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Last post Author Topic: Strategies to stay with Windows 7 as long as possible  (Read 16292 times)

dr_andus

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Strategies to stay with Windows 7 as long as possible
« on: November 08, 2012, 06:37:37 PM »
What I have seen of Windows 8 so far makes me want to stay with Windows 7 as long as possible. How to future-proof my Win7 system? I think Win7 came pre-installed on my PC, so I may not even have it on a disk. What to do when my currently 2-yr old PC dies? How can I make sure that I can keep running my old software - that may not work in Win8 any more - for years to come? I also have a couple of XP machines still.

I suddenly feel an urge to collect and save all my installation files for old software in a safe place, and also to get a Win7 installation CD. I'm thinking that perhaps I should buy a Win7 laptop while they still exist, to have a back-up system available. I could see their prices drop after (or even before) Christmas, but then who knows, if Win8 turns out to be a disaster, could scarcity start driving up prices of Win7 machines fairly soon?

Any advice on how to keep an OS for a long time, well after it stops being supported?

P.S. According to The Register PC shipments are down in the UK, suggesting retailers expected a slump in demand for Win7 systems, which means there are fewer machines around than last year.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2012, 06:46:43 PM by dr_andus »

eleman

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Re: Strategies to stay with Windows 7 as long as possible
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2012, 06:45:18 PM »
First of all, calm down :)

Windows 7 won't become a rarity overnight, and Microsoft will surely fix windows 8 in SP1, just as it did with Vista.

You may want to get a windows 7 CD, and write down your existing windows installation's serial number (the one on the glorified holographic label most probably sticked under your laptop).

wraith808

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Re: Strategies to stay with Windows 7 as long as possible
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2012, 08:50:11 PM »
Windows 7 won't become a rarity overnight, and Microsoft will surely fix windows 8 in SP1, just as it did with Vista every other version of Windows.

FTFY  8)

I've not known a version of Windows to be solid the first iteration yet.  It's just with some iterations, people forget it more than others.  ;D

40hz

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Re: Strategies to stay with Windows 7 as long as possible
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2012, 11:33:05 PM »
Windows 7 won't become a rarity overnight, and Microsoft will surely fix windows 8 in SP1, just as it did with Vista every other version of Windows.

FTFY  8)

I've not known a version of Windows to be solid the first iteration yet.  It's just with some iterations, people forget it more than others.  ;D

+1 w/wraith - Three has always been the 'magic' number for Microsoft if their past history is anything to go by. Either Version 3 or Service Pack 3 - whichever came last.  :-\

cranioscopical

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Re: Strategies to stay with Windows 7 as long as possible
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2012, 11:48:10 PM »
+1 w/wraith - Three has always been the 'magic' number for Microsoft if their past history is anything to go by. Either Version 3 or Service Pack 3 - whichever came last.  :-\
The rumour is that they will fix that this time around. Apparently they will first issue SP3 and SP1 will not be released until much later.

nosh

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Re: Strategies to stay with Windows 7 as long as possible
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2012, 12:13:27 AM »
The first version is inevitably a kick in the teeth. [this joke will self-destruct in 3.. 2.. 1..]

Jibz

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Re: Strategies to stay with Windows 7 as long as possible
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2012, 12:26:41 AM »
Mouser will go dental when he sees that :-[.

mwb1100

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Re: Strategies to stay with Windows 7 as long as possible
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2012, 12:30:31 AM »
get a Win7 installation CD

Who made your Win7 PC?  Vendors often will provide media that will restore a system to factory install state for a nominal fee.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Strategies to stay with Windows 7 as long as possible
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2012, 03:12:20 AM »
I have yet to see a preinstalled version of Windows 7 that doesn't have a recovery partition and a mechanism to produce recovery disks.

tomos

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Re: Strategies to stay with Windows 7 as long as possible
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2012, 03:18:37 AM »
Windows 7 is supported until 2020 ...
Tom

dr_andus

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Re: Strategies to stay with Windows 7 as long as possible
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2012, 05:23:36 AM »
get a Win7 installation CD

Who made your Win7 PC?  Vendors often will provide media that will restore a system to factory install state for a nominal fee.


