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Solved: Older PC with outdated Operating Systems

998 Views 14 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  flavallee
We have two elderly family members (Grandmas that are both almost 90) that use old, outdated computers running Vista and XP. They both continue to have error messages; ie "Out of Memory at line:65", "High PCU", printer does not respond, Computer locks up and has to have hard re-boot, IE shuts down, unable to access email. One is using a high speed modem from CenturyLink and the other is on high speed Comcast connection.

Anyone have suggestion on how to best help these two lovely women? Windows 7? or a refurbished basic PC replacement?
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You can run this Micro$oft program to check if a PC will run Windows 7 :-

But if both PC's are running poorly I would go for the refurbished PC idea, or maybe a couple of budget laptops.
Great idea and link - thank you. We will try that, but then to find Windows 7, doesn't seem to be available in any of the office supply stores any longer.

We have been thinking refurbished desk top (they are not up to using laptops at their ages), any suggestions on HP model numbers, specs, etc that would support limited internet use?
Pretty much any Desktop PC can browse the Internet. I'm not familiar with HP models but I'm sure someone else here will be. Does it have to be HP ?
If you have the XP discs, you can also try repairing the operating systems, or reinstall altogether. That should solve the issues that you are getting.

Another good option is to install Linux on these computers. If all they require is to use the internet, or other simple things, then Linux isn't a bad choice.
You can still buy Refurbished computers with Win 7 installed. You can also still buy Win 7 Professional OEM from several retailers. I have seen Some online retailers selling New old stock of Win 7 Home Premium Full Retail for up to $500 (outrageous) New Egg still has 7 Pro OEM for sale.
All good advice - thank you so so much.

Does NOT have to be HP, but that is what we have been using for years, so just used to looking for that.

I do not think my Mom has the XP disc, the computer was loaded with XP when it was purchased. It is a Dell, BTW.

Linux - good idea, do I have to buy or is it a free download?

The Windows 7 idea IS pretty expensive and we could probably get a refurbished machine for just about double what the cost of the software is, that is why we were thinking of buying the computer rather than upgrading to Win7 - also, we have been cautioned by retails (of course!) that these older machines may not support Win7 and we would have to check the specs - not something we are very knowledgeable about, but the link "managed" provided will help us with that!

We will start working on a couple of these ideas and get these two grammas back in touch with family and friends via their internet - so great to see them able to use a computer and stay in touch when at their ages, they don't get out much!
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We have two elderly family members (Grandmas that are both almost 90) that use old, outdated computers running Vista and XP.
What is the model names and model numbers of those HP desktops?

What is the part/product number(P/N) on them?

It's very possible that a clean reinstall and fresh start is all they may need to breathe new life into them.

I've resurrected and upgraded older desktops (HP, Dell, etc.) for years, and most of their owners have been happy with the results.

As flavallee says, a clean reinstall will often breathe new life in these old systems. I too have done these for the people I know.

Providing model numbers for these computers, or their specifications will definitely help.

Linux is available for free. However, there are several distributions to choose from. Posting hardware specifications of the systems will help, to determine which distro to go for.

If you want to install Windows 7 on these PCs, it's better to make sure they will be able to run it.

Run this Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor from Microsoft, which will check the system, and will advise if Windows 7 will be able to install on the system or not. Do save the result, in case you need to post here.
New Egg has Win 7 Home Premium for $99.they also have great deals on refurbished computers.
New Egg has Win 7 Home Premium for $99.they also have great deals on refurbished computers.
I've bought about 10 refurbished Dell Windows 7 desktops and laptops from and during the past 3 years.

Besides saving me a LOT of money over buying new ones, they don't come with a bunch of unneeded and trial/demo "bloatware".

After working on both of these older computers over the past couple of weeks and talking to our Mothers, we are trying to convince them that a refurbished computer with Win7 would probably be the best and cheapest solution AND cause the least amount of learning curve for them. We have also considered a new computer for each with Win7 installed, not Win 8 or 8.1.

They will not be up to working on a lap top - just too much of a learning curve and they would lose interest and give up, we are sure.

As they both are on a fixed budget, we will probably have to make the purchases ourselves, and so are looking for a good deal (aren't we ALL!!). A couple of other concerns we have.:

Size, specs that will provide them adequate internet browsing, email, facebook, and limited Word. They are both using high speed connections. any basics on GHz, RAM, Dual Core vs Quad Core, HD capacity, etc.?

Reputable refurbished sellers - some of the reviews I have been reading are making me aware of flimflam vendors. I know NewEgg and Overstock have been mentioned. They seem to be on the high $ end for similar computers from other sites.

Also, we are watching for Black Friday deals.

This site is GREAT and I soooo appreciate all of your responses.
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The refurbished Dell OptiPlex 755 or Dell OptiPlex 780 mini tower models are what I recommend for your elderly family members.

I paid $250.00 - $300.00 for each of mine.

We did end up buying two refurbished Dell Computers with Win7 already installed and over this long holiday weekend, got both of our Mothers all set up with their "new" computers. So much faster and easier for them. They are both thrilled. Thanks again for all responses!
That's great!

You're welcome.

:) :up:

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