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Attention PC geeks. Help please.

Upgrade?

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#1 Ancient_Mariner

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 05:56 AM

Ok, I'm finally considering upgrading my OS from XP Pro to W7. But, I also have my wife's machine that is Vista Home Premium.

Three basic questions:

1) My thinking here is take care of both at the same time. Is there a W7 upgrade package that will upgrade both for the price of one? Does W7 Ultimate do that? (I understand that Vista will be a simple upgrade, but XP will have to be a clean install...from what I've read on the MS site). I'm just confused as to how many PCs will an upgrade work on...somewhere I read that Ultimate will do 3. True?

2) I realize that some older programs/apps may not run on W7. Does the "XP mode" work well?

3) Should I consider W8 instead? If so, why?

In case there's any question, my current specs are: (I built this 5 years ago and it still runs great)

• CPU: Intel Core2Duo e6750, 2.66 ghz
• MotherBoard: Gigabyte GA-P35-DS4 (Rev. 2.1)
• PSU: Corsair TX750W (Model: CMPSU750TX)
• GFX Card: PNY GeForce 8800GT 512mb, PCIe 2.0 x16 (Nvidia chipset)
• RAM: 2 x Crucial Ballistix BL2KIT12864AA804R (4 gig total) 800/DDR2

I am also considering building a new machine to replace the above, and then install W7 (or W8).


Any input, thoughts, caveats, etc. would be much appreciated. Any fanatical MAC recommendations would not....


#2 PaulinVictoria

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 06:09 AM

1) They used to offer a Windows7 Home Family Pack that allowed you to upgrade 3 XP or Vista machines to Win7 Home Premium. Don't know if you can still get it or not though, it was discontinued, reintroduced. XP needs a clean install, Vista upgrades OK.
2) Most older software can be made to run, the XP mode is a little hit and miss
3) Windows8 sucks balls. Don't bother for at least another 6 months to a year. Utter pile of crap on a desktop, good if you have a tablet.

#3 jimbot

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 06:18 AM

If you can backup your data, it's better to do clean installs on both rather than upgrades.

#4 mustang__1

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 06:22 AM

no idea for the upgrades/how many you can do.

compatibility mode is worthless as always. However, W7 Professional allows for the use of "virtual" WinXP. this is, i assume, hardware intensive so a real old machine may not behave properly with it. i use it to run a program that wanted nothing to do with W7 and 64bit, i couldnt even get it to install. The program itself runs great in the virtual winXP. Left Hook has also had some success running some old video games in virtual winXP. of course if you are using the same old box, you may want to consider setting it up for dual boot. This isnt something i have experience with and, for all intents and purposes, would just assume use the winXP so that i can just run the program without having to do anything special...but if the old box has problems, may as well just dual boot.

note about virtual winXP: when you first set it up, it launches as its own separate window. Literally, it is a windowed WinXP desktop. However, it does require its own virus protection software (im using Defender for it, but AVG for Win7). From the virtual desktop you can set up what programs you want to launch in virtual mode so that all you have to do is go to the shortcut, and the virtual desktop boots in the background but as far as you can tell you are running the program in Win7 - aside from the old style taskbar on top of the windows etc. pretty slick and i have no complaints.

#5 boomer

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 01:48 PM

I bought Win-7 pro for one workstation and Win-7 ultimate for my other workstation computers, and did a clean install and haven't had any issues with incompatible device drivers.

I remember you saying her laptop was an HP. But if your wife's laptop is a consumer HP laptop such as a DV 6700 or lesser grade consumer laptop, there is no HP support for certain drivers, such as the DVD disc player...in fact after doing a clean install, the computer won't even recognize you have a DVD...there are work arounds for this sometimes, but not on all consumer grade laptops.

The same for consumer grade desk top computers, not all manufacturers are supporting clean installation of device drivers.We have a computer "expert" who has been going around installing Win-7 in our community. I've been following behind him cleaning up the mess he left, searching for third party device drivers to install. Third party device drivers haven't been written for all computers, so do a check of your model, and see if the device drivers are available, first at the manufacturer's website, then look at the device manufacturer's website whether it be for audio or DVD, etc, if you still can't find one,then look to see if third party device drivers are available. If you want audio, make sure there are device drivers available for that,because most people want audio. Fortunately I've usually been able to find the device drivers for audio at SoundMAX or third party device drivers for audio.

