XP and Windows 8.1

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  #1  
Old 04-17-14, 03:17 PM
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XP and Windows 8.1

I have XP Home and XP Pro on my 2 desktops and I was thinking to try Windows 8.1 32 bit in one of them, perhaps the XP Home. I love both XP OS and never had any issues with either but I guess we must keep up with the new technologies.

My question: if after installing the Windows 8.1 I donít like it and I want to go back to XP Home, I know that I can do a clean install and get the XP running ok but how about the required Activation within the 30 days period?

Since MS stopped the support on XP would I need the Activation or not? And if yes would MS provide the required key to Activate my new XP install or I will be left with a useless DVD?
 
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Old 04-17-14, 04:41 PM
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Couple things..

First of all the easiest way to 'revert' back to XP is to use a disc image. Macrium Reflect Free is perfect for that. Use an external USB drive (at least the same size as the current drive) and save the image. Then if you want to go back to XP it can be restored and it will be as if nothing had ever happened. No need to deal with doing a clean reinstall or activation unless you want to.

Second, make sure you run the 8 upgrade advisor before you do ANYTHING. A LOT of hardware old enough to be running XP WILL NOT have drivers available for 8.1.

As far as XP activation goes, you can still activate after a clean install. That is not going away anytime soon. You can also get all the existing updates and service packs from Windows Update, there just won't be anything new. This also will be available at LEAST as long as the activation servers.

As far as your key, that is not something Microsoft will give you. If your computer came preinstalled with XP, the key will be stuck somewhere on the computer. If you bought a retail copy, it will be on the CD case.
 
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Old 04-17-14, 05:05 PM
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Very good info here and thanks for your time. I did use the upgrade advisor and all is ok.

As for the key, both my XP Home and XP PRO are the original DVD's I bought and I do have their product key
 
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Old 04-17-14, 06:43 PM
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I agree with what Matt said some hardware may not work at all with Windows 8 but it isn't just the hardware you need to concern yourself with. Some programs may not function right so check that out too.

Also as Matt has pointed out before don't rely on key finding software it will find a key but not the right key so keeping track of your key is important. This goes for all versions of Windows not just Windows XP! In your case you have your key but many people don't understand this and should know it.
 
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Old 04-17-14, 07:30 PM
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Used to be easier years ago migrating to a new OS but now not so. I do have some programs like ECO PRO which may not run on Windows 8.1 but it runs fine on Vista. I will manage somehow but it may be not convenient.
 
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Old 04-17-14, 07:39 PM
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lol trust me doing upgrades was worse back when.. 3.1 to 95 was pretty bad, but 98/ME to XP was seriously ugly (because of the changeover from FAT32 to NTFS)..
 
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Old 04-17-14, 07:44 PM
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Something to think about Windows 7 is still supported and many programs written for Vista will work on Windows 7. So if you haven't bought a new disk yet think about it you will probably like Windows 7 better too as it is closer to what you are used too. Also more hardware like printers is compatible too. No guarantees on compatibility but you can always check it out to be absolutely certain.
 
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Old 04-19-14, 09:44 AM
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Looking on the Web for alternatives I see that Ubuntu is a good one. I dont mind to get Win. 8.1 but reading about it I see that is blooded with many features I have no interest (cloud, outlook, messenger, etc) + the constant updates from MS. Anyone is using or knows about Ubuntu? Will it be compatible with any win 32 bit apps? And security?
 
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Old 04-19-14, 10:10 AM
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Another reason to use 7 instead of 8. However the updates are a necessary evil in any operating system - including Linux. There's no getting away from them unless you don't ever connect to the internet.

Linux is Ray's fortť.. He can answer a lot of questions about it. Short answer I can give you is SOME Windows programs will work under Linux using a program called Wine. But it doesn't work for everything.
 
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Old 04-19-14, 10:14 AM
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Ubantu is one flavor of Linux...many programs will work with it (or have versions that will), but not all. Linux normally comes with quite a few things built in. I used it on an old laptop and it works great once you get used to the differences.

I believe most people here recommend PCLinuxOS for the casual user. Thats probably what I will be going to.
 
