Bringing an Alien back from the grave

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Me and my Alienware laptop go back a long way. We need some spare laptops for a course that I’m helping with, and I was wondering how hard it would be to get an 8 year old laptop to run Windows 10.

It turns out to be a bit tricky, but possible. I had to ignore dire warnings about graphics cards and press on with the installation anyway.. Then, afterwards I found some original drivers and installed enough of them for the automatic Windows 10 update to take over and install the rest. The biggest headache was spending some time trying to work out why the WiFi card hadn’t been detected, only to discover that I hadn’t actually turned it on using FN+F3.

It now works a treat. I’m missing drivers for the SD card and the firewire port, but I don’t need those. As a machine it is pretty responsive. In fact it now books more quickly than it used to. If you have an old machine that you want to rejuvenate, I’d strongly advise you to have a go. The Windows 10 update process has a very good rollback behaviour that means you are unlikely to break the machine and you might end up with something much more useful.