Tutorial – Save an old slow PC for only 50 €

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Aina Prat
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With a budget of just under €50, it is possible to transform a computer that has become almost unusable into a PC with acceptable performance. Explanations.




A 6-year-old office PC serves as a guinea pig. 

Even once cleaned and reset, our old PC remains sluggish, which has the gift of annoying us. It is nevertheless easy to give it a facelift with a budget of just €50 and a little time. Not enough to make it a racing beast, but it will be enough to make it faster, and therefore usable for office automation.

A witness PC as fast as an anvil

For the purposes of this tutorial, we took as a guinea pig a PC with a six-year-old configuration, equipped with a 5th generation Intel Core i4 processor (2014), with 4 GB of RAM and a hard disk of 500 Go. A computer that is not only old and used for a long time, but poorly maintained, which contributes to its slowness.



CCleaner

CCleaner, an essential software to optimize and clean your operating system in depth.

  • Version : 5.88.9346
  • Downloads: 172
  • Release date: 14/12/2021
  • Author: Piriform Ltd
  • License: Free license
  • Categories: Utilities
  • Operating System: Android, Windows Portable - XP/Vista/7/8/10/11, Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10/11, macOS
Download
  • Android
  • Windows Portable - XP / Vista / 7/8/10/11
  • Windows XP / Vista / 7/8 / 10 / 11
  • MacOS

First step, it is necessary to uninstall all unnecessary software, then clean your PC thoroughly with software such as CCleaner – which allows you to cleanly erase any installed software. Then scanning the PC for malware, using software like Malwarebytes, can't hurt.



Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free (now simply called Malwarebytes or MBAM for short) is cross-platform anti-malware software that detects and quarantines or removes malware infections.

  • Downloads: 844
  • Release date: 09/12/2021
  • Author: Malwarebytes
  • License: Free license
  • Categories: Security
  • Operating system: Android, Windows 7/8/8.1/10/11, iOS iPhone / iPad, macOS
Download
  • Android
  • Windows 7/8/8.1/10/11
  • iOS iPhone / iPad
  • MacOS

To give our PC a facelift, we used a 240 GB SSD and random access memory (RAM). We recommend the Crucial BX500 which has the particularity of being offered at a very attractive price. For RAM, we opted for Crucial with a 4 GB DDR3 1 MHz module. On more recent configurations, it will be necessary to move towards DDR600 memory. Something to check before buying.



Crucial BX500 240 GB

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Plugging and cloning data 

Then you have to go to the connection. If the operation is not necessarily complicated, it can scare very inexperienced users. If this is your case, do not hesitate to ask for help from a third party. Once the RAM is installed on the motherboard, you must plug in the SSD. But be careful not to disconnect the hard drive already installed.

Indeed, now is the time to clone HDD contents to SSD including Windows. For this, we recommend the Macrium software, very easy to use, free and above all very effective. To proceed with the cloning, we invite you to follow the tutorial that we wrote a few months ago.

Macrium Reflect Free

Macrium Reflect Free is a system backup and restore software, on Windows

  • Version : 8.0.6392
  • Downloads: 101
  • Release date: 18/11/2021
  • Author: Paramount Software
  • License: Demonstration
  • Categories: Utilities
  • Operating system: Windows XP / Vista / 7/8/10/11
Download


 

After the clone operation, now is the time to reboot the PC and enter BIOS before Windows launches (the key varies by motherboard brand - Del or F2 most of the time - but it is displayed briefly on the screen when the PC is switched on). Then go to the BOOT menu and select the SSD as the first boot drive.


Adding a RAM stick to your PC is very simple.

The PC will now boot Windows to the SSD and not the HDD. Once Windows has been restarted, all that remains is to format the old hard disk (right click, format) in order to clean it. So now we have a Windows-equipped 240GB SSD and a completely empty 500GB hard drive ready for data.

Proven results 

Replacing a hard drive with an SSD and adding a little RAM to an old PC necessarily allows it to gain in speed, but how much? After improving our PC, we obviously evaluated the results. And they are indisputable!

Previously, our home PC was what might be vulgarly called "a wheelbarrow" which took 151 s to boot up and load everything on Windows 7. Once the contents of the HDD were placed on the SSD, the PC now only took 36 s to start, which is still quite long, but already more tolerable. Shutting down Windows goes from 105 s to 15 s.


 

Internet browsing has also been greatly improved. On Chrome, the loading of the Digital home page went from 35 s to just over 4 s. Internet browsing is therefore no longer a torture.

Finally, we carried out our usual test protocol carried out on Lightroom to measure the power of the CPU. Helped by a bit more RAM, our test goes from 360 s to 304 s. If he is still very slow in this area, it nevertheless offers him a significant boost.

In a few operations and a short time, we have therefore transformed a "wheelbarrow" into a computer with satisfactory capacity thanks to a simple procedure. If your old PC is lagging behind, just follow this tutorial to give it a second life at a lower cost.

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