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Old 04-19-14, 11:09 AM
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Linux is nice in that there are many applications for it that are free and even work with many commercial operations. However one thing to think about is that only older printers for the most part work with Linux, commercial software you use in every day use like Quick Books will probably not function, internal modems except for a few that Ray knows about will not function(few people use modems now but some still do). So I strongly suggest Windows 7 it really is your best choice especially if you need to do many things that require commercial software.

You can always try out Linux though on a live CD and PCLinuxOs is really the easiest one of all of them in which to try it out before using it. If you like Linux but also know you need both Windows and Linux you can always dual boot. I did that with Windows XP and Linux so you really could go online with Linux and still keep Windows XP or get rid of Windows XP and buy windows 7. If you buy Windows 7 and want to do a dual boot I suggest you wipe the drive install Windows 7 and then install Linux. Afterwards make sure you update both OS and make sure they stay up to date.
 
  #12  
Old 04-19-14, 11:11 AM
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Will have a look on PCLinuxOS, thanks
 
  #13  
Old 04-19-14, 11:14 AM
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If you don't have their web address here it is So cool ice cubes are jealous Ľ PCLinuxOS.
 
  #14  
Old 04-19-14, 12:05 PM
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I just had my 1st taste of Ubuntu (think was 14,04) which I run from my USB stick and although the interface was not bad, the file system was not what I want. I'm used to the Explorer type to manipulate my files / directories and what I saw on Ubuntu was very primitive. Perhaps there are utilities to achieve a similar look to Windows Explorer but right now I dont know. I will try next the PCLinuxOS.

No point to go to Windows 7, I think if I go with Windows might as well go to the latest and probably I will go with Windows 8 but right now since I think to change it does no harm to investigate all options. If I have some apps which will not work with 8.1 I will manage. The only app I have and dont want to loose is ECO Pro32 (a PIM I bought back in 1993) but since everything changes so fast perhaps the time has come to ditch my ECO too.
 
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Old 04-19-14, 12:06 PM
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I would hate to think I was going to have to live with nothing but Win8/8.1 on 32-bit hardware. It's a memory hog and 4GB of memory, IMHO, just isn't enough. Win7 is almost as bad (based on my back-to-back comparisons multi-booting on the same hardware). And both have a whole slew of interface changes from XP, for reasons that have nothing to do with improving functionality and everything to do with just being different from XP.

My Linux of choice (at the moment) is Mint, which is a "fork" of Ubuntu. Basically it's Ubuntu with the safety guards removed, and with a unique desktop (called Cinnamon, which I absolutely love). Both run great on 32-bit hardware.

Ubuntu is a good choice for the Linux noob for two reasons. First, because that's who it was written for. It's geared to the new user. They make it difficult for you to get to the applications that you could shoot your OS in the foot with. And second, unlike a Micro$loth product, you're mostly dependent on other Linux users for your support. The more who are using your particular flavor, the better the chances someone else already has had the same problem you're encountering and maybe knows the solution. Ubuntu has been the most widely used Linux distro for some time.

Windoze applications will not run on Linux without help. They have to be run in some sort of a "virtual" environment, which requires you first install the supporting/enabling Linux software.

Some of these apps let you virtualize an individual program, which means the Linux application acts as an intermediary and "fools" the Windoze application into thinking it's runnning inside of a Windoze OS. WINE (which stands for WINdows Emulator) probably is the most widely used. And others virtualize the entire OS, fooling it into believing it's running directly on bare hardware, not inside of a Linux OS. At the moment, I think VirtualBox is the most prominent example. VirtualBox on Linux will virtualize all Windoze OSes back to Win98.

Both methods have their pros and cons. Application virtualization is less resource-intensive, both in terms of system horsepower and disk space, but some applications just won't be virtualized. On the other hand, if you virtualize the entire OS, any application that once ran under Windoze still will run under virtual Windoze (Windoze doesn't "know" it's only virtual). But it also takes up more disk space and saps more processing power than virtualizing just an individual application.

