Tag Archives: XP

How to Use Windows XP on a New PC

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One of the callers during our live stream the other night was asking about new hardware. He wants to put Windows XP on a newer machine but keeps receiving a BSOD every time he tries. He prefers XP over Windows 7 when it comes to customization. The modern hardware he’s trying to use just doesn’t want to use an operating system that is older and slower.

Using Windows XP may work inside of a virtual machine may be a good solution. You can use the free VirtualBox, or ask me for a coupon for either VMWare or Parallels. Any of those solutions should work. Load up Windows 7 as your primary operating system, and then throw a virtual machine onto it. Place Windows XP onto the VM and bam! You should be in business.

What other workarounds do you know of? If someone insists on using an older operating system on newer hardware, what options are available to them?

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Microsoft History

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Community member Scott emailed me recently to ask for my help with a documentary he is creating about Microsoft. He knows that I’ve been using Microsoft since the days of DOS, and wanted to get my thoughts on a few questions he had. Not only did I agree to answer them in this video… I want YOUR opinions, as well. Go ahead and leave a follow-up comment with your answers to the questions that Scott asked. It will be interesting to see what everyone thinks, and how our opinions on the matters vary.

  • How do you think that Microsoft changed the way that computing was made simpler for the average user? – Back in the day, it wasn’t easy to use a computer. It was very confusing, actually. If you knew something was DOS or Windows compatible, it was a load off your mind. You knew it would work on your system. Despite any type of business practices that I may not agree with, I have to give props to Microsoft for uniting the industry. If you bought a PC, you knew it would be compatible, and there would be a ton of software available wherever you went. It was also a great opportunity for developers. If Microsoft hadn’t taken the lead in that capacity, someone else would have.
  • How did Microsoft make it possible for most people to own a computer and be able to use it without advanced knowledge? – DoS wasn’t easy, and neither were the old Apple systems. Microsoft has never actually created a computer. They created an operating system, that could run on any computer. I always laugh when people compare Microsoft to Apple in that respect. They are nothing alike! Apple would be more comparable to a company such as Dell or HP. There may be Microsoft-branded hardware, but there has never been a Microsoft computer. Therefore, you cannot fairly compare Microsoft to Apple! You can compare their respective operating systems, yes. Microsoft was the first to make an operating system be user-friendly. Most of them are these days, but that wasn’t always the case. Microsoft, back in the day, made it possible for any average Joe (pun intended, Dad!) to sit down and be able to use a computer in their home without any training.
  • Going through the history of operating systems, what has improved from DOS to Windows 7 that impacted society today? – You really can’t get along without a computer these days, whether it’s in your pocket or a desktop. To think that you could get a job these days without knowing how to use something like Word or Excel is laughable to me. By making a home computer more affordable, Microsoft opened up the opportunities for developers and regular users alike. If it weren’t for Microsoft, we’d likely be a lot further behind than what we are these days.

I think that the Internet itself has done more to impact our society than even Microsoft. The Internet snuck up on Microsoft and surprised them. Back in the day when Windows 95 shipped, it didn’t ship with a web browser. You had to upgrade to a plus pack, or buy Netscape off the shelf. It was crazy!

Overall, Microsoft has become less invasive and more pervasive. When you buy a computer today, you know it’s going to work. You know it’s going to allow you to do the things that you want and need to do. The computer is not an appliance these days, it’s an appliance. It’s inclusive in terms of its place inside our lives, giving us the ability to do things that we’d never have been able to do otherwise.

Thanks, Scott, for the questions and for making me sit and really think about some of these things.

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Who Loves Windows Vista?

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During a recent live call, Charles nearly knocked me out of my chair when he proclaimed that he LOVES Windows Vista. I was honestly shocked, especially since the calls were supposed to be about Windows 7. Charles stated emphatically that he never had issues with Vista, and that it actually just worked for him. He fully admits that he may be the only person in his entire town – or state! – who feels this way. We did, of course, end up discussing his views on Windows 7, and about Microsoft in general.

I feel that Windows Vista was, of course, one of the worst things to happen to Microsoft. Also, of course, the iPhone was bad for Microsoft, as well. The iPhone has been probably the most sought-after gadget in recent years, which only enhances Microsoft’s lackluster products. Even people at Microsoft have admitted that Vista wasnt’ fully baked, so how was the public supposed to like it?

Charles actually liked the fact that there were five different versions of Vista. He didn’t want to pay for features he wasn’t interested in. However, I don’t feel that languages should have been part of any type of upgrade, such as in the Ultimate edition. It should be built right in to the operating system as a core component!! Having so many different versions of one operating system creates confusion amongst the public, at least in my opinion. People who don’t know better automatically assume that they need the best they can afford, whether they truly need those additional features or not. That’s just not always the case. Often, they end up having paid for things that they never end up using.

What are your thoughts? Do you feel Microsoft is consumer-friendly, and that there should be many different versions of each Windows release? Or are you thinking what I’m thinking…

[awsbullet:windows 7 upgrade]

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What Does Windows 7 Bring to the Table?

