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XP to 8.1

Posted on 2014-12-08
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Last Modified: 2014-12-08
An elderly friend of mine owns a very old computer; running XP, with a CRT monitor. Would it be advisable, or even possible,  to try and upgrade it to 8.1.  

The problem is someone recently charged her almost $500 to install a blown out MB and a back hard drive.  I hate for her to throw good money after bad, with the purchase a new computer.  

But I wonder, considering how cheap a, very basic new computer would be. for someone who only surfs the net, does email, and plays solitaire.
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Question by:mikecox_
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Expert Comment

by:mbertl
ID: 40487223
Sorry for saying that, but if the user does only the things you say, i would strongly recommend to install some distribution of Linux instead of any kind of Windows. It is as easy to use, but much easier to keep secure. I personally would recommend Linux Mint or Fedora 20.
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Accepted Solution

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rindi earned 500 total points
ID: 40487315
You can't install Windows 8.x on old hardware, it just won't work. If the CPU is an Intel for socket 478 or older, it is just too old, as those CPU's miss some functions that are needed for Windows 8.x. Those CPU's should work fine with Windows 7 Though. But you will still need enough RAM, at least 1GB for any OS. Better though is more. Old boards sometimes won't take much RAM.

Generally I'd agree with Linux though. I have replaced XP on my Parent's PC about 2 years ago, and everything works fine. I used Zorin 6.3 which has a look and feel very similar to XP. The newer versions look more like Windows 8.x. For an old PC like that I'd now probably suggest Makulu Linux XFCE version, as that is very fast even on old hardware, and it has a very beautiful user interface that is easy to use.
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 40487473
I don't think linux is the answer - replacing someone's computer with a new system that only a few people (relative to Windows) understand is not a good idea.  The person could ask her friends for help with Windows - many will probably know it... Linux can be overwhelming and complicated... I've suggested it on occasion in the past and the people involved always went out and bought a new PC shortly after.

With the christmas season and the prices of computers so low, replace it with something low end and new.  Shouldn't cost more than $250.  Upgrading would cost at least half that IF the hardware supports it.  I have netbooks running Windows 8.1 with SSD drives and they run ok.
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40487499
Although I do like Aisle Riot Solitaire better than the Windows version (larger card faces), I don't have a single customer that I would switch to Linux.  They just wouldn't "get it".
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Expert Comment

by:Danny Child
ID: 40487630
if the mobo was changed out, was it to a recent model (and therefore CPU) as well?  And if the hdd is new too, you're halfway towards a new system already????
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 40487680
There's a LOT of GUESSING going on - mobo changed out - older than socket 478...

mikecox - can you provide DETAILS such as the make / model of the computer to put an end to the guessing?
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Author Closing Comment

by:mikecox_
ID: 40487863
I'm accepting this solution because I believe it sounds right; and is what I suspected.  I have purchased a "revamped" desktop computer for $100., which resolves the issue very cheaply.
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