Wanting to use W7 on spare computer?.

  spuds 13:46 26 Dec 2013

I have a computer that is playing up, so its a case of a reformat with the existing XP Home or change to W7 either Premium or Professional, with 32 or 64 bit and possibly or without SP1.

Question: What's the best way forward, if I decide to go the W7 way, and which package to use for best results?.

I have been advised that 64 bit will run anything, but 32 bit will not, even though some installations might suggest that the programme will not run on 64 bit. So any pointers there?.

Finally, its been suggested that an upgrade from XP to W7 is possible, but not adviceable?.

Any advise and help much appreciated as usual.

  spuds 15:59 26 Dec 2013

Twenty eight views and not one answer, must be Christmas :O)

  rdave13 17:03 26 Dec 2013

I'd run the Windows 7 upgrade advisor first just in case of lack of driver support. It will tell you which bit version is supported. link.

If you're happy with XP however, I'd do a clean install of XP if you have all the drivers at hand. Hope the turkey went down well, on the last bit now :)

  spuds 17:54 26 Dec 2013


Thanks for the link/Just done the test and the XP computer should be capable of using W7 32bit OP. Apparently might need a little more ram if I was considering using Windows XP Mode in W7.

Looks like I might be getting more inclined to try reformatting, from XP Home to XP Pro, and use the computer for a spare!.

I'll leave the thread running to see if any further comments or suggestions are in the pipeline.

  alanrwood 18:45 27 Dec 2013

I personally would not waste time installing XP and all the associated programs for an operating system that is losing MS Support in April. If I had the ability to install Win7 (Either version) I would take that option and know it would remain a valid current system for a long time to come. It is true that some older progs don't run well on a 64 bit system but I personally have not experienced any such problem and I run 5 in Win 7 64 bit. There sometimes is a problem with 64 bit drivers for some older hardware so I would check those out first.

  Batch 11:52 29 Dec 2013

Some food for thought:

W7 will use more memory than XP. XP with Avast Free AntiVirus and an old ZoneAlarm Firewall using less than 300MB just after booting. W7x32 with Avast Free AV and Comodo Free FW is about 730MB, W7x64 with Avast Free AV and Comodo Free FW is about 1.1GB. That's all before running any apps.

Absolute realistic minimum for W7x32 I'd say is 2GB. For W7x64 is 3GB.

W7x32 cannot access more than 3.5GB anyhow (restricted by Microsoft). In practice after video memory allocation it comes down to around 3.3 to 3.4GB. I'm happily running W7x32 on two PCs under those restrictions and I find it ample (for browsing, email, musicplayer,office apps etc). Note that your browser choice may seriously affect memory requirements - for example, Chrome uses a lot more memory than IE11. But I use Chrome anyhow and still don't have an issue of swapping out to disk.

W7x64 can access a whopping 192GB (I believe).

In my experience, W7x32 will run (just about) anything that XP can. Most XP drivers (32 bit) seem to work with W7x32. I'm using some very old printer and scanner drivers (late 90s / 2000 ish) without problem. I'm even running some Windows 3.1 software under W7x32 (which will not even install under circumstances in W7x64).

All drivers for W7x64 must be 64 bit - so any old drivers from XP will not work.

W7x32 cannot take advantage of any 64bit apps.

W7x32 security is mooted to be a shade less than W7x64.

Windows updates with W7x64 are nearly twice the size of W7x32.

One might argue that W7x32 should be faster (especially in a system with a slow disk) as there is a whole lot less software to move around ('cos the programs in x32 are a whole lot smaller). Not sure whether it would be noticeable in practice. Speed tests between x32 and x64 suggest that the difference is minimal.

  spuds 12:52 01 Jan 2014

Thanks everyone for the input, very much appreciated.

Will now tick.

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