Skip to comments.Still on Windows XP? Here’s Some Bad Advice
Posted on 03/29/2014 4:30:04 AM PDT by Las Vegas Dave
Windows XP is dying. On April 8, Microsoft will stop supporting the ancient operating system that was released in 2001 and at one point was used by 400 million people.
You might think that an operating system that was actually engineered in the late 90s would be fully obsolete and unused by now. After all, since XP came out, Microsoft has released several major replacement versions: Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 (recently upgraded to Windows 8.1).
But theres something about Windows XP. Its basic, stable, fast enough, and good enough for a lot of people. Its still running on more than 10 percent of the worlds computers, and its huge in China.
Still, its time. Its hard to keep an operating system this old up to snuff in todays online environment. XP works, but its not built to the same security level as modern operating systems. Microsoft doesnt want to keep writing new security upgrades for it, so on April 8, its stopping. No more security updates. No more support. Your XP computer will still work, but Microsoft wont help you anymore. Microsoft is pretty harsh about it: XP cannot be considered safe to use after support ends.
Microsoft urges you to upgrade. Theres even a site that tells you when your XP world will end: AmIRunningXP.com. Microsoft also has more info on what "end of support" means. To be fair, moving off XP would be a smart thing to do. Newer operating systems are easier to use (at least most of them), they run the cool new apps, and theyre definitely safer. But how do you move from an old computer thats running XP into the modern era? Ive heard a lot of advice on how to make the transition. Not all of it good.
“Ancient”, as in around 15 years old. LOL
I will be out of the house all day. This will probably be my last ping for today.
Microsoft urges you to upgrade. I wonder why? me thinks its not for your benefit only
FWIW, Microsoft is still going to provide support for XP in China.
I’ve been using Linux for the past 5 years . I do have a dual boot for those few times when I HAVE to use Windows but I’m never going back. I LIKE tinkering under the hood!
“Better idea #1: Upgrade to Windows 7”
Agreed. If you like XP, you will like 7 just as well.
Yep. Windows 7 is a better alternative. Staying with XP is asking for trouble.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
I don’t like having to learn new tricks just to be trendy.
My old XP computer has been running Windows 7 with no problems for the past several years. This is a 2003 desktop that I built and has had several hardware changes (more ram, new video card, new dvd rom) but is using the original motherboard and cpu. windows 7 runs flawlessly on it.
My WinXP HP Media center m1070n is used for storing family photos (and also backed up on DVD’s). I see no reason to update it. (Any suggestions or comments are appreciated.)
My primary unit is a WINDOWS 7 HP Pavilion Slimline s5710f PC, and it works fine. I will be giving that unit a FREE PC checkup + Tune Up from OfficeMax. (I have had minor issues with it.)
Get a laptop or desktop with four i7 CPU cores.
From the boot time set up (BIOS, EFI, etc) ...
Turn on hyperthreads.
Turn on turbo boost.
Turn on Virtualization support.
I would disable secure boot for the Linux system, as it’s not really needed. Not yet.
Install Linux - RHEL, Fedora, Ubuntu, Mint, whatever. You can configure the new Gnome3 desktop to work like and even look like the Apple desktop. I’ve never done it, but one guy I know has.
Install W7 or W8 in a virtual machine running on your Linux system. I use VirtualBox, because it provides a “seamless desktop”. You have the Linux and Windows taskbars and apps sharing the same desktop.
Thoroughly firewall the Windows machine and run it without virus software. It’s only a virtual machine, so you can reinstall if by some chance it gets infected. Keep your data in a separate partition. There are tools to clean up your data if your Windows OS partition gets infected.
Best of both worlds.
If you want a trifecta, get an Apple. Big money, yes, but you can have virtual Windows AND Linux systems on the Apple, if you need to do development on those systems.
I am not an Apple fanboi, so please don’t flame me. I despise the fact that they do not allow you to buy their OS and run it as a VM on any other platform.
Well the thing is that it is broke and will continue to become even more broken.
