A Nightmare! Helping a friend upgrade from XP to 7!

I tried to talk her into OpenSuse, but no, she wanted to keep Windows! Ok, oh well, to each her own,
but you talk about bs, finding the correct drivers for video, printers, etc., online! I found them but everything was a bit of a kluge. Another stupidity with Win. 7: If one wants to change the account name, it will allow it, BUT it will not allow one to change the “C\Users\folder name”!! Can you believe this bs? One has to delete the old account and recreate a new one! Then copy all files over to this new account folder. Is there any valid reason for this apparent design flaw/stupidity?

Are there people who installed these piece of junk??? Strange it is. I do not know how they operate(Win7 and generally windows, I do not use windows, my latest windows operating system was in 1999). Have you tried to show him openSUSE? I mean the operation, the usability, the celerity etc

Wait until you realise that My Docs and others are now virtual links to various locations in the Local directory and C:'s root for the normal user isn’t really C:'s root but rather a link to Local\Virtualstore :wink:

Enjoy copying things just to notice they’re not actually there :>

Are there people who installed these piece of junk??? Strange it is. I do not know how they operate(Win7 and generally windows, I do not use windows, my latest windows operating system was in 1999)

That just doesn’t make sense. Your last windows experience was presumably windows 98 (according to you in 1999) – and you say win7 is junk – how would you know if you’re ignorant of windows for the last twelve years!

Well, it was just very partisan.
I still use Windows to some degree. It is what it is.
For that particular case i don’t know.
If the system links the new account to the old accounts name, this seems reasonable to me. Most user do not look in a folder tree, but see just the Gui. But then again, i only made it to Vista and 7 can be very different.

Look here is a general Chit chat thread and I write my opinion. Is it forbidden? Here as I read this thread, the threader do not need help, but if he wants help this is not the correct forum from windows. Yeahh windows is a piece of junk for me.

You’re right, of course it’s not forbidden, it is as you say, just chit chat. I’ve toned down my reply.

Look here is a general Chit chat thread and I write my opinion. Is it forbidden? Here as I read this thread, the threader do not need help, but if he wants help this is not the correct forum from windows. Yeahh windows is a piece of junk for me.

Swerdna is trying to persuade you towards understanding that broadcasting unfounded opinions may give you a reputation here that you may not want. You’re entitled to your views of course, but it makes sense to back those opinions up (with experience and/or knowledge) if you want to be taken seriously.

Do not worry Mr swerdna. I am not agree with no one from here. I know that you want advice me to give good answers to questions.
Always Friendly Stamos!!!:slight_smile:

Mmmmm. What do you mean about a reputation that I may not want. A negative???

Mmmmm. What do you mean about a reputation that I may not want. A negative???

Exactly. (I’m sure you’d rather be taken seriously). If you have had bad experiences with windows (for example), please share them with us. What went wrong for you? What did you dislike? Share your experiences :slight_smile:

Mmmm. Thank you for warning. Anyway I had a old Pc with win 2000 but I have never operated. Windows for me do not give knowledge and security to his user. Because my first linux was slackware in 1999(my father had installed them), I had start with linux then I install openSUSE and still now I have openSUSE. And now who i study computer science I use linux(openSUSE) to developing and making my works etc.

Only problems I have with windows and nothing more.

Yes, that is most probably what he meant.

And to be fair - as it reads now (I haven’t seen the pre-toned-down version), swerdnas objections seem pretty factual to me. It’s like saying: “openSUSE 11.4? Oh, say no more! I tried SuSE about six years ago and it was a piece of junk!”. One is free to say so (at least in chit chat), but others are free to have certain thoughts about such comments as well.

