Looking to end for XP suggestions and possible help

grandmsAugust 31, 2013

My favorite computer, a HP desktop getting long in the tooth, runs XP SP3. I recently wanted to transfer some music from it to my Nexus 7 tablet, and it would not recognize the tablet. I had no problem at all doing the same thing with my Win 7 laptop, so, since April 2014 is rapidly approaching, I know I must stop using this computer for any secure actions such as banking, shopping, etc. I can switch those actions to the Windows 7 machine, but I was also toying with the idea of partitioning the 500GB HDD on the desktop and installing a late version of Ubuntu and using that when I need a secure internet connection. This would be a dual boot setup. Does this sound feasible??

Secondly, although I have read several how-tos re doing what I have in mind, I'm not sure how best to go about the partitioning. Even the Linux people don't seem to agree about the best way to partition. I would like all the files, both Windows and Ubuntu, available when booted into Ubuntu, but I want to use Ubuntu exclusively for going online and using e-mail. In other words, I would like to be able to still use programs I have now with XP, but will these be compatible with Ubuntu? Just lots of unknowns here, and I'll be reading more and more, so hopefully in the next 6 months, I'll know what I'm doing.

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Android didn't exist when XP was current, drivers weren't produced. Use the WIN 7 machine as an intermediary, it can talk to both.

Why do you think your XP PC will be unsuitable to use in May 2014? You do know that connection encryption, when needed, is provided by the browser you use, not the OS. If that;s not enough for you (and it should be), subscribe to a VPN service.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 5:22PM
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Richard (chuggerguy)

If you decide you'd like to try dual booting, it's rather easy.

Here you go: How to dual boot Windows and Ubuntu

If I were you I'd probably let Ubuntu do automatic partitioning. If down the road you find you wish you'd have allocated more space here, less space there, it's easy enough to change.

When done, you will have a menu available when you boot up. From that menu you can select to run either Ubuntu or Windows, take your pick.

From Ubuntu, you will have access to your Windows partition(s), from Windows you will not have easy access to your Ubuntu partitions.

Personally, I always create a second Windows NTFS partition labelled "Data"(did that even before dual-booting). Now that I dual-boot, I just use that as a convenient common partition.

You might even find that with time, you wind up spending more time in Linux, less time in Windows, or perhaps not, either way it's fun to learn something new. At least I think so. :)

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 6:42PM
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juneroses Z9a Cntrl Fl

I was glad to see the OP's post because I'm also beginning to explore how I can continue to safely use this Win XP computer when security updates cease in April 2014.

Any info those of you with more knowledge can share here will be appreciated by many others who are in the same boat and needing an oars person to guide them.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 7:32PM
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Snidely, I understand what you are saying in your first paragraph, and I used the Android tablet only as an example of why I want something later than XP for primary use, and most certainly for security reasons once MS stops support on April 8.

I cannot make heads or tails of your meaning in the second paragraph.

Chuggerguy, yes, that's exactly what I want to do. So you think it would be better, at least initially, to let Ubuntu do the partitioning? And what I was concerned about will be just as I was hoping? I remember once as I was using a program to "clone" my HDD, seeing a large unallocated portion which I was able to make part of the C drive just by moving a slider. I saw no advantage to having any part of the drive not allocated to use.

I think as XP users near that date, more and more will be wondering what to do with perfectly good computers that still work well. I had even considered backing up all data and wiping the drive and installing Windows 7, but a machine this old could have major hardware problems at any time, so spending money doesn't make sense. Using a Linux distro in a dual boot configuration DOES make sense to me.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 8:17PM
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Okay, I think I understand what Snidely is saying in his second paragraph, but I see no need for a VPN when I can securely use (hopefully) Windows 7 or Ubuntu. Has any Linux distro ever had problems with hackers or viruses or trojan horses? I think that was why some time back the suggestion was made to use a recent Linux distro for banking, etc. vs any Windows OS even with good AV protection. No, I would not feel safe using XP, as much as I like it, for any online use once security updates are discontinued.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 8:42PM
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Richard (chuggerguy)

Yeah, I would let Ubuntu auto-partition. It will decide how much SWAP space it needs, stuff like that. As to how much space you want to give Linux, how much to Windows, I suspect that depends on how much interest you have in using each? Personally, I don't boot Windows as often so don't give it as much space. For you it might be the other way around. It's easy enough to resize later anyway as/if your needs change.

I won't pretend to know enough to address your security concern though. :)

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 9:10PM
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Grandms if you are unsure about Linux but would like to try it on your PC with no worries you might consider trying Puppy Linux and run it off the CD. This bypasses Windows entirely.

You may need to alter the BIOS to point to the CD/DVD player as the first drive searched for during startup. Then just boot into the Linux program and off you go. Once you shut down - unless you elected to install - Linux closes and you are left with your XP as it was before.

I would never consider buying Win 7 in your circumstance because it becomes useless once you buy a new machine unless you elect to build your own.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 9:11PM
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Owbist, I did do exactly that, but with Ubuntu 7.04 which I happened to pick up somewhere. It was interesting, and I think I could get used to it very easily. I still have that disk, but if I do decide to actually install, I would download and burn a recent release.

I have also considered buying a new computer. HP has several models still available with Windows 7, and one in particular has caught my eye since it has both USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports on the front. I can also select an optical drive that will play blue-ray, although that is not a great interest at this point. But what do I do with the old hardware? It's not so easy to dispose of this electronic stuff. The new one would run $700+ for the box. It is top of the line: Intel 3rd generation (?) i7 processer, lots of memory, 1TB HDD, etc. I would probably give the Win 7 laptop to my son, so no problem with it. If I do any more traveling, I'll make do with one of my tablets for checking e-mail and the like.