The people that insists on staying with it like it is a TV or radio, are opening themselves, and others, to malicious malware because Microsoft rightfully will not spend any more of their money keeping some people’s goofy attachment to old software safe. It’s software, not a classic car.
If they are never going to connect to the internet again, then whatever. Somehow judging from the ignorance and cockiness of many of the XP holdouts, your average low-level hacker may do the job for MS and render those computers unusable.
Kinda funny, considering that a major part of Windows 7 operates on the XP base!
However, lately, I have seen that there have been no major updates, only optional ones, for Windows 7, too.
1) Stay off porn sites.
2) Keep your virus software current.
3) See #1.
And you’re fine to run XP until your machine physically dies. If you insist on visiting porn sites, do what the porn pros do and go to Linux.
If your XP machine is only used for storage, then there’s really no reason to update it. If you connect to the internet with it for browsing or email, then you’re potentially exposed going forward, as hackers are going to go into overdrive trying to roll out new exploits.
An alternative would be to take the drive out, and put it either in your Win7 PC as a second drive (assuming an open bay), or into an external case that you can hook to the Win7 machine via a USB cord. That would give you access to the photos.
A better option, assuming you’d be devastated if you lost those photos, would be to upload them to a web-based file storage service (DropBox, Google-drive, SkyDrive, etc.), where you can access from anywhere, and not risk a hard-drive failure and loss. Then you could “decommission” the XP machine.
If you don’t want to have your photos out on the internet, regardless of assurances about privacy, safety and security, then buy a USB back-up drive (1TB drives can be had for $60 or $70) and take copies of everything you want to keep. Encrypt and password-protect your backup drive, and store somewhere away from your main PC. You’d then have the original drive AND a backup, just in case.
but Windows 8 sucks.
Does XP contain provisions to be an Internet Server?
Windows 8 is not that bad once it was upgraded to 8.1.
The big problem is whether you have a touch screen or not. I do not, and I got use to it. And that big problem really isn’t much of a big problem because all you have to do is know where to click to find your desktop which looks just like windows 7.
I hated Windows 8/8.1 at first. Now it’s fine, especially since they added the start menu/touch screen button to the bottom left hand corner, that was my major complaint. You couldn’t find the darn thing. Now I enjoy using the apps on the start menu/touch screen for things like eBay, email, and Netflix.
However, I would buy a new computer with Windows 8.1 not try to upgrade something that is 4 years old, like the article says.
It’s like I told someone else who was trying to get used to Windows 8.1: You have the old desktop world everyone knows, and the touch screen world everyone hates. All you have to do is learn how to flip back and forth between both worlds and it begins to become very easy.
The other part that can be annoying is if your in the desk top world, click a photo to view, it pops up, next then you realize you’re in the touch screen world in a photo app. So there are times that you’re pulled into the touch screen but if you understand that you can instantly flip back to the desktop these annoyances just go away. It becomes intuitive like anything else.
If you use IE, XP won’t upgrade to the latest versions, and a lot of websites now won’t even work with IE8 or earlier versions.
A lot of users don’t even think to use a different browser. I don’t use IE unless I absolutely have to.
I shitcanned 7 and went back to XP.
There is some ridiculous advice on this thread. Do your own research, folks. Far away from FR, preferably.
Good advice. Nothing beats a Virtual PC for surfing the web.
Install MS Virtual PC 2007 or some other virtual box. Install your favorite operating system as a Virtual machine; put all the antivirus stuff and all you favorite aps in it and then close it. Make a copy of the virtual machine and boot up the copy. If anything nasty happens while you visit some website, then erase the copy and make a new one. You can have anything as a virtual machine or you can simultaneously run several. Linux, Win XP, Win Vista, Win 2000, even Dos 6.2. They all run fine and with no worry of contaminating your system.
I LOVED XP but migrated to windows 7 several years ago and have found it to be the most stable windows OS ever. Have windows 8.1 on a newer laptop and don’t like it nearly as well as 7.
