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Should I upgrade from windows xp

by Protorox / September 6, 2013 1:04 AM PDT

Hello my name is Jon. I have a few questions that I am seeking advice on. At my workplace we are all running windows xp and all our information is saved onto our server computer running server 2003. My main question is, should we upgrade to a newer OS for security reasons. We have many prototype files and drawings that would devastate us if seen by and unwanted eye. Is it worth the money to upgrade to windows 7 or 8. Also to come with that upgrade should we go from windows server 2003 to 2012 while were upgrading. If so can you tell me the security benefits from upgrading, or maybe some helpful tips thank you.

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Best Answer chosen by Protorox

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Upgrade for Security reasons
by gallandro7 / September 9, 2013 2:20 AM PDT

Hello Jon,

At my workplace we also run XP on PC's and use a Terminal Server for employee access to the network. The TS runs 2008 r2, but our old Network server runs 2003. In my situation the decision was made for us due to HIPAA concerns. Since 2003 server is no longer supported we were in HIPAA non compliance so we hired a company to install a new Dell server with Windows 2012. This made sense at the time but had I to do it all over again I would've pushed for 2008 for the new server rather than 2012 due to the nightmare we had moving AD to 2012.

To answer your question: if the mitigating factor is Security then Yes, you should update to an OS that is still being supported rather than one that does not get updates anymore. I wouldn't go all the way to Windows 8 due to the large amount of training you'd have to do for the staff to use that OS and the cost for a brand new OS. And yes, I can hear the arguments already that 8 isn't that difficult to work with but considering the people who will be using it got used to XP, 7 is much closer to XP than 8 will ever be, and if they are just using it to get to a server environment then why bother with the extra stuff on 8?

In your situation you would likely have to update XP AND server 2003 as 2003 is already unsupported, I believe, and XP will be by April 2014.

Good Luck!

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Good point
by Protorox / September 9, 2013 6:10 AM PDT

Ya windows 8 was alot more confusing for my parents and everyone else I've showed it to, luckily I've ran windows 7 for years, and windows 8 currently. Also, did you say you recommend 2008 to 2012 from headache relief or was it just your situation that was a bad experience. Thanks again for the advice and support, walking into this mess is a nightmare right now.

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Answer
It varies on the company and need.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 6, 2013 1:14 AM PDT

Part of the security aspect is all about how well protected the network is. Also if the IT locked down the company computers so folk can't install bad things.

If it's all under control, why change?

-> If your IT can't tell you why you need to change you won't buy it. I know I wouldn't.

Now why do we change at the office? The number one reason is ROI. If users are waiting and we pay by the hour we can measure before and after and determine how long it takes to pay off the investment.

Wouldn't a business do that work?

Bob

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Answer
I'd upgrade from XP
by wpgwpg / September 6, 2013 1:17 AM PDT

Since XP loses the last of its support from MS in April, I think the handwriting is on the wall. I like Windows 7, and it has the advantage of XP Mode (Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate versions only) for any software you might have that requires XP, but Windows 8 is the latest, is very stable, and if you install Classic Start, you'll have the Start button and the look and feel of Windows 7.
I really can't address the server question though. Sorry.
`
Good luck.

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Answer
Purely from a security standpoint
by Jimmy Greystone / September 6, 2013 10:49 AM PDT

Purely from a security standpoint, if the server is going to be exposed to the Internet, I'd upgrade. Honestly, you should have been thinking about this a couple of years ago, not waiting until the last minute, but just make sure to learn this lesson for the future.

There's no direct upgrade path between XP and 7 or 8, it requires a fresh install. So that alone will likely require a fair bit of time to work out how you're going to ensure data is migrated successfully and test critical programs. Depending on the size of the company that could take anywhere from a few weeks to several years and there will always be unexpected complications that didn't show up during any of the testing no matter how thorough it is.

A general rule of thumb when it comes to upgrades in the workplace, is that the longer you put them off, the worse it gets. It tends to get more expensive, take longer, has more teething pains and is just generally all around a bigger pain in the ****. Your IT department, if they're doing their jobs correctly, should always, Always, ALWAYS have a migration plan. It may not be that they upgrade to every new release of Windows or Crucial Program X, but you shouldn't let it get to the point where you've settled on a single configuration for a decade or so. It might seem great at the time and like you're saving all kinds of money, but it will come back to bite you eventually and generally the longer you put these things off the worse it is when your back is against the wall and you have no other choice. So it sounds like your IT department has been asleep at the wheel for some time now and this is a abject lesson of what can result.

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walked in on a mess
by Protorox / September 9, 2013 1:41 AM PDT

Thank you for your reply. I am the IT here at the company and was hired about 2 months ago and this was brought to my attention. There are only about 13 computers. My only worry is not only the 10+ year OS, but the 10+ year programs they have a TON of information in. The install discs for these programs are most likely lost too.

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Time to chat with the boss.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 9, 2013 2:01 AM PDT
In reply to: walked in on a mess

What's not clear here is the expectations of the IT group. For example is the IT staff responsible for when a machine is stolen and needs to be replaced?

That's part of what we call the disaster plan. Machines do fail and if there is some accounting system that when the machine is lost, if the business is at risk, THE BOSS would know this risk and may expect the IT group to be at the ready to get a replacement machine and restore it from backup.
Bob

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Been there, done that
by Jimmy Greystone / September 9, 2013 11:32 AM PDT
In reply to: walked in on a mess

Been there, done that. Or at least something similar. Had a job once where the company wanted to expand into a new suite in an office building. They brought me in like 2 weeks before they wanted to start moving everyone up to this new suite and they hadn't done ANYTHING. Literally, they had gone out of their way to avoid doing anything. They hadn't called to establish Internet service, gotten a cabling contractor in there while some other contractors had the roof and walls ripped apart (they were putting that all back together when I came along), they hadn't bought ANY of the networking equipment they'd need, including a specialized wireless router with encryption that's up to snuff for credit card companies. Realistically, this is like a month long project, at least and they gave me two weeks.

After a week I was pretty happy that I'd managed to get Internet service at least established, had organized a list of equipment that they needed to buy, had arranged for a cabling contractor to look at the place, get an estimate approved and get them scheduled to come in and start dropping the cable. All on top of doing some random tech support stuff. Ultimately that, and the fact that it was a startup which was spending money like water (and my overhearing something that made it sound like they were worried about making payroll) told me it was time to go.

So I'm EXTREMELY sympathetic to your situation and I'd definitely take Bob's sage advise here and have a birds and bees of IT conversation with management. Explain that how, while it might seem like you're saving money by not upgrading, if you put it off too long it can put the viability of the entire company at risk. Also go over what Bob mentions and make sure that you clearly outline what the roles and responsibilities of the IT department are. I hope things work out for you better than they did me.

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