Update Windows Xp??

  John Ross 10:21 16 Sep 2008

My daughter has been given an old PC (933MHz, 512Mb RAM) from a safe source that works fine for most things (that don't require eg up to date windows media player) and is now on the home wireless network.
However, looking at the windows Xp disk that came with it I suspect that this is not a copy that will allow updates from Microsoft. It is currently running SP1.

I will need to decide what to do : either :

1. Carry on as is, with router firewall, antivirus. firewall and spyware software etc.

2. try running autoupdate and see what happens(gulp)

3. Buy an OEM windows Xp for ~£50 and loaod a new copy of windows Xp. Will this work?

4. Buy a new PC??

5. Switch to Linux??

I am a bit in the dark here : any experiences or information welcome!

thank you!

  mgmcc 10:45 16 Sep 2008

If you have an external USB Hard drive, what I would do is use Acronis True Image (currently on special offer for about £6) click here to create a backup image of the PC's hard drive, then try getting Windows Updates. If it is a pirate copy, you'll be plagued with messages to get a legal copy, at which point you can restore the Acronis image file and then decide whether to buy an OEM copy of the CD.

If the installation is genuine, you won't have a problem with the Updates.

  Stuartli 10:47 16 Sep 2008

WindowsUpdate works with any version of XP - Microsoft decided (IIRC) that it was better to have even pirated versions regularly updated rather than risk unnecessary problems.

I would install SP2 and let WindowsUpdate add SP3.

You can pick and choose which updates, patches etc are installed by selecting "Notify Me of Updates But Do Not Install Them" in Security Center.

When the yellow icon indicates that updates are available, choose Customise and then the required updates; ensure that you tick Do Not Notify Me Of These Updates Again on the panel that appears afterwards to avoid being constantly reminded about unchosen updates.

  Stuartli 10:50 16 Sep 2008

Autopatcher is now available again. See:

click here

  DieSse 14:51 16 Sep 2008

Switching to Linux will pay dividends in the long run.

If you've got (as I suspect) a hooky copy of a corporate version, and you do the XP updates, you'll get very intrusive "You've got a pirated version" messages.

If it is a non-kosher version, then staying with it will cause you grief at some point - always has on systems I've seen like this. And on top of that it's strictly speaking piracy, and whilst I don't want to seem like MS police, there's really no need for it.

You'd be amazed at how quickly the offsprings learn to work with anything. My granddaughters got an Asus eeePC - and I don't think she's ever questioned running it with Linux - it just does pretty much what she wants it to do (which typically kidslike is be on the web), and she finds her way round things.

My current favourite Linux distro is Kiwi - it's a Ubuntu derivative - but comes with the ability to play mp3s and dvds "out-of-the-box. And of course it's got all the other Linux pluses - an included Office suite compatible with MS (even to the new 2007 file formats - a pdf writer included - instant messaging - Firefox and Thundewrbird - DVD burning etc, etc.

You can even try it first without affecting the current drive setup, from a "Live CD" which you can download and burn free of charges and restrictions.

click here

  Condom 16:16 16 Sep 2008

Yes MS in its wisdom does now allow any version of XP to be updated. Perhaps they hope that "Dodgy" copies of their older software will eventually be upgraded for good newer versions one day. You must remember that is how MS came to dominate the market by "allowing" easy duplication of early Windows versions. Then when they dominated the market making duplication more difficult. If you are still concerned about downloading from the automatic download site then make a list of all the updates you need and download and install them one by one from the MS Download site. I inadvertently purchased a "dodgy" copy of Office 2007 and MS have been most helpful in sorting this out for me and in the interim I can still keep it updated. They are not as bad as some make them out to be and perhaps belatedly they have seen that it is just as important for all users to run safe copies than to have patched versions causing problems all over the world.

  howard64 17:37 16 Sep 2008

thanks mgmcc just ordered acronis 11 and downloading now.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

OnePlus 5T review: Hands-on

Illustrator Andrés Lozano on his improv line work, brazen use of colours & hand sketching

iPhone X review

Comment envoyer gratuitement des gros fichiers ?