Either method can have problems communicating with external devices. For starters, in order for a virtual app or a virtual OS running on Linux to communicate with an external device, that device must have Linux drivers available. And even though Linux drivers are available, even if Linux "recognizes" the device, that's no guarantee it will be capable of passing communications back and forth between the external device and the virtual app or OS. But problems like that have been worked out for most "common" devices, and the web site for the virtualization software generally will have a list of external devices it is known to be "compatible" with. I don't know this Eco Pro software, but if it doesn't require connectivity with some device external to the PC, it's almost a certainty it can be made to run under a virtual OS.

And there is a Linux equivalent to all the more common Windoze applications, and the vast majority of them can be had free. And there are some Linux apps that AFAIK have no Windoze equivalent, at any price.

If you run a Windoze OS in need of "activation" as a virtual OS on Linux, it still will activate as per normal, provided you have established network connectivity, you have the product key (sill needed for the installation), and the host OS (i.e., Linux) is running on the same hardware the Windoze OS originally was activated on.

Linux tends to be less vulnerable than Windoze for the simple fact that it represents a smaller target to the hacker/cracker community. Malwares written to infect Windoze for the better part have no affect on Linux. I don't know the percentages but a great many Linux users don't even bother running antivirus software. But they're gambling that the crackers won't bother to specifically target Linux.
 
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Old 04-19-14, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Fred_C_Dobbs View Post
I would hate to think I was going to have to live with nothing but Win8/8.1 on 32-bit hardware. It's a memory hog and 4GB of memory, IMHO, just isn't enough. Win7 is almost as bad (based on my back-to-back comparisons multi-booting on the same hardware). And both have a whole slew of interface changes from XP, for reasons that have nothing to do with improving functionality and everything to do with just being different from XP.
First of all, 7 runs perfectly fine on 2GB. I have benchmarked 7x86 on several low-end netbooks that shipped with XP, including the 8 year old EEE PC and there is virtually no loss of performance in most areas. In fact some scores were BETTER with 7 than they were with XP.
 

Last edited by Gunguy45; 04-19-14 at 01:28 PM. Reason: Removed rude comments
  #17  
Old 04-19-14, 01:01 PM
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Thank you Fred for the insight, I will also have a look on MINT.

As for the Windows 7 for sure I will not even bother to look at it. Its not available to buy, in my area anyway, and to me that's an indication its a dying or dead OS and not worth the time / money to invest on it considering MS just replace it with Win 8.1

JerseyMatt I dont agree with your last comments. Fred took the time to make his comments and if you dont like them just pass on. Forums are to pass on ideas and its up to the reader to decide if these ideas are good for him or not
 
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Old 04-19-14, 01:07 PM
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There also are similar virtualization options for running "guest" OSes on a Windoze platforms. M$ even makes a couple, XP Mode, which was written for Win7 but can be tweaked to run on Win8/8.1, and VirtualPC, which is M$'s equivalent to VirtualBox.


Something else you might want to consider. I've read one report that the new CEO at Micro$loth has binned plans for Win8.2 and is diverting those resources to hasten the completion of Win9. That same source reports that Win9 will be a full-bore attempt to get the literally hundreds of millions of XP holdouts to willingly buy an M$ replacement for their old favorite. Essentially a "modernized" XP, friendlier to 32-bit hardware and with a more familiar interface. Early reports were that M$ planned to release it in April 2015, but there are rumblings (allegedly originating from leakers at M$) that it will be released this October.

If you'll browse the latest IT news, you'll note there yet are no reports of widespread devastation among all those people still running "obsolete" XP. That could change tomorrow but it might be worth the risk to wait on Win9.
 
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Old 04-19-14, 03:33 PM
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I wonder if anyone can give me a hand here. Try to download PCLinuxOS but looks like all download sites are Torrent and I cant get the right Bittorrent. Any ideas?
 
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Old 04-19-14, 04:49 PM
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Kolias you need to go down the page a bit to the mirrors here is a link to the U.S. mirror Index of /linux/pclinuxos/pclinuxos/live-cd. That is not their torrent page If you want the full version and 32 bit click on Full Monty iso. You will need iso recorder and a dvd disk you can find iso recorder here ISO Recorder
 
  #21  
Old 04-19-14, 05:37 PM
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Thanks for the help, I just got what I wanted and will give it a try.
 
