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  1. #1
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    Quilter's laptop needs update from ME to XP to run quilt progs

    My wife has a Sony laptop running WinME. It has had very little use.
    This laptop will NEVER be connected to the Internet. It will be connected to her SEWING machine to run an embroidery function. Problem is the software that came with the sewing machine needs WinXP, SP3. I purchased a new "update" WinXP at a retail store a few years ago, just in case. BTW, before someone says I should just get Win8, this little laptop maxed out with 256mb of ram and 9gb hard disk, but it does have a CD reader and USB ports.

    After reading the XP install instructions,
    1) It sounds like the Sony OEM drivers might get erased by XP during the installation. I should make a copy of the drivers, but are they all in the drivers folder of Windows or in multiple locations? The only peripherals will be the CD read-only, a mouse and USB port expansion box. Of course the Sony laptop has a touch pad, a modem, the LCD screen etc. So compatible drivers might not be in the XP upgrade disk.

    2) After going to the Microsoft website, I leaned that for at least SP3, I can download it on MY Internet-connected PC and make a CD to use on the Sony. But, I could not find the same facility for SP1a and SP2. Are they still available?

    3) The Sony hard disk is partitioned into a C: and D: drive. There appears to be enough room left (after deleting many things) to install XP on C: D: has 6gb available where I plan to put the Quilting software. Should I install XP on drive C ? Will it be OK to install her quilting programs on D: ?

    If there are any other issues, I will appreciate hearing what they might be.

    Thank you in advance,

    Paul

  2. #2
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    1. Sorry, I think I never used ME, so can't really answer. Have you checked Sony's website for XP drivers?

    2. Yes, SP1a and SP2 are available for download.

    SP1a: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/downl....aspx?id=19751
    SP2: http://www.microsoft.com/en-au/downl...ils.aspx?id=28

    3. I don't see a reason for the partitioning, but I suppose it will be possible. Some programs don't like it, though, so one more reason to maybe delete that D: partition and get all the available space into one single partition.

    If you have an imaging app, I would get the laptop to boot from the app's boot disc and image it, so that you can at least get it to its current condition, should something go wrong.

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  4. #3
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    Thank you for your response.

    How do I delete the D partition?

    I'd like to image it, but the CD is read only and there's an A: drive (hardly remember them).

    About the only way to move data is by a thumb drive, and I don't know if imaging (which I don't have) would work with that.

    Paul

  5. #4
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    I just checked a well known national computer dealer and they had refurbished 3Ghz PC's (Computer, Keyboard and Mouse) for under $80 with XP installed. I'm sure there's even better deals out there. I'd replace the ME PC, could be pretty hard to find drivers for a 12-13 year old computer.
    You would also need to verify that the sewing machine would work adequately with USB 1 ports, which that old PC is sure to have.

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    PointFive (2013-03-10)

  7. #5
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    To manage the partition, you can use partition managing software that boots from a CD. Here is a free one that might work:

    http://partitionwizard.com/partition...otable-cd.html

    About imaging, I imagine that computer has USB ports, so I was thinking an external USB drive, if you had one. Not sure about buying a new one, though, you really need to ponder if it makes sense to spend money on hardware that old.

    Not sure what happened with that computer, but even back at the time when they were sold, manufacturers already had a factory restore process that could be based on CDs, so if you have something like that, you can just back up any data and then resort to the restore process, if something goes wrong. Of course, this does not replace the safety of an image, but if it is possible, under the circumstances, may be a good option. If this was the choice, I would not delete the D: partition. If the process works and you need the space, the deletion can be done at any time.

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    PointFive (2013-03-10)

  9. #6
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    I downloaded the partitionwizard. Partition wizard has a notation with a line drawn thru it on their website about what does not (does) work. But it does not say it works with WinME, thus I'm thinking I should install the XP update first, then use the PW CD to adjust the partition.

