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Thread: Overdue OS update advice wanted
28-08-2012, 01:54 PM #1
Overdue OS update advice wanted
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?
28-08-2012, 02:01 PM #2
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.
28-08-2012, 02:16 PM #3
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- Jan 2012
28-08-2012, 02:23 PM #4
28-08-2012, 02:29 PM #5
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.
28-08-2012, 02:30 PM #6
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
(disclaimer: i have never used a PC with Vista)
28-08-2012, 03:07 PM #7
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?
28-08-2012, 04:35 PM #8
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.
28-08-2012, 04:55 PM #9
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.Originally Posted by CROCONOUGHTKEY
28-08-2012, 07:56 PM #10
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.
28-08-2012, 09:28 PM #11
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- Jun 2011
you need to do a clean install if you have upgrade media with windows XP- you can't just upgrade XP, its too old.
28-08-2012, 09:34 PM #12
28-08-2012, 09:44 PM #13
29-08-2012, 12:10 AM #14
29-08-2012, 12:50 AM #15
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.
29-08-2012, 01:00 AM #16
29-08-2012, 01:03 AM #17
29-08-2012, 01:41 AM #18
29-08-2012, 04:16 PM #19
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.Originally Posted by CROCONOUGHTKEY
30-08-2012, 01:08 AM #20
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- Oct 2011