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Old 02-10-2014, 05:43 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,745 posts, read 9,123,808 times
Reputation: 3882

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I've had a Dell Vostro 1500 (Core2 Duo/3GB RAM) since early 2008. I only use it for reading the news, watching YouTube, saving photos, and storing Word documents--no gaming or social media whatsoever. (It runs fine, because I constantly run MS Update and AV.) I love this machine and would prefer to keep it as-is for as long as possible.

However, it has Windows XP, and though I really don't want to upgrade, Microsoft's impending yoink of all XP support has me thinking I should one of two options:

A. Buy a copy of Windows 7 on Amazon and then do the custom install.

Pro: Less expensive--less than $100 versus $500-$700 for a new machine. We get an upgraded, more secure OS (and no obsolescence worries for another few years), but it's still a lot like XP in the user interface.

And we get to keep our machine, which we like a lot.

Con: Machine theoretically could die sometime soon, since it is 6 freaking years old. (I'm not sure what the actual lifespan of a laptop is. We use it every day, but it never leaves the house.) And I would have to back up all our files before installing W7.

B. Buy a new laptop with Windows 8.

Pro: No more lifespan worries for a long time. No installation--just transfer of all our files via thumb drive or e-mail.

Con: I really don't want Windows 8 or 8.1. I hate the look of it and the principle that I should have to upgrade (to a less user-friendly product!) when I don't want to. I want a no-frills operating system without bloatware, talking paperclips, tiled graphics, or any other fancy crap. But I'm not techy enough to install Linux and need my Word (and PDF, JPG, Notepad, etc.) files to be readable.

What should I do?

Thanks for any thoughts.

Last edited by Carlingtonian; 02-10-2014 at 05:52 PM..
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Old 02-10-2014, 06:36 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
13,343 posts, read 17,764,037 times
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Based on what you're using the computer for, you can get away with buying a new laptop running W8.1 for $300-400 which will last you for another 6+ years. You'd probably need to buy Office 2013 to get Word though.

Alternatively, you can simply keep using your current system until you get infected by a new virus. lol
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Old 02-10-2014, 06:49 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,745 posts, read 9,123,808 times
Reputation: 3882
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaypee View Post
Based on what you're using the computer for, you can get away with buying a new laptop running W8.1 for $300-400 which will last you for another 6+ years. You'd probably need to buy Office 2013 to get Word though.

Alternatively, you can simply keep using your current system until you get infected by a new virus. lol
That's the real question: What exactly is going to happen (if anything) to my machine on April 8? If I keep updating my Avast and running boot scans (and not opening suspicious e-mails), how long am I reasonably safe? Long enough to hold out till Windows 9 comes along?
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:01 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
13,343 posts, read 17,764,037 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
That's the real question: What exactly is going to happen (if anything) to my machine on April 8? If I keep updating my Avast and running boot scans (and not opening suspicious e-mails), how long am I reasonably safe? Long enough to hold out till Windows 9 comes along?

You'd be ok as long as Avast keeps updating its dbase for XP viruses. It's not typical that an application would support an end-of-lifed OS, though.
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
13,306 posts, read 20,356,455 times
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I'm still using a Dell laptop from 2006, but upgraded to Windows 7. I guess they last longer than 6 years.
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:20 PM
 
24,503 posts, read 35,952,320 times
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If you feel your laptop is capable of doing everything you need it to, then you might as well hold on to it until:

1. It no longer meets your needs.
2. It breaks.

Get the most out of it.
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:28 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,745 posts, read 9,123,808 times
Reputation: 3882
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBest View Post
If you feel your laptop is capable of doing everything you need it to, then you might as well hold on to it until:

1. It no longer meets your needs.
2. It breaks.

Get the most out of it.
Thanks; that's exactly my intent. But obviously, I don't know when it will break. And I don't want to contantly be backing up files till that happens. Nor do I want to have malware infect the machine and steal information--which I would not detect till it's too late.
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:33 PM
 
24,503 posts, read 35,952,320 times
Reputation: 12847
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
Thanks; that's exactly my intent. But obviously, I don't know when it will break. And I don't want to contantly be backing up files till that happens. Nor do I want to have malware infect the machine and steal information--which I would not detect till it's too late.
A brand new computer can lose files as well. Backing up is good hygiene... The longer you ignore it, the increased chance of irreversible consequences.
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Old 02-10-2014, 10:42 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
13,343 posts, read 17,764,037 times
Reputation: 19664
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
Thanks; that's exactly my intent. But obviously, I don't know when it will break. And I don't want to contantly be backing up files till that happens. Nor do I want to have malware infect the machine and steal information--which I would not detect till it's too late.
Well, you should always be backing up files regardless of how old your computer is.
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Scranton
1,384 posts, read 2,760,637 times
Reputation: 1648
You can try Windows 7 before you buy it. In this link, hosted by Microsoft itself, you can find the ISOs to all copies of Windows 7. (Cannot find Digital River download site - Microsoft Community). Burn the ISO to a DVD and install. You can skip activation when installing and it will work without any restrictions for 30 days. If everything works properly and you're satisfied with the performance on your laptop, then you can buy a copy of Win7 and simply activate it by simply entering the code.

There are ways to easily activate it for free, but Win7 is a good enough OS that's worth the price. Newegg puts it on sale every now and then for $79.99.
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