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Windows 10 on Netbook from 2010

I just updated a 5 year old netbook running Windows 7 with the free Windows 10 upgrade and I am really pleased with the results.

I always liked this little computer. It was cheap and is less than 3 pounds. It is fairly light to pack and I would not really care if it was lost or stolen. It has a usably sized keyboard. While travelling, I can do work, emails, surf and backup all my photos. Out of the box, it was always a bit slow (single core N450 processor). I had upped the memory to 2 GB and also had to replace the crashed hard drive with an SSD Last year, which provided a small boost. However, using the internet was always just barely tolerable. There was always pauses and stutters. I had to accept these limitations because i did not want to buy a new small computer just for travelling. In 2012, Microsoft Windows 8 effectively made all netbooks obsolete because the netbook display resolution could not handle the new Win 8 requirements.

Windows 10 has given all netbooks a new lease on life. Unlike Win 8, Win 10 can be used with the older display. Everything on my netbook is now quicker. The new Edge browser was a significant improvement over the previous Internet Explorer. I tested out the Chrome browser and found it was even quicker than Edge. It is like getting a new computer.

We have updated 5 computers at home and the office, so far. It takes a while, but there have been no problems.

I will be able to pack my favourite old netbook on my trips for a few more years.

Posted by
30970 posts

funpig,

I was interested to read your comments, as I've also got a 5 year old Netbook running Windows 7 Starter. It seems to be running fine so I hadn't really thought about upgrading it, but having faster performance would certainly be an advantage. Have you experienced any issues with any software you're using (ie: MS Office or whatever)?

Posted by
6543 posts

I scrapped my 17.3" Dell laptop that we've lugged all over the world. We replaced it with a budget 15" Dell laptop with a huge hard drive running just fine on the new Windows 10.
Our travel computer is a 10" Samsung Chromebook that just weighs over a pound. It does great for the internet and battery life is very long. And at $169, the price was right.

Posted by
4689 posts

If your netbook came with Windows XP or Vista, you aren't eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10. But another option, FYI, is Ubuntu Linux. I have put it on two old netbooks from 2009 or earlier. It works quite well. You will probably need to use a USB flash drive (2GB or larger required I think - and everything on it will be erased for Linux) to make an installer to boot from, assuming your netbook doesn't have a CD/DVD drive.

Posted by
607 posts

My netbook was on Windows 7 Starter, so the W10 upgrade was free. In the Win10 recovery, it says I have 30 days to revert back to Windows 7. I will definitely keep the new OS.

In Windows 10, there is both Internet Explorer and the new Edge browser. Edge is definitely faster than IE. On the advice of my son, I downloaded Chrome and for my Yahoo mail, i found Chrome to be even faster than Edge. I wish I had tried Chrome while still in Win7. You may want to try Chrome before you upgrade from Win7.

All my software still worked in Win10, including MS Office 2007, Wordperfect, Adobe Acrobat, Dropbox and my office accounting software. My Windows Live Mail needed a re-install to work again. I did not do a backup before the upgrade because everything of importance was already synced to Dropbox and I could always reload the software.

I hated Win8 on my other computers. One of the reasons I liked the old netbook is because it was one of my last computers with Win7 which is a very good OS. Win10 is more like Win7 than Win8 in the desktop mode. So it is nice to retain that feel, but in a new up to date OS.

Keep in mind that my old netbook also has an extra 1 GB ram and the SSD. Under Win7, i thought those items only made a small improvement in my perceived performance. I suspect that Win10 really benefited from the extra ram.

Posted by
607 posts

BTW, the Win10 update app will check your computer for compatibility issues regarding hardware drivers or software.

For my netbook, Win10 advised that my SD card reader Win7 driver would have to be uninstalled during the upgrade. Windows Update provided me with a brand new Win10 card reader driver. The goofy thing is that the card reader would not work with the new driver. i uninstalled the new driver and reinstalled the old Win 7 driver after the upgrade to get the card reader working again Go figure.

We also upgraded an old desktop from about 2007. This was a Vista computer which we upgraded to Win8 back in 2012. It had an incompatible Nvidea card. We picked up a used compatible video card for about $10 and was able to upgrade to Win10. Runs great. One less piece of junk for the landfill or re-cycling center.

Posted by
30970 posts

funpig,

Thanks for the additional information. I may try the upgrade in a few months (after my next trip), but I'm not especially well versed in PC's so may have to get some help with that (I use Mac's almost exclusively at home).