Sigh ... My aged HP laptop can't be upgraded from XP. It is maxed out with 1 gig of ram and a bigger hard drive and use it with a Visioneer scanner that is not supported by later releases of Windows, so can't use it with my desktop. My small form factor computer with 2 gig of ram was recently upgraded to Windows 7. When I went to start it the other day, it wouldn't power up.
I'm about to make the Linux plunge with my laptop, having burned a DVD with Ubuntu 12.04 and will try it out without installing it on the hard drive.