With all the discussion lately about support for XP ending in April it seems conventional wisdom is to change to W7 or W8.1.
I set up a computer with W7 and one with W8.1 and have been trying them on tasks I commonly use. W8.1 seems faster than W7 after installing Classic Shell on W8.1 to get a start button and menu. I think going with W8.1 makes more sense since it's support will continue after W7 expires. I am loath to give up XP so I'm going to add a router to my MalwarePro and Winpatrol to see if that might be secure? I've run XP with updates turned off for years and have had no problems with MalwarePro and Winpatrol installed.
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Half of avoiding virus attacks is just common sense in browsing habits. Not clicking every ad, or possible download goes a long way. But exploits are showing up in unexpected places. Hundreds of thousands of people got zapped recently just by going to Yahoo, but that used a Java exploit, and very few people need the Java plugin within their browsers anymore.
A router will help protect your XP installation, but will do nothing to help with your own possible mistakes when browsing or opening attachments.
I do not recommend avoiding updates. Why deliberately leave open attack vectors? That makes no sense.
And you might want to run a rootkit detector on your XP machine. Sophos makes a free one (very slow by the way), and Gmer is a second one. They can find malware that your regular scanner might miss.
I personally like 8.1, as it has been fast and stable. I run StartisBack instead of ClassicShell. The only video related programs that have had issues in 8 or 8.1 have been Vob2Mpg (Vobset mode doesn't work but IFO mode does) and older versions of media players, like TMT3.
Last edited by Kerry56; 12th Jan 2014 at 16:53.
I was about to start a similar thread.
Whether I go for Win7 or 8.1, what is a 'sensible' amount of ram to install. My XP system runs quite well at present on 2 gigs but I guess I need more.
Was thinking of 4 (max) if I go 32 bit. Is 6 sufficient for 'menial' tasks (no gaming) for 64 bit ?
4gb is the obvious answer for a 32bit system. I ran Windows 8 64bit on 4gb of ram for quite a while with no obvious problems, but I would think your experience would vary quite a lot depending on the programs you use. Some programs like Photoshop or running a VM can take a lot of ram. I've since increased the amount of ram in my system to 8gb and it runs very well.
Last edited by Kerry56; 12th Jan 2014 at 17:26. Reason: clarity
Thanks. I appreciate that there is no simple answer to such a simple question.
If I can ask one more. You will note that my CPU is a humble dual-core. Would this 'choke' on a 64 bit OS even with enough ram ?
Good to know.
My 'menial' tasks could be more intensive than MS Office but I rarely do any video encoding these days and even when I did was quite content to bite the time bullet.
Just gotta make the call now.
I'm using Win7 64 bit with 16 GB of RAM. The memory may seem excessive, but with that much you can cut the size of the page file way down to a smallish fixed size. Which works especially well with an SSD. Windows will use too much space for the page file if you let it, even with gobs of memory. I also run a VM, and you need some spare RAM for that too.
As to security, a router is a very good idea. I also only get on the web in the VM. Since the VM installation is in a folder on hard drive, it's easy to just copy it somewhere else. If anything stuffs up in the VM, just shut it down, delete the folder and restore your copy. A matter of a few minutes at most.Pull! Bang! Darn!
When my main computer died last year, I bought an old cheap dual core replacement, an Athlon 64 X2. It had 2 gigs of ram and XP didn't work with my usb headset, so I put Win7 64 bit on, and I had no problems.
I fixed my main computer a few months ago, which has a Phenom II X6, and 4 gigs of ram, and I switched to Win7 64 bit from XP, and no problems at all. In general, there is no reason not to switch to a 64 bit version. If you use a 32 bit version, you are limited to using only about 3.25 gigs of ram maximum. So if you have 4 gigs of ram, or want the option to upgrade to 4 gigs or ram (or more), then you need the 64 bit version.
I believe all multicore CPU's are 64 bit, and if you are running a single core cpu system, I would just stay with XP, or go to light version of Linux.
Programs request "X" amount of memory. They may only be using a percentage of "X", but Windows assigns them "X" amount of memory. However Windows manages memory usage and tries not to waste it, so a "percentage of X" is actually RAM, while the remainder is paging file. The program has no idea where the memory it's allocated comes from, it just thinks it has "X" amount of memory to play with, but the memory it's not using isn't wasted RAM. Nothing is written to the paging file as such, no data is being "swapped out", so the process doesn't slow things down.
If you restrict the size of the paging file you might be restricting "available memory" in a way which might slow things down a little, or maybe waste RAM, or both, or maybe cause some programs to request a different amount of memory from Windows than they otherwise would. I don't really know how it all works, but I'm sure (as an example) Firefox's memory usage is based on installed RAM. The more you have the more it asks for, and maybe the more it wastes if the paging file can't be used??.....
I know a couple of people who disable the paging file completely and swear it makes their PCs faster, but neither have offered anything "scientific" (ie benchmarks, timed PC operations, anything.....) to actually support it. Sometimes I think the placebo effect can do more to improve the performance of a PC than a week's worth of "tweaking". You'll be getting me started on registry cleaning in a minute....
I'm running XP and have my paging file set to a minimum of 2GB, but it can grow to whatever size it likes, however even on the very odd occasion Task Manger has reported more than 2GB of page file usage I'm pretty sure the paging file itself has remained 2GB in size (according to Explorer) so maybe "page file usage" and "actually using the paging file" can be two different things.
