In Pictures: 14 steps to a better, faster Windows laptop

After a couple of years, most laptops fall seriously behind the times. Here are several ways to upgrade your legacy laptop to meet today's standards.

Time to upgrade I recently explained how you can clean out your laptop and increase its efficiency. However, sometimes what you really need is an upgrade.

What follows is a step-by-step rundown on how to give a legacy notebook a new lease on life by adding more RAM and a solid state drive (SSD), as well as the latest USB, HDMI and Wi-Fi hardware. As an example, I used my three-year-old HP EliteBook 2560p laptop, which is powered by a second-generation 2.6GHz Intel Core i5 processor and includes 4GB of RAM, a 320GB hard drive and Windows 7 Professional.

(I have not upgraded my operating system, although you can always switch to Windows 8 or Linux if you choose.)

Grab your tools and let's get started.

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