My son has an old Compaq Laptop 6710b running XPpro. He asked about installing Windows8 on it. We understand you can install Windows8 on it.. Is running Windows 8 on such an old unit a bad idea? -- A meeting is an event at which the minutes are kept and the hours are lost.
"Just because you can do a thing, it does not follow that you should do a thing."
I think that it is not a good idea. I think you'd be better off re-installing XP than replacing it with Win8; Win7 would be a better choice than Win8. If you really want Win8, then you should also get new hardware to support at least some of its new features. -- "Face piles of trials with smiles; it riles them to believe that you perceive the web they weave."
I've had the displeasure of using a old computer with xp, and 1GB of ram. The old onboard video can't handle video well at all, and modern browsers alone put it's memory usage into the pagefile. Buy them a new computer instead of wasting money on that one. -- I distrust those people who know so well what god wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires- Susan B. Anthony Yesterday we obeyed kings, and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to the truth- Kahlil G.
Upgrade the ram in your Compaq laptop to 2gb. That's all you need to do. You are already running XP Pro on the laptop.
That's the best choice for your hardware, IMO. That's what I'm on now as this is typed. It works fine that way for most tasks, including watching movies from the DVD drive and videos from the Internet.
Of course, if you've got money to burn, buy a new W7 or W8 64bit computer.