Anyway..... I tend to think even Microsoft couldn't still be getting Windows memory management wrong after all these years, and not fully understanding how it all works, I tend to think leaving the management of memory up to the OS is generally the best idea.
Yes, some think eliminating the page file entirely is a good idea, while others disagree. I also disagree. Windows just doesn't like it, in my experience, and sooner or later you'll get a memory error while running a memory intensive program.
However, I never liked how Windows would expand and contract the page file, and prefer it to be a fixed size, somewhat smaller than what the system managed size would be. There's a better consensus on that, i.e. that it shouldn't cause instability if the page file is not sized radically low.
I think I've read (probably) all the pros and cons on SSD tweaks and opinion is all over the place. But that one is often recommended. IIRC, I have my page file fixed at 1 GB, and have never had any problems. OTOH, when I tried eliminatiing the page file...problems. At any rate, many will say that the Windows system managed page file size is intended to run an OS smoothly on systems with much less memory than 16 GB, and Windows can be nudged into using more RAM and less virtual memory. That makes sense to me.Pull! Bang! Darn!
Setting a minimum page file size makes sense.... or seems to..... I have mine set to 2GB so it doesn't keep growing and shrinking and potentially increase fragmentation, however..... I'm not sure I see the logic in limiting the paging file size. Mine's set to "no fixed maximum size" so it can grow if need be. I'm not sure I've ever seen it do so, but even so, limiting the paging file size puts an "artificial" limit on the amount of memory Windows has to play with. Kinda like.... Windows: "I need to allocate a little more memory", User: Sorry, but 1GB of paging file is all you get". Whether in reality it makes much difference, I have no idea.
"Using more RAM" as opposed to using RAM without actually using it.... ie without assigning unused memory to the paging file instead?
If all your RAM is actually being used for data then it makes sense. If there's a chance some of it's being wasted, then not so much.
just 4 fun
it seems like updates for Windows XP is already been discontinued.
But I am still looking for following updates:
Microsoft Malicious Update
(Refer article KB-Malicious)
An issue has been identified that could allow a malicious attacker to compromise computer security and gain complete control over it.
I am totally confuse who is malicious?
(it's typo - may be mine few word here n there).
I guess I have to dig the grave of Windows XP after April 2014.
If you find it, let me know. ha..ha..
Last edited by enim; 15th Jan 2014 at 15:42.
Bringing the thread back to the subject. I upgrade to W8.1 on my primary computer,the only connected to the internet. One minor feature missing from 8.1 is the ability to change the background color of open windows. I always changed the color from the glaring white to light grey because it was easier on my eyes. Too bad MS didn't think this option was worth keeping in 8.1. Also I note that it doesn't completely fail to carry programs over when you upgrade from XP. Any in the Program File directory will be lost,but programs on C drive will be saved in 8.1,they may not all work,but most due.
Few month back I given away old PCs with genuine Windows 7 SP1, the kids were happy bcoz they were able to play some media files right away without any codec packs.
Few days back I was tweaking and installing few more games on one of that PC for a gamer kid, but I found satisfactory performance
I also tried upgrading to Vista to save my programs,and Vista did preserve all my programs. But when I tried to upgrade Vista to 8.1 windows said can't do that. Seems you have to go from XP-Vista-W7-W8 to perform the upgrade,that was a little much for me.
You will be better off doing a clean install of the operating system. Then reinstall your programs.
I do this even though all my copies of Win 7 and Win 8 are upgrade versions.
The only way is XP->Vista->W7->W8 to perform the upgrade according to publications, as you stated. Somehow I always prefer clean install by backing up important files. Frankly you should stay with Vista or at least upgrade to Windows 7 SP1. (Some game has some issues on Windows 7).
I know few guys in my circle including businessman who gonna stick with WindowsXP until their hardware dies. I see no problem. The only problem is updates, and they not not really much concerned with updates. One uses XP desktop for customer billing with customized and custom developed billing software.
Anyway Microsoft is trying hard to push Windows 8.1 as much as they can.
I usually prefer to play with snow leopard, mountain lion and tux babies, as they serve my purpose in full with lots of ease, no more updates, no more upgrades.
Last edited by enim; 15th Jan 2014 at 16:23.
Considering the move from XP to Win7 or 8.1, what do you guys use as a mail client - not webmail pls. I know that OE was discontinued post XP but is there a viable alternative and, more importantly, can I import my existing OE folders in to it ?
I hardly seldom use mail or kmail once in a while. I am too lazy to compose, type and click send. My webmail account automatically gets locked or deleted for not opening for a long long time.
Not pretty sure, if Mozilla Thunderbird follows Eudora - Qualcomm codes, if so, it should be good enough.
For email client I like Mozilla Seamonkey which is similar to Firefox but with email client instead of browser only like Firefox. Seamonkey works with Win7, and I think it should work for Win8 too, but you could check the Mozilla web site to make sure.
I've been using Mozilla Thunderbird for years (literally, I can't remember how long that is though). I hated using Outlook Express even when it was about the only thing available waaay back when I first got access to the 'net in about 1995 (oh dear almost 20 years ago)
I used bulletin boards via my Amiga long before that, AmiExpress and MaxBBS were very popular
The main three I use daily on my Win7 system are :
PaleMoon (firefox but with all the ancient code stripped and x64. Much smoother and almost the same release timeline as official FireFox)
DirectoryOpus (used that since v1.xx was released as it was/is the best file manager out there)
Very rarely I use Internet Explorer when the odd website insists its the only browser that people use