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Windows 7/Upgrading older Dell computer


Hello Mike,
My name is Ron Steen and you were referred to me by Marianne at the Penticton United Church. My wife is a member there.
I read your "expertise" profile and although you note that your primary focus is on Windows 7 & 8, if you are unable to help us perhaps you could refer us to another expert.
Our problem is as follows:
We have an older Dell desk top computer (8-10 years old I think).
It is a Pentium 4 - 2.66 GHz hard drive with 1GB of Ram
operating system is Windows XP SP2
Our system was extremely slow and in an effort to increase the speed, I offloaded a lot of music and photo files to increase the amount of Ram space. It did improve some but was still very slow.
On the advise of our daughter who is using Shaw internet,
we recently changed our internet provider from Telus to Shaw.  The speed has improved dramatically and we are very happy with it.
We are retired and only use our computer for surfing the net,emails, Skype, some banking purposes etc. We don't play any games or watch movies or anything like that.
Another problem we encountered when we switched to Shaw was that we lost the antivirus protection provided by Telus and now we can't download the Shaw antivirus because our computer isn't powerful enough to handle it.
I tried downloading an antivirus program online but encountered the same problem. Our system needs to be upgraded.
My question is:
Would it be possible to upgrade this computer by adding some extra Ram and installing Windows 7 and antivirus protection. If so would you be able to give an approximate cost to do all of that.

Sorry for the long-winded email. Just wanted to make sure I covered everything.

Thank you for your time.

Ron Steen

Hello Ron

First of all thank you for contacting me, however how you contacted me was through a public forum "all experts" where I volunteer my time to help those with computer problems/questions, as you have.. since this is more of a referral, I will do my best to answer you but ask that you contact Marianne for my personal email address or visit my website contact here  and fill out the form (since I do not publish that to the world).

A quick answer to your question would be "yes" your computer could be upgraded but I would never recommend Windows 7 as Windows 8 is now out and would work much better for an older computer since the operating system is more refined and is more efficient then Windows 7, especially on a computer with less RAM memory and processor speed.  Not to mention the cost of a Windows 8 upgrade is $39.95 whereas Windows 7 will run you over $100 to upgrade.  But this being said, knowing the age of the current computer and the hard drive itself,  I would be recommending installing a new hard drive and doing that would place the cost of upgrades with hardware (new hard drive) at least $70 and then the cost of the Windows 8 upgrade $40 you are essentially half way there from purchasing an entirely new computer that would already have windows 8 installed and would have a much faster processor (CPU) and new hard drive.  Since you can now purchase a new computer at sub $400 pricing!

Please contact Marrianne or visit my website contact here   and fill out the form and I will follow this up with more information and a link to install remote software so that, if nothing else, I can get your existing system operational and the installation of off-site backup software so that regardless of what you decide, we can rest assured that your data is safe.


Mike Dacre

follow me on twitter @tpsconsulting

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Mike Dacre


As I have been volunteering in the 'windows' category since the inception of AllExperts, which has now moved to numerous windows categories. I will therefore be happy to answer any Windows 7,8 and 10 based question. What can't I answer? Not much, as this is the main reason I volunteered here, because I am hopeful the questions I can not answer will allow me to investigate the problem so that I can answer it. The TIPS and SOFTWARE support through my website at can also be of some help.


I have owned my own computer consulting business for the past 17 years and since the very beginning I have volunteered with AllExperts in the hopes I would be able to learn from others mistakes and problems. The goal for me is to be able to research any problem I don't initially have the answer to, in the hopes I will be able to further benefit for my own clients when they come across a similar problem.

More information can be found at my website


I grew up with computers, from the first Apple IIC, back when Bill Gates was a student himself! For the past 17 years I have been providing technical services from building computers to constructing complete control rooms. Working with CTV I have helped produce the 1994 Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway. Later, designing and construction of "instant replay control rooms' for the Big Screens found in Stadiums and Coliseums.

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