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XP replacement for aging laptops

Discussion in 'General Software' started by Red_Machine, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. Red_Machine

    Red_Machine

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    My parents are both using laptops with Windows XP as their daily drivers, and considering that end of support for XP is looming I want to upgrade them to something more current. Only issue is that the laptops are fairly ancient, especially my father's, so running a full version of either Vista or 7 is out of the question. I've been mulling using either Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 (a slightly modified version of XP SP3, with support up to 2019) or Windows ThinPC (a stripped-down version of 7 SP1, designed for legacy hardware), but I'm not convinced that they would make good daily drivers. Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 currently gets updates through Windows Update (the same updates as regular XP, actually), but I'm not sure how long this will last; I'm worried that once 8th April hits, you'll have to have a support contract to get them. Windows ThinPC was not really designed as a daily driver, merely as a launch platform for thin client software; while it does function as a regular OS, I don't know how it will be as a daily driver, I hear that you can't install Microsoft Office on it due to licensing restrictions.

    So I am therefore soliciting suggestions for an alternative solution. It needs to be Windows-based, as neither of them have the inclination or desire to learn Linux. Perhaps Vista/7 Starter or Home Basic would be suitable for these laptops? Or maybe you can assuage my doubts about Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 or Windows ThinPC.

    Specs are as follows:
    Dell Latitude C540
    1.7GHz Pentium 4-based Celeron
    768MB DDR RAM
    ATi Mobility Radeon 7500
    80GB HDD

    IBM Thinkpad T43
    1.8GHz Pentium M
    1.5GB RAM
    ATi Mobility Radeon X300
    80GB HDD
  2. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    Windows 7 basic sounds about right. Good luck finding drivers that work for those graphic cards though. AMD doesnt officially support them on anything above XP
  3. Red_Machine

    Red_Machine

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    No worries there, I've used XP drivers on Vista and 7 plenty of times.
  4. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    Ive tried that before - doesnt always work.
  5. kenkickr

    kenkickr

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    I've used Driverheaven's Mobility Modder many times for older mobile display drivers especially for the ones that didn't have support. Yes it gives you a unsigned driver and a crazy amount of display resolutions but it's a driver and it just works.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  6. micropage7

    micropage7

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    if you wanna upgrade, better to 7 basic version since all that needed is basic things and 7 performs better than vista
  7. Static~Charge

    Static~Charge

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    If Windows compatibility isn't a requirement, I recommend Linux Mint for those laptops:
    • It is available in 32-bit and 64-bit architectures.
    • There are different editions that have different GUIs/desktops: Cinnamon, MATE, KDE, Xfce. Mint is not a "one size fits all" o.s.
    • The Xfce edition was specifically designed for machines that have lower-end hardware: slower CPU, less memory, not-so-great video.
    • The installers are "live" discs: you can boot the PC from disc, load Mint, and take it for a spin without touching your hard drive. This will let you check if your hardware is supported. If you decide that you like it, there's in Install icon on the desktop.
    • Linux Mint comes with a wide range of software preinstalled including Firefox, Thunderbird, LibreOffice, Pidgin, and GIMP. Additional software that isn't installed by default can be downloaded using the package manager (think "App Store").
    I installed the MATE edition on my sister-in-law's 4-year-old Lenovo Thinkpad, and Mint nailed down all the drivers without any help from me. It runs great, and her laptop is a lot more secure than it would be with any version of Windows.
  8. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    7 Basic is not much lighter than other versions, but still worth a try. I too strongly recommend Linux, the transition to popular ones like Ubuntu is almost painless.
  9. Red_Machine

    Red_Machine

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    Not to be rude, but I specifically said Windows-based. They barely know how to use Windows as it is.
  10. Static~Charge

    Static~Charge

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    Sorry, I missed that part.

    Frankly, if you can use Windows XP/Vista/7, you won't have any problem using Linux Mint. It has the equivalent of a Start button, and the menu is very similar. You could always boot the laptops from the Live disc and let them give a try. If they don't like it, then just reboot off the hard drive.

    One more fringe benefit: Windows malware doesn't work in Linux.
  11. shovenose

    shovenose

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    Drivers won't work on Windows 7. And it will run like crap.

    Time for some new laptops! Refurbished Core 2 Duo or first gen Core i3 laptops are cheap.

