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#955855 - Sun Dec 16 2012 06:02 PM Not a day too early... (hardware upgrade story)
WesleyCrusher Online   content

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After five years and a few months on the same machine (Athlon 64x2 6000+ under XP), I finally gave in and went for some shiny but expensive new hardware (i7 3770, 16 GB, 128 GB SSD, 1.5 TB HDD, GeForce 660 TI - what the doctor ordered and then some, a machine built to last the next five years).

This of course left me with the nice task of migrating an XP system to Windows 7 (Yes, 7. One of my reasons for upgrading now was to be sure to still get a real desktop OS for this thing, not a tablet OS) without losing anything. Thankfully, I had both my software and data in order and everything went quite smoothly, even all the Firefox passwords and settings, Thunderbird mail files with a complete record of my mail since the late 1990s and my various online Flash save-game states (If anyone ever needs some instructions on how to migrate any of this, I'm now an expert on it). So let's copy over those last few Gigs of data through the LAN and in the meantime set up the old box for the wife whose even older machine had just recently bitten the dust.

Then, suddenly:

Click... click... that doesn't sound right. In fact, that sounds like a hard disk not doing what it's supposed to do. And here they come - various read errors on the system partition. Which means, better NOT crash the OS now because that machine won't ever come up again from this disk. Get those last bits of data, dump the registry (which thankfully still read fine) in case I need to transfer a software license key or some settings for a program whose setup files I can't find anymore.

How likely is it that you actually have a HD fail on you on the LAST time you actually need to boot it, at a time you're essentially already done recovering the data? I guess whichever greater being is responsible for computers was watching over me this time... no need to test my backups. Phew smile
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#955911 - Mon Dec 17 2012 02:51 AM Re: Not a day too early... (hardware upgrade story) [Re: WesleyCrusher]
sue943 Offline

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Wow, now that was lucky.
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#956229 - Tue Dec 18 2012 07:14 PM Re: Not a day too early... (hardware upgrade story) [Re: sue943]
ladymacb29 Offline
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I thought Windows 8 lets you use the 'classic' interface instead of the 'mobile' look?
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#956325 - Wed Dec 19 2012 08:02 AM Re: Not a day too early... (hardware upgrade story) [Re: ladymacb29]
WesleyCrusher Online   content

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There is a desktop in Windows 8, but it doesn't fully work like the classic desktop. Some features (most notably a real start menu) are missing and others are operated differently than before - for some rather common actions, you suddenly need to do mouse gestures (as if doing a finger gesture on a pad screen) instead of accessing them the traditional way.

The whole OS is meant for a touchscreen device (and it's very good for a tablet) - on a traditional "mouse and keyboard" desktop computer, it is significantly inferior to Win7. There's not yet any suitable desktop hardware for it (although I am sure someone will build some iMac-like "all in one" box with a large, 45° tilted touchscreen that you can put on your desk and operate similarly to a Star Trek: Next Generation console (with a keyboard attached in case you want to actually type something longer than a sentence).
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#956345 - Wed Dec 19 2012 11:19 AM Re: Not a day too early... (hardware upgrade story) [Re: WesleyCrusher]
tellywellies Offline
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I've been using Windows 8 since its release and have got quite used to using the interface on a non-touchscreen Desktop Computer. There are aspects that are very different to use from the traditional Desktop but once used to them, the actions come naturally enough. So I wouldn't say Windows 8 is inferior to Windows 7 regarding the Desktop environment. It is just different.

My only criticism is that the traditional Desktop kind of sits in between the Metro Start Screen and the programs. For instance, if you open Firefox via a tile (shortcut) on the Start Screen, it will open on the Desktop. It will also close to the Desktop. Unless you have a shortcut for Firefox on the Desktop as well, you have to go back to the Start Screen to find the shortcut. So, for me, the traditional Desktop only gets in the way. Maybe Windows 9 will come up with a better answer. Perhaps have a clear choice for users wanting to use Metro and not see the Desktop and users who prefer the traditional Desktop and don't want to see the Metro interface.

