Windows ME upgrade

  Chris69 11:11 26 Oct 2006

I would welcome advice on the best options for my upgrading from Windows ME on my Evesham Micro machine

Given Microsoft’s withdrawal of security support for Windows ME, clearly I need to upgrade to either Windows XP or Vista, but I’m not sure what would be the best option :

1. The simplest option (?) just buy Windows XP upgrade software and install it.

2. But since my hard drive (60Gb IDE 7200rpm – UDMA100) is nearing 6 years old, should I take the opportunity to replace it before it collapses through old age, with the added benefit (but lots of hard work) in reinstalling all software from scratch thereby having a “cleansweep” of all the accumulated rubbish

3. Or should I wait a year or so (until all the major bugs are resolved) and go the whole hog and upgrade to Vista

4. Or should I just buy a new Vista installed system in the New Year - my least favoured option, given I paid over £2000 for my existing system with the expectation I’d be able to upgrade it rather than replace it !

In case it’s relevant my system includes : hard drive as above; AMD Athlon 1.2GHz Processor; 256 DDR; nVidia GeForce 2 64Mb Ultra AGP Video Card.

The main software I use includes : Microsoft Office 2000 (!); Norton Systemworks 2003; Norton Personal Firewall 2003; GoBack 3.1; Firefox; Adobe Acrobat 5.0;

Many thanks for any comments or suggestions !


  ^wave^ 11:23 26 Oct 2006

i know how you feel about the money you paid for your system but hardware is so cheap now you can get a new system very reasonably and it will be vista ready

  ArrGee 11:33 26 Oct 2006

At 1.2GHz, you'll find that XP will run very sluggishly on your pc.

I've just bought a 'Vista Ready' HP Pavillion running at 3.4GHz for only £800. It has a 400gb hard drive, all the card slots you'll need, 6 USB ports, Lightscribe DVD writer and wireless built in.

Basically a fair bit of kit for not a lot. Hopefully it'll keep me happy for at least 5 years.

  jjss 13:05 26 Oct 2006

I had a set up something like yours until I had to replace a burnt out Mobo resently. My setup is now has 1.83ghz cpu as opposed to a 1.2ghz. I would suggest that you dropped in another 256mb of RAM making in 512mb RAM and just upgrade using XP Home upgrade. Think about using a less hungry AV than Norton (such as AVG which is free and gets good reveiws on PCA forum)and you should be fine. If you are a gamer or photo editor type, then that could be a different story but for just using Ms Off 2000 (which I also use and see no need to upgrade)you should be fine.

  Chris69 13:13 30 Nov 2006

Thanks for all the suggestions - much appreciated.

On balance I decided to proceed with an upgrade from ME to XP, whilst increasing my RAM from 250 to 1 GB.

Lessons for anyone else :

1. Buy your old computer from Evesham Micros - their technical advice service (e-mail and phone) were EXCELLENT !!

2. If upgrading RAM to 1 GB do it AFTER upgrading to XP, ME can't cope with 1 GB and I had to remove one module after having spent ages getting it in !

3. By all means buy the cheaper upgrade CD (which is what I did - provided you've got an ME disc already ... see below) but DON'T go for the "Upgrade" option on it - I found countless drivers etc that wouldn't work despite following all instructions to the letter.

4. In the end (2 days later ...) I simply did a clean reinstall & disc reformat of ME (having backed all data up onto 2 different drives) - so the upgrade CD could recognise ME - then a full install (NOT upgrade) of XP.

Once I'd got my head round that was what was needed - everything went great ! Had to spend another 2 days resinstalling all other drivers & software, but in the end was worth it - nice and clean installation.

I'll never try an OS upgrade again - will just do a clean reinstall/format and install the new OS from there.

Thanks again for all the suggestions that got me here in the end !


  Simsy 17:11 30 Nov 2006

"At 1.2GHz, you'll find that XP will run very sluggishly on your pc."

With respect, that's not so! I have recently installed on my dad's 12.Gig and it runs fine. He uses it for Office2K nad various photo stuff. There are no problems with sluggishness at all.

My own PC is "only" a 1.3 Gig. I ask a lot of it and it is not at all sluggish.

However, we both have 512Mg RAM and I would suggest you upgrade to this amount if you go the upgrade route.

I would also take the opportunity you've considered to use a new HDD. That's what I did for my dad.

But now your talking about a new HDD, (80gig say at app £40), more RAM, (say £30), and XP, (Upgrade at app £80 or OEM at £50).... So that's well in excess of £100. It's your call. Is that better than spending £400 on a new machine?

For me and my dad there was no question that the cheaper option was our route. Each to his own.

Good luck,



  TheGnome 15:35 10 Feb 2007

From what I've seen of XP it's sluggish anyway!.My wife's fairly new PC has always taken ages to start up and close down and so do other XP based PCs I have observed.
I found the remarks by Chris69 very useful, as I am considering going from ME to XP, but am a little uncertain, as my PC is coming up for 6 years old, though it still does all I want. Apart from processor speed I think it still compares fairly well with some newer machines. I have a 1 GHz PIII, two hard drives (40GB and 80GB)and 512MB of RAM. I also have one more RAM slot which perhaps could be used if I go to XP. I'm not interested in gaming so the original video card is adequate. I had thought of installing XP along side ME, but have been told that this could cause problems. Any comments would be most welcome

  Batch 16:46 10 Feb 2007

I think one of the reasons that people might find XP (or any other OS) sluggish is that they are using the install as supplied by the vendor.

I've use a 1.1GHz Athlon (with 512Mb which is ample for my needs)that originally came with WinME (from Mesh). A clean install made an enormous difference (at the time, Mesh actually supplied the WinME CD, not a recovery disk). I've subsequently switched to XP (via a clean install) and again absolutely no probs.

Obviously, if you are going to use high end games / do video editing you are going to need some grunt. But for everyday office / (extensive) web browsing / ripping CDs / burning CDs / listening to music off web etc. I have no probs.

Chris69 - I'm surprised about having to install (much) in the way of drivers. When I installed XP SP2, ALL of the drivers were sucked off the XP CD.

Lastly, having just installed XP, you might like to take this as an opportunity to start using something like Acronis True Image (if you don't already). No need to do reinstalls in future - just roll back to an image (takes me a matter of minutes) and away you go again.

  Batch 17:03 10 Feb 2007

BTW, if you are thinking of a hard disk upgrade, something like the following 80GB at £28 may suit:

click here

I assume that you currently use (P)ATA rather than SATA.

I put a new drive in recently (80GB) as the original was only 20GB. The improved rpm (7200 rather than 5400) along with the cache made a useful improvement in performance. The one in the link has an 8MB cache (most 80GBs have 2MB).

Of course, if you do upgrade, you may decide to go for a larger drive.

  citadel 17:04 10 Feb 2007

I would get a new base unit with vista or xp on it.

  TheGnome 10:54 11 Feb 2007

I am averse to getting rid of perfectly working equipment, so I hadn't intended to change any hard drives, believing (erroneously?) that the two I have would suffice, though I take your point about the speed. I am not too bothered (within reason)about the time it might take to do things, as I am retired so have all the time in the world! I think that both drives are ATA; not sure about the speed - I shall check.
Another thing that puzzles me slightly is Chris69's claim to have installed a full install from the upgrade disc. I have done a little research and it appears that there are two discs on sale - an upgrade and a 'full' version. The latter is much more expensive. So, I ask myself, why is the full version being sold if the upgrade will do the job?

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