Replacing Win98SE by XP Professional

  281apple 07:05 23 Jun 06

I have a PC a friend made for me about 6 years ago. Processor is 850 MB, Memory 512, uses Win98SE. Two internal 80 GB Hard Disk 7200.
My friend now wants to replace Win98SE by XP Professional but he is not sure that the processor can handle XP. I'm looking for advice and wonder even if I should do it. What could be the pitfalls?

  rawprawn 07:13 23 Jun 06
  Terry Brown 09:34 23 Jun 06

I run XP Pro on an Athlon 800 with 512 memory for a while, it will work, but do not expect it to run at any speed, and it may hang while you are using programs like Search or graphics hungry programs. Upgrading the memory to 1024 does help a bit, but you will soon feel the need to upgrade to a new machine.

  spuds 10:04 23 Jun 06

I tend to find that XP will work on some 'older' systems which have similar components, but there can be some hang-ups, depending on what you are trying to do or achieve. Personally, I would suggest that you keep the £60/£140 that would be required for the XP programme, and put this money to purchase a new modern computer system with XP pre-installed. Surprising what you can get as a budget buy for about £300/£400 nowadays. Everything new,including perhaps a monitor with a good warranty.

You can then use the old unit for a spare, or experimental plaything.

  Batch 10:41 23 Jun 06

For £188 you can get a much better new PC - see click here and search for 106600 (their product code) - then read the user reviews.

One thing you might consider adding is some extra memory.

  €dstowe 10:52 23 Jun 06

Personally I would leave it as it is. Far better to have a machine that runs W98 well than have one that runs WXP very poorly - which is most likely what you will get.

I have never found that upgrading the O/S on a computer achieves what you hope it will and, when I have done it in the past, I wished I'd never bothered.

  Batch 16:00 23 Jun 06

Have to disagree with €dstowe.

I upgraded from WinME to XP Home SP2 on an Athlon 1.1Ghz / 512Mb / 20Gb.

If anything, performance was better. Certainly not worse.

Also many issues were solved (e.g. glitchy shutdown, USBs not working properly, Windows Explorer hanging when processing large nos. of files [a known fault with 98/ME]) - all this in spite of latest drivers installed under ME and a complete re-install of ME tried as well.

WRT to the memory you might need for XP, depends on what you are going to do. If it's just vanilla internet, emails, office type apps etc., then 512Mb should suffice. I have 512Mb and there is always plenty to spare. However if one is in to heavy photo / video editing, games, graphics etc. then more may be warranted. But I guess your current use can't be that heavy as the existing box isn't up to it.

Having said all that, I still think that the box I suggested above is worthy of consideration, especially if you're thinking of buying a retail copy of XP. In fact it's no contest.

At £188 for a PC (incl. VAT, but no monitor - you can use your existing one) with XP installed, is it really worth the time and effort of doing your own install?

NB. personally I wouldn't do an upgrade, just a clean install. Although it can be more effort, it's worth it in the long run.

  €dstowe 16:29 23 Jun 06

Installing Windows 3.1 would have been an improvement over Windows ME.

  Batch 17:03 23 Jun 06

What has Bill done to engender such cynicism?

  Zebrapec 17:38 23 Jun 06

I have only two 6 (six)gb HD and I have put win xp home edition upgrade onto my computer and it it the best thing since slice bread for £90. Okay, I cannot perform multitasking or download bags of music or work with 100's of photos but it does everything I want, & has given me the ability to use broadband and has given me the extra bits it says, like the life saving 'System Restore'. I have had trouble, I must admit, but in the two years since I installed it, I have only done two complete restores, and remember, MY HD ARE ONLY 6GB!!
At the end of the day, it depends on what you want, and as I paid £1200 for my set up all that time ago, (must be in 1998)and apart from replacing a floppy drive, I have a very good system that does what I want. This does not mean I am very tempted to buy a new system, if only for a quick start up, mine takes at least 10 min. from switching on to being able to read my e-mail........

  Batch 17:50 23 Jun 06

Ah! Memories!

I too remember my first home PC, back in the good old days before Gigbytes, LCDs and the Internet.

'Twas in days of yore when 40Mb (yes Mb) was cosnidered a large HDD and the standard memory was 640Kb. Windows was but a glint in the eye of a young William Gates, not long out of short trousers. A Dell 286 with the afore-said 40Mb and 640Kb along with a 14" colour monitor and bundled with MS-DOS 3.3 could be had for the princely sum of £1899 + the new fangled excise duty (VAT).

A further 1Mb of 120 nano-second could be obtained for just £490 + VAT.

Ah! Bring back the old days?


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