I fix laptops for people in our community in NZ (for a small koha (gift/donation) as it is not the wealthiest place in our country) and one issue that is becoming apparent is the failure of hard drives with OEM windows 7 installed.
This version of windows is installed by the computer manufacturer and once the hard drive goes it cannot be reinstalled like windows 7 retail could be.
Here a new hard drive is about $100, and Windows 7 is about $160, so the cost of replacing the hard drive + OS is already approaching the cost of a new laptop. The hard drives I am learning only have an expected life span of 3-5 years. Also, most laptops only have 2gb of RAM so upgrading to Win10 is a problem unless RAM is upgraded.
So, my question is, are there any practical alternatives to replacing the hard drive and Windows? I am aware of Linux and am considering promoting that as an option, but people may be resistant to learning a new OS.
I'm looking forward to any practical suggestions thank you very much.