#6 Ancient_Mariner

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 01:57 AM

Thanks guys. Your responses pose more questions. I still have no idea what W7 to buy, or whether I should blow a whole wad (and my time) to build a new system. A clean install was suggested for both. I KNOW it's necessary for XP, but read that for my wife's HP Desktop VISTA (not a laptop Boomer), just an update works well. Note: the wife's PC isn't used for much. She just mostly uses it for e-mail and googling recipes, so it's really not important if any data is lost or apps won't run. It's tied to mine via a home network wireless router, btw.

Obvously, if there is a W7 version that would update the vista unit AND clean install my XP, that would be a cost saving and simpler. So, that's my biggest question. Will one box of W7 Ultimate do that?

Yes Mustang, I'll probably try the dual boot approach with the XP. I have some older apps that I don't want to lose. btw, can I set up the XP boot on an external HD?

Boomer: Yes, I heard that my old but much loved HP 3200 series and Hp 6940 printers may not work. But, I also heard/read that if I set them up with a generic driver, they will...just not necessarily all functions. Frankly, this is one of the biggest reasons I've held off updating.

I really appreciate any help/advice here. Many of you guys know a hell of a lot more than I about this stuff and I believe I can trust your input. I'm an excellent mechanic. I figured out how to build the one I've been using for over 5 years all by myself. I did a lot of research first, especially the reviews at NewEgg before I selected the parts. It's been rock-solid, which is exactly what my top priority was. BUT...I'm an idiot regarding software, bios, root shit, etc. I stay the hell away from regedit! :-)

One more thing. Should I go with 64 bit W7 for XP machine, or only go 64 bit if I build a new one?

Also, I'm a gamer. So, if I build a new machine, should I consider TWO gfx cards and set up Crossfire?

#7 boomer

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 03:25 AM

I'm just a retired pilebuck and part time photographer,and former pot farmer, who sometimes works on peoples computers when they have a problem...but I'm definately not in the stratosphere when it comes to the computer knowledge of some of the computer wiz gents on this forum.

Will one copy of Win-7 Ultimate be sufficient, I would hope so, since I've known people who have done the same. In my case, I bought separate copies.

Unless you have a reason to stay with a 32 bit system, I'd upgrade to a 64 bit....both my workstations were originally XP 32 bit, which were upgraded to Win-7 64 bit.

My wife's desktop was a Vista 64 bit and upgraded it to Win-7 64 bit.

I need a 32 bit machine for changing custom functions on a few of my professional cameras .For this I've also kept a few Vista 32 bit machines, but that's the only reason I keep them.

Though I run WIn-7 ultimate on one workstation and professional on another, I'm not necessarily endorsing them...Win-7 premium would be just fine for you.

I'm not into gaming, but two identical graphics cards paired together can increase gaming performance up to 100% over a single card.

I'd also be thinking about a quad core processor and the up and coming hybrid drives vs the SS drives.

#8 Grrr...

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:01 AM

Also, I'm a gamer. So, if I build a new machine, should I consider TWO gfx cards and set up Crossfire?


No. Absolute-fricken-lutely no. I made this mitake: I built a $3000 system with two top of the line cards to run crossfire.

And 80% of the time, I can't run it. Games have to be be written to take advantage of the parallel ability of the cards or it does you no good. In addition, enabling crossfire BREAKS some games. To top it off, crossfire is the last thing that gets fixed when the graphics manufacturer is fixing game bugs.

In one case, a new game took 9 months before crossfire was fixed.

It's not worth dumping twice the cost. Just get the absolute top of the line, and you'll be good for 2-3 years. Then go back and get one more on the cheap to breathe new life into your rig.

You also introduce all sorts of problems - screen tearing when the cards aren't synced perfectly, micro jitter....

#9 boomer

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:38 AM

Sounds like your cards weren't crossfire supported.

#10 Caca Cabeza

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 06:31 PM

I like the stuff from Cupertino. Doesn't seem to have those compatibility issues.

