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Windows 7: Upgrade to Windows 7 or keep Vista on a HP Pavilion Dv2-1030us?

29 Oct 2011   #1

Windows 7 Srarter 32bit
 
 
Upgrade to Windows 7 or keep Vista on a HP Pavilion Dv2-1030us?

A couple of years ago I bought a HP Pavilion Dv2-1030us 12" notebook with an AMD Athlon Neo 64 processor, 4GB memory and Windows Vista Home Premium. I hoped to carry it in my truck, but it's lousy battery life and slow performance with a 3G MiFi connection made that nearly impossible. It also runs so hot you can't use it sitting on your lap and I wasn't comfortable leaving it in the truck (even in an insulated bag) on hot days (and that's everyday in the summer here in Phoenix, AZ). According to CPUbenchmark.net, the Neo 64 processor benchmark score is only 386, the same as an Intel Atom 550 netbook processor.

My wife used it in the bedroom for web browsing and email for the last year. She gave it back when I moved her desktop computer into the bedroom. The old Dell Inspiron I kept in the Family Room finally died so I plan to keep the Dv2 downstairs for web browsing, email and occasional html editing.

Speedtest.net reported a download speed at 11.30 Mbps on it this evening, so it has a fast wireless internet connection. But most web pages are really slow to load. McAfee says it's clean, but I have not ran any other diagnostic tools. A couple of months ago I cloned it's hard drive onto a new 7200 rpm drive before I figured out the intermittent noise it makes is from it's system fan.

I found Windows 7 drivers on HP's website. I also found a Windows 7 Home Premium 3 user family pack in stock at a retailer I trust. Then I found an online user review saying it was slower with Windows 7.

So I decided to ask the experts if I could expect a noticeable increase in performance by doing a clean install of Windows 7 Home Premium on the new 7200 rpm hard drive? Or would I be better off trying to tweak the existing Vista Home Premium installation?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Oct 2011   #2

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
 
 

windows 7 is faster, but not by too much. I would suggest keeping vista, but cleaning it up a bit. update the goodness into that thing. windows update, and look for the important and optional updates you need. defragment that bad boy. remove all programs you don't need. i recommend Microsoft security essentials and malewarebytes instead of mcafee (unless you are paying for it). even if you are paying, then malewarebytes is a good software program to have. it doesn't need to be set up to automate, but just use it every once in a while (free).

Disk check and clean up some things for more space:
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You could upgrade the RAM without paying too much if you really wanted. 3-4 GB RAM would alleviate trouble on that end. make sure all RAM matches though, no mixing RAM.

You could go into computer>system properties>advanced system settings (far left hand side)>performance>Settings and then uncheck as many "pretties" as you don't mind letting go.

you can click computer>properties (right click first) and then DESELECT compress drive and DESELECT allow files to.. index if you don't mind not having a search index. compressing a drive isn't a good idea anyway for that first one.

look up ways to make vista faster on google and it will give you lots of info, both good and bad. you will have to decide what you like or not. You could also install IE9 on your computer and remove every other web browser (unless you prefer another), as IE9 has been streamlined a bit.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2011   #3

Windows 7 Srarter 32bit
 
 

The system came with 4GB installed in 1 slot. The specs say it only has one slot and will accept up to 4 GB. But when I took the cover off of the memory bay, it looked like it had 2 slots. I'll have to check it again tomorrow, but even if it does have 2 slots, more memory might not work.

Since I started using Google Chrome to sync with my Android phone and tablet, I stopped using IE. And I've never been impressed with Firefox or Opera.

There are a lot of programs on the laptop, but not a lot of programs I use very often. I have a feeling removing McAfee and using msconfig to prevent a lot of stuff from starting might make a big difference. I'm not sure how to clean up the registry.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Oct 2011   #4

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
 
 

cleaning up the registry can be and is very dangerous, but there are some programs that you can put on a 'safe' track to do it. The one i recognize the most and seems to be used more than others is ccleaner, but there are others just as good.

You have a startup folder that you could clean out that will keep some programs from starting up when windows starts, provided you don't want them to load without you clicking on them first. misconfig is handy in dealing with startup programs just like the folder i mentioned

The amount of RAM you have sounds fine, no matter if you have more slots or not. 4GB is PLENTY. check if you are using it all by clicking computer> system properties and then looking at how much installed RAM you have. Also as a side note, you wrote in your system specs that you have a 32 bit system. If that is the case, 4GB RAM is the max you or any system can use.

chrome is supposed to be just about the fastest browser, but can lack certain features a few might enjoy, and i am not sure about its security. However, it is perfectly fine, and a great web browser at that. You like it, keep it. Be very careful in uninstalling any program that you don't know much about, as windows lists some very important programs in there. only things you know you don't want should be removed (online games is a common one i find on systems, as an example). You mentioned the web pages loaded slowly? look in the browser for a place to delete everything (temporary data, passwords, form data, etc) and then go back into those settings and reset them. update chrome to its latest. go into internet settings and give chrome more space to use.

