Saturday, March 22, 2014


Microsoft is officially terminating all user support and  security updates for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. What this means is that after this date, you Windows XP users, (and you really still are in the millions), will no longer be able to receive from Microsoft any operating system fixes, no assistance against viruses attacks or many other online related problems. 

Now, if you are using your computer just for games, keeping your bank account updated and other activities, (without going into the Internet), you will be OK. If you just browse the Internet once in a while, you might be also OK.

If you are using your computer for other activities, such as email, e-banking or other activities involving the Internet, (and I'll bet that most of you likely are), THEN you are in trouble

So, what can or should you do?

 You really have two choices

I assume that your computer is probably quite a few years old, but if it still is in good shape and you belong to the first group above,(that does not rely on the Internet much), just keep doing what you are doing, stay with Windows XP. THIS IS YOUR FIRST CHOICE.

HOWEVER, if you belong to the second group that relies on the Internet for just about everything you do with your computer, THEN my friend, you'll have to say bye to windows XP, otherwise your  computer will be inoperable sooner or later due to hackers taking advantage of your defenceless  Windows XP software. You may have good anti virus software, but still... there will be too many holes in your Windows XP not anymore patched up by Microsoft, that even good anti virus software will not be able to defend. You will have to move to another Windows version, either Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. THIS IS YOUR SECOND AND ONLY CHOICE.

In my humble opinion, a move to Windows 8.1 for those who have been using Widows XP forever in a day, may be too much of a change. A change to Windows 7 makes a lot more sense because there is not much of a difference between the two and the learning process will be a breeze. (Window 8.1 will be much harder to get used to and although this version has many good improvements, a lot of users just hate it. ).

Unfortunately, if you are going to buy a new computer, most likely it will come with Windows 8.1, but you may be able to buy a PC or Laptop with Windows 7 installed, by ordering from manufacturers websites such as HP, Dell, Lenovo, etc.

Of course if you feel you can build your own computer, (I have several posts in this Blog, that can guide you to take that step), then you can order all your components from Newegg or other suitable supplier of computer parts, plus an OEM version of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 if so desired.

The problem you are faced with is how to transfer all your stuff from your old computer to the new one.

When Windows 7 was introduced by Microsoft a few years ago, (November 6, 2009), we published a post on this Blog that showed you how to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7. The title of the post is:


If you want to upgrade to Windows 8.1, all the instructions that apply for the upgrade to Windows 7 are basically the same. Here is the post:

"Last week I told you how I did the conversion, (upgrade), to Windows 7 from Windows Vista. I also told you that making the conversion from Windows XP is a completely different situation, in as much as the conversion must be a "clean install" rather then an "upgrade".

The "upgrade" is relatively easy because your settings, your applications, your data and your files all travel from Windows Vista to windows 7 and there is very little work to be done after the installation is completed.

Unfortunately you Windows XP users are not that lucky; after the "clean install", you must reset your users and network, (if applicable), reinstall all your drivers, programs, data and files from scratch. Don't let this discourage you, because if you prepare your work with a little patience, you'll end up with a computer that is much cleaner, because all the garbage that was accumulated by Windows XP during the years of use of your computer will be gone for good!

One possible problem that you'll have to face is the possible incompatibility of certain application drivers that worked with W XP but will not work with W 7 such as drivers for your display, audio system, network adapters, wireless keyboard and mouse, etc. You can check the drivers you have by going to "device manager" in your computer. (click "start", right click "my computer", select "properties", click the "hardware" tab and finally click "device manager" button. once you are there, it will display a complete list of all devices installed in your computer as well as the drivers for each one of them.

To find out if you have such problems, you'll have to run the Microsoft short program I referred to last week, Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor , by going to the following Web address:

(click the above or copy and paste on your browser).

As i explained last week, once you run this program in your computer, it will generate a report which will verify compatibility of your hardware, software, drivers etc. that are now installed in your computer and tell you what you have to do before trying to do the clean install of W 7.

In order to find the right drivers that will run in W 7, you must download them from Windows 7 Compatibility Center at the following Web address:

(click the above or copy and paste on your browser).

Needless to say that now you will have to back up to an external drive all your data, files and any other information you want to transfer to the Window 7 environment. Programs will have to be reinstalled again and I assume you have the original disks for the same such as Window Works, Word etc. etc.
If you don't have the disks, the other solution will be to create an image back up of your hard drive. This is the most dependable way to transfer your old set up without having to install the programs with original disks, especially if you don't have them or don't know where you put them. Such an operation will restore all you have on your hard drive. You will need of course an external drive to copy the image to and a program that will do it.
Please read my post of September 5, 2009:


This post explains how to do it using a very popular program called ACRONIS, (this program is not free, it costs $39.00, but it is well worth having because it will keep an image of your hard drive that can be updated as many times as you command it to do).
There are other free programs that will do it, but most of them are not as complete and easy to operate as ACRONIS,. A good one recommended by PC World is Macrium Reflect Free that can be downloaded at:

Keep in mind that it takes several hours to copy an image of your hard drive to an external hard drive, especially if your hard drive has been accumulating all kinds of stuff along the years... a good way of doing it is starting the operation at night before you go to bed. The following morning it will be done...
Once you have done all this preparation work, you are now ready to run the clean installation. follow the steps I described last week, but when you get to the point in the wizard that asks you if you want to do an "Upgrade" or a "Custom" (clean installation), you'll have to select "Custom".
From that point on just follow the instructions, (see my post of last week), and after a couple of hours Windows 7 will be installed in your computer. After this, you will have to either transfer the hard drive image you have copied to your external hard drive, (if you decided to go this route), or to reinstall all your programs using the original disks and then copying the data files and installing new drives if required.
My friends, this may seem too complicated and scary for some of you, but really, if you have a little "hands on" experience with your computer it won't be so bad after all. In any case, this will be a good practice session for you to get really well acquainted in computer operation.
Have fun!!!
(Your comments will be very much appreciated)
George Freire "

I hope all of the above will be of help to you all Windows XP users in stress...

George Freire