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.

9b. Reload your OS: Windows 8 To restore from a backup using Windows 8, start by rebooting the computer while holding the shift key. This will bring up the troubleshooting window.

Click on Advanced options and then on System Image Recovery to start the process. After picking the backup image you want to use (the one that was just made), click Finish and the system will begin to copy your files onto the new drive.

If you want to upgrade to Windows 8 from Windows 7, it's fairly simple: Instead of using your startup DVD, put the upgrade disc into the drive, select everything that you want to move (Windows settings, personal files and apps) to the new OS and click Next. Plan on it taking a couple of hours.

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