If McAfee is an Antivirus and not just an antivirus scanner, then don't remove McAfee without installing another antivirus just to insure you do not catch a virus. I mentioned MSE, but there are many virus protections out there. Here is a forum thread on the "best AV", most of which they talk about are free as most don't seem to want to pay for an AV (Me included). Never use more than one antivirus at the same time as they may conflict. Most if not all AVs will auto-disable windows defender due to this reason. However, as I said before, you may want to download malwarebytes. The free version of malwarebytes is compatible with most AVs in that it will not create conflict (it isn't exactly an antivirus, but helps all the same)

EDIT: This post is down a couple ways, but thought i'd bring it up here for you just in case you need it now:
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by marsmimar View Post
One caution, if I may. If you decide to remove McAfee, follow the instructions to safely remove it. There's a special removal tool from McAfee that needs to be used after going through control panel > programs and features. (The removal tool link is in the section for XP.)

How to uninstall or reinstall supported McAfee consumer products using the McAfee Consumer Products Removal tool (MCPR.exe)

And for future reference should you decide to try different products, here's a list of removal tools offered by other companies (and other non-vendors that have been checked out by the author.)

Security Software | Uninstallers
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2011   #5

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

Does the Vista have any service packs? I got a dual core desktop before SP1 came out. Vista home premium 32 bit. Even after a lot of tuning, disabling services, turning of indexing, it's not as responsive as Windows Seven. (Don't ask. I couldn't put SP1 on no way no how.. did all the stuff that's supposed to work but didn't.) Since then I bought a quad with Vista64 SP1. That runs good enough I didn't put Windows 7 on. But if it's Vista with no SP you may notice a lot of "drive busy for no reason" goes away with Windows 7.

My dual core only has 2 GB ram and Windows Seven is quite snappy. I run chromium browser and it's very responsive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2011   #6

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
 
 

there is also Vista SP2 that may fix a lot of things. Both SP1 and SP2 are very important to have if I am to keep my recommendation you keep vista and avoid buying windows 7 (simply for the cost. if you must have it, it is up to you my friend). Vista's problems were fixed in its updates, so if it works for you, it is just as pretty as windows 7. windows 7 comes with a few new neat tricks, but its base is still Vista
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2011   #7

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

The trouble with not buying a machine with the SP already on the OS is you can't always get the damn things to install. I wasted at least a dozen hours watching my PC reboot only to get "service pack not installed, rolling back." If it doesn't go on by the 3rd try, forget it. Get the new OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2011   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

One caution, if I may. If you decide to remove McAfee, follow the instructions to safely remove it. There's a special removal tool from McAfee that needs to be used after going through control panel > programs and features. (The removal tool link is in the section for XP.)

How to uninstall or reinstall supported McAfee consumer products using the McAfee Consumer Products Removal tool (MCPR.exe)

And for future reference should you decide to try different products, here's a list of removal tools offered by other companies (and other non-vendors that have been checked out by the author.)

Security Software | Uninstallers
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2011   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

I tend to agree with Dust Sailor, but you might want to run the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor before you decide what to to do.

Download Details - Microsoft Download Center - Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor

Windows 7 isn't a great deal faster than Windows Vista, but it is more stable and less troublesome.

Removing McAfee and using Microsoft Security Essentials instead would certainly be of benefit in my view and a clean install is far preferable to an upgrade.

As for it running hot, a good clean inside and a laptop cooler pad would help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2011   #10
Microsoft MVP

 

The best thing you can do with either OS is a clean reinstall without the factory bloatware. Here's how to get a perfect one: Clean Reinstall steps

Until that happy day, you can clean up the factory bloatware and useless factory utilities which have better versions built into Windows 7 using these tips: Clean up factory bloatware

You'll also get much better performance by uninstalling MucAfee which is the most problematic AV we deal with there (at least weekly) and replace it with lightweight free Microsoft Security Essentials or Avast 6 with the Windows firewall.

With 4gb RAM I'd stick with 32 bit for best performance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Upgrade to Windows 7 or keep Vista on a HP Pavilion Dv2-1030us?




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