#11 mustang__1

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 11:46 PM

im not certain i would want 64bit running on an CPU? seems that could be a good way to make the processor not very happy with you. in any case, the biggest advantage of 64bit is hyperthreading of a multi-core processor, right? im asking, im not totally sure. i can say that my 64bit 2.2ghz i7 processor is just amazing. encoding video, editing 25mb RAW files, etc. my 3.3ghz P4 in my old desktop is not even playing the same game, let alone in the same league.

AM, the nice thing about the virtual XP is that you dont have to restart the computer to run the XP programs which i think you have to do with a dual-boot system. OTOH, the computer may not handle it, i would imagine its processor intensive.

#12 bmiller

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 12:15 AM

3) Should I consider W8 instead? If so, why?


I didn't bother to read the rest of this thread but can state with all certainty Windows 8 sucks balls.

#13 boomer

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 12:43 AM

There are very few 64 bit OS only processors around, and very few that are likely to be used at home.I'd just look up the specs for your CPU, it'll tell you if it's capable of running a 64 bit OS.

As discussed before, there are issues beyond 64 bit in an upgrade. I'd just download Windows 7 advisor and let it evaluate your system. http://www.microsoft...ails.aspx?id=20

#14 RedTuna

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 02:07 AM

Your rig was a hot rod for its time I'm running Win7-64 Ultimate on an e6750 on an Abit IP35-E board with 4GB ram and it does just fine. Maybe not as well as the old Q9550 on a P45 with 8GB, but hey...

You might want to check out a Technet subscription from Microsoft. One used to be able to get multiple downloads but I think they throttled it back to just two copies. HardOCP used to publicize discount codes of about 30 percent or so. Other sites may as well.

#15 Ancient_Mariner

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 02:28 AM

Thanks again fellas. As far as 64 bit goes, I would only go to that if I were to build a new unit....then I'd go hog wild with the best of everything...Ivy Bridge shit and all. Yeah, my build 5+ years ago was a good one, and still works fine. If I do another, I would do the same...lots of research, buy all parts from NewEgg, and assemble very carefully.



#16 Coolerking

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 03:40 PM

you need a new cpu, then update to 7/64 ultimate, then add 4 more gigs of ram, you will need it to run the os and all the rest, your psu is one of the best built keep it clean.
lastly- bolt one of these in that thing.

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814202003

hell it even comes with 170$ worth of free games if you are into it.
with this card you wont need to worry about crossfiring and the issues that come with it.
i have a system running 2 5770's and when it works it is great, but oh....the problems ive had getting it sorted.

#17 Trovão

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 05:56 PM

go to win-8.

#18 d'ranger

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:48 AM

I decided to camp on this thread since it seems solved - this is a 3.00 gHz Pentium4 machine that a buddy gave me after neither he nor Fry's could debug it, anyway, I did and installed a clean new version of XP Pro, about 6 months ago. Has been working flawlessly.

until tonight. Had the message "updates ready to install" and didn't bother to see what they were, 7 total. After the reboot I get a Windows Genuine Advantage Error say this did not pass validation.

grrrrrrr... After the first few things didn't fix it I followed the links and wound up on a chat and the nice fellow from Micr$oft said he would be happy to trouble shoot and fix this problem

for $99.

Really.

anybody else have this experience? oh, from the message Micro$oft now thinks I have Windows 7 and there doesn't seem to be anyway to re enter the product code or do much of anything else. I tried restore to yesterday, no change.

TIA

#19 mustang__1

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 04:08 AM

dont worry, windows will fix the error, but you will have to have a genuine copy of windows to install the new update......

#20 Ancient_Mariner

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:19 AM

you need a new cpu, then update to 7/64 ultimate, then add 4 more gigs of ram, you will need it to run the os and all the rest, your psu is one of the best built keep it clean.
lastly- bolt one of these in that thing.

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814202003

hell it even comes with 170$ worth of free games if you are into it.
with this card you wont need to worry about crossfiring and the issues that come with it.
i have a system running 2 5770's and when it works it is great, but oh....the problems ive had getting it sorted.