    There are 2 Sony restore CD's. There is more complexity to the problem, but I was trying to keep it simple. The PC came with ME and a C: and D: partition. I successfully upgraded to XP and all was OK until the C: partition ran out of space due to sewing machine software installs going into C: There was less than 5% space and the bios file was overwritten. I recreated the bios file, but then it would not boot. So I used the restore disk and now it's again booting and running ME. Having been burned once, I see the need to expand the C: partition or delete the D: partition. This machine has never seen the Internet. We're retired and the sewing machine purchase used up the sewing budget! So buying another PC does not make financial sense and until now the Sony has had very, very little use ( I should check the drive to see how many hours / bootups it actually has), but it's really low. Also, why throw another electronic device into the trash if it's still adequate for the task at hand. If the sewing software ran on ME, I wouldn't even upgrade at this point to XP. One of the management problems (I am the manager in this case) is that I forget that there's a C:/D: partition and when I load sewing-related software, it all went into drive C: Well, this ordeal and pain should keep that fact firmly focused. The PC I am writing this on only has a C: drive and I never give it a thought. I really appreciate all of the help that you and the other LOUNGE members provide. Thanks again.

  10. #7
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    First, I'd like to state that I am being careful about suggesting anything that may take you to a situation you could not recover from. If you do that, at the very least, I want it to be a decision you make, fully aware of the consequences. By this, I obviously mean, deleting the D: partition with no previous backup.

    I linked to a downloadable version of partition wizard that allows you to create a boot disc. Once you do it, you can boot from it and delete the D partition and merge the space, regardless of what OS you have in the computer.
    Partition software is usually reliable, but deleting and merging partitions can render computers unbootable, as things go wrong sometimes. I have been there and that's why I am so careful, especially since I am advising others and it's them running risks on advice I provide . That's why I always recommend imaging, since you can always go back.

    Anyways, you can boot from the disc you can create from my previous posted link, delete D: and merge the space into C. This may render the restore CDs unusable, as I don't know whether they rely on any D: contents for the restore part.

    Let us know how it goes .

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  12. #8
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    Your words of caution are taken seriously. I have been deleting files from the WinME C: drive to make more space. I've made USB stick copies of them before deleting. I've rebooted to make sure the PC will still boot and I have free'd up 2.6mb of space on C: The XP update takes 1.5mb according to the instructions. I plan on a minimal install of XP, and even that can be reduced after the install if I am careful.

    Then I plan to attempt to install the sewing programs on the D: drive, if they won't I will still have space on the C: drive. If that fails, I will have to start from scratch and take my chances with re-partitioning.

    Do you know the answer to this question: If a PC hard disk running say WinME has to be reformatted, can an XP "update" program then be installed? I'v read that people have to reformat when a rootkit takes over. Would they have to go back to the factory OEM disk (in this case WinME), then run the update due to the need to have the proper drivers? What do you do if you were to need a new hard disk? I know the OEM drivers are on the OEM disks. The Sony had me create a \A: recovery disk Maybe there are drivers on there, too.

  13. #9
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    Result: SUCCESS!, thanks to the Lounge members! XP installed without a hiccup. Device manager reports no problems. XP suggests Sony XP drivers for memory stick, PowerPanel, Yamaha audio config, modem, IrDA protocol, Sony Notebook Setup, XP did provide drivers for the modem, USB stick, MS-wheel-mouse [wheel was not working before XP]. The operating system and related progs take up 2.82gb of 4.48gb of the C: drive, leaving 1.66gb for Quilting progs that require C: drive.

    Sony's website STILL had instructions for XP upgrades and XP drivers. Sony also had an uninstall program to remove OEM programs. XP drivers were also available (a little tricky to get them because their tab kept switching back to WinME). THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO ASSISTED.

  14. #10
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    Great, well done .

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  16. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by PointFive View Post
    Do you know the answer to this question: If a PC hard disk running say WinME has to be reformatted, can an XP "update" program then be installed? I'v read that people have to reformat when a rootkit takes over. Would they have to go back to the factory OEM disk (in this case WinME), then run the update due to the need to have the proper drivers? What do you do if you were to need a new hard disk? I know the OEM drivers are on the OEM disks. The Sony had me create a \A: recovery disk Maybe there are drivers on there, too.
    The way the upgrade process works is, if you don't have ME installed on the computer (such as when you format the drive), and you then try to install the XP upgrade, it will ask you to insert the install disk of a qualifying version of Windows. You then insert the ME cd, it verifies that you are qualified to install the upgrade, and you then proceed with the complete install of XP.

