2 GB ram and 1 MB level one cache. It's definitely at least 1GB because a few months ago I persuaded her to get as much RAM as the machine would take. 1 GB is enough for Win 8. The CPU is Celeron M 1.8 GHz.

    On this page http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/windows-upgrade-offer
    Acer say
    "Acer will provide driver support for the following Windows Upgrade Offer-qualified products:"

    and the travelmate 2484 is not in the list. I probably won't do a clean install of Windows 8 which might mean that the old drivers will be kept - but I can't tell if they will work with Windows 8.

    This seems to be a service manual
    http://www.intellcity.ru/content-2/service-manual-notebook-Acer/service-manual-Acer-TravelMate-2480-3260-3270.pdf
    The specs are also on page 20 here
    http://data.manualslib.com/pdf/1/13/1257-acer/travelmate_2480.pdf?b0b5410670a516dd90e3319ee150f91c

    If I install Windows 8 I'll probably do a clean install of Vista first (if the install CD is still available), so maybe if Windows 8 has problems, I can reinstall Vista anyway, to recover. However, I don't know if I can install Win 8 without her actually buying it first. I already have a Win 8 install CD.

    If the travelmate 2484 drivers aren't compatible with Windows 8, any idea what could go wrong? e.g. would the CD/DVD drive stop working?
     
  12. Ketchup

    Ketchup Lifer

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    Is there a feature in 8 your neighbor wants?

    Also, as I recall it is impossible to do a "clean" install of Vista with the disks from Acer. The disks Acer provides (you will need to order these from Acer unless they were created on the laptop after purchase) install Windows with all the software included on the laptop at purchase.
     
  13. JackMDS

    JackMDS Super Moderator<BR>Elite Member
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  14. OlafSicky

    OlafSicky Platinum Member

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    Do a full format and re install vista I wouldn't spend money on 8. If you want to spend money get an SSD even 60gigser would be great
     
  15. Ketchup

    Ketchup Lifer

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    That'd be perfect. They will love you for that! Heck, you could probably just get an SSD, copy the dang thing as-is, and they'd still be thrilled.
     
  16. Matt1970

    Matt1970 Lifer

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    The Travelmate 2484 lists a Celeron M 440 for the processor which is going to be a bottleneck. 1GB of ram is barely enough for XP these days and 3 different sites list the max ram for the travelmate 2484 at 2GB so I highly recommend you get it up to that or you are going to have a terribly slow laptop.
     
  17. Evander

    Evander Golden Member

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    I have a 5 year old Acer Aspire laptop that dual boots Vista and Win 8. The memory card reader and the fax/modem do not have Win 8 drivers (this was not reported when I ran the Win 8 compatibility assistant).
    Check out Device Manager and be on the watch for these 2:
    Memory Technology Driver > Texas Instruments PCIxx12
    Modems > Agere Systems HDA Modem

    Most people don't use fax modems anymore but SD card readers are very popular. He could get around it by buying a external reader but probably wouldn't want to.

    Win 8 runs fine on the system w/ this vista experience index:
    4.6
    4.5
    2.4
    2.9
    5.9

    He could install the Windows 8 Consumer Preview to try it out but it will expire mid January. The alternative is a 90 day Win 8 Enterprise evaluation version:
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/jj554510.aspx
    For testing, win 8 should be installed either on a spare hard drive or onto the current hard drive after backing up all the data.

    If you want my opinion, stick w/ Vista but do a clean install install security software right away such as Microsoft Security Essentials or AVG. For further security, after installing all software switch over to a non-administrator account as suggested in this guide (and it's actually suggested in the Vista help file as well):
    http://www.mechbgon.com/build/security2.html
     
  18. think2

    think2 Member

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    Windows 8 has 5+ years of improvements over Vista e.g. it handles SSD better; it can run the latest Internet Explorer; it is more secure; it boots faster. I'm running Windows 8 on my own laptop and I haven't had any usability problems - though I haven't used it much so far. I'm holding off on upgrading my Win 7 desktop.

    Thanks for the comment about Acer installation disks. I've now discovered that there was no system CD supplied with the laptop and that the end user is supposed to create their own recovery CD - which I've now done. I'm hoping that the recovery CD can still be used to restore "Vista with factory settings" even when the Acer Empowering Technology software is no longer on the hard drive - which it won't be if I install Win 8.
     
  19. think2

    think2 Member

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    Thanks for all that.

    How do the boot times and general performance compare for Vista and Win 8?
    How much RAM do you have?

    The laptop has a 64 GB hard drive partitioned into 32 GB C drive and 32 GB D drive and C drive is almost full - so it's not big enough for dual booting and will soon run out of space unless I can move some files like e.g. AVG anti-virus database perhaps. If I install Win 8 I'll probably allocate all 64 GB to C drive.
     
  20. Evander

    Evander Golden Member

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    Boot times are better on Win 8 by far, but if you use sleep or hibernate it's not that big a deal. For general performance it's hard for me to say if it's better than Vista b/c my Vista system is fully loaded with software I installed and has Aero enabled which Win 8 lacks, while Win 8 is pretty bare bones (I mostly installed it just to toy around with). Win 8 does feel snappy though. It has 2Gb RAM. I know I can't use ReadyBoost on Win8 until an SD card driver gets released - I'm currently using a 16 Gb SD card with 4 Gb dedicated to Vista ReadyBoost.

    The Acer system probably has a hidden recovery partition (Accessible I think by holding Alt + F10 on boot). You can see it by going into computer management > storage > disk management. It's labeled I think EISI and takes about 8 Gb of space. You might consider cloning that partition and backing up to dvd and then deleting it (and now you'll have 2 sets up DVDs to restore from in case 1 fails). But if you leave that recovery partition on there and install a different OS than Vista such as Win 8, I think the Alt+F10 method no longer works I think. There's supposed to be a way to reenable it - I think you have to go into disk management and alter the active partition or something like that. One good thing about the Win 8 install is how little space it takes - I think my clean install onto a second partition was only like 5 Gb (no more than 10, I know that).
     
  21. gmaster456

    gmaster456 Golden Member

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    Will the processor is slow. It'll run 8 much better than Vista.