XP expired - Linux an option ?

  pipfan 18:02 01 Oct 2011


Recently bought a second hand PC, but looks like the license activation period has expired, so looks like the Windows XP installed on the PC is unusable.

I don't have access to an installation disk (altough I do have another computer running XP !), but was wondering whether installing Linux might be option to get the PC working.

Have no knowledge at all about OS's but any advice about whether Linux / Ubunthu would be of use or is any good would be much appreciated.

Many thanks


  octal 18:08 01 Oct 2011

Ubuntu Linux is by far the most popular Linux OS. I have been using it for many years at home and I've ditched Windows entirely.

  rdave13 18:15 01 Oct 2011

I have a redundant copy of XP (Home retail) at home with key. I can't be bothered to sell it on evilbay but you'd be welcome to it for the price of postage. The yellow envelope is not working any more on this site so if you can find an expendable email address (have a google for one) and post it here I'll reply with my email.

  rdave13 18:21 01 Oct 2011

PS I also have the XP SP3 with SATA drivers slipstreamed.

  csqwared 20:32 01 Oct 2011

Despite rdave13's generous offer you might take the opportunity to give Linux/Ubuntu a try. There are loads of 'flavours' to choose from, personally I prefer Linux Mint (now on version 11). A lot depends on what you use your machine for but for general use (internet, e-mail etc.) it's as good if not better than windows. It will play DVD/Cd straight out of the box and Skype etc. is also available. A slight draw back is the 'office suite' (LibreOffice3) which I find not as intuitive as MS Office and not quite as functional. Remember though that everything running on Linux is free. If you really do need Windows you can always install Wine which runs Windows apps within Linux.

Go on - give it a try.


  rdave13 20:54 01 Oct 2011

csqwared, if you have children then you have to have Windows. Even TV adverts with LEGO universal is free. Linux is fine, I've tried it but it's not for me somehow. Fine for running machines etc., but when you get new technology from Video card manufacturers, including 3D, then Linux will always be behind, sadly. Microsoft for Home Computers and Linux/Ubuntu for cash strapped business'. In my humble opinion.

Windows leads and Linux follows usually. That is why the free OS is free.

Again, in my humble opinion.

  octal 21:50 01 Oct 2011

but when you get new technology from Video card manufacturers, including 3D, then Linux will always be behind

Interesting comment, I have just installed a brand new to the market NVidia card and downloaded the drivers from NVidia and the 3D rendering is working fine, so I'm not sure what you mean by saying Linux will always be far behind.

  rdave13 22:04 01 Oct 2011


My apologies. Should have said a little behind. Seems it takes a bit of spondooliks to further technology and may be business' paying for linux software, via the physical installation of different machines, do this more so than Microsoft and its partners. I don't know but Linux seems to improve every time Windows does.

  LastChip 22:05 01 Oct 2011

Sorry rdave13, you are partially wrong.

Whether children need Windows is now questionable, but I wouldn't argue the toss either way. In fact I visited a school open day today, where they are starting to look at Linux (Ubuntu). They are a pretty progressive High School that realise, kids need to know much more about the options that are available and the computing word doesn't begin and end with Windows.

Certainly it is wrong to say Windows leads. In fact, just about every so called Microsoft innovation was on Linux way before Windows. In fact, it is generally recognised Windows 7 ripped off KDE for it's desktop. Multi-touch screens so ably touted as being a Microsoft innovation, was on Linux several years previously and is significantly more advanced than anything Microsoft can produce at present. It is also wrong to suggest Linux is free because it is somehow lacking. I would argue that as you can forget about nurse-maiding the system day after day, forget about gradual slowdowns, forget about serious malware or virus threats, that makes it a much stronger contender than Windows.

It is free simply because of the structure under which it is developed, not because there's anything wrong with the system. Furthermore, all the main graphics manufacturers now release both 32 and 64 bit Linux drivers for video cards. So that's just a red herring.

I have no objection to you preferring Windows. There are many millions of people exactly like you and each of you have that choice. But please don't suggest information that is factually incorrect.

pipfan; the best advice I can offer is follow octals lead and csqwared suggestion and try it and see. You may end up like rdave13 and prefer Windows, on the other hand, if you give Linux a fair chance, you may be very pleasantly surprised.

  octal 22:10 01 Oct 2011

Forgot to mention Compiz, that's something Windows hasn't got. I have switched mine off, but it's fun to play with, even my wife was impressed, and she is a technophobe :D

  rdave13 22:13 01 Oct 2011


Your wisdom exceeds mine and I humbly bow to your experience.

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