Thanks Cool. That's exactly the gfx card I was considering. Huge though. I have a great big Lian Li case that I love despite its size. It's ez to work on... all 4 sides come off, has loads of room, mostly thumb screws, seperate mobo plate. 7 fans, etc. Yeah, my computer sciences engineer son thought my PSU choice was overkill unless I want to run the dishwasher from it too...lol....but I stuck to my guns. The one and only hardware failure I've ever had on a PC has been the PSU. Not with this one. And yes, on a rebuild, I would get a Quadcore cpu. Do you have a specific recommendation? Suggested MoBo? Also, what RAM would you suggest (complete replacement)? What about the wife's Vista machine? Will the same W7 Ultimate disc update that as well...(and I assume stay with 32 bit on that...?)

#21 Ancient_Mariner

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:21 AM

go to win-8.


errr...why? Everyone else disagrees.

#22 beerbonics

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:54 AM


go to win-8.


errr...why? Everyone else disagrees.


Don't do it. Win 8 sucks ass unless you have a touch screen. And then it only sucks. Win 9 will be great.

#23 boomer

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:59 AM

It's always best to wait about a year and half for Microsoft to sort things out...

It may take them longer for Windows 8...the word on the street is they're still scratching their heads.

#24 d'ranger

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 12:55 PM

dont worry, windows will fix the error, but you will have to have a genuine copy of windows to install the new update......

I bought a new clean copy when I put this machine back together six months ago (after of course trying to get one of my old copies to work). So this AM now there are more security updates, so here goes.

#25 boomer

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:59 PM

Well...how did it go?

#26 Coolerking

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:12 PM


you need a new cpu, then update to 7/64 ultimate, then add 4 more gigs of ram, you will need it to run the os and all the rest, your psu is one of the best built keep it clean.
lastly- bolt one of these in that thing.

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814202003

hell it even comes with 170$ worth of free games if you are into it.
with this card you wont need to worry about crossfiring and the issues that come with it.
i have a system running 2 5770's and when it works it is great, but oh....the problems ive had getting it sorted.


Thanks Cool. That's exactly the gfx card I was considering. Huge though. I have a great big Lian Li case that I love despite its size. It's ez to work on... all 4 sides come off, has loads of room, mostly thumb screws, seperate mobo plate. 7 fans, etc. Yeah, my computer sciences engineer son thought my PSU choice was overkill unless I want to run the dishwasher from it too...lol....but I stuck to my guns. The one and only hardware failure I've ever had on a PC has been the PSU. Not with this one. And yes, on a rebuild, I would get a Quadcore cpu. Do you have a specific recommendation? Suggested MoBo? Also, what RAM would you suggest (complete replacement)? What about the wife's Vista machine? Will the same W7 Ultimate disc update that as well...(and I assume stay with 32 bit on that...?)

no worries, i wont tell you which cpu to get, thats a personal decision, the amds are cheaper but not as fast in single thread type apps, intel are more $ but kill it in games. thats not to say you cant get the best of both worlds....and you see where this can lead.
there are Billions of posts that are nothing more than one side telling the other whats best..ill leave it to you.
I am running an asus board with a phenom II 965x4 unlocked to 4.0 with a hyper 212 cooler on it, corsair ram nothing exotic. keep in mind that quad core cpus are aging quickly now....6-8 cores are becoming the norm. this set along with my new gpu will be good for a few more years at least.
Good luck and keep us posted.
newegg has the most real info on all this

#27 d'ranger

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:36 PM

Well...how did it go?

No change, tried the Windoze forums and nobody else seems to have had this happen. Everything works except the background is black and the stupid message pops up. It sucks that there is no way to uninstall their updates. I wouldn't be upset except for the fact that I bought a new XP Pro CD/license when I put it together.

#28 Ancient_Mariner

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 08:51 PM



go to win-8.


errr...why? Everyone else disagrees.


Don't do it. Win 8 sucks ass unless you have a touch screen. And then it only sucks. Win 9 will be great.


Wasn't going to...no way...no how. Reaching up to touch-screen would wear my arms out and I'd have to buy more glass cleaner....:-)

PC World disagrees that W9 will be great:
http://www.pcworld.com/article/261567/windows_8_hate_it_already_why_waiting_for_windows_9_wont_help.html



#29 Caca Cabeza

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 11:24 PM

I'm still likin my Cupertino stuff. Don't seem to have these issues.

#30 Ancient_Mariner

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 02:40 AM

I'm still likin my Cupertino stuff. Don't seem to have these issues.


STFU. And have another glass of koolaid.




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