Full upgrade of a old windows laptop.

Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
1,263
Location
The Woods of NY
I bought this Toshiba laptop a couple years ago for the low low of 20 bucks. It was completely unusable, but I needed super basic windows os laptop to update my ODB-2 code reader. a 5 plus hour format and OS install later on the mechanical hard drive, I was able to update the code scanner and quickly put the laptop away.

Here we are in 2022 now.. and I still have this cheap laptop with a working battery. So I decided to upgrade and see if I could make it usable.

It had the most basic specs:
Windows 8.1
AMD dual core E1-1200 @1.40 GHz
4GB ram
500GB spinning hard drive
64 Bit OS.

I have all the extra parts already so I did not buy anything, and just installed what I had into it.

Took laptop apart to firstly replace the Cpu thermal paste and clean only and only small fan. I used A/S 5 Thermal Paste. Next was to upgrade the ram It only has one slot but I had a 8GB chip that fit the bill then was a 500GB solid state drive and then finally was the installation of windows 10 home.

Current specs after upgrades:
Windows 10 Home
Still has the AMD dual core
8GB ram
500GB SSD
64 Bit oS.

two hours later from state to finish, and this laptop is very usable now for basic if light use. The duel core AMD is the bottle neck here, but as a whole it is a extremely cheap feeling laptop, the keyboard is mid blowing bad, and the screen is terrible... BUT its usable, and updated to the most recent Win 10 OS and last hours on the battery. I'm thinking this will be a garage computer or something like that..
Why I did this was "just because" - I love doing it (and I hate e waste)

IMG_1809.jpeg
 
Joined
May 21, 2018
Messages
3,269
Location
South Carolina
Good Job!!! Like you, I enjoy re-purposing other people's trash. But I have it a little easier because I use Linux OS and it makes the old stuff fly!
EDIT: The wife and I have 12 year old ThinkPads and I have another 12 year old Inspiron min that a friend gave me. All in daily use with 64b OS and running great.
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
18,757
Location
NE,Ohio
I couldnt use that its laughably slow. as in 1/4 the speed of super slow netbooks from 5 years ago.

Cpu benchmark is 374

they were selling 69.99 laptops the other day that were 4x faster.

A 10 year old celeron b815 from 2012 ( in a 200$ laptop at the time) is 2x as fast.

That must truely have been an exercise in patience.

for comparison my intel skylake i7-6700k from 2016 is 11400 or aprox 31 times faster.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 15, 2010
Messages
7,841
Location
Connecticut
It's amazing how just replacing the old spinning hard drive with an SSD and upgrading the RAM can make an old computer that much better. I have a ~2012 Macbook pro as a garage computer. It's something I got for free, that I don't really care about keeping clean, and I stuck an SSD in it and the max amount of RAM (16GB I think?). It runs perfect for browsing the web and looking up small engine specs, parts diagrams, and youtube videos in the garage without the worry of getting my nice computer greasy.
 

1 SX

Thread starter
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
1,263
Location
The Woods of NY
I couldnt use that its laughably slow. as in 1/4 the speed of super slow netbooks from 5 years ago.

Cpu benchmark is 374

they were selling 69.99 laptops the other day that were 4x faster.

A 10 year old celeron b815 from 2012 ( in a 200$ laptop at the time) is 2x as fast.

That must truely have been an exercise in patience.

for comparison my intel skylake i7-6700k from 2016 is 11400 or aprox 31 times faster.
Yeah garage computer is about all its good for. even with the ssd, and 8GB ram, the amd is painfully slow.

But upgrading to SSD is where the extra speed cam from. The 5400 rpm spinning disk just could not transfer any amount of data.

EDIT: went into Windows 10 performance settings and disable all visual affects and all that stuff, it's far from snappy but usable
 
Joined
May 7, 2015
Messages
559
Location
AZ
unless you're stuck to windows, a linux install would bring great life to that older hardware.
 

OVERKILL

$100 Site Donor 2021
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
53,089
Location
Ontario, Canada
I've done a few of these that I donate to low income or elderly people that just need something to do basic web browsing. As noted, that AMD CPU is really bad, lol.
 
Joined
May 21, 2018
Messages
3,269
Location
South Carolina
I couldnt use that its laughably slow. as in 1/4 the speed of super slow netbooks from 5 years ago.

Cpu benchmark is 374

they were selling 69.99 laptops the other day that were 4x faster.