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During live calls recently, the main topic of discussion was Windows 7. Ross was happy to get through, and immediately asked what he felt I think Windows 7 brings to the table for an average or intermediate computer user. I have my own opinions, of course. I’m interested in seeing what all of YOU think. So, let’s hear it!

I feel there are a variety of features that Windows 7 brings to the table. The most prominent ones are the taskbar and Start Menu changes. Those are excellent, for sure. Some people are complaining about them, of course, wishing they were more like very old versions of Windows. Personally, I think it’s about time they were so different! Functionality-wise, everything works very well on these.

I feel there is an epic UI fail, but that’s just me. Maybe it’s because I’m anal-retentive? Do you think? But I just don’t like that the popup menu where it shows recent programs has huge gaps between the program names. However, the normal “all programs” menu is missing those gaps. That just bugs me, but I’ll survive.

Ross also wanted to let all college students know that if you go to Win741 and use a college.edu email address – you can buy Windows 7 Home Premium for only $29.99! That’s official folks, and one heck of a great deal for students!

[awsbullet:windows 7 upgrade]

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Best Buy and Windows 7

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With the advent of Windows 7 going public, I opened the phone lines up. People called in to talk about anything and everything related to Windows 7. Danny Minick is a long-time member of our community, and now apparently has a new job working at his local Best Buy. During this particular call, I asked him what the buzz is around the store.

Danny says that at work the other night, several people were bashing Linux openly. There was a link given to Microsoft, some employee learning site. Apparently, there were slides and everything on there, openly dissing Linux and slagging it. I wondered why no one spoke up, with Microsoft’s claim that IE won’t run on Linux. It’s not true… and I hope all of you know that.

Danny uses OS X primarily, so I wasn’t sure if he used Windows 7. He says that he is, indeed, running Windows 7 under VMWare Fusion on his Macbook.

I reminded Danny that he can pick up my Windows 7 eBook, and any of the others that I’ve done, as well. I also reminded him (and all of you!) to keep an eye on my Coupons page for discounts on the new version of VMWare Fusion when it hits the stores.

More Best Buy Coupons:


Find Coupons for over 1100 Stores

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Windows 7 Thoughts

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I took several live calls the other night, talking to people about Windows 7. Mitchell was one of the callers. He absolutely loves Windows 7. He’s been a Windows user for many years, and never did like Vista. He started using Windows 7 with the very first build, and is now using the RTM via his TechNet subscription.

Although he never upgrade his own machines to Vista, he did use it on other computers. He hated it from the get-go, and refused to upgrade until something better was released. That something is obviously Windows 7 as far as he’s concerned.

In Mitchell’s mind – and my own – upgrading from XP to Windows 7 is an excellent idea. Mitchell feels that the upgrade is best because of the Windows Explorer. He’s very happy with that. He felt it was too confusing in Vista. With Windows 7, it’s easier to navigate and find what you’re looking for.

If you haven’t upgraded to Windows 7 yet, what are you waiting for? Remember, if you’re needing some tips and help, you can check out my Windows 7 eBook, available for only $7.00!

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How to Run Windows XP on a USB Drive

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What is your favorite operating system? XP has been a great operating system. I think it’s been around as long as I’ve been alive. You may be attached to it, along with your computer. Did you know that Windows XP doesn’t have to be attached to your computer in order to use it?

MyPocketXP has made it possible for you to make any computer into your own. The patent pending MyPocketXP is a PC on your keychain that allows you to turn any PC into your personal PC. Run your Windows installation and your favorite applications from your memory stick. It’s simple to use: plug it in, boot it up and go.

MyPocketXP is not only a super lightweight, portable solution, it also offers a much higher level of security than typical Windows installations. Viruses and spyware cannot harm the installation. If you are worried about loosing MyPocketXP you don’t have to. You can back up and restore the entire system in less than ten minutes with the push of a single button.

Generally speaking, I do recommend at least having one flash drive with Linux on it. You never know when you’ll be at a public terminal, and need to have full control over your operating system without leaving traces behind. If you’re not comfortable with Linux, then MyPocketPC is for you. You can easily run Windows right from the little USB drive!

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Can a Windows Vista PC Run Windows XP Instead?

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They say that when God closes a door, he makes you use Windows. Of course, it depends on what kind of God you have as to what version he makes you use. My God would make you use Windows 7. Your God may not be so nice, and make you use Windows Vista. We have to deal with Windows, even if we don’t use it on a regular basis. Michael from the PCPitStop community wrote in asking about using Windows XP on his Vista machine. Michael says that his Acer machine currently runs Windows Vista, but he prefers to use XP Pro. He says he ‘knows’ that the operating system is burned onto the HDD, and so he thinks he’ll have to change the HDD.

Michael – this isn’t going to be as difficult as you imagine it will be. It is quite possible to change from Vista to XP on a computer. You may run into snags relating to drivers, and will have to try and find compatible ones. Be aware that some of your hardware may not have drivers for XP – meaning that a switch back to XP would be impossible.

The operating system isn’t burnt into the hard drive. It can be taken off (wiped clean) and another operating system can be placed right onto the hard drive you already have. You could alternately set yourself up with a dual-boot, running both XP and Vista.