Back to topic: about two months ago I tried Win7 (“Ultimate”) in a VirtualBox. I am anything but an experienced Windows-user (I never really used it), and while the installation was pretty painfree and easy (although time consuming and anything but informative), I was surprised how anti-intuitive the whole user interface is. The systemsetting-thingy (forgot the name, I’m serious) is basically a mess, even KDEs systemsettings seem tidy and comfy compared to that. It took me some serious googling and a download and a reboot to switch the language. Ah yes, rebooting: does that ever end? Because I got noted about pending updates, installed them, then it had to reboot (and the downboot took ages for it had to “prepare” those updates or stuff) and when I got back into the system, Win told me there were some more pending updates to be installed. That repeated about four or five times (I am not sure whether I missed something, though). Well, to cut a long story short: I fiddled a bit with it, installed a few apps, then just gave up - if I remember correctly, Linus Torvalds once stated that he does not loathe Windows or anything, but simply is not interested in it. I strongly share that statement: Windows is just not very interesting.

Migrating from Microsoft Windows XP to 7 is an arduous process depending upon how much personal data you need to preserve. When Microsoft released Vista, they made significant changes to the code base in order to pursue their current trajectory for their Windows operating system. Changing the user name is not hard to do, but maintaining the directories and sub-directories under the new name is quite challenging.

My best advice is to backup the entire User directory onto an external hard drive and install Microsoft Windows 7 from scratch. This is the cleanest method that will result in the fewest possible errors in terms of day to day usage. Then, create a user profile using the same name and copy the personal data from the external hard drive to the appropriate user directories on the Windows 7 computer. The disadvantage of taking this step is that all of the software applications must be reinstalled from scratch that the owner of the computer wants to preserve and continue using on the Windows 7 computer. You will have to setup compatibility modes for each software application especially if it is a legacy one that only runs on Microsoft Windows XP exclusively. You can install Microsoft Windows 7 XP Mode by creating a virtual machine through the Microsoft Virtual PC software, but you will need a copy of Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 software or Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate 64 bit to do so.

This is why I installed OpenSUSE as my primary operating system on my computer. I do not have to worry about these problems anymore since I run Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 32 bit in an Oracle Virtualbox virtual machine. It is much safer and more secure this way as well. Microsoft never figured out a way to provide seamless data migration from one version of their operating system to a newer version that kept all of the personal data and software applications intact.

I’m not a windows hater, but of course I prefer Linux and almost exclusively use Linux on my PCs at home. But my wife is a Microsoft OS lover (specifically a winXP lover) and she has recently been playing with win7 and I can see she will likely move to win7 soon. Currently her PC is setup to tri-boot between winXP, win7 and openSUSE-11.3 with grub as her boot manager.

She gave me a legal copy of winXP at the start of this weekend. Dell is (or least was a month ago) selling legal copies of WinXP Professional edition that they purchased from Microsoft but never used, and the price is incredibly cheap (according to my wife ~20 euros - possibly the OEM cost that Dell paid Microsoft ?? ). These inexpensive winXP prices are thanks to the presence now of Win7.

So I installed winXP on my Corei7 this weekend, replacing FreeDOS.

Before installing I backed up the MBR on my PC so as to NOT lose openSUSE boot. This PC has only one hard drive (sda) and so the simple command was:

dd if=/dev/sda of=MBR-backup-corei7-440 bs=440 count=1 

I put that file “MBR-backup-corei7-440” on a memory stick.

I also noted sda3 has the grub boot manager on it (with sda3 being the " / " (root) partition of openSUSE-11.3) and is marked in the partition table as the boot partition. So I booted to a PMagic live CD (version 6-0 is the current version) and with its gparted tool marked sda1 (where winXP will replace freedos) as the boot partition. Of course once this change is made, the PC will only boot to what ever OS is on sda1.

I then inserted the winXP CD and installed winXP on sda1. Care is needed not to install on the wrong partition, but thats not difficult. Of course the installation took a long time (as compared to openSUSE which is FAST in comparison to install). There were a couple of reboots during the install … After the installation sound did not work, ethernet did not work, and graphics was at a poor 800x600 resolution. There were no applications at all hardly.

I managed to dig out the CDs that came with the motherboard (an Asus P6T Deluxe V2) and installed the Ethernet drivers drivers off of that CD.
I was able to change the resolution to 1920x1200 but the speed was pathetic, with the windows dragging incredibly slow across the screen. I decided to obtain a proprietary graphic driver later.

