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  1. #1
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    An OS refresh: When it's best to start over

    LANGALIST PLUS

    An OS refresh: When it's best to start over


    By Fred Langa

    Sometimes, trying to avoid a full Windows reinstall is more of a hassle than just biting the bullet and starting fresh. Here's an example. Plus: Win10 Preview fails to install on a virtual machine, a printing problem with no easy solution, and troubleshooting a stuck Win8.0-to-8.1 upgrade.


    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/langalist-plus/an-os-refresh-when-its-best-to-start-over/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
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    Just a note on the first section. While I appreciate you were directing him elsewhere, it is more than possible to take an existing OS installer and Slipstream in the SP1 Update, thus giving you an SP1 installer disc. It's the Key that is the license, not the disc. It's not necessary to start at the very beginning nor buy a new disc.

    That said, this does take a bit of doing so is only useful if a non-destructive reinstall is the best choice. And I certainly agree that making a System image when things are all redone is a very good idea.

  3. #3
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    A Windows 7 printing problem with no solution-Wrong Answer there is a good solution

    Fred you said "In short: A VPC can't overcome problems in the host PC. A host system has to be working correctly and fully for a VPC system to also work correctly and fully." I disagree. I use the VMware player on my Win 7 machine and a copy of Win XP is installed on the VMware player. I then installed the printer driver for an older HP printer that would not work in Win 7. It works great in my virtual XP machine and in fact that is the primary reason I did the install of the VMware player. Lots of older printers don't have Win 7 or newer drivers but will run just fine on Win XP. By using the free VMware player (or presumably Virtual Box) you don't need to invest in a new printer. The VMware player is setup such that the "my documents" folder is common to both the host PC and the virtual PC so it is very easy to switch from one to the other and print what you want.

  4. #4
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    A Windows 7 printing problem with no solution-Work around
    If you have an old PC ,load win xp connect printer and then add to network.
    Should work Fine.

  5. #5
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    I can echo mikesand's experience (post #3) except in my case it was with a scanner and using Oracle VirtualBox. The scanner was connected through a USB port. There were no drivers available for the scanner in Windows 7, so I installed the scanner software in Windows XP running in VirtualBox, and it all worked perfectly OK. Obviously, VirtualBox allowed the scanner software (driver) to communicate directly with the USB port. Sadly, however, the scanner hardware has since died; so I have not used this setup for about a year as the replacement is Windows 7 compatible.

  6. #6
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    You can install obsolete printers on Windows 7 machines. I found something like this on the net when I bought my first x64 machine. This is what worked for my HP Laser Jet 6p (1997 vintage):

    This is for HP 6P LaserJet installed on USB on a PC and then shared on a LAN.

    We wanted a new machine to use this remote printer, but the "Add Printer" wizard refused to install instead messaging that it can't find a driver. As best as I can tell (HPs website is massively confusing) you cannot find a driver for this printer on HP’s website – they definitely do not have it for x64 systems. This is what worked for me:

    1 Plug the printer directly into the new PC.

    2 Allow Windows 7 to locate and install a driver - use the Troubleshooter and allow a search on Windows Update. Once installed, print something to test.

    3 Unplug the printer from the new PC and then plug it back into the original (host) machine. Remember to use the same USB socket the printer was originally plugged into on the host - or you may get another 6P detected and installed on the host machine.

    4 Assuming the 6P is shared by the host you now need to browse the network using Windows Explorer. When you see the shared printer, click the right mouse button on it and select 'Make shortcut' - a shortcut should appear on the desktop.

    5 Right click on the desktop shortcut and click properties. The Target box should be highlighted, so click on it and select copy.

    6 Open the "Devices and Printers" panel. The 6P you installed via USB will still exist even though the printer has been returned to the host machine. Right click on it and the click 'Printer Properties'.

    7 Click the Ports tab.

    8 Click 'Add port', then click 'Add local port', when the 'Enter Port Name' box appears, paste in the Shortcut target information and click next.

    9 Click OK or Apply until all the boxes have gone.

    You should now have a working printer! The new computer thinks its a local printer, but you have redirected it to the LAN shared printer.

    I can (and do) print from my 2013 Dell Laptop (Win7x64) to this printer every week.

  7. #7
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    I have to agree that virtual machines are a good solution to incompatibilities- I have an XP Virtual machine using virtual box running on my Win 7 machine, and run my scanner from it. The scanner has no Win 7 drivers made for it. Works great.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasrome View Post
    You can install obsolete printers on Windows 7 machines.
    <snip>
    I've had to do something very similar several times in the past. Mainly in the early days of Win 7, getting them to connect to a shared printer on an XP network. I usually found that, though Win 7 could see the printer, it just would not install. I always ended up installing it as a local printer, changing the port to COM 1 (which was never in use), and using the net use command to connect it to the share. It always worked.

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