Help me purge my laptop demons
May 13, 2014 7:00 PM   Subscribe

I have an acer operating Win7 starter. (1) I hastily tried to watch a champions league game and picked up some bad viruses. (2) I haven't been running a legit version of windows for at least 2 reboots and I don't have any current version I can switch to (3) Attempts to use pirated versions have led to failure thru what seems to be windows versions conflicts or lack of crucial drivers that I can't find. I understand that uninformed pirates, even if they're plundering Msr. Gates are not easy to forgive, but please help. I'd just like to have a functioning old machine with a clean OS install and not have to get a new machine. Any tips, links, instructions are greatly appreciated.
posted by Reasonably Everything Happens to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
I would definitely buy the restore CD/thumb drive from Acer to get you back to Windows 7 Premium with all the drivers and everything installed, and then do all your Windows Updates and get right with your machine. Then get a good antivirus from mine or samsara's profile (his is linked in mine) and watch where you're going with things :)
posted by deezil at 7:37 PM on May 13, 2014 [3 favorites]

I have a similar little low-spec notebook that I was given, running Windows 7 Starter, and had no end of trouble with it. It was slow to boot, slow to use, and generally wasn't fit for day-to-day use.

In the end, I wiped the whole thing off and replaced the OS with Xubuntu, a Linux system designed to be lightweight for use on not particularly powerful computers. There's no need to pirate it, because it's available for free, and it is nowhere near as susceptible to viruses and malware as Windows.

If all you're doing on the computer is web browsing, email and that kind of thing, there's really no need to be running a Windows OS - my notebook boots and works several times faster with Xubuntu than it did with Win 7 and does everything I need a notebook to do. Unless you're running some software that absolutely requires Windows, then take a look at Linux.
posted by winterhill at 1:44 AM on May 14, 2014

any oem windows 7 home premium disk image will work with the key on the outside of your machine.(or starter. the link you gave to newegg said the system had home premium, but the instructions below this will still work. you just have to do this)

Don't pay for a copy of your windows image, go get it from the official links here! then take a thumbdrive and use this.

Then go here and redownload all your drivers and stuff.

I would do a clean install at this point too. As in, format the drive and start from scratch. You can back up some files if you want, but scan them reputable antivirus and antimalware software on another machine first. I recommend nod32 and malwarebytes, which will catch essentially anything.
posted by emptythought at 2:05 AM on May 14, 2014

I had one too many headaches with Windows some years ago. Xubuntu has already been mentioned above. Why not check out its website?

Or, how about Ubuntu? That's the one I use. The Ubuntu operating system is FREE. The apps (word processing, etc) look familiar to anyone who is used to Windows stuff. But Ubuntu's software programmes are FREE. Moreover, system updates are painless. And the system itself is much less vulnerable to malware.

Ubuntu? Highly recommended.
posted by Mister Bijou at 3:38 AM on May 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Thirding Ubuntu. I use Ubuntu on my main computer and Lubuntu on an older laptop. Like Xubuntu it's designed to be lightweight and fast. Ubuntu and its variants are virtually impenetrable when it comes to viruses and junk.
posted by jpe at 4:25 AM on May 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

I use Lubuntu, a slimmer--and also free--version of Ubuntu, on our family computer. It's fast, simple, easy to use enough so my kids can use it and does everything a family needs to do.

Computer is 14 years old and runs like a new one.
posted by gonzo_ID at 7:14 AM on May 19, 2014

« Older That Clean ...Risky?! Chew   |   Find me a font? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.