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Old 04-19-14, 07:10 PM
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You are welcome kolias, just one note when you put the disk in that you created make sure in your boot order that the DVD drive is first. Also once the live cd starts it will boot from the disk fairly quickly. So if you are not installing the OS then that is fine and it will not make any changes to your computer. If however later you want to install then remember how fast the cd works on your computer and then use your up and down keys to go through the menu. If you want to install this and have a password you should remember Grub with text menu. The rest is fairly easy from then on.
 
  #23  
Old 04-20-14, 07:24 AM
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Could not get the PCLinuxOS boot, my laptop booted to the USB, got a black screen with some rolling parameters, then it went to a nice blue graphics screen with a progress loading bar which took about 4 minutes to complete and then it stopped. Re boot again with the same results.

I will start a new thread with another idea I have
 
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Old 04-21-14, 02:00 PM
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kolias, I'm not clear how you were attempting this boot. With the Linux Live CDs I am familiar with (which DOES NOT include PCLinux), the CD image either must be burned to a CD or it can be placed on a thumb drive. But if using an SD drive, it must be transferred to it by means of a 3rd party application, such as Pen Drive Linux's Universal USB Installer.

If you burn it to a CD, I would be quite surprised to learn it would not boot. However, if you transferred the image (or the files contained in it) to an SD drive without the aid of some 3rd-party application to render it bootable, I would expect it to fail.

hedgeclippers, is the PCLinux image is an exception?


In any case, kolias, I would encourage you not to be disheartened by this set-back. I can't imagine a that you have a laptop that simply cannot boot to a Live CD ...somehow.
 
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Old 04-21-14, 02:25 PM
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You can boot PCLinuxOS off of a flash drive but I have never done so before so I really can't give proper advice on doing that. Now a DVD-R or CD-R that I can help you with, first thing to remember most PCLinuxOS if you use a disk will require a DVD-R. Put a blank DVD-R in your drive and then find your iso file of PCLinuxOS now right click on the file and use iso recorder that I mentioned before. It will say next so just click on that and iso recorder starts automatically.

One thing that can cause the OS to not work is a bad download but each distribution has an automatic way of checking it. Also some Linux will not work if you don't have enough memory or your system is very old and that too can cause a problem but it isn't a problem in your case from what you told me about your system.
 
  #26  
Old 04-21-14, 04:04 PM
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I copied the PCLinuxOS into my USB stick (they say you can do this to save on CD/DVD's). The process went smoothly, it format my USB and then copied the required files to my USB and at the end it said operation successful. I boot my desktop from the USB and it loaded PCLinuxOS (I guess) but it got stuck on a blue screen which says PCLinuxOS and thats it. There was nothing else on the screen to tell me what to do.

BTW as per post #20, I copied the "pclinux-kde-minime-2014.iso" which is 571MB.

Attached is the screenshot of what I had on my screen
 
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Old 04-21-14, 06:20 PM
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To me that looks like a bad copy of the OS I am not certain of the drive size you need even though I use PCLinuxOS fairly often. If you have DVD-R disk then I would try one. You could even put Virtual Box on your Windows computer and start that In Virtual Box and then check your copy of the OS in the drop down menu before putting it on a physical disk. I did that on my laptop as I really didn't want to make a disk at the time. It is a little difficult but I think I can guide you that way.

Here is a screen shot I found of an older distribution it will be a different color and be a different name but otherwise this is the way it should lookName:  zen-mini-2011-3.jpg
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Size:  20.4 KB The only option that was left out is Check This Copy other than that everything else is there. Since it didn't run no changes were made to your computer.
 

Last edited by hedgeclippers; 04-21-14 at 06:36 PM.
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Old 04-21-14, 09:54 PM
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ok hedgeclippers I will try to copy some time this week the full version of the PCLinuxOS and give it a try. Thanks for the help
 
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Old 04-22-14, 08:21 AM
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Did another try this morning with no success. I downloaded the PCLinuxOS.kde.2014.04 (1.6GB) from here Index of /linux/pclinuxos/pclinuxos/live-cd
and the results was the same, I boot to the same screen as before, wait for 4-6 minutes for the progress bar to finish loading and then nothing.

Perhaps does not like my Vista Home or my Dell laptop?
 