XP had the infamous “Blue Screen of Death” - yes?
I used Win7 for many moons - far more stable than XP.
My new ASUS Ultrabook came with Win8 which I immediately upgraded to Win8.1. Easily the best and fastest of any MS OS I’ve used.
I held off getting rid of XP until about a month ago when it became obvious that I needed to bite the bullet. I decided to upgrade to Win8 despite the claims of how bad it is just so I would have the latest system. So I upgraded to Win8 on three desktop machines and also have a tablet and phone using Win8. I have been pleasantly surprised. On the desktops I just boot to the Windows desktop rather than the tiles using Start8, which makes it just like using XP except more robust. The tiles are basically useless for anything other than a touchscreen, but I use them on my touchscreens and they are quite nice. So far all the machines have been rock solid.
That'd be like Noah being warned to continue caring for the animals aboard or else the flood waters will go even higher -- perhaps even reach the Moon.
There is security intelligence that indicates that there will be malicious attacks on XP. These are zero day threats and anti-virus and malware companies are unable to block the attacks, until after the attack has occurred and a counter-measure has been created.
Microsoft will not provide any security updates unless a business pays for Custom Support. You must have Premier or Enterprise agreement in place with Microsoft. Custom Support cost $50 per machine per quarter and you need to purchase Custom Support for a minimum of 750 machines. At least that's the deal I got from MS. I think I saw an email from MS that they changed the terms earlier this past week, but it did not change our agreement since it was already in place.
Even with MS Custom support, XP boxes are not protected until after a threat has been discovered. Additional security measures should be in place and there should be no PII or IP information on those boxes.
For what is worth, part of my job for over the last 15 months has been migrating 80,000+ XP machines to Win 7. When I left the office yesterday, we had ~260 machines going on Custom Support and another 200 or so machines segmented from the network.
BTW, I am personally OS agnostic. At home, I have Mac OS, Win 7, Linux, iOS and Android OS. This post was written on an iPad, running iOS 7.1
“If you want a trifecta, get an Apple. Big money, yes, but you can have virtual Windows AND Linux systems on the Apple...”
I run Windows 7 in a VM (Parallels 8) on my Mac.
It’s a Mac Mini and very reasonably priced. An entry level Mac Mini runs $599 - $509 when you find one at the Apple Refurb store. I purchased mine at B&H Photo and they threw in Parallels 8 for free.
I post this to you as many, I feel, are unaware of the reasonable price point of the Mac Mini.
I, like you, am not an Apple fanboy. I needed to replace my 8 year old XP laptop which could not keep up with my needs. All that was available at the time were computers offering Windows 8. PHEW!
I was thinking of getting a MacBook Pro but balked at the $1,200 price.
I needed to do something clever and the Mac Mini was an easy route and reasonably priced. I had two monitors, a mouse and keyboard so all I needed was a computer.
Since then I’ve added a 16” USB monitor and I have travelled with the Mac Mini and it fits in my old laptop case - I did buy a 15’ AC cord to keep me plugged in.
Thought you might appreciate the heads up...
PS - it’s the single easiest machine to upgrade RAM on - flip it over and unscrew the base - like a peanut butter jar - POP! out come the RAM and in goes 16 GB of RAM upgrade. And you can add a second HD with a disk doubler kit. It’s a very useful machine if you are into setting up VM machines.
For what it's worth I upgraded my wife's 5 year old Netbook having an Atom processor and 2Gb ram to Win8. It was a relatively painless upgrade and it works great. In fact, it's quite a bit peppier than it was before because Win8 is a more efficient operating system. The one thing to watch out for on older machines is the screen resolution. You can't use the Win 8 tiles (largely worthless on a non-touchscreen anyway) or, more importantly, access the Windows store unless the screen resolution is at least 1024 x 768. Access to Windows store is necessary for upgrading to Win 8.1 so if you only have Win 8 that could be an issue. My Netbook has an external monitor port so I was able to overcome the resolution issue by hooking up an external monitor long enough to get the necessary downloads from the Windows store. There is also a regedit workaround posted online that is supposed to solve the issue, but I didn't have to resort to that.