As is usual when a new Microsoft OS is released, there are third-party programs that can make it look like and behave like the previous version. I haven't felt the need to try any but know there is software for returning the Start Button and the Windows 7/XP style menus.

It is possible to get to all parts of the computer via the Metro interface. There are a couple of tips that could be pointed out regarding that. There are also shortcuts that bypass the interface and give quick access to various parts of the computer. I really need to be able to post screenshots to demonstrate them though. However, they can be found on various places on the Internet. There is lots of discussion around about Windows 8 at present.

'GodMode' still works in Windows 8. This is where all system functions can be seen in one long list that consists of links and short descriptions of their function. Can make life easier sometimes.
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#956371 - Wed Dec 19 2012 03:12 PM Re: Not a day too early... (hardware upgrade story) [Re: tellywellies]
WesleyCrusher Online   content

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I don't have much Win8 experience yet but to me, it feels significantly inferior, so I rather stuck with 7 to wait out the time until the problems have been ironed out. Of course I should say I am not at all a typical PC user - I tend to work with very many applications at once (I typically have at least my browser, Word, Excel, mail and a graphics program open) and use them like they're one suite, switching between them as if they were just modules of the same thing, using copy-paste and Alt-Tab switches to get the data across.

This was by the way similar to me for both Vista/Win7 and XP - in each case, the OS made changes that first needed to be reflected in both hardware and applications before the whole package really made sense for me (and I didn't really consider the Vista/7 experience an improvement over XP before the middle of this year). I am sure at some point, the same will go for the new feel, but that time will not be 2012 or 2013 smile






Edited by WesleyCrusher (Wed Dec 19 2012 03:14 PM)
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#956455 - Thu Dec 20 2012 02:34 AM Re: Not a day too early... (hardware upgrade story) [Re: WesleyCrusher]
sue943 Offline

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When I last bought a new computer I made them put it back to XP before accepting delivery!
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#956469 - Thu Dec 20 2012 03:14 AM Re: Not a day too early... (hardware upgrade story) [Re: sue943]
tellywellies Offline
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XP is a good operating system Sue. Still supported with security updates for a while yet. If all of your programs run on XP, then there's no reason to change it. I only keep up with the latest releases out of interest ..and it means I can write about it a bit having had some hands-on experience.

I don't think you would be unhappy with Windows 7. It is similar to XP to use. Windows 8 is another matter though because there's a departure from the traditional Desktop that we've known for many years. This doesn't please everyone. I think it is possibly a work in progress though and perhaps more people will be happy with Windows 9.
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#956471 - Thu Dec 20 2012 03:53 AM Re: Not a day too early... (hardware upgrade story) [Re: tellywellies]
WesleyCrusher Online   content

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TW, I agree with you on the last part. Just like Vista was in the beginning a huge step back from XP (both in terms of stability and usability), it evolved into Windows 7 which is quickly and easily configured into something about every XP user should ultimately perceive as an improvement (and I was in the sceptics camp there for a long time). I am sure the same will happen with Windows 8 and then probably 9 - Microsoft will sooner or later make changes that please their loyal users of the older systems - it's just their focus with the initial release was the "one OS from smartphone to workstation" aspect and to have a true contender to iOS in this regard before losing too many mobile-device aficionados to Apple.
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#956485 - Thu Dec 20 2012 05:50 AM Re: Not a day too early... (hardware upgrade story) [Re: WesleyCrusher]
tellywellies Offline
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Originally Posted By: WesleyCrusher
Microsoft will sooner or later make changes that please their loyal users of the older systems - it's just their focus with the initial release was the "one OS from smartphone to workstation" aspect and to have a true contender to iOS in this regard before losing too many mobile-device aficionados to Apple.

Yes, I think that too. The situation reminds me a little of Microsoft being behind in the browser market before the Internet became what it is today. They suddenly seemed to realise that the future was in the Internet and started putting more effort into browser development.

As regards Windows 8, I have to admire Microsoft for daring to be different in their efforts to gain the high ground. Only time will tell if they are on the right track. Perhaps a fair stab at turning out an OS that tries to be all things to all people.
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