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  1. #1
    Network Hub The Tupper's Avatar
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    Overdue OS update advice wanted

    Hi all.

    I've been happily using Windows XP since I purchased my PC in the months before Vista was launched. Because of the horror stories I'd heard from the pre-release reviews of Vista I deliberately bought an XP system before Vista would become the only option, and I was subsequently entitled to a free Vista upgrade disc, which has been sitting gathering dust since then.

    Now, of course, XP is nearly dead and I figure I'll need to upgrade. The trouble is that I am COMPLETELY broke and can't consider buying a new OS. My question is: was Vista eventually knocked into shape with service packs to make it a preferable option to continuing with the soon-to-be-unsupported XP? I have the potential to finally use this upgrade disc.

    As I say, I'm utterly penniless, so Windows 7 or waiting for Win 8 isn't an option and I use my PC primarily for games, so Linux isn't an option either. Should I bite the bullet and install Vista as the least-bad solution to a bad situation?

  2. #2
    Vector Jams O'Donnell's Avatar
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    Short answer: Vista's fine, especially if it's free.

    If you had the pennies needed for Win 7 I'd say go with that, but I really never understood why Vista came in for such hate. It's a step up from XP.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jams O'Donnell View Post
    Short answer: Vista's fine, especially if it's free.

    If you had the pennies needed for Win 7 I'd say go with that, but I really never understood why Vista came in for such hate. It's a step up from XP.
    I'd so NOOO to Vista. But then it might be al patched up now with service packs etc. My laptop came with vista preinstalled and it was a slow, buggy mess with a bucketload of problems and BSODs. But since I've got Windows 7 on it (for about 3 years I think) I haven't had one single problem (except for the ones I created myself obviously). Just my personal experience, I've heard of others who have had great experiences with Vista (as Jams O'Donnell illustrates)

  4. #4
    Vector Jams O'Donnell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrwout View Post
    I'd so NOOO to Vista. But then it might be al patched up now with service packs etc. My laptop came with vista preinstalled and it was a slow, buggy mess with a bucketload of problems and BSODs. But since I've got Windows 7 on it (for about 3 years I think) I haven't had one single problem (except for the ones I created myself obviously). Just my personal experience, I've heard of others who have had great experiences with Vista (as Jams O'Donnell illustrates)
    I knew there was a reason I wanted to get in before the inevitable VISTA SUCXS posts ;)

    I used Vista for years without issue. The only reason I upgraded to Win 7 is that I upgraded to a 64-bit processor and needed a new OS to take advantage of it.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Windows 7 was just an improvement on Vista - the issues with Vista's release came from it being a new kernel and device manufacturers apparently doing nothing during Vista's (extensive) development period. All the drivers were terrible on release, plus the base system requirements for Vista were higher (and this happens with pretty much every new OS release), making Vista fairly slow. Since then though Vista's fine, though I'd question why you'd bother to use it with Win7 out (though I can see why it might work in this case). A lot of the anger for Vista and love for Win7 is a bit ridiculous; by the time Win7 hit, Vista was already improving thanks to proper driver support, and Win7 (being largely the same underlying kernel) just swept in with a few improvements and benefited from the improved drivers. And everyone acted like it was some radically new OS worlds apart from Vista, when really it was like moving from Win95 to Win98!

    XP is an ancient platform by tech standards; it was released back in 2001, and all the service packs in the world won't change its heritage. I'd say go with Vista if you're really not going to spend any money on it. Otherwise I'd push for Win7.

  6. #6
    Network Hub corbain's Avatar
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    Microsoft ran a test to show that most problems with Vista were really just imaginary. Vista was in such a bad state on release but it was indeed patched up pretty well. However, it had left such a bad taste in the mouth some people would never swallow it

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mojave_Experiment

    (disclaimer: i have never used a PC with Vista)

  7. #7
    Network Hub The Tupper's Avatar
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    Thankyou all for the replies so far. I've jumped off the pier and am installing the upgrade as I type. Wish me luck.

    BTW - I'm a bit of a Luddite when it comes to the Windows Shell - I always revert to 'classic' mode. Does anyone know if that's still an option in Vista or, if not, can anyone suggest a community-made patch to make it olde-worlde-starte-buttone?

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    I'm running Vista right now, and it's fine. Absolutely fine. Windows 7 is unquestionably better, but Vista is by no means a mess today.

    It still uses more resources than XP though, so only do the upgrade if your computer isn't uber-weak.

    As for the shell... what specific features do you want preserved? The start button's still there even if it works slightly differently. Can't properly remember how the one in XP worked, except it was worse.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Cooper's Avatar
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    Vista is fine, now, years later.

    I use my old copy of Vista on my HTPC. Despite it being full of some odd bits of hardware, the drivers are fine (even given it's an x64 version).

    When I first used this copy of Vista, soon after release, on my main desktop. It was a nightmare.


    The nightmare, however, was the fault of hardware companies not producing decent, stable drivers, especially for a 64 bit envuironment (or even any at all). This is now laregyl resolved bar some obscure bits of tech, for which third party solutions of exist.
    Quote Originally Posted by CROCONOUGHTKEY
    KING GEORGE IS A FROG
    le BANG~__-MICHEAL FUCK OFF~~__-INTERPOL KNOW YOU WELLBIENG~—
    OFF
    NOT RUSHMORE MOUNTAIN
    KILL WESTON KILL MUST KILLTHEWESTERNINMYHEADDOESN’TEXSIST
    TEXASISDEADINPARISHEWASAMAN..BINGBING.TETTOHEAD.SP ACEOK,TIMEDEADANDSTOPPED1920HOKKAIDO.UNDERSTOODAT1 ONE.
    UNDERSTANDTHISANDFUCKOFFPIRATEBAY.TIMEDOESNTEXSIST FORMEASIMPATEKPHILLPE.
    BANG

  10. #10
    Network Hub The Tupper's Avatar
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    Bah. It looks like my experiment is gonna be moot after all: the upgrade disc resolutely fails to progress past the first 'collecting information' stage. I've tried everything I can scour from the net - including a clean boot - and nothing. I suspect one of the updates to XP since this disc was produced has made this upgrade path non functional. Buggeration.