  #30  
Old 04-22-14, 12:18 PM
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kolias, before you invest in another such large download, have you tested the integrity of your downloaded file by it's md5sum? I ask because hedgeclippers earlier raised the issue of whether there might be something wrong with your image.

The md5sum for that file (which I got from here) is:

4fe002511e36bbecfc0b4a95f8bec0ec


You can get a free software (that does not require any installation) to check that md5sum against your file here. This involves a much smaller download but will confirm whether your image has any flaws.
 
  #31  
Old 04-22-14, 01:24 PM
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You can also look at your medium you have the file on and if it looks strange or doesn't have some information then the download was bad here is a screenshot of my pc with the live cd in the computer while it is running Windows 7. Name:  Screenshot1 (500 x 400).jpg
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Size:  26.9 KB If you don't see that on your screen then the copy is bad. Also this really needs high speed internet if you don't have that then you need to go somewhere where you can us it. This OS really needs a high speed connection. It could be too your computers are not up to the task.

I have my installation on a Dell Latitude D600 and it works fine. If you use the live CD without Virtual Box then the computer needs to see the disk or flash drive at start up. The live CD or flash drive can't be used while Windows is running without Virtual Box. I know with a Dell Latitude D600 you press F12 at start up and then select the CD or USB drive as your boot device. I hope this helps.

That wasn't the greatest resolution screenshot sorry about that. If you use the Ctrl key and the + key you can enlarge that and then use your minus key next to the zero to go back to normal.
 

Last edited by hedgeclippers; 04-22-14 at 01:28 PM. Reason: Additional information
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Old 04-22-14, 04:16 PM
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Thanks guys for the heads up. I did the checksum and as you can see from the attached image is the same as the one from Fred

Also I include the installation directory from my USB. The directory isolinux has 55 files on it.

My computer is a Dell Inspiron 6400 laptop with 2GB memory and 160GB HD. I dont think is my laptop cause in 6 years or so I have it it has performed flawless in many complicated tasks.

To boot to the USB stick I went to my BIOS and fixed the Boot Order, then re booted and loaded the PCLinuxOS but I saw nothing more then the blue screen I attached on my previous post. Dont know whats wrong because I used the same process to check the Ubundu and LinuxMint and it worked fine with them
 
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Old 04-22-14, 05:38 PM
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I don't know Kolias maybe with PCLinuxOS you need to do something different. I know some distributions work better with some computers than they do with others. Right now I have a mystery of my own I have an old Compaq that will only take Windows now and not Linux of any kind except for the very oldest distribution. PCLinuxOS though has a forum of their own and they may be able to help you better. I would show them the screenshot you have shown us and explain what is going on. It looks good to me but I am not a Linux expert.
 
  #34  
Old 04-22-14, 06:09 PM
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hi kolias and guys -


I been wanting to look at pclinuxos so I downloaded that first iso image in the list in the posts below. I burned it on a CD with free cd/dvd burner software (i can't find the link now because I'm on live-cd and don't know what I'm doing. Lol)

But i'll post the link to the free cd/dvd burning software later if that will help.

Rebooted fine - came up the first time and with the menu posted by hedge.

However, while I was looking the menu over it just took off and continued to load. I think it defaulted to the live-cd option too quickly. So I rebooted and this time I used the up/down arrows on the menu hoping it would stay on the page until I made a selection.

It did and I picked the live-cd option and that's where I am now. I picked FireFox from the menu as a browser and that's what I'm using now. Never used it before, but it seems pretty good (lol I've just used it for a few minutes.)

Really surprised to see how much is included in that KDE option (I think that's correct isn't it - KDE?) Pretty impressive!

Looks like there is enough here to do all kinds of things. But I'm trying to figure out what hardware pclinuxos has detected. I found one menu (but lost it now) in which he recognized all the hardware - but I'm a little confused on what disks and files he sees. Need to play some more.

Anyway, just thought I'd post this so you know that iso image posted below works.

Forgot to mention my desktop (I built myself) has an intel d975xbx2 motherboard and an radeon x1900 video card. pclinuxos recognizes those and i guess obviously the keyboard/mouse and some other things otherwise I couldn't enter this stuff (lol).

