One common occurrence that we run into while working with used laptops is when the owner of the computer has owned it for several years but finds that it has gotten slow over time. They usually have good things to say about the laptop like how it has performed well for them since they have owned it. Yet when they use it they typically mention how it has just become too slow even during everyday basic laptop use. In some of these instances the owner will have several utilities installed on the laptop that keep the system clean, typically things like system tools and antivirus programs. However many times there will be too many of these types of programs installed and they will actually have a detrimental effect on the actual performance of the laptop. This is often why the owner just wants to get rid of their used laptop and upgrade to a newer one.
We have seen this time and again over the years yet we have also seen even more instances where there was an inadequate amount of effort put into installing the basics like a firewall and anti virus program. In these cases the used laptop has usually slowed down because of too much bloat and spyware on the system. Over the years used laptops can accumulate a huge amount of bloat from simple everyday usage and the installation (and often improper un-installation) of programs. This is normal and is the result of merely using a computer for exactly what it was intended to be used for in the first place. Yet since there has been an inadequate effort put forth to keeping it well maintained, the owner decides that it is time to upgrade to a new computer.
This is understandable really, and the fact is that a proper professional tune up can be somewhat expensive and wanting to trade-in or sell the used laptop is often a good decision for them. Many people do grow in their needs for more updated or more powerful specifications which new models can offer. Yet this also creates a great opportunity for buyers who are looking for working used laptops under 100 which simply need some cleaning up. Typically we spend time checking and testing the hardware on the laptops first when we acquire a used laptop. As for cleaning up the operating system, spyware or other software it is frequently not worth it. Formatting the hard drive and doing a proper clean installation of the operating system is the way to go in most situations.
It is necessary to install the operating system which was originally on the used laptop. This is easy enough to identify from within the system or by the sticker on the bottom of the laptop (on the majority of models). This is also where we will get the license key to install the operating system properly, and legally. As far as determining whether you have found a good deal or not, see our used laptop checklist which will help guide you through what the most important things are to look for on any make or model and especially on second hand laptops under £150. Knowing what to look at will increase your chances of getting a good cheap used laptop computer that hopefully only needs a clean install of the operating system, driver updates and basic security programs to get you up and running.