I have yet to see a preinstalled version of Windows 7 that doesn't have a recovery partition and a mechanism to produce recovery disks.

It's an Acer PC. I did burn two system image DVDs when I bought it. Would that include the OS and could I use it to install Win7 on other machines? I thought that wouldn't be possible.

Windows 7 won't become a rarity overnight, and Microsoft will surely fix windows 8 in SP1, just as it did with Vista.

It's not that I'm worried about Win8 first release being buggy. I just want to keep Win7 because I have some unsupported old software that already has trouble running on Win7, so I'd imagine it's unlikely those software would suddenly run better on Win8...

40hz

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Re: Strategies to stay with Windows 7 as long as possible
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2012, 06:44:13 AM »
My personal strategy for sticking with Win 7 is not to upgrade.

I wonder if that will work. ;)

Carol Haynes

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Re: Strategies to stay with Windows 7 as long as possible
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2012, 06:45:25 AM »
I have yet to see a preinstalled version of Windows 7 that doesn't have a recovery partition and a mechanism to produce recovery disks.

It's an Acer PC. I did burn two system image DVDs when I bought it. Would that include the OS and could I use it to install Win7 on other machines? I thought that wouldn't be possible.

Yes it allows your AcerPC to be reinstalled exactly as it came from the factory - OS, apps and promotional crap too.

You can't install that copy of windows on any other computer - it wouldn't be legal either as that copy is an OEM edition licensed only for the machine on which it was delivered. It also wouldn't be possible as far as I know as it is a preconfigured image for a specific set of hardware. You shouldn't need the license key of the label to reinstall using this method - but if you find a Windows 7 disc (the same edition eg. Home Premium) you should be able to install a clean copy using the license key on the label. Note if you decide to go from 32-bit to 64-bit or vice versa there is no guarnatee that drivers will be available from the Acer website. If you are trying to future proof you should also archive a copy of the latest set of drivers from Acer - they have a habit of dropping support for older machines.

IIRC when windows 7 was released there were a lot of comments about the then new Windows 7 EULA which even seemed to stop you moving a non-OEM copy from one machine to another. Not sure if the EULA was later updated to allow that - but I suspect you would have problems moving it and have to contact MS every time for permission.

Quote from: eleman on Today at 00:45:18
Windows 7 won't become a rarity overnight, and Microsoft will surely fix windows 8 in SP1, just as it did with Vista.

It's not that I'm worried about Win8 first release being buggy. I just want to keep Win7 because I have some unsupported old software that already has trouble running on Win7, so I'd imagine it's unlikely those software would suddenly run better on Win8...

Shouldn't run any worse on Windows 8 - it is effectively Windows 7 SP2 or 3 ish. with a veneer of not-Metro. The Desktop environment (sorry legacy desktop environment) is just Windows 7 with a few tweaks. Nothing much new there.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Strategies to stay with Windows 7 as long as possible
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2012, 06:50:23 AM »
My personal strategy for sticking with Win 7 is not to upgrade.

I wonder if that will work. ;)

That's pretty much my strategy too - I would guess a lot of businesses might take the plunge with Windows 7 now before the possibility disappears and they are forced to adopt 8 when XP support dies.

Unfortunately I will have to support Windows 8 so I am going to have to install it (at least as a VM and probably on my laptop) just to get to know it well enough.

dr_andus

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Re: Strategies to stay with Windows 7 as long as possible
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2012, 07:24:19 AM »
My personal strategy for sticking with Win 7 is not to upgrade.

