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Should I upgrade to W7 after saving all necessary files and folders to a portable disk or buy an inexpensive new machine for the tasks mentioned? Presumably a new machine would cost more than W7.
There is a large array of W7 versions. If we were to go for upgrading, what version should I buy for the above sorts of tasks?
should also have said what are the specs of the machine you have now ? the upgrade advisor will tell you if it is suitable to run windows 7
XP will not suddenly stop working when MS ends support for it. It just means there will be no further security updates from MS Update Service.
Windows 7 Home Premium costs around £75.
If you buy a new machine go for the 64 bit version.
You wont be able to buy a new PC for less than £75 and in order to advise on specification we need to know what tasks you are referring to.
You need to budget for at least £300 and if you need a new screen and an OS licence then £400 to £500 will be the starting point.
Tasks. Browsing, word processing, spreadsheets, emails. Have already checked MS upgrade - it is OK for 32 bit but needs more ram for 64. CPU Intel core 2 2400 Mhz. Socket 775 M/B AsusTec P5N-E SLI Ram 2x1024 HD 325 GB
I hear MS is no longer selling W7 - is that correct? Of course, it is still available on the net.
W7 licences are still readily available but Microsoft would like you to install W8.1, but its very unlikely that your PC would run it.
The only downside of choosing W7 is that Microsoft will cease supporting it sooner than W8.1 but many people prefer it to the much hated W8/8.1.
See here for Microsoft Product Support Lifecycle Policy
If you have old hardware you may find that there are no W7 drivers for it but upgrade advisor should have flagged it. You can check with the manufacturers web site for W7 drivers for your product if in doubt.
You should be able to run most of your old software but may have to resort to compatibility mode.
As your requirements are modest you should find W7 is OK but unfortunately the only way to find out is to install it.
Can I suggest you buy a new hard drive and install W7 on that, so you don't have to go down the dual boot road and have to mess about undoing the dual boot when XP is no longer wanted on your system.
First take out your XP hard drive and put it to one side.
Then you will have two separate bootable hard drives and can swap them about depending on which op sys you want to boot up.
It's very useful for those first few weeks until you've got W7 tweaked to how you want it :)
Thanks everyone. I think I will upgrade to W 7 on my existing machine and follow lotvic's suggestion e hard disks.
When I switched to W7 from XP (never looked back and wasted time with a dual boot) that it was far easier to partition the new disc (mine was 500 gig so I allocated 100 gig to OS and programmes.) The balance of about 400 gig I called "Data" Then on the XP I copied all my data (in a folder "My Documents" , with sub folders, such as photos, music, word etc) to a USB HD. When the W7 was installed on the new disc, and up and running with the partition, You can tell the filing system to put your "library" content to the data disc and copy the old data to that partition. Advantage - you can make images of the OS to a back up disc, and use something like Freefilesynch to make very quick mirror image back ups of the data.
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