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.

6. Back up your data With the start-up media done, it's time to back up the existing hard drive using an external USB hard drive. (If you have a large-enough cloud storage account, you can back everything up online, but it will likely take much longer.)

After you attach the external drive, go to Windows' Backup and Restore page and click on "Set up backup." Highlight the external drive as the data's destination and select "Let me choose." You can then set the software to copy every file.

Next, click on the data you want copied: Local Disk (C:). Click Next to start.

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