I wonder if that will work. ;)

OK, but you may want to upgrade your hardware in the future (to buy a new PC, which may or may not have Win8 pre-installed), what do you do then? So I suppose I would need to get a separate copy of a Win7 disk to install it on future machines?

They are not particularly cheap. And what will happen to the price and supply of those? Will the price go up or down in the next 6 months?

Obviously having already shelled out for the pre-installed version, I feel reluctant to have to buy another license. So is it a better strategy then to buy PCs and operating system disks separately, so you can use the disk to install Win7 on newer machines later on? I don't need to run them both simultaneously, I'm happy to uninstall/deactivate the old one, if I have to for license reasons.

dr_andus

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Re: Strategies to stay with Windows 7 as long as possible
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2012, 07:29:55 AM »
That's pretty much my strategy too - I would guess a lot of businesses might take the plunge with Windows 7 now before the possibility disappears and they are forced to adopt 8 when XP support dies.

That's exactly what I'm wondering about. How will that affect the price and supply of the Win7 license? Economics would suggest that dwindling supply and increasing demand might drive the price up (while Win8 upgrade is dirt cheap). So when is it best to buy your back-up Win7 disk, especially if you haven't got one (and when you're on a tight budget)?

Carol Haynes

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Re: Strategies to stay with Windows 7 as long as possible
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2012, 07:45:26 AM »
Yep - called the law of demand!

Having said that most corporations and other businesses don't buy Windows from the shops or normal supply chains - they get them cheap from MS under license.

MS are already supplying 'business machines' with Windows 8 Pro installed and the right to downgrade to Windows 7 Pro for free and I can't see MS removing Windows 7 from corporate licensing any time soon since they haven't got the majority of their corporate clients to move away from XP yet - moving to 8 would be a step too far for many businesses.

tslim

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Re: Strategies to stay with Windows 7 as long as possible
« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2012, 08:36:29 AM »
Windows 7 won't become a rarity overnight, and Microsoft will surely fix windows 8 in SP1, just as it did with Vista every other version of Windows.

FTFY  8)

I've not known a version of Windows to be solid the first iteration yet.  It's just with some iterations, people forget it more than others.  ;D

+1 w/wraith - Three has always been the 'magic' number for Microsoft if their past history is anything to go by. Either Version 3 or Service Pack 3 - whichever came last.  :-\

MS history does have a pattern, see below and guess what is the ???

Win 98 (ticked)
win Me (skipped)
win XP  (ticked)
win Vista (skipped)
Win 7 (ticked)
Win8 (???)
Win9 (???)

wraith808

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Re: Strategies to stay with Windows 7 as long as possible
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2012, 10:34:27 AM »
Actually, Vista is a matter for discussion/personal experience.  I personally had no problems with Vista.  I used it for years on my laptop without problems, and now my daughter is using that laptop and still has no problems.  The problem with Vista was perception, and MS being unable to get ahead of the PR curve.  ME was a totally different thing- it had serious problems that they never really addressed.  But Vista was different, at least IME.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Strategies to stay with Windows 7 as long as possible
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2012, 11:04:18 AM »
The problem with Vista was perception, and MS being unable to get ahead of the PR curve.

The problem with Vista was the hardware manufacturers tried to get away with - it required significantly better spec hardware than Windows 7 to get it to run at a decent speed - in particular memory optimisation was an issue. I bought a laptop with Vista and 1Gb of memory - it ran like a dog until I doubled the memory - then it ran OK but ran well when I increased to 4Gb of memory. My initial impressions were so bad I reverted to XP which ran fine with 1Gb of memory but tried Vista again with 2Gb of memory. In comparison Windows 7 seemed to run pretty well with 2Gb of memory on the same machine and a lot better with 4Gb. I tried the Win 8 preview and it ran very well on the same hardware - pretty similar or slightly better than windows 7 but I couldn't live with the new interface and went back to 7.