So what is the take on this idea? I am limited in space, so keeping two desktop computers is really not an option. I know that in a few years I would be facing the same situation as Windows 7 approaches the end of its lifespan, but I am also approaching the end of my lifespan, too. I cannot live forever, and I am now 82 1/2 years old, so maybe one more new machine would suffice?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 7:53PM
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Ah decisions decisions Grandms, should we all be so lucky.

I have tried Simply Mepis, Ubuntu and Puppy Linux but never stayed with any simply because I have good Windows 8, 7 and XP Pro and Home licences. And 98SE but we won't go there.

If you really want to play a little with Linux hang on to the laptop for a while and wipe the desktop to install your Linux and see how you feel. Within a short time you will have made a decision based on experience and can then move forward with confidence.

If you really want a new computer then wipe and re-install the XP thereby removing personal data and contact someone like the Optimist or Lions or any similar group looking for an older person without a computer but who would like one, making sure the games are on there. An i7 would be a great computer no doubt.

Recently I advertised a lot of hardware on our local freecycle and a preteen got it. His father and the lad were tickled pink so hopefully I have helped another self builder move forward.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 8:54PM
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Sorry if my 2nd paragraph unclear. Try this:

I see no reason to stop using an XP machine. Like so many other things, the significance of the forthcoming support stop date is widely misunderstood and overstated by many.

If what you have works, use it. If you WANT and can afford something new, get something new. There are a growing number of bad guys targeting Linux machines with viruses and the like, remember that's what most servers run.

Linux of any flavor is a poor choice unless you have someone nearby with enough expertise to help you.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 8:59PM
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Linux of any flavor is a poor choice unless you have someone nearby with enough expertise to help you.

For most people who come here I would agree. However Grandms is no fool around a computer so she is not going in blindfolded. Also she always has the option to buy the new computer if she gets tired of Linux. The money she has for it will still be there and the stores are unlikely to run out of stock.

This was also why I suggested she hang on to the laptop for a while so she can still seek help if needed.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 9:22PM
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Owbist you are such a gentleman.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 9:33PM
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Thank you for "them" kind words, Sir. Oh, well, not likely I'll do anything just yet, but I might play around with one or more Linux distros, just to see what I can learn. I'll probably end up deciding that is not for me as far as my main computer. As of right now I have far too many unfinished "projects" such as converting all my old LP albums to digital. I did several, but just haven't gotten around to finishing the job. Likewise with a bunch of old VHS tapes which have sentimental value. We recently moved to a continuing care retirement community, so I had to downsize many years' acquisitions, and I really don't want to be adding more "stuff" to my supply of electronics. Maybe if I get snowed in this coming winter, I'll get some of my projects done. LOL!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 8:40PM
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Just a few days delay and the computer that I had configured is no longer available. So I guess I'll "downgrade" a bit and get one with 3rd generation Intel i5 and on board graphics. Only additions I chose were some USB3 ports on the front and a wireless adapter, both of which added a total of $20 to the sale price.

Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64
Processor 3rd Generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3330 quad-core processor [3.0GHz, 6MB Shared Cache]
Graphics card Integrated Intel(R) HD Graphics [DVI-I & DVI-D, DX 10.1]
Memory 6GB DDR3-1333MHz SDRAM [2 DIMMs]
Hard drive 1TB 7200 rpm SATA hard drive
Office software Microsoft Office Trial
Primary optical drive SuperMulti DVD Burner
Productivity ports 15-in-1 memory card reader, 2 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0
Sound Card Beats Audio (tm) -- integrated studio quality sound
Keyboard and Mouse HP keyboard and optical mouse
Networking Wireless-N LAN card (1x1)
Starting price $619.99*
Price epp price icon $607.59*
Instant rebate

Does this sound like a pretty good deal?
I'll decide by Monday if I'm going to buy it. I have a Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse and powered Creative speakers with subwoofer. I may need an adapter to continue to use my present monitor, but that shouldn't be a problem. It is 5x4 and I prefer that to widescreen.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 10:20PM
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I just wanted to say if your tablet has bluethooth I use one of these to transfer files to and from my smart phone to computer and tablet and love it and it says it works with XP. Got it at the electronics store for $20. My memory card for my smart phone is under the back cover and I have to take the case off to get back there so a pain every time and this solved my problem and I don't have to bother hooking tablet up to computer. Mary

Here is a link that might be useful: bluetooth adapter

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 6:25PM
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my 2cents is win8 is the same dang thing as win7 and win9 is the same too and on the horizon. Why would one buy win7 when they seem to have some tech savvy.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 6:42PM
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No need to remove a card from the phone, you can "access" a card in a (non-Apple) smartphone by connecting the phone to a (non-Apple) PC with the USB cord you likely already have. Windows Explore will see the phone as an external drive, you may need a finger touch or two on the phone to make it happen but it's simple. Bluetooth is unnecessary.

If you have Apple stuff, I know you can access it but it works differently and uses iTunes for iphones.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 8:04PM
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Yes I have no trouble hooking phone cord to USB but find this better. If I want to send stuff while upstairs from phone or tablet to desktop downstairs I don't have to get up and can do it quickly. Mary

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 8:45PM
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