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  1. #16
    New Lounger
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    Well I'm pretty old too, but I had to get a new computer. It has Windows 8 and now 8.1 on it. But we figured out how to make it look almost like Win XP or Win 7.
    First, you get that free app that lets you look up the programs, Control Panel, shut down the computer, and other items. Then, you right click on the Desktop task bar. Click on Properties. Select Navigation. Go to Start Screen Section. Select When I sign in, go to desktop. Select apply.
    This will not remove the tiles and the start screen, but will have a button in the lower left of the task bar which will allow you to go to the tiles is you so desire.
    But the computer will start with the old-fashioned desktop and you will never have to look at the tiles if you don't want to. If your computer is old and crusty, this is a good way to start over and still have things look familiar. The only drawback is that 7 and 8 have too many misc. files floating around rather than the simple file structure of XP.

  2. #17
    New Lounger
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    I myself just went through the same thing with my desktop...an older Dell that was running XP. My wife was comfortable with that OS but was familiar with Win7 also at her work. What I was concerned with was security, as my wife uses the desktop to pay bills online. With XP support drying up this year, I agonized over upgrading to Win7, or just buying a new computer with Win8 on it. After a lot of research and waiting for deals on new computers, I finally bought a new HP that came with Win8 on it. Turns out, it wasn't as painful as I thought it was going to be. I upgraded to 8.1, then installed all my software. It took a couple of days to wipe all the garbage that came with the computer and get it set up the way I wanted, but I feel much more secure about paying bills online. I also know that I won't have to upgrade Windows or my computer for quite a while, (security updates, etc. aside). As Bassfisher6522 noted, I picked up Smart8 and am now operating in a familiar and comfortable environment.

  3. #18
    Bronze Lounger
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    Unfortunately, all new PC's come with windows 8/8.1
    Just a week or so ago, I got an email ad from HP announcing a sale on new PCs running Windows 7—both desktops and laptops. I found that a bit odd, but it might be worth looking into if one is leery of going to Windows 8 and all that touch screen stuff.

  4. #19
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    The simplest thing to do is to buy a new laptop with Windows 7. I'm 66 years old and have the same concerns as the original poster. Three days ago (late January 2014) I helped a friend buy a new Dell Laptop with Windows 7 Professional for around $600, so these systems are still available, and a new one avoids all the possible hassles of a used/refurbished PC.

  5. #20
    4 Star Lounger
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    I'm with FUN downtown in post #4. I've already helped my brother get a great refurbished Windows 7 desktop for $244.00 with similar specs. For an OS going into 2020, that's a pretty good ROI
    --- It would be nice if an OS system would last forever, but the reality is, it doesn't happen
    --- Anyway now I'll be getting one for my son
    --- Myself I'll be getting a laptop
    I order them on on-line and one of my criteria is Class A condition: minimum dings or scratches

    I also have a local computer shop I can check with when I want

  6. #21
    New Lounger
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    Hello Beiland,

    All the suggestions here are good, and if you can afford it, a new computer might be your best bet. I've been beating on and repairing computers for 30+ years now (started with a Commodore VIC-20 in 1979, and mainframes before that) Unfortunately, no matter WHICH way you choose, there is going to be some learning curve. One thing that I haven't seen mentioned though is running XP in a virtual environment (Oracle's VirtualBox is free) within your new OS of choice. I volunteer for a non-profit that gets a lot of old computer hardware donated. I hate to see any of that end up in landfills, so what *I* have chosen is to load either LXLE (Lubuntu eXtended Life Edition http://www.lxle.net) or Slacko Puppy Linux (http://puppylinux.org/wikka/Slacko56) which are two Linux distros that are designed for old hardware and light on resources required. Slacko Puppy runs entirely in RAM once loaded from CD, so can function well even on old systems without a hard drive. I keep a copy of it loaded on an old 4G USB flash drive, and run it from there for fixing issues with Windows systems that have crashed, since it can read and copy Windows files to an external drive easily in the event I can't repair the cause of the crash. LXLE is my preferred distro, though it requires a DVD vs CD like Slacko. LXDE has nearly all the applications a normal home user would probably need -- Firefox web browser, Pidgen Instant Messenger, LibreOffice suite, an email app (I add Mozilla Thunderbird instead), and music/video apps (which I replace with VLC) All the apps and the OS run quite nicely in less than 6-7 gigs of HD space. The installation wizard is easily understandable even for novices and asks if you wish to replace XP or install alongside XP for a dual-boot system. IMO, a dual-boot system is the best of both worlds. You can run in Linux for safety on the web, yet still have all your familiar programs in XP to boot into when unplugged from the web. There is a pretty good video of what LXLE looks like on the website, and is also is what's called a LIVE distribution that can boot and run from the DVD to see if you might like it. LXLE has several "looks" you can boot into called Paridigms, so it can have the "look" of XP, Mac OS X, Ubuntu Unity or another I don't recall right now. It costs absolutely nothing other than some time to download and burn the ISO image, so why not give one or both a try?

