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Downsides to Win7 Upgrade for XP machines?

Posted on 2014-03-19
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Last Modified: 2014-03-19
I have lots of customers with XP running on decent machines.  Are there downsides to just using the upgrade software to bring them up to Win7?  This way they don't need new computers and hopefully their existing software would simply work as is.
Thanks,
Al
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Question by:alanlsilverman
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by:Paul MacDonald
Paul MacDonald earned 25 total points
ID: 39939693
Windows 7 has been nothing but positive for me.  The look and feel is a little different from XP, but all the major features are easily discoverable and work very much like XP.
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
☠ MASQ ☠ earned 100 total points
ID: 39939735
It will do no harm to run the System Readiness Advisor Tool from Microsoft to check for any "Gotchas" in terms of unsupported hardware or programs that aren't Win 7 compliant.  

If they are newer machines they may also have the option of switching to a 64bit OS for the first time but that will mean a fresh install.
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Lior Karasenti earned 275 total points
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Microsoft only supports "one step upgrade" so you can't upgrade or do in-place upgrade directly from XP to Windows 7.
The System Readiness Advisor that mentioned above will let you know if all you software/hardware is supported but anyway I think that your best option is to backup all the data and do a clean install
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by:rindi
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ID: 39939849
For XP you'd first have to upgrade to Vista, then to Windows 7, and then to Windows 8, and after that to 8.1. That in my point of view is far too many steps and work. Besides, upgrades are always problematic, as you would ingeritm any problems you had on the previous OS's.

So that is the main reason I never recommend upgrading an OS, but rather doing a clean, fresh installation.

Another reason mentioned above is that it usually makes sense to install a 64 bit version of the new OS. As you can't upgrade from 32bit versions of any OS to a 64 bit version, and XP in the 64 bit version was very rare, an upgrade probably even isn't possible.

Another thing, what do you mean with "decent hardware"?

Windows 8.x requires processors that have NX capability, and for that you'd need at least a core type CPU (for example core 2 duo). Standard pentium IV's won't work. If you also want to use Windows 8.x's built-in Hyper-V (which in my point of view would just about be the only reason to even consider Windows 8.x), you additionally need a SLAT capable CPU, which would mean even a newer version of the core i type (i3, i5, i7).

So in my point of view it would probably be safer and better to do a clean install of Windows 7 on the old XP PC's. While windows 7 will almost certainly run on any hardware on which XP was installed previously, and that better than XP, Windows 8.x only will work if the CPU meets those minimum criteria I mentioned.
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by:alanlsilverman
ID: 39940012
Lior Karasenti answered one important question.  I can't go directly from XP to Win7. I have to go through Vista first.

I'm not going to upgrade to 8 or 8.1 because I don't think they're as good as 7.  

I must think of my clients first.  This client is a doctor using a Lenovo X200 tablet running XP 32 bit.  It does everything he needs it to do.  In fact one of his programs runs only on a 32 bit machine.  After April 8 he can’t use it any more because of the legal/insurance issues of running an unsupported version of Windows.  

Clean installs are always best.  But having to install all the programs (which the client might not even have disks for) and settings can take an enormous amount of time. In terms of data it's no big deal.  Windows Easy Transfer works pretty well for Windows 7.  It's the programs, settings and inevitable hassles of migrating from one system to another.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 39940192
Does he really need all the software he has installed? Could there be a free, OpenSource replacements for the software he needs? For most tasks there is and you don't need to buy any expensive software for which you have to keep track of license keys and the installation media. Just as an Example, you can replace most of m$ Office with either LibreOffice or OpenOffice. Instead of Outlook you could use Thunderbird...

Check out PortableApps, which includes Software for almost any task, and it handles the updates centrally. Besides, you can put it on a USB stick so it doesn't need manual installation and can be used on any Windows PC:

http://portableapps.com/
http://portableapps.com/apps/office/libreoffice_portable
http://portableapps.com/apps/office/openoffice_portable
http://portableapps.com/apps
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Author Closing Comment

by:alanlsilverman
ID: 39940693
Thanks for all your comments.
Al
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