    Thanks anyway people.

  11. #11
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    you need to do a clean install if you have upgrade media with windows XP- you can't just upgrade XP, its too old.

  12. #12
    Lesser Hivemind Node Kodeen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze-X View Post
    you need to do a clean install if you have upgrade media with windows XP- you can't just upgrade XP, its too old.
    Seconding this. XP and Vista are so different that upgrading is essentially a full install anyway, and you don't want any XP bits remaining and possibly destabilizing the system. Make a backup and wipe your drive.

  13. #13
    Network Hub The Tupper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kodeen View Post
    Seconding this. XP and Vista are so different that upgrading is essentially a full install anyway, and you don't want any XP bits remaining and possibly destabilizing the system. Make a backup and wipe your drive.

    The disc is supposed to be specifically an upgrade from XP to Vista - am I correct in thinking that XP has been patched and changed so many times since the disc was made that it won't work anymore?

  14. #14
    Lesser Hivemind Node Kodeen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Tupper View Post
    The disc is supposed to be specifically an upgrade from XP to Vista - am I correct in thinking that XP has been patched and changed so many times since the disc was made that it won't work anymore?
    That shouldn't matter, the Vista disc should have everything it needs even though it's an upgrade disc, meaning Vista doesn't need to use the XP installation as a base. Check this article and see if it might have some clues.

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/w...-Windows-Vista

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakkura View Post
    It still uses more resources than XP though, so only do the upgrade if your computer isn't uber-weak.
    So does Win7... or really anything after WinXP. The OS making better use of available resources isn't a bad thing...


    OP: I'd do a clean install. Boot the CD from BIOS and it should find the WinXP install right before you select a partition to install it to. From there it should allow you to do a clean install. If not, and if you've got the space, you can do a 'clean' install by choosing Custom, selecting the partition that XP is installed on, and then installing it there (without formatting it). That should cause it to move everything in the Windows, Program Files, and Documents and Settings folders to a new folder called Windows.Old and install a clean Vista install.

  16. #16
    Network Hub The Tupper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kodeen View Post
    That shouldn't matter, the Vista disc should have everything it needs even though it's an upgrade disc, meaning Vista doesn't need to use the XP installation as a base. Check this article and see if it might have some clues.

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/w...-Windows-Vista
    Thanks very much for that link. Looks like I'm transferring files to a spare drive and re-installing from scratch. Thanks again.

  17. #17
    Network Hub The Tupper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    So does Win7... or really anything after WinXP. The OS making better use of available resources isn't a bad thing...


    From there it should allow you to do a clean install. If not, and if you've got the space, you can do a 'clean' install by choosing Custom, selecting the partition that XP is installed on, and then installing it there (without formatting it). That should cause it to move everything in the Windows, Program Files, and Documents and Settings folders to a new folder called Windows.Old and install a clean Vista install.
    Ah - I might not have to do too much file transferring then if the windows.old folder will do it for me. Brilliant. Thanks again.

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    So does Win7... or really anything after WinXP. The OS making better use of available resources isn't a bad thing...
    It's not the caching I'm talking about, since that is indeed boosting performance vs. XP. It's the OS itself that does have a bigger footprint, but you only notice that on the lowest low-end systems (there was a lot of whining over this when Vista launched, because people got Vista for systems that really should have stayed with XP). And indeed it goes for any post-XP Windows and is probably inevitable. Some of it can even be caused by the basic difference between 32-bit and 64-bit, where memory use does tend to increase. This goes for Linux too, they just didn't have that defining moment of diving into 64-bit like Vista more or less did. Heck, ubuntu.com still recommends downloading the 32-bit version to this day.

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Cooper's Avatar
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    I'll second the clean install for Vista.

    I have a 'student upgrade only' version of Vista. It is supposed to only be used as an upgrade for XP. But both on my desktop which had XP and my HTPC which was totally bare, a clean install on a blank HDD was the best way to go about using it.
    Quote Originally Posted by CROCONOUGHTKEY
    KING GEORGE IS A FROG
    le BANG~__-MICHEAL FUCK OFF~~__-INTERPOL KNOW YOU WELLBIENG~—
    OFF
    NOT RUSHMORE MOUNTAIN
    KILL WESTON KILL MUST KILLTHEWESTERNINMYHEADDOESN’TEXSIST
    TEXASISDEADINPARISHEWASAMAN..BINGBING.TETTOHEAD.SP ACEOK,TIMEDEADANDSTOPPED1920HOKKAIDO.UNDERSTOODAT1 ONE.
    UNDERSTANDTHISANDFUCKOFFPIRATEBAY.TIMEDOESNTEXSIST FORMEASIMPATEKPHILLPE.
    BANG

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jams O'Donnell View Post
    I knew there was a reason I wanted to get in before the inevitable VISTA SUCXS posts ;)

    I used Vista for years without issue. The only reason I upgraded to Win 7 is that I upgraded to a 64-bit processor and needed a new OS to take advantage of it.
    That's what Win XP 64-bit was for! Good times.

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