General discussion

What are your plans when Windows 7 support ends?

How about a discussion on what to do ahead of the Windows 7 end-of-life that is coming next year? What are readers doing or suggesting to get ready or to make changes in their systems? I have 2 Win 7 Home computers that I would love to keep and have been looking for safe ways to do that - along with other alternatives if I need to think about replacing them such as Linux, Apple, or even not using an administrator account - just a regular account - so that a possible hacker or malware can't install anything without permission.

I've searched the forums but haven't found a discussion on that topic, so it would be great to get one started now - while there is still a lot of time to plan. Thank you.

--Submitted by Irene

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XP is the best...

Frankly, am still using it except a few internet html5 came into being and some browsers cannot open them with this OS. Yet still I am using Win XP.

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XP is still the most customizable Windows OS

You can Google the list of features lost in subsequent releases and they are all related to stripping functionality. Yes this allowed you to shoot yourself in the foot occasionally and get blue screens, but as an IT pro I still consider it to be the best at customizing everything to the way you wanted it.

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Open Source or FREEWARE

is XT released as FREEWARE or opensource now? I believe DOS 6.22 is?

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XT? As in the IBM XT? Not Open Source but
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I had one with 8088 CPU

dead end tech.

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Windows 7 the best?

if price is any indication of what is best, eBay has OEM Windows 7 for $260 (259.99) and Windows 10 pro for $130. Let me think about it a while. Got it.

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I have a Mac. Just wondering, do you think W10 would work better on a Mac? Or will it still suck.

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Probably not

I do run Windows 7 Pro in Bootcamp. It is pretty flawless - probably because it doesn't get updates any more.
W10's problems happen when it does the unavoidable updates, so you'll probably still have issues.

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MAC request

No, MAC is better than Win10 if you can find programs on MAC that you like. MAC is a closed OS that just works because APPLE doesn't allow outsiders to add stuff and equipment willy nilly.

IMHO, WIN10 is competing for the MAC business. They do not play well together in one machine.
Using your words, IT WILL SUCK.

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Win10 on Mac

My Son did the Win10 upgrade when was free on MS. he had an HP.
The HP bit the dust and his Dad got him a Mac,
My Son wants to put Win10 on his Mac and had tried using Bootcamp, but it keeps giving him errors..
IS it worth it, Can it mess up his Mac.
And lastly, if he finally does get it installed will it be Free?
(remember he had the original free 10 update)

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No model mentioned but...

Post was last edited on December 4, 2018 3:57 PM PST

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Thanks but, Are you sure that's the correct link?
When I went to it, it's the page for Apple iPhone.

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It sounds to me

like the Win 10 is OEM ? Maybe Confused

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Not quite sure Dig.

But I think OEM is a thing of the past where windows was tied to the motherboard. These days it's digital so may work. As I see it, if you had 10 activated you may reinstall it as the digital license will activate.
But we'll find out. Wink

Post was last edited on December 4, 2018 4:21 PM PST

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Still Have XP

I'm still using XP on two computers. One can't run anything BUT XP: no drivers for anything after that (its a netbook) and the other recently broke but I already bought a new Win 10 machine. Cheap enough on sale. The XP machines still get updates but I'm not supposed to go into how in this forum.

I'm finding Win 10 stable, if you understand some of the real changes and why they have occurred:

1) New Privacy Policy -- makes Windows policy similar to all the other policies out there that now supply advertising. If you add advertising streams to any software, you need to disavow any real privacy.

2) A lot of people and business units didn't apply patches: big mistake. I worked for the government and many departments got nailed by malware for not keeping up. So the change? Difficult to avoid updates and they happen in the background. Many are cumulative and take a long time. If you shut down or power off at the wrong time, you can trash an update and need to run the troubleshooter (or reinstall from scratch). Time and effort being consumed. Also, MS supplies utilities that you need to run as admin to fix stuff that only techies understand such as SFC and DISM. Many confusing options. Many don't understand the partition that keeps an image copy of Windows in it.

3) There is no longer going to be releases such as 10.1, 11, 12 etc. (per MS). Instead we get two major releases per year: the Spring and Fall creator updates that are VERY SIMILAR to installing a new version of Windows. At least they take a very long time to run; maybe overnight. People are not used to that. People are not used to seeing a total black screen that lasts for over an hour. People think something is wrong and power off. That makes a mess of the computer causing lots of weird results. Impatience is now a cause of issues.

Bottom line: Windows 10+ is a major change of mindset (and, yes, buggy at times too) and it takes a lot of effort to understand updates and when you need to look up and run repair programs. So, naturally, people want to stick with what they already know. But here's what I noticed while running Win XP this past year: software manufacturers no longer support XP. This will happen to Windows 7 as well. My tax programs can't install without Win 10. Not that they error, they just refuse to install. Couldn't even install quicken. The Enterprise: If you learn LINUX, don't be surprised that a company you get a job at either does NOT care about your LINUX expertise or refuses to allow LINUX in their offices. The government agency I worked at ONLY allowed MS because the huge support contract for over 100,000 users guaranteeing MS will be onsite at a moment's notice if anything goes wrong. Same reason they stick with McAfee and Symantec and not allow any free software. They even check YOUR computer if you try to VPN-in if you need to do something at 2 AM. I can't imagine where I worked to be the only one out there with that attitude.

So, to answer the question. It's OK to stick with Win 7 as it was for XP, for a while. Patches? That might become an issue depending on the malware landscape. But, eventually you will see software out there with the "Windows 7" being dropped from the OS requirements and may find the manufacturer refuses to support it. Then, if you want to add new hardware... no drivers available? You can hold out for awhile but, eventually, you will bend and buy a new computer and won't be able to get activation for Win 7 and it will be the worst pain-in-the-xxx. You'll eventually drink the kool-aid or switch to MAC or LINUX.