Theoretically, yes.. you can do what you’re asking. Practically, you may want to check with your hardware manufacturers (or even Acer) websites to make sure that they have drivers available for XP. Watch out for it, because that’s the one thing that could hurt you the most.

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What’s New in Windows 7: A Lot!!

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Yes, I’m now running Windows 7 on my HP TouchSmart PC, instead of using Vista. I knew that the Beta had been released, after hundreds of you had come pouring into our chat room asking if I had used it yet – and what I thought of it. I gotta say – so far it’s running very well!

I wasn’t able to get Windows 7 to recognize all of the hardware. I had to install it twice. The first time, it wouldn’t really work well. The second time, I did the same thing and it worked great. The only thing I cannot get to work still is the multi-touch feature of the TouchSmart. I was surprised to see that things I hadn’t expected to change have done so – and for the better! A lot more features have been fleshed out.

There are a few things I think will plague Windows for all of eternity. Once again, this version of Windows is chock full of the Tahoma font. For that reason alone, I could never think of any version of Windows as more than a Beta. I just can’t stand to have to look at it! I don’t think any self-respecting designer would release an operating system that had the use of MS Sans Seriff Tahoma throughout the UI. It’s kind of sloppy in my book.

However, if you can look past something like this, then Windows 7 will likely be an excellent upgrade for you. It’s definitely a lot faster than Vista. There isn’t any lag at all when doing a search from within the start menu or elsewhere on the system. When I plug in a USB device, it is recognized immediately.

A lot of the things that I appreciate are the things that they’ve seen through. A lot of what we saw added into Vista were taken out even more. They’ve added even more functionality without overwhelming the users. If you’re a power user, my recommendation is that you download Windows 7 Beta and give it a shot. I don’t know that I’d use this yet as your primary system, but it’s definitely worth trying.

I do plan to do a small series on Windows 7, to prepare people for what they’ll see. I am going to focus small videos on things that I have found within this new operating system that I already like. Windows 7 isn’t enough to make me want to “switch back” and away from Mac OS X. But I do like it, yes. It’s an excellent experience so far, and I know many of you are going to be happy with it. It feels so much more complete than Vista – it feels like what Vista should have been. There isn’t a lot of “wow” factor, but they have taken a lot of time to develop features that are important.

If you want to send feedback to Microsoft, you can download the Beta. Inside of every window, there is a direct feedback link. You can give it a star ranking, type in your feedback, and more. Allegedly, Microsoft will be taking a serious look at everything you have to say.

Keep in mind, you will likely run into issues as you begin to use Windows 7. Remember – you’re using a Beta, not a final release! Identifying and fixing bugs and issues is what a Beta is all about. Let me know what your experience is like so far – both positive and negative. If you have excellent tips and tricks already, let us hear from you!

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Do You Think Windows Will Last?

There’s been an interesting discussion going on over at Geeks surrounding the future of Windows. There are hot tempers on both sides of this coin, so I had to ask some other friends to chime in with what they thought, as well.

As long as it comes with almost every PC you buy..then yes – Dennis Bjørn Petersen

at least until the computing paradigm migrates away from single machines to cloud computing/ubiquitous computing – Victor Ganata

as with everything, widows will eventually cease to exist. But, for the foreseeable future, windows will be the preferred OS for business. Mac OS just doesn’t provide the flexibility and security that corporations seek. – Bob Blunk

Bob: I think you need to clarify that. MacOS doesn’t provide security and flexibility? – Dennis Bjørn Petersen

dennis: he didn’t say OSX doesn’t have any, consider the ease at which you can lock a system or user down with active directory group policies allows an immensely flexible transition of staff between job roles and the securities required per role. Still, a computer system is only as secure and flexible as the user – have a dumb user, you’ll have holes and problems regardless of what OS you throw at them. Also, you’ll find that the overwealming majority of software security holes come from 3rd party apps. – alphaxion

also, something that I *never* see in "anything vs windows" arguements is commentary on corporate network structure and use… can those of you who have extensive knowledge on linux and OSX networking provide comparisons with the active directory integration you get in the windows world. – alphaxion

@victor cloud computing will never take 100% in the corporate world – they’ve been trying to push cloud computing for decades now, from IBM’s centralised servers and MS terminal servers with dumb clients to Suns "the network is the computer" tag line. Some companies will use it, the majority will be very reluctant to allow their precious data to be elsewhere and/or to allow net downtime to cripple their entire office staff. – alphaxion

@alphaxion of course it’ll never be 100%. There are lots of mainframes and servers out there that aren’t connected to the Internet, and maybe aren’t even connected to the corporate intranet because they deem the data to sensitive. But those systems probably aren’t even running Windows in any case, and as technology continues to advance, the dominant paradigm is certain to change – Victor Ganata

I don’t deny that some companies will go for it – just look at services such as message labs anti spam or mail serving and archiving companies. I just don’t think it’s going to be the massive sea change people are making it out to be. My job entails that I keep an eye on this just in case it turns out to be a better solution than in house development and services. We are looking at moving our phone system to the "cloud" so to speak. My experience suggests that it’ll be a few things rather than everything. – alphaxion

What do you think? Where is Windows – and Microsoft – headed?