Q&A What sort of issues do you face when dealing with aging laptops (ie. older than 5 years)?

Spawn

Administrator
Verified
Staff member
Jan 8, 2011
21,158
What sort of issues do you face when dealing with aging laptops (ie. older than 5 years)?

I've experienced:
- battery failure
- reduced battery life
- no new updates for drivers
- slower wi-fi connectivity speeds
- general wear and tear (as expected)
 

ZeePriest

Level 5
Jul 2, 2020
223
I had issues with my old laptop's battery going bad and then failing to supply power. I also had to change my original charger which had also stopped working. General wear and tear as expected. Other than that everything worked fine and I didn't have any slow down issues nor wifi connectivity issues.
 

Protomartyr

Level 7
Verified
Sep 23, 2019
322
I've been using my ThinkPad S1 Yoga for 6 years and it's still going strong. What I've noticed that has changed:
  • Reduced battery life (lasts around 1-2 hours unplugged)
  • No new driver updates (especially problematic if you have a driver that is not compatible with Windows build 2004)
  • General wear and tear
The battery problem can be fixed by just purchasing a battery from Lenovo and installing it myself. Luckily it's easy to order parts from Lenovo and their service manuals are very detailed. I'm still on Windows 10 1909 and haven't received any updates to build 2004 or later. Lenovo has stated that the S1 Yoga is compatible with build 2004 so I'm just waiting for my device to receive the update.

Performance is still excellent but my needs have changed. I need more RAM to handle the VMs that I run (currently have 8 GB that is soldered; 16 GB is what I would prefer). I also would like to do some gaming so a dedicated GPU is another requirement of mine (currently have Intel integrated graphics). When I do eventually get a new laptop, I still plan on using my S1 Yoga regularly.
 

roger_m

Level 33
Verified
Content Creator
Dec 4, 2014
2,252
I use older laptops every day. The main computer I use is an 8 year old laptop. The following are some of the issues I encounter.
  • Reduced battery life.
  • Dead batteries, including CMOS batteries.
  • Running hot. I clean out the air vents with an air compressor to blow away the accumulated dust and occasionally need to reapply thermal paste.
  • Lack of USB 3.0 ports.
  • Sticky surfaces. Some old laptops (but fortunately not many) have a rubber coating that deteriorates and becomes sticky with age.
I'm dealing with quite a range of older laptops, as I regularly buy and sell them. For the most part, I find the lack of driver updates to only rarely be an issue. I own two 14 year old laptops that have major video glitches after I upgraded them build 2004 of Windows 10, but had no such issues with previous builds. But other than that, I rarely have issues. The potential lack of recent drivers, usually does not matter. Unless you are experiencing device issues, it doesn't matter if you don't have recent drivers. For older devices, for which there are no Windows 10 drivers available, usually Windows 7 drivers will work just fine. I say this as someone who is very regularly doing clean installs of Windows 10 on older systems.

As well as that, some older hardware still continues to receive driver updates. As an example, on the 8 year old laptop I'm typing this on, the Realtek network and audio drivers are just 4 months old. While the drivers provided by the laptop manufacturer are from 2018 for the network driver and 2013 for the audio driver, Realtek themselves continues to release new drivers. Just bear in mind that while your computer manufacturer will most likely only provide driver updates for a short period of time, after that you will still be able to find more recent drivers online, e.g. from the websites of the actual device manufacturers, or by using driver update software.
 
Last edited:

dinosaur07

Level 10
Verified
Aug 5, 2012
462
I am using an old dell lap and I encountered so far these:

1. Battery failure.
2. BSOD (ah swap messages) related to power supply problems.
3. Connectivity cable issues.
4. Sometimes slow responsiveness but this is more related to software rather than hardware or it could be said that old hardware is not something good for the software devs. 😊
5. Lack of a strong performance for the latest software development.
 
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