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Installing, Upgrading or Re-Installing XP
These principles apply if you go from XP to Vista or Vista to Win 7
Moving up to XP? Or Re-installing XP? Who, What, Why, Where, When, How?
- Why? For any number of reasons, you might be faced with this scenario.
The Who? The nice thing about XP is that almost anyone can install it.
The How? There are different ways to install XP. As an upgrade if coming from a computer with a previous OS or as a new installation. Now for the advice. Experience is dictating a fresh install over an upgrade. Lets examine a typical scenario. You have a Gateway computer that was supplied with Me. You start having problems with crashes and errors and decide the best way to solve the problem is to upgrade to XP. Good choice, but some cautions are in order. First you check the Gateway site to see if there are any special requirements. Some computers require a BIOS update before installing XP. I have had this experience on my Sony laptop and a client's Dell. I just did a Gateway that did not need it. Second, look at the manufacturers site to see if your model is listed and see if there are updates needed for the hardware. Check Video, Sound, Modem, etc. Then check the manufacturers sites for your printer, scanner, camera and any other external devices. You can also check the Microsoft site for compatibility. There are 3 groups of hardware updates. 1- XP will install it automatically, 2- XP will install it if you have the updated software, and 3- the product will not work at all in XP. The 3rd group is rare, but the Canon 5000 printer is one of them. Canon refuses to write updated drivers for that printer to work with XP. Third, you want all the preinstalled programs retained. In order to do that, you need to restore the factory software (Windows Me) and then upgrade to XP. Our experience has been that an upgrade is very difficult with XP. The install is easy, but the conversion process leaves a lot to be desired. I'll give you 2 examples:
I have seen many comments from other techs and writers that have said to do a fresh install rather than an upgrade. Then install only the programs you want.
I ordered the SP2 disk from Microsoft & installed it on all my
computers primarily for security reasons. They installed with out
a hitch. I received a couple of unexpected benefits. I had to get
some hardware working on my laptop due to HP's poor service (see
I Hate HP for details). SP2 made it a no brainer. Second I set
up a network at home so we could access the Internet from our laptop.
Not quite a no brainer, but pretty close.
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