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Old 11-12-2009, 09:55 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
But I'm not sure if I can tell friends on Windows if they can do this or not. Do you know?
I thought I could find an easy answer for you but clicking on "Help and Support"/"Backup" gave me over thirty "answers." This may be close to what you are asking... except for the "testing" part.

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What is a system image?

A system image is an exact copy of a drive. By default, a system image includes the drives required for Windows to run. It also includes Windows and your system settings, programs, and files. You can use a system image to restore the contents of your computer if your hard disk or computer ever stops working. When you restore your computer from a system image, it's a complete restoration—you can't choose individual items to restore, and all of your current programs, system settings, and files are replaced with the contents of the system image.

Although this type of backup includes your personal files, we recommend that you back up your files regularly using Windows Backup so that you can restore individual files and folders as needed. When you set up Windows Backup, you can let Windows choose what to back up, which will include a system image, or you can select the items that you want to back up and whether you want to include a system image. For more information about setting up Windows Backup, see Back up your files.

If your computer contains several drives or partitions, you can create a system image that includes all of them by following the steps in Back up your programs, system settings, and files.


Here are some online sources that can be looked at:
Windows - Help and Troubleshooting | Microsoft Answers
Help and Support
http://www.microsoft.com/communities...s/default.mspx

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Old 11-12-2009, 10:07 AM   #42
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Unless you have a specific application need or your current system is unstable, upgrading SW will usually bring you no benefit, but it will certainly reduce the expected life span of your HW.

This is true not only for operating systems but application sw as well - like MS office.

The whole "we won't support older versions" is nothing but FUD - fear, uncertainty and doubt, and quite common in the SW business.

Once you have a stable sw platform, and xp2 certainly meets that test, not changing it is the best way to extend the life of your more expensive HW, minimize sw conflicts and reduce system outages along with all the corresponding time wasted on this stuff.

Change SW when you change HW. In-between, upgrade hw with memory and hard disk to improve performance.
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:31 AM   #43
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... upgrading SW will usually bring you no benefit, but it will certainly reduce the expected life span of your HW.
Please explain further.
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:45 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by RonBoyd View Post
I thought I could find an easy answer for you but clicking on "Help and Support"/"Backup" gave me over thirty "answers." This may be close to what you are asking... except for the "testing" part.
Thanks RonBoyd - I think that Windows just has boot restrictions like this, because you can install it on any HW, they are trying to protect from piracy. Makes it a bit of a pain for the end user, compared to OSX.

The flip side of that is, Apple has you "locked" into their HW - so you choose your poison. There have been times that I wanted to upgrade my computer and just didn't care for the HW choices that Apple had at the time. Fortunately, I've been really impressed with their low-end laptops lately. My next "desktop" will likely be a 13" MacBook with an external monitor, keyboard and mouse. Unless I get really comfortable with Linux. I've got Ubuntu on my netbook, it's OK, but I haven't played with it much other than basic surfing and setting it up as my music player. I might try MythTV on that.

-ERD50
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Old 11-12-2009, 12:27 PM   #45
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Al,
Before you reinstall or after if you all ready have, go to UBCD for Windows and check out this app. With it you can make a CD/DVD that will boot Windows directly to the cd/DVD. It has several apps built into it. One is driveimage xml. With this you can do a complete drive image of you drive to a backup partition or usb hard drive. I make a backup after I have installed the OS and all the basic software. That gives me a 'clean' install. It takes about an hour to make the backup and an hour to reinstall the OS and all the programs. All you need to do then is keep a backup of the data and reinstall it. This is the fastest way I have found to re-do a computer.
...
Yes, the complete drive image is the pristine copy I posted about earler. That way, you don't have to install completely from scratch but instead just do a restore from the pristine image.

Sometimes, my friends and family ask if I can work on their computer and reinstall it. What I've done is during the reinstall, make a "pristine image copy" of their hard drive to an external hard drive. That way, the next time they need my help and want a complete reinstall, I can restore from the pristine image of their computers which I have a copy of and go from there.

