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Tips For Users of Older Computers (revised 7-5-16)

If you are using any older computer use caution installing newer software.

 

Barrettism:
Always Back up your data before doing any maintenance

Many of the newer programs do not work well with older computers. Some programs will not install at all. Others are slow as molasses. Here are some of my experiences. The reverse is now true also. Newer Windows do not like some older programs. Windows will tell you it does not like a program when you try to install it. Listen to it! You may try Compatability mode. It works in some instances. Google it for instructions.

Here's some history about what Windows required in different versions.

Windows Version

Minimum Required

Needed To Function

Works Best At

Program size

Hard drive size needed

3.1

286, 1 MB RAM

386, 4 MB

486, 8 MB

10/20 MB

60+ MB basic

100+ if using Office

95

386, 4 MB RAM

486, 8/16 MB

486 -100, 32MB

80/120 MB

300+ MB basic

500+ if using Office

98

486, 16MB RAM

Pentium, 32MB

Pentium 166, 64MB

150/200 MB

1 GB basic

2+ if using Office

Me

Pentium 150, 32 MB

Pentium 200, 64 MB

Pentium 500, 128 MB

200/400

3 GB basic

6 GB + for Office & graphics

XP

Pentium 500, 128 MB RAM

Pentium 1Ghz, 256

Pentium 1.5, 512

about 1.5 Gb or more

20 GB minimum, best at 40 Plus

Check on line to see what you need for any version of Windows.

Microsoft Office: Just keeps getting bigger as well.

Games: Many current games are designed for the newer computers and will not work on older ones, especially if your video is not up to date.

As a rule of thumb, never try to put any program on a machine that meets the minimum specs. At least double them.

Extra Tip: Buy all software from Costco. They are the only retail store that will allow refunds on opened software. Unfortunately their selection is poor. Costco On Line is now selling software for those who don't have a store close. You may need to buy a membership before purchasing. Another place to shop for books and software is Sam's Club On Line

If you really want to get away from this attempt by Microsoft to obsolete everything every two years, check out my discussion of alternatives.

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