Old laptop, backing up data and installing new os


Mar 6, 2013
hello, i have a realy really old laptop from like 2008 and its running pretty slow and hot. Im going to pop the back off and clean out the inside, add some thermal paste to hopefully take care of the heat. I have alot of documents and pictures that i want to keep but i have vista which i do not want. how would i go about backing up all my hard drive data, then cleaning the hard drive to factory, and reinstalling new os with the backed up information. can a old laptop even boot without an OS. Im just wondering possible complications with this old laptop

model - pavillion dv5 - 1002nr


Oct 4, 2006
A laptop from 2008 should be able to at least boot from a CD or DVD. Heck, my Dell Latitude D531 from 2007 can boot from a USB flash drive (that was how I got OpenSUSE on it!).

As for backing stuff up, if it is just documents and pictures, you can copy those to some other media (flash drive, CD/DVD, or an external hard drive). Any software you wanted to save would need to be reinstalled anyway, so as long as you have the install media, nothing needs to be done to back them up.