    Cheers,
    Phil Heberer

  7. #22
    New Lounger
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    Windows 7, no doubt.
    Linux, as attractive as it sounds, would not be an option if you use Windows apps.
    Windows 8/8.1, even with a "startup" utility making it "look" like Win7 is not a good substitute either.
    It *is* different, and, unless you upgrade, some utilities (like backup software) won't work. Question of drivers also comes up.
    Windows 7 *does* come in 32-bit versions, so that's not an issue.
    Might have issues with drivers for older hardware, such as scanners, but that would apply to any OS upgrade.

  8. #23
    New Lounger
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    Beiland, Lots of solid suggestions here and they all would probably work for you, but I wouldn't shy away from Linux distros. My wife installed Zorin on her laptop, an old (5 years) Lenovo R61 as a dual boot with Win XP. She rarely boots into Windows- only in very specific and limited situations when she has no choice. She uses 7 and XP at work, but for home personal use she much prefers Zorin. It boots, runs and shuts down way faster, comes with enough programs out of the box to do anything she needs to do, and never picks up viruses or malware.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAdu View Post
    Windows 7, no doubt.
    Linux, as attractive as it sounds, would not be an option if you use Windows apps.
    Windows 8/8.1, even with a "startup" utility making it "look" like Win7 is not a good substitute either.
    It *is* different, and, unless you upgrade, some utilities (like backup software) won't work. Question of drivers also comes up.
    Windows 7 *does* come in 32-bit versions, so that's not an issue.
    Might have issues with drivers for older hardware, such as scanners, but that would apply to any OS upgrade.
    I concur with this completely. But do use the Upgrade Advisor suggested earlier in the thread before leaping into the XP to 7 upgrade.

    Good luck!

  10. #25
    4 Star Lounger
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    nope

    using it as a new large pc
    with no learning curve
    all the aps already installed
    all the options set
    all the data ready to go

    i wish i had added more ram while it was in the shop

    this new HD will keep this pc running as long as the motherboard or i dont fail first.

    Quote Originally Posted by beiland View Post
    In other words use it just like an external HD (that is not portable) ?

  11. #26
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    Hi Beiland:

    Lots of great advice was offered here.

    FWIW: I finally just converted my remaining XP box to Win7-Pro-32-bit. Since it only supported 2GB of RAM there was no advantage to going 64-bit, but a BIG advantage in being able to run virtually ALL my existing 16-bit and 32-bit programs under Win7-32-bit! I test drove this approach with an experiment in VirtualBox on a different PC, and it was a winner, so I made the switch to the remaining XP box. Only problem was a sound card needed to be replaced as there were no drivers for it that work in Vista or Win7, and I chose to put in a new video card even though I found compatible drivers that looked great on screen but would not run any video players, for some reason. And, if like me, you have any old DOS programs that you run on your XP box, they will still run in a command console on the Win7-32-bit setup. My main PC was a big CPU upgrade and its too fast for the old stuff, so this was an advantage, too...

    I did also experiment with XP in a VirtualBox environment, but you will still lose normal support in April, so IMHO its not a good option. Also, neither XP-Mode under Win7-Pro, nor XP in VBox is without their own learning curves, and you'll still have to reinstall all your software and make the virtual hard drive big enough for all your old stuff. Uses too much disk space and not such good performance for my taste.

    I did try out the XP Easy-Transfer software from Micro$$oft, but it took over 15-hrs to backup from the system to its spare internal drive -- much slower than my usual backup software, so I skipped using it to copy the old data back.

    Yes, you will have to wipe your drive and reinstall your old software (so hunt up the old CDs if needed), but otherwise I am completely happy with the change, and needed virtually no other software purchase.

    Good luck and best wishes.

    Rob
    Last edited by rbsteinbach; 2014-01-30 at 11:36.

  12. #27
    New Lounger
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    beiland
    32 bit programs run ok on 64 bit 32 bit can only use about 4 gigs of memory while 64 bit systems can use much much more
    Understand that you can still purchase new Windows 7 machines at the Dell business site
    You could easily put a new drive in your desktop, put win7 on it, and then dual boot to xp or 7
    BUT, when xp is no longer supported by Microsoft (apr 2014) it may become a target for hackers and virus
    Windows 7 Pro has an XP mode, but I found only a few of my XP programs would work
    So I have a dual boot

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by bassfisher6522 View Post
    ... Unfortunately, all new PC's come with windows 8/8.1 .....
    I beg to differ. I just ordered a new laptop running Win7 Pro on an SSD from http://www.pro-star.com/ And there are many other companies out there that let you configure computers with Win 7. Granted, an $1800 Asus ROG laptop isn't for everyone (base price was 1399). But you CAN buy new laptops with Win 7. Ever heard of Amazon?

  14. #29
    Star Lounger hammondmike's Avatar
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    Everyone has missed an important point! That "new" HDD is probably PATA, if the system is as old as I suspect. It could only be used as an external drive in an enclosure, if you can still find an external enclosure for a PATA drive. And now Lenovo, HP, Dell and other manufacturers are producing NEW PCs with Windows7 installed, not downgraded. The only solution to the XP problem is a dual-boot system. Before any more advice is given, we need a decision on the New Computer, especially if it will be upgradeable, so that we can advise on the system transfer and any additional components that will be needed.

  15. #30
    New Lounger
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    What's that app?

    akra #16 wrote
    First, you get that free app that lets you look up the programs
    Can you please tell me what that app is called?

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