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After much consideration I have decided to update my XP computer to Windows 8 This is mainly due to the fact that support for XP is about to come to an end and also more software upgrades are Win 7 or 8 only. I have backed up everything onto separate hard drives, gathered all my user key numbers together along with the installation discs for my important programs, watched several videos on the net and now I feel that I am all set to go when I have some time to spare later in the week.
However before I go ahead I would like to hear the experiences of anyone who has gone down this route who can tell me anything I need to watch out for. Simple answers only!
Also would I be able to upgrade to 64bit or be restricted to 32 - not really bothered if I can't switch but it would be nice to be able to use more RAM, my machine runs Intel Core2 CPU 6420 @ 2.13GHz and already has 4gig of RAM installed.
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Support for XP comes to an end on the 8th April 2014 actually.
It might be best to go Windows 7. Windows 8 is imo an eclectic mix of what are really touch screen (tablet) features and underneath, a "normal" windows style desktop. It's a bit like the DOS situation. It looks as though they've decided to phase out the "normal" familiar Windows desktop to concentrate on tablets but have neglected to take into consideration the vast majority of users who are use to a standard start screen and have "tagged on" a desktop feature which i found awkward to get to. Also i found it annoying having to log in every time i wanted to use my computer, although someone did mention there is a way round this (it wasn't obvious to me).
I changed my Windows 8 laptop (it had Windows 8 on it when I bought it) to Windows 7 and haven't looked back.
Check if you have 64 or 32bit here
Win 8 is built on top of Win 7 although it works fine it does of course take time to find your way around being so different from previous windows..
When you install make sure you don't set up a password to start which can be a pain, unless of course you so wish to set one up.
I cant find a way to delete and cancel since I installed.
The support for XP is not vital as it mainly covers security issues with many still using it happily.
Boot up time for Win 8 is quick while being less demanding.
I upgraded from XP to Windows 8 at Christmas when it was cheap.
The changeover; it was a clean instal, took about forty minutes and lots of restarts. All you need to do, once it's begun, is keep an eye on it and press a key now and then.
As Umberto says, If you're using a tablet, or something with 'touchscreen,' then the tiles are there but there is also a desktop option which is really a slightly revamped Windows 7 but it's hardly 'tagged on' and isn't at all hard to get to.
You will need to add a start menu though as Windows 8 doesn't have one. there are several freebies available, all of which seem to do the same job (I've tried them!) and you can choose one that resembles the one in your favourite OS. Once that's installed the desktop works just as you'd expect it to. It's not quite the same as XP but after all, it's about twelve years newer!
You'll soon get used to it.
The only time I see the tiles interface is when the machine is first switched on. Then it's a single click to open the desktop. Starting from cold takes just a few seconds incidentally, it's far faster than XP was and I was pretty happy with that.
The rest of the time, it defaults to the desktop each time I close a window. I only ever see the tiles if I choose to.
There's no need to log in each time you start it, in fact I believe that that option has been available in all previous OSs. It's there in case the machine has more than one user. Certainly the option existed in XP and I know it's there in Windows 7. You just need to choose whether or not you want to use it.
I'm not sure about switching from 32 to 64 bit. This machine's 32 bit, I downloaded and installed the OS directly from MS. and it installed the 32 bit version automatically. I think that you'll only be able to use whatever your machine's capable of running. Someone more knowledgeable than I can probably better answer that.
If you're upgrading from XP, I can recommend Windows 8. It's newer still than Windows 7 so, presumably, it has some advantages and (taking 'Vista' out of the equation) somehow it seems a bit silly to upgrade to something other than the latest version.
Hope this helps.
Quote: You will need to add a start menu though as Windows 8 doesn't have one.
Never really felt the need of one, The tiles do the same thing but have more options.
On both windows7 & 8 I have everything I need pinned to the taskbar so I don't use the start-bar on either.
I can't imagine why anyone would go back to 7 as the difference between the 2 is hardly noticeable (especially if you install a start menu then it must be almost exactly the same).
Our Dan had a new laptop a few weeks ago and it came with W8
A couple of clicks and it acts the same as W7
Quote: I can't imagine why anyone would go back to 7 as the difference between the 2 is hardly noticeable (especially if you install a start menu then it must be almost exactly the same).
It is Chris.
I use Windows 7 at school (where I work) and I can't see a difference. Like yourself, I've got most things pinned to the taskbar and just four icons on the desktop.
The reason that I don't use the tiles isn't that I can't, or don't like to, it's just that it defaults to the desktop every time and I've got used to it.
Thanks for all of the advice so far. I did consider just going for Windows 7 but the upgrade to it was a lot more expensive and I agree with Brendan about going for the latest version. My machine is running in 32bit mode so I guess that's what I'll have to go for.
Quote: All you need to do, once it's begun, is keep an eye on it and press a key now and then.
I have seen videos on U tube where they say to ignore pressing any keys and just let the computer do its own thing and the installation still goes ahead but the whole process seems relatively straight forward. The only thing I have concerns about are keeping all my emails and bookmarks in Thunderbird and Firefox as I presume these two programs will be lost. I have a mirrored backup of my C drive which was done using SyncBackPro but again this will have to be re-installed so all my backup plans will be lost
Will not be doing this until later in the week so will report back (or not) depending on how well it all goes
Quote: A couple of clicks and it acts the same as W7
How? I hate the W8 interface...
If your XP computer is an old one it may not be Win7 compatable - check the MB maker's website for Win7/8 drivers.
Service pack 1 for Windows 8 will be out soon and supposedly has put back the Start menu and other things that users have asked for.
As far as I know Win8 is 64bit.
Quote: A couple of clicks and it acts the same as W7
How? I hate the W8 interface...
Just click on the desktop tile and you are in windows 7.
Quote: Service pack 1 for Windows 8 will be out soon
From what I've read there won't be any more service packs released as in the past, There has been talk of Microsoft following the Apple business model and selling the major updates.
Quote: As far as I know Win8 is 64bit.
Windows 8 has both 32 bit and 64 bit editions.
Quote: Just click on the desktop tile and you are in windows 7.
No you have the desktop - albeit I feel more comfortable with this, it is far far removed from being Windows 7.
You are best upgrading your PC and get 12 or 16GB of RAM, as its cheap enough now, with a decent motherboard and one of the new Intel processors. Also go for 64 bit as its faster, especially if using Photoshop products. Finally, go for Windows 7 64 bit.
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