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Upgrading to Windows XP?

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  • Upgrading to Windows XP?

    I've been wanting to start a similar thread to Ed's, but with a slightly different twist. It seems like most people who have XP got it with a new machine. I don't have a need for a new machine, but am considering upgrading from Windows 98 to XP (esp. since 98 is starting to act weird again and it appears that I'm going to have to do another clean install - why not install XP if I'm going to go to all that trouble?)

    So, I'd like to know what your experience has been with XP as far as:
    1. Finding drivers for all of your peripherals
    2. Stability
    3. Networking - specifically, can one computer on the network be XP and the other 98SE?
    4. Learning curve - how different is it from Windows 98 (which is what I'd be upgrading from?)
    5. What's the difference between the "Home" and "Pro" version? Does anyone have the "Pro" version? And if so, why did you choose it over the "Home" version?


  • #2
    I got it via a new machine but I think I can answer some of your questions. Here goes

    1. I've found drivers for the most all my hardware and what I didn't get updates for works fine also for my most important software but not for a few games I had. No biggie. So far alot of things that had no specific downloads seem to work fine. And if not the website for their support will usually tell you. I would say, hunt down the XP downloads for your stuff first and see what you would loose by switching.

    2. I think it is pretty stable but if you do anything, install hardware etc. make sure you back up first. I had a major problem when my husband installed some hardware upgrades and Windows for some reason decided all my photo files were corupt and erased them. Very devastating. But mostly it seems to work pretty regularly without crashing.

    3. We have 3 computers on a network hub and one is Windows 98 the other is Windows 2000 and mine is XP and all work fine with each other.

    4. Doesn't seem to be that hard to learn. It basically just looks different than the other Windows versions but everything is pretty much in the same place. You should pick it up real quick.

    5. I have the home version and to guess what is the difference from the Pro version would be just that, a guess. I just thought it had features more geared to networking but like I said mine is working fine on a network.

    Hope that helps.


    • #3
      I bought the XP upgrade and upgraded Windows 98 on my machine. It gives you two options when installing…upgrade or clean install. I did the upgrade option, but a friend of mine at Microsoft told me it works better to do the clean install.

      Finding Drivers for peripherals:
      I was able to find all the drivers except one for my scanner from the peripherals’ home pages. Note when you install XP it runs a system check first and lets you know what trouble you will have. Just make sure you have all your peripherals hooked up and on and the program will let you know where you are going to have compatibility issues. Also the XP home page has a site that list what hardware, software etc. is compatible with XP. Typically most peripherals have updated XP drivers. Where you may run into trouble is if you have an older scanner like I did.

      Extremely stable. The reason I switched to XP is that my Windows program was starting to act up again with Fatal Exception errors every so often. So far XP has resolved all those issues and I haven’t received a single error or crash since switching to XP

      I am pretty sure you can network with computers with different OS. I suggest you go to the XP web site and check though.

      Leaning Curve:
      It really isn’t all that different from Windows…just fancier icons. The software also comes with a great Tour program that will walk you through XP as well as a great help section to get answers to almost any question you may have. Also another great feature is Remote Assistance. It is like PC Anywhere. You can invite a friend or Microsoft Tech and they can either view your screen or actually manipulate it to help fix any problems from over the Internet. You choose what they can or cannot do. This can come in handy if you have problems and know a computer savvy friend.

      5. As for the difference between Home and Pro version I don’t really don't know as I just have the home version. Check out the XP web site.

      Which Edition is Right For You?

      I would recommend XP though. I have really enjoyed it so far.

      XP Home Page

      If you do upgrade to XP, be sure to run their Live Update as there may be a few critical updates you will need to download. It also looks for updated drivers and patches for the various other programs on your machine. Quite the handy tool.



      • #4
        Wow - thanks DJ & T! This is really great info. I've heard a lot of rumors of people saying they're "waiting" because it's so new, but I haven't heard anything bad about it on this site from various comments that people have made in posts on other topics. It's nice to hear more concrete info though! -Jeanie


        • #5

          I didn't get my new computer yet, but I picked up a "Windows XP for Dummies" book. According to the book, you can make XP look very much like earlier versions of Windows. There are "tons" of user set options available. One thing that was not mentioned in other posts is that XP requires you to activate (I think that's the word used) it with Microsoft within 30 days. If you don't, it will stop running. When you activate it, it takes a snapshot of your computer including the serial number. If you install it on another machine, it will *not* work. You do not own XP when you buy it. You merely are granted a license to use it on one machine only. I think the difference between the home and pro editions are related mostly to security for large businesses, although there are probably other differences too. As per drivers -=- I had no trouble getting a driver for my Epson 870 and my Acer 1240UT scanner.



          • #6
            I should also have mentioned that the book says that if you upgrade your computer with a lot of goodies, XP might not recognize the computer, and refuse to work. If that happens, you need to call Microsoft and convince someone that you've upgraded so that you can once again use it. But from what I've seen, it looks like an excellent version of Windows. If you have a library nearby, I recommend that you pick up a copy of the "Dummies" book. It also goes into networking with other Windows machines.



            • #7
              The 'Pro' version has more network options. J, go for the clean install if you can it flushes all the fragments and lost files that hang around on your hard drive into the void.


              • #8
                That's what we eventually had to do. Luckily it was a new system so I didn't have alot of work restoring everything but after that, all works well.

                Sounds like you got a better handle on what XP does than I do. I guess I will have to look into getting a Dummies book.


                • #9
                  DJ, Its certainly the best option and saves a lot of anguish later. I usually kill and re-install the OS every six months or so to prevent things getting gummed up with rubbish. These clean up programs are all very well but having been told in the past that 'these 100 files are no longer used and can be safely deleted' by Cleensweep
                  I tend to keep them anyway I can guarantee removing one of them will lead to disaster !!!


                  • #10

                    If you haven't read one of the "Dummies" books, I highly recommend it. I went to buy one yesterday not expecting to see a 20% off sale going on! I think it was around $18.00 including sales tax. These books are good at getting familiar with something, and as future reference.



                    • #11
                      I am familiar with the Dummies books and I agree that they help alot and are actually funny as well. I learned Windows 95 by the dummies plan.


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