    For example, I got mom a refurbished Dell Latitude E5410 on Woot.com for $249. Runs great, came with Windows 7...
  12. Red_Machine

    Red_Machine

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    My parents will not buy new laptops. They only have the ones they're using because I gave them to them. And the drivers will work, I've used XP drivers on Vista and 7 for years. Even for gaming they work fine.
  13. shovenose

    shovenose

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    OK :) How about XP Media Center, it was from 2005 not 2002 like XP Home and Professional
  14. Red_Machine

    Red_Machine

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    Still unsupported as of 8th April.
  15. GreiverBlade

    GreiverBlade

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    end of support doesn't mean ceasing functioning, XP could be used for years even after end of support... tho no more updates from M$ (big deal ... there wasn't any "big and useful" update since years already ... )

    my server is under XP Pro and my Athlon XP retrorig is under XP Home ... i don't intend to pass them under 7 because of the end of support (even if the server could run 7) on a sidenote i use the server not as a Server but also a retrorig for laugh otherwise i use it under Ubuntu server ed. when i want to setup a server.

    TL : DR : if XP with all the last updates works fine now : it will works fine after the end of support.

    modified win 7 or xp are against the EULA no? (oh well i used a modified XP with no problems tho :roll: ) i'd say stay on XP until they really need/want to upgrade the whole thing.
  16. TRWOV

    TRWOV

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    Windows 7 has full support for the series 8 chipsets (845, 865, 875) so you'll be fine. Those mobility radeons worry me though, can't even find them listed on AMD's site
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014
    Crunching for Team TPU
  17. Red_Machine

    Red_Machine

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    Yeah, but it's going to be left wide open to security holes. My parents use their laptops to shop and bank, they don't want malware compromising them.

    Yeah, I know. I'll just use the XP drivers.
  18. Jetster

    Jetster

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    Just keep using XP. 7 will run like crap and its not fully supported so while it may work its not goin to be right. When it gets infected badly then toss them in the trash or just reinstall XP

    The XP drivers wont work you will be using generic drivers. While 7 works on more then what are supported there is a line of "Just too old" that its just not worth the trouble
    GreiverBlade says thanks.
  19. TRWOV

    TRWOV

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    I have an emachines M5310 (Athlon XP 2400M, Radeon 320M, 1GB RAM) and W7 Starter runs remarkably well. I wouldn't say that it runs better than XP but not noticeable worse either.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  20. swaaye

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    It's not like Windows can't be compromised even with updates. I'd just load up decent antivirus, stay far away from IE8, and the ancient Outlook Express included.
    GreiverBlade says thanks.
  21. Red_Machine

    Red_Machine

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    But what if one of these infections compromises their credit card or bank account? That's my whole reason for doing this. XP not getting security updates anymore will increase the chances of that happening.
  22. GreiverBlade

    GreiverBlade

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    there, already, are lots of security hole (ATM embedded XP machines are in deep sh*t due to the end of support) i think a bit of computer basic could be useful also AVAST or other AV soft will not end the database updates because of Microsoft end of support (or any malware/adware remover) if they know to avoid shady website and use only secured bank/shop site there will be no problems

    but a win 7 home with XP drivers for unsupported device could run fine on it (or basic or starter) can find some cheap license on the web and burn the disc from the ISO dl'ed from Microsoft website (i paid 78chf for both of my Win7 Pro licenses)

    it doesn't even now and that for years

    it could already be the case if they do "wrong" things on the net, and even under Win7
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014
  23. Jetster

    Jetster

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    Someone sujested Linux Mint. Its a good idea. Great security and it will run
  24. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    personally, keep them on XP.

    you can get offline updaters that store the updates locally, so run that and grab all the updates now - do a fresh OS install, set it all up the way they want and back it up your program of choice.


    just because support ends doesnt mean the OS stops working, and they simply wont get a good experience if the hardware cant handle it. might be time to buy them a new second hand laptop...
  25. 95Viper

    95Viper

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    I'd say go for Windows 7.
    I loaded Windows 7 on an MSI Wind with an Atom processor and saw no real difference in performance (it originally had XP on it).

    And, it looks like the T43 has been done by a few people.

    Windows 7 on T43 - Links and Info!
    Lenovo Drivers and software - ThinkPad T43
    ThinkVantage System Update

    The Dell seems to have no official support for Windows 7 on the C540; however, looking around on the web, it seems some have done it.

    The amount of ram in the Dell may be a disability... whatever OS you go with... in my opinion, I would try to do a memory upgrade on them.

    As, you probably are aware of, there are a quite a few window services you can disable to help performance.

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