But 1st order of business was to restore my openSUSE boot. So I restarted from the PMagic liveCD, inserted the USB stick and mounted it so I could access the file “MBR-backup-corei7-440” on the memory stick and then I opened a terminal and using ‘dd’ restored the MBR back to its previous (pre-WinXP) configuration with:

dd if=MBR-backup-corei7-440 of=/dev/sda  bs=440 count=1 

needless to say a quadruple checked that before sending it. Bad use of dd will totally destroy one’s system. Then I used gparted app to change the boot partition from /sda1 to /sda3.

I restarted the PC and openSUSE ran fine.

Then it was back to the winXP and 2nd order of business was to get a decent browser. I had prepared for this and put a recent winXP copy of firefox on the memory stick. So I copied Firefox over from that memory stick and installed Firefox. Good. A decent browser.

Then it was back to the winXP PC, and 3rd order of business was to go to google to search for free anti-virus software. I read about AVG. Then I went to the AVG site and download and install a legally free anti-virus software. Install that. A reboot was need.

Then 4th order of business was to go to google and search for free firewalls. I read about Zone alarm. Go to Zone Alarm site and download a legally free firewall. Scan it for virus. None. Install it. Reboot.

Then 5th order of business was to improve the graphics. I searched for nVidia and found their download site for the nvidia proprietary driver for winXP. Download that. Scan it for virus. None. Install it. Reboot. It works, but I got zone alarm warnings that I had to surf on and figure out.
Big waste of time.

Then 6th order of business was to get sound working. I noted the motherboard manufacturer provided a CD with sound drivers. So I inserted that CD and installed drivers from there. Another !! reboot was need. Sound worked but was pathetic (and I still don’t have the 5.1 system configured properly, but I’ll likely ignore that).

Then 7th order of business was to get some office applications. So I went to google, searched for Libre Office, found it and downloaded and scanned it for virus. None. Installed Libre Office on this PC. It works.

Then 8th order of business was to get some media players. So I went to google and searched for vlc and searched for “media player classic home edition” and installed both of those . It works, but I got zone alarm warnings that I had to surf on and figure out. Big waste of time.

Then 9th order of business was to obtain some sort of pdf reading capability. So I went to google and searched for free PDF software. I ended up with Adobe Acrobat Reader. Downloaded Acrobat Reader. Scanned it for virus. None. But I have NO pdf edit capability. I could find no free open source windows pdf editor. It works, but I got zone alarm warnings that I had to surf on and figure out. Big waste of time.

Then 10th order of business was to get adobe flash working as firefox did NOT work with all flash sites. I was able to click on a browser link that took me to a flash download. But popups were blocked and I had to sort that. I downloaded flash install program. Scanned for virus. None. Installed it. It works, but I got zone alarm warnings that I had to surf on and figure out. Big waste of time.

Then 11th order of business was to get the HP C309a wireless printer (on our lan) working with winXP. Went to google and found the HP download support site. Two drivers available - one with HP bloat ware and one without bloatware. I chose the sans bloat ware version. Downloaded it. Scanned for virus. None. Installed it. NOT straight forward. It told me anti-virus software would interfere possibly with install. NOT what i wanted to read. I tried to disable anti-virus software. I wasted 15 minutes on that. I failed. I could not disable. So either I had to delete anti-virus or ignore warning about possible interference. I ignored warning. I then was told Zone Alarm needed tuning to be able to print. I went to Zone Alarm but NONE of the HP program descriptions as to what to see in Zone Alarm matched what was actually in Zone Alarm. Ie it is out of date. Horribly so. … but no matter … I opened up zone alarm firewall to IP address of wireless printer. Continued with printer driver install and it worked. That TOOK A LONG TIME. I can set up same printer in openSUSE in a FRACTION of the time. Anyway, no matter. Printer works.