My pristine copy only has the OS, drivers, apps that I know I'll use. For safety, I keep my data separate from the image.
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Old 11-12-2009, 02:49 PM   #46
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Here is an interesting article from Woody Leonhard that may add grist for the mill:

Fully install Windows 7 from the upgrade disc

Quote:
"It looks like you can use the upgrade version of Windows 7 to install a 'genuine' copy of Windows 7 on any PC, whether it already has Windows on it or not. Why would anybody pay way more money and buy a full-install version of Windows 7 instead of an upgrade version?"

So far, the only people I know who've paid for the full version of Windows 7 thought they had to buy it because they were running Windows XP. When they read that they couldn't do an in-place upgrade from XP to Win7, they mistakenly thought they had to buy the full release. They got ripped off.
In any event, he echoes my thoughts on the subject:

Quote:
I think Microsoft's biggest mistakes with Windows 7 are the confusing number of versions and upgrade paths, as well as the complete dearth of technical information about the upgrade-validation process.

The product's great. The rollout bites.

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Old 11-12-2009, 03:36 PM   #47
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Unless you have a specific application need or your current system is unstable, upgrading SW will usually bring you no benefit, but it will certainly reduce the expected life span of your HW.
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Originally Posted by RonBoyd View Post
Please explain further.
Here's my guess. In my observation, the upgrade usually has more demanding system requirements than the older version. Sooner or later, those requirements will exceed the upgrades it is possible to make on your system, and the more you upgrade, the sooner you hit your system's limits.
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:57 PM   #48
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Here's my guess. In my observation, the upgrade usually has more demanding system requirements than the older version. Sooner or later, those requirements will exceed the upgrades it is possible to make on your system, and the more you upgrade, the sooner you hit your system's limits.
I see. The older your equipment becomes the less it is able to keep up with the younger models. Sounds way too familiar. I hope that doesn't shorten my life-span too much.
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Old 11-12-2009, 04:10 PM   #49
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I see. The older your equipment becomes the less it is able to keep up with the younger models. Sounds way too familiar. I hope that doesn't shorten my life-span too much.
A system upgrade is unlikely to put a smile on your face, or a spring in your steps. Passing time with with young(er) models definitely will. There is a small cost differential. Life-span, what life-span?
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Old 11-13-2009, 11:46 AM   #50
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Here's my guess. In my observation, the upgrade usually has more demanding system requirements than the older version. Sooner or later, those requirements will exceed the upgrades it is possible to make on your system, and the more you upgrade, the sooner you hit your system's limits.
Right. Greater processor power is what allows greater sw functionality, so by definition a major sw upgrade, like windows, will have (oftimes needless) new capabilities that will constrain your current system. MS office does this as well.
XP is a stable system, there's no need to upgrade until you change processor.

It's not the age, it's the workload.
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Old 11-13-2009, 01:40 PM   #51
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I upgraded our nine-year old desktop PC to a new Dell system with Windows 7, and so far, I really like it. I had a couple of legacy apps that would not run natively under Widows 7, forcing me to upgrade to Windows 7 Proffesional so that I could install the Windows XP mode option. That fixed the app compatibilty problems, and running apps in this mode is fairly transparent. Still running XP on my laptop.
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Old 11-13-2009, 02:34 PM   #52
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My gut instinct is that most new apps will be XP compatible for a few years. Just look at the fact that a lot of machines are still sold today with XP on them (ie netbooks). Some games aren't going to be XP compatible eventually (at least w/ full settings enabled), but that may still be a while as well. My take is to just wait till you find incompatible apps, then upgrade or buy a new machine if necessary.
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Old 11-13-2009, 05:52 PM   #53
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Looks like most of the folks going to Windows 7 are those who had Vista, not XP. Many XP users are on the fence.

XP Users Aren't Really Jumping on Windows 7 - Tom's Hardware
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