Shocked how much is included with this downloaded version!
 
  #35  
Old 04-22-14, 06:57 PM
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Nice for you zoesdad to post your experience. I do have CD/DVD burner but since Linux says you can copy the iso file to USB which is more convenient / faster thats what I did.

But I think I will give up on it because trying Ubuntu & LinuxMint was not to my liking and I'm guessing PCLinuxOS will be about the same.
 
  #36  
Old 04-22-14, 11:11 PM
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No actually Ubuntu and LinuxMint are entirely different. PCLinuxOS is what they call a rolling distribution in that it behaves something like Windows only it keeps on rolling out new updates without ever having to do a re-install. Mint I am not as familiar with I think I tried a copy but it wouldn't load for some reason. Ubuntu on the other hand I know very well and had it on one of my laptops for a while and Ubuntu is not a rolling Distribution you need to download a new copy fairly often. How often I don't remember now as it has been too long ago.

Here though is where Linux runs into problems and sometimes more than with Windows and sometimes less and that is in the video driver. When installed the distribution may work fine for a long time but in an update the driver might be removed or changed somehow.

There are work arounds to that problem and I have used them but it is complicated to explain in just a few words. Newer hardware will not have as much trouble but old hardware might. The best thing though whatever distribution you use is to use their forum for problems it really is the best if you run into a problem.

Another Linux you might want to try is Puppy Linux just like PCLinuxOS you can use it live or install it on the hard drive. But Puppy Linux isn't really something you want to install as it doesn't have as many features. One thing it is good for though and that is using it on very old computers that don't have much memory and can't take any more memory. It is a bit hard to use at first but once you play with it it works fine.

The main thing to remember is to adopt a puppy when you start using Puppy Linux. I know that sounds strange right well until you do you can't use the browser. So adopting a puppy allows you certain privileges you otherwise wouldn't have. Here is a link to their home page Puppy Linux Community Home - Getting Started .
 
  #37  
Old 04-23-14, 06:06 AM
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Thanks hedgeclippers for taking the time but right now I have decided to give a go with Windows 8.1 and find first hand if its good for my needs or not. If I find that Windows 8.1 is too blooded with features I'm not interested, then I will try again Linux.

But I noticed the Windows upgrade assistance tells me that my 2002 office is not compatible and if I stick to Windows 8.1 I will try the OpenOffice. About 10 years ago I downloaded the OpenOffice just for curiosity and I remember that it was a pretty good package.
 
  #38  
Old 04-23-14, 08:57 AM
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I understand Kolias Linux is a bit hard to deal with and you don't want to use it so that was general information. Are you sure you don't want to go with Windows 7? Probably better compatibility and certainly less frustrating at least by all accounts I have read about elsewhere. I know I certainly like Windows 7 but suggest Windows 7 pro as it has the ability to accept a Windows XP compatibility pack so you can still run some programs written for Windows XP. Windows 8.1 doesn't have that.

Also you should be made aware that the OpenOffice project has been shut down. You can still go to the website for OpenOffice but no new contributions to the program have been made. Instead go to the LibreOffice website it has some of the same people there who worked on OpenOffice but it is supported and enhanced. Here is a link to LibreOffice https://www.libreoffice.org/ I use LibreOffice myself and it works great. It is still free too although you can donate to the project if you wish too.
 
  #39  
Old 04-23-14, 12:32 PM
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I know hedgeclippers that Win 7 will make more sense but since Windows 3.0 I always liked to have the latest OS. Somehow I believe that Windows 7 will have the same faith as XP so might as well adjust now and whatever software / utilities I have which will not run on Windows 8.1 I got to find an alternative or work around it.

I didnít know that the OpenOffice was shut down. Thanks for the tip and link, I just downloaded the Libreoffice including the help file and will install it soon to find out how it looks

Much appreciated
 
  #40  
Old 04-24-14, 06:54 AM
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I found some nice screenshots on the web for the PCLinuxOS and I would like now to see if I can get my download to work. I still have the ISO image I downloaded before and got it to my USB but I thought if I burn it to a DVD it may work. But the utility I have (BurnCDCC) does not work. Anyone knows of a utility to extract an ISO file and burn it to a DVD?
 
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