I then plugged in my USB-3.0 external hard drive into the PC’s USB-3.0 port to copy files from that drive. WinXP did NOT recognize the USB-3.0 interface at all. Could not see it, nor even use it as a USB-1.0, 1.1, nor 2.0. It simply did not exist. So I then rummaged through our closet and dug out the box for the Asus USB-3.0 card. Found an installation CD and installed the winXP USB-3.0 drivers. Installed them. Plugged in the USB-3.0 drive and this time it was recognized.

So I copied over some data.

I looked at my watch. Over 4 hours GONE. Many many reboots required. I could have done ALL the above and more on openSUSE-11.3 after a fresh install in less than 2 hours.

… anyway, no matter. At least it worked.

There was also a MASSIVE update download after registering and activating winXP, but IMHO that’s no different than openSUSE which also has a massive update after installing, although I do believe the openSUSE update is much faster. One of the BIGGEST frustrations is all the winXP reboots, where reboots on even a fresh winXP install are SLOW.

This fun 4 hours (of mostly trouble free time) re-enforced in my mind - I’m glad I’m a Linux user with some Linux knowledge. Its amazing what a little knowledge in Linux can do to making the Linux experience so much better. My windows knowledge is simply too weak to make that fast or enjoyable, even IF trouble free.

I had a friend who bought a laptop at an online auction with Vista on it. I encouraged her to look for an OEM provided free upgrade to W7 but unfortunately the opportunity had passed; maybe that’s why the laptop was on auction. She put up with Vista for a few months (she used to be an XP user) but it would wreak random havoc, e.g. lose shortcuts and share mounts. Eventually one day it self-destructed (I don’t know exactly how, I didn’t see it) and she called for help but I was busy. I suggested she take it to a shop and get W7 installed. She decided to call another FOSS person to wipe Windows and install Ubuntu on the laptop and she hasn’t looked back since.

I have XP on a couple of laptops because it came with the machine and the environment feels so impoverished whenever I occasionally boot into XP to run a thing or two. With FOSS you’re spoilt for choice re software. And you have to keep preening the filesystem or it will slow down. It will eventually anyway.

oldcpu, you are a bit unfair here - Win XP is a whopping ten years old, the latest major update (SP 3) was in May 2008, so… please. You can not expect such an quasi outdated system to run ootb on modern hardware, can you? I don’t think S.u.S.E. 7.3 would have given you a better experience today.

Seriously, many details you wrote reminded me strongly of my experiences with XP, which I had to use when I was still working as a book keeper for a non-profit organisation. My boss was an avid fan of Zone Alarm, no matter how much I tried to convince her that a “personal firewall” is about as useful as a dead donkey (for example: ZA warns whenever an application wants to gain access to the internet, like “firefox.exe is trying to bladibla…” although an attacker could name his virus / trojan / whatever “firefox.exe” or “i_am_harmless.exe”. It’s such a nagware, really). One should also note that, as pointed out by oldcpu, a default install of any Windows does indeed not give you full multimedia-support at all. Pretty much anything has to be installed after the initial install, including media-players, image viewers, document readers, office stuff etc. Actually it’s quite a frugal system compared to openSUSE or pretty much any Linux that can be considered a home desktop distribution. Too much of a hassle for me. :slight_smile:

I don’t know when WinXP SP3 came out, but May 2008 is close to openSUSE-11.0 (and very far from 7.x) and without question in my mind, openSUSE-11.0 would have installed easier and faster on same hardware… So this speed of install is NOT an openSUSE-11.4 (only) comparison to winXP.

When it comes to zone alarm firewall - yes - the more urgent/necessary requirement for MS-windows firewall is part of the problem (together with the implication if one has no firewall). I can’t trust the Zone Alarm name to mean it is harmless (and I don’t trust the name) and I end up spending a lot of time each time I get a warning, surfing to see what the name really means. I can’t ignore the warning because there are MANY hundreds of documented cases of trojans/virus once installed going out through the windows firewall. Now in the case of Linux there are NOT MANY hundreds of documented cases. I think that’s the important point here.