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I am making plans to migrate to Linux

I am running Windows 10, but I have licenses for Windows 7 for both of my computers. If I wind up having to keep Windows, I will reinstall Windows 7, get it activated, and keep it off the internet. I'll use Linux for the internet. It is going to take me a while, though. I have thousands of dollars of Windows-specific software that I rely on. Some of it I can find open source or free alternatives for, but some do not have such an equivalent, no matter what some Linux fans say. I am investigating now.

I am getting tired of Microsoft's heavy-handed tactics. They can say what they like, but actions speak much louder than words. They resort to some downright dirty tricks to try to eliminate rivals and force people to stick with them. They also spy on us and God alone knows what else is going on. They do not listen to their customers and they seem determined to take as much control from us as possible. They assume that we are idiots and they want to idiot-proof their OS. The problem, of course, is that most of us are not idiots. Just because they come in contact with a lot of the idiots of this world, that does not mean that the rest of us are like that. I will abandon Windows entirely if I can. If I cannot, I can at least keep it under control by keeping it off the internet.

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Most who want to use Linux, but...

...also have a continued need for Windows programs, typically install Virtual Box and then create a virtual hard drive (VHD) and install windows to it. Files can be downloaded in Linux and if hooked to a router, folders can be shared between Linux and Windows. That allows you to run an AV on the downloaded file for windows while in Linux, and then snag it into the virtual windows program and use it safely. Of course, if you use the browser and email program in windows, entirely unnecesary, you expose it again to possible virus and trojans.

Windows 7 in VBox

windows 7 in VBox at full screen setting

When doing Beta testing on W10, I even then had it in VBox on my Linux computer.
You will note I also have a win3.1 version in VBox just for retro fun at times.

Post was last edited on November 17, 2018 9:11 AM PST

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I'm considering that...

But I want to make sure that Windows itself can never access the internet. I want to limit all internet access to Linux. I am not sure how to accomplish this. This hardware (the computer I am on) was originally Windows 7 because I built it and I installed Windows 7 OEM. It has been updated to Windows 10. Any chance that Microsoft gets, they will automatically "upgrade" this computer. The only way to prevent it is to keep Windows from ever getting an update. It will run my programs without updates just fine if it never accesses the internet.

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the virtual box program

You can restrict it from internet there, but that would interfere with sharing through router to other folders in Linux. Better is to set the router to block that operating system's connection to router from having any internet access. Once that's set in the router, no problems.

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I do not yet know how to do this, but I bet I can find out.

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Easy way to move files from to OS's on the same computer

This won't work for everything, but when I need to move a file, like a download, from W7 to Linux on a dual-boot machine, I just email it to myself as an attachment and then open it the other OS.

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From Windows to Linux is no problem

Linux can read NTFS partitions. The problem is with Linux to Windows. However, that is not much of a problem, since Linux can also write to NTFS partitions. A dual boot system can easily move files between one OS and the other without the internet. If they are on different computers, and you are willing to let both access the internet, then email or Dropbox works great.

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Share FAT32 or NTFS partitions

4Denise is right. Linux can mount, read, and write FAT32 and NTFS partitions quite well these days. My Win7 NTFS partitions are listed in my fstab and are mounted every time I boot Linux. I've never had any problems reading or writing them. In fact, there are benefits to it. I've been able to repair Win7 boot files more than once. Other times it's helpful to be able to browse the files without restriction from a different os.

Also, to simply share files between the two os any FAT32 or NTFS usb drive would suffice. I use a 1TB NTFS usb hdd with most of my vm files because I use cross platform vm programs, so whether I boot Win7 or Linux I have the same programs and use the same files.

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not always an option

Resource-intensive programs like 3D architectural design software tend to not run so well in the virtual environment. Using a Win7 virtual machine on Linux really is not an option for people using that type of software.

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...I am not running those kinds of programs. You are right, though. The nutcases who claim that there is "always" an open-source substitute are living in a fantasy world, and those who claim that there is "always" a way around installing Windows are not much better. It depends on the needs of the individual user. This is the point that many people are missing. We are not all the same, and we need our computers to be for us, not for some magical, imaginary "average" user. They are our computers; they do not belong to the companies. We have a right to set them up and use them as we please. Each person is valid in their choices because each person knows his or her own needs better than others do.

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So you get everything on your computer, just like you want it and BOOM, M$ drops an update on it that changes everything, maybe even deletes programs you put on there for your own use.

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That is why...

...I am abandoning Microsoft. They are too controlling and invasive. On top of that, Windows 10 is no longer stable. It crashes a lot on my computer now and freezes most programs daily or multiple times a day. This is not acceptable. To me, it seems that Microsoft is trying to force people to abandon third-party software. They have forgotten what an operating system is. They have also forgotten that many people stay with Windows only because they have software that won't run on another OS. When they go about to eliminate that reason, they cut their own throats.

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Worse than that

You say "They have also forgotten that many people stay with Windows only because they have software that won't run on another OS. " almost all, if not all, of my programs will not run on Win10. I am not about ready to spend hundreds of dollars to upgrade these program just so that they will run on Win10. I plan on using Linex or Ubuntu for which I have installed on a hard drive that is not currently on my computer.

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I did not have that trouble at first

Only two of my programs would not work on Windows 10, and I found a workaround for one. The other issued an update that fixed it. However, this last update broke about half my software. I will not spend money to update those programs. I am not rich enough to do that every time Microsoft decides to change things. All of these programs ran well under Windows 7, and my Windows 7 license is still valid. I can use Windows 7 as I transition to Linux. I may even keep it on my computer and block internet for it.

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Windows and Linux

Many Linux programs will directly access data files on an NTFS partition. For example, this lets you work on MS Office files in LibreOffice.

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