Nod5

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Re: Strategies to stay with Windows 7 as long as possible
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2012, 11:22:47 AM »
I just want to keep Win7 because I have some unsupported old software that already has trouble running on Win7, so I'd imagine it's unlikely those software would suddenly run better on Win8...
What software? Maybe someone here is familiar with it and can say if it works on Windows 8. I have so far only tried Windows 8 in virtualization but everything I've tried to installed has worked fine.

app103

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Re: Strategies to stay with Windows 7 as long as possible
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2012, 11:42:13 AM »
If you plan on skipping Win8, or plan on sticking with Win7 forever (or any other version of Windows, for that matter), you might want to get a real retail installation disk and not an OEM restore disk made specifically for your pc. With a retail version, you could install and run it in a VM, and the host OS could be either the latest version of Windows that will come with your next PC, or even some flavor of Linux (a better choice). Just make sure you have plenty of RAM installed, as you will need enough for both the host OS and the one running in the VM.

It's easy to back up, easy to restore, easy to transfer the image from one PC to the next, and the next, and the next, without having to "reinstall Windows and all your software".

Whatever OS my next PC is running, I plan on doing this with XP, just so I can keep things how I like it and run all my older software that won't run on anything newer. Might even create another image with WinME, just for the heck of it, and so I won't have to use the ancient snail pc to run a few old apps and games that won't even install, never mind run on XP.

wraith808

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Re: Strategies to stay with Windows 7 as long as possible
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2012, 12:08:17 PM »
The problem with Vista was perception, and MS being unable to get ahead of the PR curve.

The problem with Vista was the hardware manufacturers tried to get away with - it required significantly better spec hardware than Windows 7 to get it to run at a decent speed - in particular memory optimisation was an issue.

Actually, I think the original part of the quote speaks to that better, i.e.

Actually, Vista is a matter for discussion/personal experience.

I didn't have the same experience.  My laptop wasn't ahead of the curve- neither were any of the other machines I used Vista on, and didn't have that problem.  That's what the last part of that meant- people had problems in their personal experiences, and because they weren't able to get ahead of that sample in their negativity towards Vista in their PR, it affected the collective views towards it.

dr_andus

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Re: Strategies to stay with Windows 7 as long as possible
« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2012, 12:18:20 PM »
What software? Maybe someone here is familiar with it and can say if it works on Windows 8. I have so far only tried Windows 8 in virtualization but everything I've tried to installed has worked fine.

Okay, my main concern would be Outline 4D (formerly known as StoryView 2.0, which I also have), but other oldies include Maxthink, BrainStorm, and Natara Bonsai. When I switched from XP to Win7 for example it was an unpleasant surprise that some software forced me to upgrade by simply not being compatible at all (such as EndNote), or by starting to crash (Adobe Acrobat Professional 6, Jasc Paint Shop Pro 8 etc.). The latter I don't want to upgrade because I don't think they're worth the money, but I was annoyed that I was forced to look for alternatives.

dr_andus

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Re: Strategies to stay with Windows 7 as long as possible
« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2012, 12:20:42 PM »
If you plan on skipping Win8, or plan on sticking with Win7 forever (or any other version of Windows, for that matter), you might want to get a real retail installation disk and not an OEM restore disk made specifically for your pc. With a retail version, you could install and run it in a VM, and the host OS could be either the latest version of Windows that will come with your next PC, or even some flavor of Linux (a better choice). Just make sure you have plenty of RAM installed, as you will need enough for both the host OS and the one running in the VM.

It's easy to back up, easy to restore, easy to transfer the image from one PC to the next, and the next, and the next, without having to "reinstall Windows and all your software".

Whatever OS my next PC is running, I plan on doing this with XP, just so I can keep things how I like it and run all my older software that won't run on anything newer. Might even create another image with WinME, just for the heck of it, and so I won't have to use the ancient snail pc to run a few old apps and games that won't even install, never mind run on XP.

Thanks for that, I'm starting to lean towards this option.  :up: