Upgrade from XP to Windows 7?


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first time poster...question involves upgrading to a Win7 version from WinXP/Svc Pack3...now have Lenovo All in One running XP, getting some error msgs from websites that really don't support XP anymore, plus PC now running slower and slower... need to make decision on whether to try to upgrade to Win 7 and keep current pc, which is fine for our usage in surfing with occasional videos online or buy new one...I meet all specs for a PC running Win7, except possible lack of DirectX 9.0...it boils down to either buying new desktop w/Win 7 or Win 8 for $500-600, or else just upgrading to Win 7 and possibly downloading the DirectX adaptor software, and making things work for less.

Any ideas? I've heard from several sources and you are not able to upgrade XP to Win7, others say you can if PC meets minimum specs...thanks in advance,
Ray9640
 
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TrainableMan

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There is a legal upgrade from XP to Win 7 so you can buy the upgrade version, if you can even find it, since 8 is out now. But what is required to install it is called a custom install; basically what that means is that you need to back up all your data/settings with Windows Easy Transfer (you can download it free for WinXP) to an external harddrive, then install the W7 OS, then restore your data/settings with Windows Easy Transfer, and finally, reinstall all of your other programs (Microsoft Office, firefox, chrome, games, ccleaner, etc).
 
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There is a legal upgrade from XP to Win 7 so you can buy the upgrade version, if you can even find it, since 8 is out now. But what is required to install it is called a custom install; basically what that means is that you need to back up all your data/settings with Windows Easy Transfer (you can download it free for WinXP) to an external harddrive, then install the W7 OS, then restore your data/settings with Windows Easy Transfer, and finally, reinstall all of your other programs (Microsoft Office, firefox, chrome, games, ccleaner, etc).
 
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Thanks much for the advice...main point you make is that there is a legal upgrade from XP to W7...this will
allow me to try the upgrade after saving what needs to be kept...if it works, I've saved hundreds...if not, and
I screw it up, then go buy new PC...win-win situation.
I appreciate the time and interest in your reply,
ray9640
 
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Something to think about--when Microsoft talks about the minimum hardware specs to run Win 7 (or 8), the minimum machine will run the operating system but you may not be happy with how your software runs in the resources that are left. If you don't use it for much but surfing the web, doing email, and other things that don't require much in the way of resources, you will probably be fine, particularly if you don't do two things at once, like working on documents while you surf the web in another window. Beyond just the processor and RAM specs, check out whether any of the other devices or peripherals are known to have compatibility problems with Win 7. If, in addition to the cost of the upgrade, you find that you have to start replacing or upgrading things, the upgrade will be pouring good money after bad on a machine that is probably at the end of its hardware design life. As components start to go due to age, you will be buying a new computer piece by piece, only it won't have the capabilities of a current model thatyou buy initially.

Also, upgrading from XP to 7 may be jumping from the frying pan into the fire. You don't have a lot of choice about leaving XP, but 7 has its own set of problems. In the last year or so, 7 has been patched so much and has had so many problems that people have speculated about whether Microsoft has been purposely degrading 7 to encourage people to move to 8. Win 7, in its current state, is not something I would spend money on to upgrade to.

If it were me, I wouldn't put any money into a machine of that age, especially to upgrade it to Win 7. If you buy a new computer, get one with Win 8.x (latest version available at the time you buy). I'm not a big fan of Win 8, but it's really the only game in town if you want a Windows machine.

There actually is a third option, which I just did on an XP machine, probably of similar age. That is to load Linux (which I had never used before but didn't like the available options with Microsoft). You can try it without affecting the XP installation and if you like it, install it for free. A good version for an old XP machine and a Windows user is Linux Mint Xfce (here's a link: http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=2656). It runs well with the resources of an old XP machine (faster and cleaner than XP), it's very similar to Windows XP, and it comes with a complete suite of good software, including the equivalent of MS Office, so you can use it out-of-the box. It is also very complete in terms of having the drivers it is likely to need to work with your computer. If you like it, your XP machine will run better than it did before, it won't cost you a dime, and you can run your hardware until the wheels fall off. Just be aware that when you run it from a DVD to evaluate it, a DVD is much slower than a hard disk, so the performance won't be very perky in that mode. There are actually many varieties of Linux that will run on an old XP machine and are very "Windows"-like, and you can try them all before you decide if you want to load one.
 

TrainableMan

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Linux has it's own issues like finding compatible drivers and changing to new software. I would never suggest Linux over W7 for most users. Besides, this is a W7 forum. The truth is, if you have 3GB of RAM or more and 100GB of hard drive space then W7 will likely run perfectly fine for you, even if you run 2-5 applications at a time, true we aren't talking high-end graphic games or CADCAM software but you couldn't do that well in XP either.

