Home network update Part 2: Laptop’s operating system upgrade


As mentioned earlier, I kept having issues with my home laptop. It is an entry-level Lenovo G550, with basic specs like 15,6-inch screen, Intel Celeron Dual Core T3100 CPU @ 1,9 GHz, 2048MB DDR3 RAM, a modest Intel GMA X4500 GPU and 250GB HD. The laptop is othing special, but obtained back in 2010 for serving basic tasks, such as web browsing, word pr

After a batch of recent updates, the laptop started freezing temporarily every now and then and I suspected the Internet Explorer update to version 11, as freezes occured while using the browser for watching YouTube video. Even though I use Chrome myself, my wife uses Explorer in her user account, so I had issues with that. Since I had never formatted/refreshed the laptop before, I decided to take some time, back everything up (a really time-consuming process, as there was not enough free space in the 2nd partition of the hard disk and the external one was not the fastest around) and re-install the original Windows 7 Home Premium. However, I remembered that I had purchased a Windows 8 Pro license some months ago to be used with my Acer 751h netbook, hoping that iy would bring some fresh air in the low-end hardware; however, due to the fact that the GMA500 GPU was not supported, I decided to uninstall Windows 8 and keep the license for another instance.

ocessing and  movies, among others. It has been through a lot during these years, such as frequent falling (my son liked to push it from the desk down to the floor), and it became rather sluggish over the years. It came with Windows 7 Home Premium which were never upgraded or formatted. It is the core of my home network, which also consists of my netbook (Acer 751h), a Lenovo A1 Android tablet and my LG Optimus 7 (E900) Windows Phone (7.8).

Installation was quick and easy; all hardware was correctly identified. However, I faced an issue with the license key: Despite the fact that it has long been inactive and uninstalled from my netbook, I was unable to activate my license in this case. I tried all methods I found online but the only one that actually worked was to call Microsoft’s line and follow the guidelines in order to get my license back again. In the end I managed to activate the license properly but still I was frustrated by the fact that I had to go through this process despite the fact that there were no two machines using the same license.

The next step was to update to Windows 8.1; I left my laptop working overnight for downloading and installing this large update. After that, I started setting up my software again (e.g. Google Chrome, 7zip, Dropbox/Sugarsync/Skydrive etc.) and everything seems to be working properly. I realized that there were some things still not working properly (e.g. Windows Experience Index missing, some distortion with the graphics and the lack of Aero functionalities). After uninstalling the GPU’s driver at least the distortions were minimized (if not totally eliminated). In addition, there was an issue with the touchpad (the part for scrolling up and down) which was also solved after installing some official drivers from the web).

Despite the fact that I have not used the laptop intensively during the last days, I have the impression that the laptop is more responsive now with Windows 8.1 compared to Windows 7 Home Premium. Maybe a re-install of Windows 7 would be sufficient but since I had the opportunity to try Windows 8 Pro. At least there are no freezes or lags yet so everyone seems to be happy with the update.

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