Unless you have Windows-only apps that have no open source comparables, moving to Linux or Android is an option, and a cheap one. If a new machine is in the budget, there's also Mac.
Windows 7 is still available for purchase, but it appears that this includes only full-install products. The Upgrade products aren't listed at Newegg, for example.
I have legacy Windows apps, and elected to build a new PC based on an AMD APU, running Windows 7 Pro 64-bit, with XP Mode for the legacies. Once installed, networking will be turned off inside XP Mode to protect it.
XP Mode (which isn't supported on Win8, by the way) probably won't be available for download after EOL day. You have to have Win 7 (Ultimate, Pro or Enterprise only) installed and activated to get XP Mode. Installing XP Mode is challenging, esp. on AMD, which requires a hot fix. Installing XPM on Intel might be impossible, as their low-end stuff often has the necessary VM logic fused off.
> Make a copy of the virtual machine and boot up the copy.
Yes! Excellent suggestion!
Makes it even easier to forgo the virus software.
I do development, so I need a lot of raw POWER for quick compiles on my virtual guests.
I know somebody who recently bought an Apple for over $2800 to get the processing power I get in my $1200 system. He needs to do development for Apple, too, so he had to buy the Apple hardware, because Apple does not sell their OS to run as virtual guests on any other hardware. Fascist pigs. :)
>> Make a copy of the virtual machine and boot up the copy.
> Yes! Excellent suggestion!
> Makes it even easier to forgo the virus software.
Don’t forget to turn off sharing and other stuff and do not allow it to share your other resources. Also make it a part of a different workgroup.
Agree with all your advice except this ...
> or Android
Android is a Google product. It is spyware masquerading as an OS. I would have absolutely nothing to do with it. I don’t have a “smart” phone, either, because I would have to choose between two fascist companies, Apple and Google. No.Thanks.
I have several business computers on XP that are too resource-deficient to upgrade. My proprietary software won’t run on anything else. I am closing my small business in June, so only need it to run up till then. After that, it’s the recycle center for them all. Just don’t want MS pushing “the Kill-Button” on them and putting my business out-of-business before I am ready...
> Dont forget to turn off sharing and other stuff and do not
> allow it to share your other resources. Also make it a part
> of a different workgroup.
Any sharing you need to do can be done over the network using rsync with -c option (checksum).
Nice thing about Apple OS is that it’s Posix compliant, so any Linux scripts you have that are Posix compliant will run on the Apple. Very nice.
For the Windows guest, use Cygwin (FREE! at http://www.cygwin.com/ ), which gives you basically the entire Linux command line to run in Windows, including bash scripting and development software (gcc, g++, make, etc).
I use the W7 hard drive for everything else. Might be something worth looking into.
I enjoy these threads.
My 2004 XP laptop is only used for tuning the tecGT engine management on my MR2. I turned off the wi fi so there is no security threat. My Win 8.1 tablet is used for everything else.
buying memory for an older computer can cost almost as much as buying a new computer ,so don’t fall into the money pit
In general isn't that the way it's been always?
Not so much trendy as it is an arms race and XP is being left behind.
Its hard to keep an operating system this old up to snuff in todays online environment. XP works, but its not built to the same security level as modern operating systems. Microsoft doesnt want to keep writing new security upgrades for it, so on April 8, its stopping. No more security updates. No more support. Your XP computer will still work, but Microsoft wont help you anymore. Microsoft is pretty harsh about it: XP cannot be considered safe to use after support ends.
In the world of computers that’s 3 generations back. Most great grandfathers are ancient.
And what happened to all the programs, files, etc. that you had on that computer? Does a Windows7 install wipe everything clean?
> You said your XP in now running Windows7.
> How did you do that?
See ... http://ww35.virtualbox.com/
> Does a Windows7 install wipe everything clean?
Not if your XP is running as a virtual guest on your W7 system.