Most W7 patches are for security because there are bad people out there trying to hurt others. I have not noticed any degradation in my W7 performance. The biggest cause of slow-downs affects XP, Vista, Win 7, & Win 8 and are generally self-inflicted by the users themselves, not Windows patches. Users install numerous toolbars, or pieces of software that start-up automatically and run in memory whether the program is used or not, and software that self-updates, and even worse, software which may include viruses. All these things slow down the computer or browsing and the average user has no idea all that may be happening in the background. The best way to keep a computer fast is to only install software you use, keep toolbars to a minimum, keep start-up processes to a minimum, and, especially on wi-fi connected devices, limit automatic updates except for your antivirus software and instead take the responsibility to check once a month.
 
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Linux has it's own issues like finding compatible drivers and changing to new software. I would never suggest Linux over W7 for most users. Besides, this is a W7 forum. The truth is, if you have 3GB of RAM or more and 100GB of hard drive space then W7 will likely run perfectly fine for you, even if you run 2-5 applications at a time, true we aren't talking high-end graphic games or CADCAM software but you couldn't do that well in XP either.
3 GB RAM and 100 GB HDD--absolutely. But how many machine came with those kinds of resources and Win XP? A really good XP machine had 1 GB RAM, which was a lot at that time. Ray9640 doesn't say whether the old machine is a laptop. If it was, a hard disk under 100 GB at that time was typical. You can probably get Win 7 to run on such a machine, but not to do the kinds of use you're talking about.

Yes, this is a Windows forum. I offered the Linux suggestion only because it is one of the few realistic solutions for an old XP machine with limited resources. True, there can be issues with finding drivers for some hardware, but Win 7 has its own issues with old XP-compatible hardware. It's easy enough to find out whether there are known problems with specific hardware on either Windows or Linux. With Linux, it is easy enough to actually test and determine whether there are problems without affecting the XP installation. If compatibility problems exist with Win 7, you won't know until after you've wiped XP.

Software isn't that big an issue unless there is a specific program you need that will only run in Windows (and won't run in Wine). Again, there is a lot of software that runs in XP but won't run in Win 7, even with compatibility mode. That's why I kept my old XP machine around. The software bundled with Mint is very similar to the Windows equivalents (some, like Firefox) are the same. I had more problems with MS Office when they introduced a whole new user interface than finding commands in some different places on the Linux equivalents (actually, some of the Linux-based software is easier to use). You go through the same process if you try a different Internet browser--the user interface will be a little different.

Most W7 patches are for security because there are bad people out there trying to hurt others. I have not noticed any degradation in my W7 performance. The biggest cause of slow-downs affects XP, Vista, Win 7, & Win 8 and are generally self-inflicted by the users themselves, not Windows patches. Users install numerous toolbars, or pieces of software that start-up automatically and run in memory whether the program is used or not, and software that self-updates, and even worse, software which may include viruses. All these things slow down the computer or browsing and the average user has no idea all that may be happening in the background. The best way to keep a computer fast is to only install software you use, keep toolbars to a minimum, keep start-up processes to a minimum, and, especially on wi-fi connected devices, limit automatic updates except for your antivirus software and instead take the responsibility to check once a month.
I agree with most of your assessment, but I'm referring to new compatibility and other problems that have emerged with Win 7. A big example for me was Outlook 2007. It basically became incompatible with Win 7 (even the unaltered distribution version stopped working in Win 7 as currently patched). In recent weeks, Microsoft has issued tons of patches, and then patches to fix the patches. These are not making Win 7 more stable.

I'm not trying to push Linux, particularly on a Windows forum, and obviously, we don't want to hijack this thread to get into a discussion of the relative merits and problems of Linux vs. Windows. I just think that for someone with old XP hardware with limited resources, Linux can be a good option and it costs nothing to evaluate it and decide for one's self. It's a disservice to withhold the information just because this is a Windows forum.
 
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TrainableMan

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ray9640 said:
Lenovo All in One
It's not a laptop, it's more like a monitor with the computer built into the back of it. Similar to a laptop in that much of it is not very upgradable, though.

Ray, maybe you could tell us a little more about your Lenova's specs, such as how much RAM you have and how much hard drive space you have free, CPU. Normally we can get all that if you specify the Lenova model #. The fact is, if you only have 1GB of RAM you would be better off staying with XP on that machine, 2GB you may be better off with 32bit W7, etc, so the more detail we have the better our recommendation.
 

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