How To Extend The Life of my Vista Laptop

Dear Computer Lady,

I have a laptop computer with the vista, it is 7 yrs old.

Is there anything I can do to try to keep using it without spending alot of money to keep it going since there won’t be any updates going.
I would like to put a different windows in it, but with the age I really don’t want to spend alot of money not knowing how much longer it will last. Do you have any suggestions to help? I would appreciate what ever help you can give.

I really enjoy your help and advice you give thru your emails,. Thank you very much for all your help with the many computer questions so many of us have.


Dear Shirley,

If you are using this computer to go online, I would suggest that you get a Linux CD and use that as your operating system.

If you are using the computer for programs that don’t need online access, just don’t connect to the internet and you should be fine.

Here are the steps that I set up for my customers who want to continue using their older computer.

1. Download Puppy Linux at: There are directions on the website for how to download.

2. You will download an iso file. Use your CD burning program to create a Puppy Linux disk.

3. With the disk in your CD drive, shut down the computer, then start it up and press the key your computer uses to display a boot menu. (you might have to look this up on your laptop manufacturers website) You can try either F12 or the Esc key as those are the most common.

4. Once in the boot menu, choose to boot to the CD and you will find yourself looking at the puppy linux desktop instead of the Windows desktop.

I usually download and create a disk for my customers, give them a short lesson on booting to the disk and they happily use Linux as their online operating system.



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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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    • anetherton
    • October 18, 2016

    Many computers that ran Vista can also run 7. Some can even run Win 10! I have an old Acer, 5100 desktop which came with Vista, and I cannot remember when I got it, probably around 2009 or even earlier. It has a dual core 2.2 ghz 64 bit processor, but was loaded with 32 bit Vista, as very little was using 64 bit architecture at the time. It only has 2 gigs of memory (should have 4, I know), but runs Windows 7 fine, and ran Windows 10 fine for a while until I had to remove it due to work.

    You can get perfectly legal copies of Win 7 still on Ebay; they will register with Microsoft, and will work fine, for around $65.00 US.

    For those of you reluctant to pay for Windows, Linux is a good option, and is very well respected, and the learning curve is less steep than ever now.

    Curious, why did you not suggest Ubuntu?

    • Rhino
    • October 18, 2016

    I personally do not like puppy linux. I recommend Zorin, PCLinuxOS or Mint instead. And yes, Your Milage May Vary.

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