Comment: Solutions for your Dell.

(See in situ)

Solutions for your Dell.

#1 - Wipe Win7 and install a suitable version of Linux.

Your mileage will vary here, and yes, printer compatibility and other add-ons are a consideration, but not terribly so. The most likely place to see a hardware hangup here is in new network cards or some odd device that needs a special driver. No fear, the issue is usually easily fixable with a little patience.

Some Linux systems are VERY user friendly. Some are definitely NOT for the novice. Ask around for opinions if you are interested. My vote in order would be - Ubuntu - Mint - openSuse.

Also, different Linux "distributions" or flavors as they are called, have different requirements. Most likely if your Dell is only 2 years old, just about any one would do, but as with any OS, depending on your specs, you may eventually hit a limit on upgrading vs. performance.

#2 - Wipe Win7 and have someone install a "slimmed down" XP for you.

Yes, yes, people will hogtie me for this, but it is a viable solution.

For starters, you are familiar with it. That's a plus.

Second, it's as mature as it is ever going to get "bug" wise.

Third, as its market share dwindles, it will cease to be a target of hackers with malware. That doesn't mean you are in the clear, just that eventually, you won't see near as much, and it might not even run on that OS anymore. (doubtful, but hey, we can dream right?)

Also, a slimmed down XP is really a snappy system without all the cruft. Now, note I did say have someone do this for you. You can tackle it yourself, but you'll need to do a lot of homework on what each OS file does and know if you really need it or not. Most don't want to go through all that education. Heck, a new computer is cheaper depending on how much you value your time.

#3 - Have someone set up a slimmed down Win7 for you.

I've never done it, but I'm sure it's no more of an issue, and likely even easier than XP to accomplish.

At the very least, visiting and reading over his pages on turning off unneeded Windows services will show you how to speed up your computer considerably.

#4 - Stick with what you have, but do the following:

Back up your data.

Make sure you have install discs for all 3rd party needed software.

Wipe the drive and re-install Win7 with your OEM discs. (didn't get them? Call Dell and DEMAND them, they were supposed to give them to you. You might also be able to burn them off a hidden partition on the drive)

Be sure to leave off the junk you don't need installed like trial software.

Turn off all visual effects and themes. (included in BlackViper's tutorials)

You won't end up with the prettiest OS, but it will run smoothly as it can.

Be sure to defrag often. Set a task to do it once a week if you use the thing for more than a few hours each day and do lots of web browsing or document work. (this is true of ANY Windows system)

Finally, you may simply have a bad drive, or just a slow one.

There are tests in Windows you can run to check drive health.

I would recommend no less than a 7200 RPM drive if using a standard HD. Otherwise, as suggested below, switch to a solid state drive as your main drive, and keep the current one as extra storage or backup. This way too, you don't need a really large SDD. You just need one big enough to hold Windows, your own programs, and maybe a few gigs of personal files. You can always swap them out with the other drive if need be. This will keep your upgrade cost down as SDD are not cheap.

Good luck.