I still do not have multimedia working at all hardly on this winXP install. Yes vlc and media player classic are working nicely, but no other media apps have helpful codecs. In truth what I get for 2 hours after an install on openSUSE (even as far back as 9.x series) is superior to what I can get after 4 hours on winXP. I only claim this going back to 9.x because my Linux knowledge in the 7.x and 8.x days was not very strong.

My wife installed win7 on her PC the other day. It was faster than winXP for the initial install, but even then, to get the same in terms of equivalent apps it was still much slower to install than openSUSE.

So again, while your point about winXP being old is noted, I also note:

  • legal copy of winXP is still more expensive than downloaded copy of openSUSE
  • the latest and greatest win7 is still slower to install than openSUSE (with inclusion of equivalent apps in install comparison time)
  • the extra effort needed to scan (for virus) and ack firewall warnings exists not only for winXP but also for win7. ie its still a royal pain for an average Linux user who is comfortable and spoiled with their Linux distribution
  • being forced to surf google for winXP (and win7) applications is a pain, when I can get a nice listing from either YaST, or from the packman/openSUSE-search engines.

My being customed to Linux now in my view means the main MS-Windows purported advantage of ease of use is no longer present. My knowing and using Linux apps for > 10 years also means the purported MS-Windows advantage of having users locked into the MS-Windows specific apps (with specific features) is mostly gone.

My main reasons for keeping Windows are:

  • its useful for BIOS upgrades (as manufacturers tend to package their updates to install from MS-Windows OS and FreeDOS is not always sufficient)
  • its useful to have a separate completely different OS (such as winXP) to test one’s hardware with a second independent view on occasion.
  • its useful to have WinXP for friends who visit who wish to use my PC
  • its necessary to run a proprietary/custom application associated with the work I do which pays my salary that only runs on MS-Windows (that needs to be run at home/on-the-road). I can also run this app in Virtual Box (running winXP).

oldcpu, my comments were “tongue-in-cheek” and not serious at all. Fact is: XP is still offered and “supported”, so it has to fulfil modern demands, which it does not (neither does Win7, though). So: we basically agree.

As for the firewall-issue: I recommend getting a good router instead of setting up an internal firewall; many routers have Linux installed anyway. “Personal” Firewalls are pretty much meaningless by design (Rain_Maker, who occasionally posts here under a different name, once stated that the basic principle of a personal firewall is to put up signs in front of open ports saying “This is not an open port” - gee, isn’t that brilliant?). Preventing virus infections necessarily needs a scanner, though, which means yet another app running in the backround sucking ressources and which either costs money or behaves as nagware as well. The need to secure Windows right after the install and even before one can gain access to the internet is one of the huge drawbacks of Win. I never understood how one could get used to that.

100% agreement there although I would use the word ‘in addition’ to as opposed to ‘instead’. Our router has a firewall that we keep up most the time.

There have been a few (very very few) occasions where my wife was struggling to access her winXP remotely, and she brought down the apartment router’s firewall (to my chagrin) as part of her testing. So for times like that, I figure its good to have a firewall in place on one’s PC. And have a spouse who announces before hand (firewall is going down ! (or simply don’t give her firewall password)).

Now our router firewall does not (to the best of my knowledge) check outgoing traffic as much as Zone Alarm. Now for Linux I confess I am not concerned about outgoing traffic. But I am with Windows. Hence in MS-Windows even with a good router firewall, I like a package that tracks outgoing traffic.

I had a case around 9 years ago, when re-installing my WinME on my mother’s PC, that I was in an ugly situation. I did not want to do it, but she really wanted winME and I could not break her heart and say No.

The easiest way to get the winME security updates was to install winME, connect to the web, and quickly install the security updates. But in the 15 minutes or so needed to install those updates, the PC was infected ! This bit me twice when trying to fix her winME, before I finally got smart, downloaded as many security updates (for winME) from Linux, as I could do without having winME installed, then installed winME with the PC NOT on the web, applied the security updates, connected to the web, and installed the remainder of the updates I missed. Fortunately I manged NOT go get her PC infected that time, but it was a painful install. Overall I think it took something like 8 hours (after some failed attempts) to get just the basic winME (with no apps) re-installed on her PC.