A 10 year old celeron b815 from 2012 ( in a 200$ laptop at the time) is 2x as fast.

That must truely have been an exercise in patience.

for comparison my intel skylake i7-6700k from 2016 is 11400 or aprox 31 times faster.
Some of us move slowly. Like our computers ;)
 
Joined
May 21, 2018
Messages
3,269
Location
South Carolina
It's amazing how just replacing the old spinning hard drive with an SSD and upgrading the RAM can make an old computer that much better. I have a ~2012 Macbook pro as a garage computer. It's something I got for free, that I don't really care about keeping clean, and I stuck an SSD in it and the max amount of RAM (16GB I think?). It runs perfect for browsing the web and looking up small engine specs, parts diagrams, and youtube videos in the garage without the worry of getting my nice computer greasy.
Now you have given away our secrets :rolleyes:
 

1 SX

Thread starter
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
1,263
Location
The Woods of NY
Update time already: Since Windows 10 was not running so hot on this Toshiba, I decided to try Windows 11 with a patcher/code to Skip_TPM_Check_on_Dynamic_Update.cmd for this AMD cpu...

Installation was smooth sailing if longer then it should of been... After disabling all the visual eye candy - I do believe its slightly more snappy. Firefox opens slightly quicker, websites load just a touch faster. even the main settings app open within a respectful amount of time for the hardware its running on.

This was a clean installation from Windows 10 using Windows 11 disk ISO. All windows 11 updates downloaded and installed no issues and everything works fine... So well actually I'm shocked Windows 11 is not officially compatible with more and older systems.. even some couple year old cpus are excluded because of lack of TPM. Also to note the Windows 10 home product key worked for the Windows 11 home activation. I think I'll keep 11 installed because it does run better, if only slightly optimized, there is a positive improvement in performance.

IMG_1810.jpeg
IMG_1811.jpeg
IMG_1812.jpeg
 
Joined
Aug 3, 2017
Messages
2,133
Location
MN
I'm all about using older laptops with modern upgrades. If you're doing nothing more than web surfing and streaming, there's no need for anything new.

I'm still using my second hand HP Elitebook 8730W that I picked up on eBay for like $150 years ago. Win 10 Pro, Core 2 Duo T9600 @ 2.8GHz, 4 gigs RAM, and a 500 gig solid state drive from Micro Center. The battery is shot, but I never take it out of the house. It's a 17" behemoth, which is why I love it. Physical NUM pads are a thing for me.
 

1 SX

Thread starter
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
1,263
Location
The Woods of NY
Not gonna lie, it is PERFECT for BITOG while in the garage. Even How to YouTube videos load a 720P lol.

Started thinking tho.... can I use a ODB-2 software and cable to read check engine codes and live data? That would be pretty cool to make this a diagnostics tool...
I know nothing about the software, or how that would work though.. I use a dedicated odb-2 code scanner that gives a TON of info.. but it would be so much nicer on the 15 inch screen vs 4.8 inch of the handheld.
 

1 SX

Thread starter
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
1,263
Location
The Woods of NY
here is one for $126 free ship with 7x faster cpu.
its not terrible 2720 cpu mark vs 374

At least a website wont bring it to its knees for 5min.. and you can actually watch a youtube help video on it.
you gotta have faith... and some patience to use this laptop. BUT it works and was only 20 bucks... maybe I over paid haha. the upgrades are worth more than the laptop though... but I can remove everything when that time comes.

I am not expecting miracles with a super slow 1.4 GHz dual core AMD cpu.... But YouTube How to videos, and BITOG both work pretty well. Firefox opens and loads in under 9 secs flat... All joking aside, once Firefox is open its pretty usable for super light one single tab browsing.

But at the end of the day. its gonna be a Windows 11 garage unit... or if I can set it up with OBD-2 software with a cable and use it a a diagnostics tool.
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
18,757
Location
NE,Ohio
I'm all about using older laptops with modern upgrades. If you're doing nothing more than web surfing and streaming, there's no need for anything new.

I'm still using my second hand HP Elitebook 8730W that I picked up on eBay for like $150 years ago. Win 10 Pro, Core 2 Duo T9600 @ 2.8GHz, 4 gigs RAM, and a 500 gig solid state drive from Micro Center. The battery is shot, but I never take it out of the house. It's a 17" behemoth, which is why I love it. Physical NUM pads are a thing for me.
That is 3x faster :LOL:
 
Top