Smartphones have taken over the world by storm thanks to Apple releasing the iPhone. The launch of iPhone changed the course of mobile industry. Google came up with Android in competition to iPhone. With big names like Samsung, Sony, HTC, LG all joining the droid camp. Then came the Chinese manufacturers to the smartphone market. And they turned the smartphones into a commodity, with everyone getting one. Smartphones are pushing the limits for specs war. Recently a phone was launched with 6GB RAM. I have got three laptops the maximum they have in them is 4GB.
Considering how fast things in technology are changing my laptops are old in fact they are ancient. No really I mean it they are from ancient times. The first one is a Lenovo ThinkPad L412 it is so old every now and then I see screws falling out the base like teeth of humans fell in old age. Yes, it works, the keyboard is still very much fine, the red dot cursor point which I never used is still intact, although the trackpad is now bald.
I can do my writing, excel, PPTs, web surfing, social media very well sitting near to a power point. This one need continuously A.C. power as the battery life is no more than two hours. With its aging Intel Core i5 M450 processor and 4GB RAM the effort this laptop is putting up makes me emotional and I don’t feel the need the throw it away.
The second on is the Dell Inspiron N4110 a 2nd Generation Intel Core i3 processor and 4GB RAM and 600GB hard disk. The only issue with this one is the battery life the battery backup is only 50 minutes. Other than this the laptop only has a small crack on the top left part next to the webcam. But nothing serious damages which could make this an obsolete product.
I know you must be thinking how I work with these laptops. I too have thought of getting rid of them some time. But then I thought of why to create more electronic waste until the time I can avoid it. Plus there is another reason I have got my wife a new MacBook Air 13” so the bills need to be paid. But I’ll get one as soon as one of these dies. But seeing their dedication to serving me for a lifetime it seems a little far away.
Story of upgrading Windows 10 on old laptop
Coming to the original story here, Microsoft released Windows 10 last year. The company offered a free upgrade to anyone running Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1. The offer of free Windows 10 upgrade ran for a full year till 29th July this year. During this time I did not think of upgrading Windows 10 on old laptop, although I did register my laptop with ‘Get Windows 10 App’. I did not upgrade to Windows 10 as I was not sure if the laptops would be able to handle Windows 10, but I was wrong.
So one fine day I decided to my Dell’s laptop would be the test subject. I decided to go for the experiment of upgrading Windows 10 on old laptop. On Dell’s website, it is mentioned the device is not tested for Windows 10 and not all drivers may work. I started upgrading Windows 10 on 27th July and it was not until the morning of 30th June the laptop finally showed me ‘Welcome to Windows 10’. It was a pain to get there, sometimes the internet was not working, and sometimes the laptop was stuck on 99% progress of installing. The laptop ran non-stop for 48 hours continuously connected to A.C. power.
After installing the display graphics were not proper, and on Dell’s website, there was no fix. The OS downloaded and installed the Intel display driver fixing the desktop. I must say I am pretty happy with the way my laptop is handling Windows 10. It has been a great experience with no crashes, no hangs.
Experience after upgrading Windows 10 on old laptop
It has been over a month now and I am running Windows 10 on a laptop with its 2nd Generation Intel Core i3 processor and 4GB RAM and I have not faced a single issue. Not even of the laptop slowing down. In fact, this is the best the laptop has worked in a past few months. The screen looks crisp than before. And the best parts are using Cortana on the laptop, notifications sync between laptop and Lumia 730 running Windows 10. Once you start using this notification sync feature you are not going to go back, it definitely stands out.
After setting up the PC, I registered the laptop on Windows 10 Insider on the Fast ring. The next day I got the preview build of Anniversary Update on my laptop. Presently the laptop is running 14393.105. Fast ring Insiders have now moved on to Redstone 2 builds. For now, I have decided to leave the Windows Insider Program. The first few builds new development branch are the buggiest ones. I have decided to wait till more stable builds come out from the Redstone 2 development branch. For my phone though I am running the latest build of the fast ring.
I think Microsoft has done a good job with Windows 10, and I can say that because I am running it on a five years old machine and it runs perfectly. Another thing which Microsoft did differently, this time, was offering Windows 10 as a free upgrade. For users running old Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 Microsoft offered free upgrading Windows 10 on old laptop. The offer of a free upgrade from Microsoft was available for a year and the company was pushing hard users to use this option. This push from Microsoft was not liked by users as sometimes the systems were upgraded in a forceful way. Microsoft was bashed in media for that and the company did few tweaks in the process.
The free upgrade offer is over now and if you want to upgrade to Windows 10 you have to pay for that, another way is get a new laptop or PC running Windows 10. I did take the time to upgrade to Windows 10, a whole year I waited and then on the last day I decided to get it on my laptop. I downloaded the new OS and installed it and all that for Free. The decision to upgrade to Windows 10 has proved a good one and has definitely increased the life of my Dell laptop. Until one of the hardware component fails I have no reason immediately to get a new laptop. This helps in doing my bit for the environment by not creating another piece of electronic waste.