How To Upgrade Your Aging PC for Free

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It’s possible to upgrade your aging PC without spending a dime. My Windows XP system runs just fine, but I see its days are numbered. Windows 7 has been out for over a year, and everyone is getting a new mobile device. It is now possible to have a computer in the palm of your hand, in the form of a smart phone, iPad or tablet device. These small devices use tiny resources and have a huge impact on the world.

For mobile devices it appears that LESS IS MORE.

But on PC machines MORE IS LESS over time.

My desktop Windows XP system with 1 gig of memory used to be huge, in its day, now its nothing.

The upgrade cost for a smaller machine would not be worth the effort.

Rather than toss the old computer into the recycle bin, why not switch to an open-source operation system that uses Linux and the existing hardware?

Upgrade it for free. Switch to Ubuntu, the free Linux operating system. Download a free copy at

Save a copy on a CD.

But wait…there’s more.

Before you switch operating systems, take baby steps. Try before you buy. Don’t remove your existing operating system. Boot Ubuntu from the CD and try it, first.

Here’s how.

1. Download the Ubuntu system on a CD which contains both the “Trial” and “Install” versions.

2. Prepare to boot from the CD. Load the disk onto the CD drive. Shut down your PC.

3. Note: You might have to change the BIOS to set the boot order sequence, so the CD is at the top of the list. To do this you must shut down the computer and then restart it.

Usually, you must press a keyboard function key ranging from F2 to F8 on most systems, before Windows loads to access your BIOS setup. See your manufacturer for details. Set the BIOS boot order sequence to boot from the CD before the Disk Drive. Do this once. Save it. Next time the system is booted, the BIOS will use the new setup.

4. Restart the PC. It will boot from the CD if a bootable disk is found, otherwise it will boot from next device on boot order sequence..

5. Note: The Ubuntu system will display if successful. Now you have a new operating system.

6. Included with the Unbuntu system is a bundle of free software:

– Firefox and Flash. Use it to surf the web and view videos on the internet.

– Use it as an alternative to Microsoft Office. It is compatible with Microsoft Office and contains, word processing, spreadsheets and presentation software.

– Rhythmbox Music Player. Use it to play your music collection.

– Ubuntu One Music Store – Use it to buy music and store your music online and listen to it from other computers.

But Wait….there’s more…

– Use the Ubuntu Software Centre to download thousands of free open-source applications.

You will have hours of fun…. ( included with some minutes of frustration getting used to unfamiliar software.)

Overall, take time to play with the applications before you decide to switch operating systems.

Pros: Ubuntu is free. Thousands of quality applications are available for free. Use the software with existing hardware. Use it without uninstalling Windows.

Cons: It takes time to learn and tweak a new operating system and applications. Missing device drivers have to be found. For example, my wireless device driver did not work. However, the wired internet access did work. To fix this, I must search the internet. Documentation is available online, plus there’s a growing community of users who can provide help.

Some people may want the assistance of Computer Support to speed up the process. However, if you are willing to take some time to learn the applications, during the trial period, it will be worth the wait and less frustrating.

If you upgrade your old system, you will be saving the planet.


3 thoughts on “How To Upgrade Your Aging PC for Free

  1. Ubuntu really does breathe life into older PCs – it also makes newer PC’s fly along

    For me the greatest advantage is that whereas XP machines get slower and slower as more stuff accumulates Ubuntu does’nt seem to have this problem

    Also having loaded it once, if there is ever a major problem – Harddrive failure etc it is easy to load again. No licenses, no WindowsGenuineAdvantage As long as you back-up data somewhere you know you are safe (ubuntuone gives you 2gb online free which you can use as a drop-box to access from any machine or as backup)

    No anti-viral software required and proper security built-in

    Using Ubuntu is a very safe, comfortable place.

    • Thanks for the comment. I am amazed that the Ubuntu open-source software is so good. More consumers can update their computer one more time. On the other hand, my basement is full gadgets that have been abandoned. At some point they must go … but for now, they have a second life.

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