Windows XP is no longer supported as of April. So I’m looking for advice on how best to replace it with Windows 7. Microsoft’s site has a tutorial, but it’s still somewhat confusing and seems quite long. Would I waste my time insisting? I don’t want to replace an otherwise satisfactory netbook with a tablet.
Microsoft will soon stop releasing security fixes for Windows XP, although it will continue to provide updates for its antivirus program, Microsoft Security Essentials. XP will continue to work, but it will be more dangerous to use it, as malware authors may find security holes in XP by examining patches for later versions of Windows. Someone with safe browsing habits and good backups could continue to use XP, although I wouldn’t recommend it. Less sophisticated and less vigilant users should change.
Some netbooks and laptops already include a solution in the form of a separate Linux-based operating system called Splashtop. This is installed under various names: Asus ExpressGate, HP QuickWeb, etc. It’s not very nice, but you can use Splashtop online and Windows XP offline.
The first step in a Windows upgrade is always the same: download and run Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor or Windows 8.1 Upgrade Assistant. These will check the compatibility of your current system. Most PCs that are running XP should be running Windows 7 or 8, but if you only have 1GB of memory, it would be worth expanding to 2GB, if you can.
I would consider Windows 8 because it is a better operating system than Windows 7. It is more economical in its use of resources, it runs smoother, has improved security features, and upgrades to the next one. Windows version. Yes, the start screen works best with touch, but you can configure 8.1 to boot directly to the desktop and / or install utilities that make it work more like Windows 7. Examples include Start8 and Classic shell.
You don’t have to worry about Windows Modern apps (aka Metro) as they won’t work on the limited 1024 x 600 pixel screen of a netbook. They need at least 1024 x 768 pixels, unless you use “downscaling” as explained in howtogeek.com.
However, you missed out on the introductory upgrade offers, so Windows 8 could cost you more. By consulting Amazon.co.uk, the best offers of the moment are Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit on DVD (OEM Edition) for Â£ 49.99 and the Windows 8 Pro Upgrade Edition – which includes 32-bit and 64-bit versions – for Â£ 99.99. OEM editions are provided to system builders or original equipment manufacturers, so the price does not include any support.
Note that you will need the 32-bit version if your netbook has the usual Intel Atom processor, although a 64-bit processor and operating system would obviously be better.
There are two main issues with upgrading to Windows 7. First, Microsoft only supports one-step upgrades and (because of Vista) Windows 7 is two steps away from XP. So you can’t do an âin placeâ upgrade, only a âclean installâ that completely replaces XP. You will therefore need to back up all your data first and reinstall all your programs afterwards. Microsoft is providing the Windows Easy Transfer program for Windows XP to help you, but it will still take some time.
Second, your netbook doesn’t have a built-in DVD drive, so you’ll have to find another way to install Windows 7. The easiest way is to add an external DVD drive through a USB port, but if you don’t have one already one, that would be another additional cost. The usual solution is to create a bootable USB drive of 4 GB or more and use a second PC to copy all the files from the Windows DVD to it.
It is a bit difficult to create a bootable USB drive formatted with Windows NTFS file system. the TechSpot The website has a comprehensive guide, but it’s probably easier to use one of the utilities designed for this purpose. WiNToBootic is fast and versatile because you can use DVD, hard drive folder, or ISO disc image as the source. Alternatives include Rufus, WinToFlash, and Windows Boot Image Creator (WBI).
Microsoft also offers a free utility: the Windows 7 USB / DVD Download Tool. This assumes that you have only one PC and you will download a Windows 7 ISO disc image. If you can access your Windows DVD on a second PC, you can create an ISO image with CD burning software. / DVD, such as ImgBurn.
Once you have the Windows 7 files on your USB drive, change the boot order in your netbook’s BIOS chip to boot from USB, then install Windows normally. Keep in mind that if everything goes wrong, you will need to restore an XP backup image from an external hard drive.
Is it worth it? Not reallyâ¦
Is it worth all the time and effort besides the financial expense? It depends on whether playing with PCs is a hobby or, if not, how much you value your time. If you need to restore a lot of data, reinstall software, and re-download a dozen or more utilities (Firefox, SlimClean, FreeFileSync, Dropbox, Kindle, etc.), it will take at least a day.
Either way, upgrading is not a good financial investment. Used netbooks typically sell for Â£ 25 to Â£ 100 on eBay.co.uk, and even a pristine one-year-old Asus Eee PC X101CH only sold for Â£ 102 this week. There are thousands of netbooks lying around, and a lot of them go by without attracting any offers.
If you want to continue using a netbook, I think you have two rational options: either run a free Linux like Lubuntu – which will still take some time to install and learn, and won’t run your old software – or sell it and buy a used netbook under Windows 7 or Windows 7 Starter. It’s not the full version, but it gets the job done.
Unfortunately, netbooks offer a very limited computing experience compared to lightweight Windows 7 laptops and Windows 8 hybrids. For example, you can get a brand new “netbook” such as the Asus X102BA for â¬ 276.18. Granted, it has a super slow AMD A4-1200 processor at 1.0GHz, but compared to your current machine it has more memory (4GB), bigger hard drive (500GB), faster communications (USB3), better graphics (Radeon HD8180), better screen resolution (1366 x 768 pixels), a touchscreen, 64-bit Windows 8 and a free copy of Microsoft Office 2013 Home and Student worth 115 Â£. It will also save you a lot of time starting, hibernating and stopping faster, and it should load web pages significantly faster. There are many similar machines, including hybrids with detachable tablet screens.
It’s fine to make things last, up to a point, but sometimes they get stale. A new mini laptop like the Asus X102BA is cheaper than many tablets and smartphones, and is expected to last much longer, so it will deliver better value in the long run.