    If you did have ME installed on the computer, and you wanted to do a complete (format-the-drive) install of XP, it will verify that you have ME (thereby qualifying you for the upgrade), and then it will give you the option of formatting the drive before installing XP.

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  18. #12
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    Glad to hear you got it all together with a minimum of grief. My question to you: how does XP run with only 256Mb RAM? My experiences with XP indicate that operation is painfully slow until you get to about 2Gb RAM, and 4Gb is really the sweet spot. I didn't think the 256Mb met the bare minimum for XP per Microsoft specs. With only 256Mb RAM, XP is going to make extensive use of your paging file, so I'd suggest you put the paging file on the larger partition, if you still have two, and defrag frequently to get the most performance you can with the limited resources available. To adjust the page file, rightclick on 'my computer' go to properties, advanced tab, performance settings, advanced tab again, and under 'virtual memory' you'll find the controls for the paging file. Let windows manage the size, just put it in the larger partition. Reboot as necessary.
    Last edited by caribconsult; 2013-03-14 at 09:15.

  19. #13
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Windows XP will run just fine with 1 gig of memory in almost all cases. Less than that it seems to do a lot of paging to disk. Back in the day, 512 megs was the sweet spot for XP but Windows Update and a/v software have bloated enough to suck up a lot more system memory. Memory for older XP systems is generally too expensive to justify adding more than what's needed to get to 1 gig in my experience.

    Jerry

  20. #14
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    1. While your laptop may in fact max out at 256 MB of RAM, you can definitely upgrade its hard drive if you want to. If the current drive is indeed only 9 GB that's pretty minimal for a general-purpose XP installation, but if it's dedicated to your sewing activity it may be plenty - though splitting it up into two partitions might not be the best idea.

    2. If you're limited to USB 1.1 connectivity you might want to consider a minor investment in a USB 2.0 PCMCIA card (I think mine cost about $10 on sale) to improve backup/imaging performance. Another alternative to transferring data at USB 1.1 speeds (about 1.5 MB/sec at best) is simply to remove the hard drive from the laptop and connect it to another PC via a USB cable (another $10 item which you will likely find more generally useful as well) when you need to perform a bulk transfer. A third is via a networking PCMCIA card, though you probably can't find anything as fast as a USB 2.0 card for the same price.

    Quote Originally Posted by caribconsult View Post
    My question to you: how does XP run with only 256Mb RAM? My experiences with XP indicate that operation is painfully slow until you get to about 2Gb RAM, and 4Gb is really the sweet spot. I didn't think the 256Mb met the bare minimum for XP per Microsoft specs.
    The bare minimum RAM requirement to run XP according to Microsoft is - ready? - 64 MB, with 128 MB recommended. Just for fun I recently installed XP SP3 on an old Thinkpad 570E with 320 MB of RAM (and 450 MHz Pentium III processor) and it ran respectably until I loaded up recent versions of Firefox and Avira AntiVir (neither of which the OP would be using), which clearly seriously stressed that amount of RAM (Firefox versions after 3.6 bumped up their nominal RAM requirement from what had been the same as XP's to 512 MB and their processor requirements as well, but I found a version of Firefox 13 that was built with libraries that could run on a PIII). Internet Explorer 6, 7, and 8, by contrast, still only have the same minimum RAM requirement that XP does (edit: even Microsoft Security Essentials requires only 256 MB) and a quick check with Task Manager showed that they do indeed use far less RAM than Firefox does.

    XP does run quite well (and without extensive paging file activity) in 512 MB unless you have several memory-hogging applications concurrently active, and very well in 1 GB. Edit: I run it in 2 GB, but then I tend to keep over 400 tabs open in Firefox (and it still pages only very infrequently).
    Last edited by - bill; 2013-03-14 at 12:45.

  21. #15
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    I've decided that the minimum system requirements put on software packages are put there by the marketing department in order to get more people to buy the software.

    I bought a new desktop system with Vista and it came with only 2 GB of RAM which was the "Minimum" needed to qualify. I also bought a refurbished laptop with Vista and 2 GB. I later added 2 GB more to the desktop and it ran better. I have since upgraded both systems to Win 7 which has a 1 GB MSR.

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