15 free downloads to pep up your old PC

Can't afford a new PC? These free tools for Windows will help breathe new life into your old machine.

Keep your PC running in tip-top shape by cleaning its Windows Registry with Eusing Free Registry Cleaner.

Keep your PC running in tip-top shape by cleaning its Windows Registry with Eusing Free Registry Cleaner.

Get a new operating system

Frustrated with your old operating system but don't want to spend the money to get a new one? No problem. The following file installs Linux as a dual-boot option on your PC for free.

Wubi Ubuntu Installer

Sometimes you want a new PC because you'd like a new operating system, but your PC's processor and RAM can't handle a new one. Here's a way to get the best of both worlds: Use this free program to install a dual-boot version of Ubuntu Linux on your PC.

With it, whenever you reboot, you'll be able to boot either your existing version of Windows, or instead boot Linux. And you won't have to muck around with bootloaders, partitions, special drivers or other kinds of assorted nastiness usually required to get two different operating systems on your PC. Instead, it installs just like a piece of Windows software.

If you haven't installed Linux before, you'll be quite surprised at how peppy it is. It requires much less hardware overhead than Windows, and so is quite fast, even on an older PC. There's also plenty of free software to try out, and it ships with a good deal of free software as well, including the office suite OpenOffice.org.

For more details about how to install and use Linux for Windows users, see my article, " Living free with Linux: 2 weeks without Windows."

Works with: Windows 98/2000/XP/Vista

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Preston Gralla

Computerworld
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