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

Discussion is locked
Reply
Follow
Reply to: What are your plans when Windows 7 support ends?
PLEASE NOTE: Do not post advertisements, offensive materials, profanity, or personal attacks. Please remember to be considerate of other members. If you are new to the CNET Forums, please read our CNET Forums FAQ. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Reporting: What are your plans when Windows 7 support ends?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Comments
- Collapse -
I wish the buttons worked longer too

Not much time after loading a page before the Reply buttons stop working and have to reload the page again. Any reason for that?

- Collapse -
Slow response

Ghostery works wonders, even if it's set to block only ads.

Was I supposed to say that here?
.

- Collapse -
This problem is increasing all over the internet

I have seen some pages take two minutes to load. Most people will not wait that long, especially if it is not something they really need to look at. Eventually, people will stop using the sites that have the ads in question. It does advertisers no good to use ads that hold up the content for more than a few seconds (all together, not each). I do have a way to put a stop to it in extreme circumstances, but I prefer to not do it. If a page is taking far too long to load I wait until what I need is up and then click on the X to make it stop loading. I don't like to do it because those ads are what pays for the content. However, there is a limit to how many ads one page can load. I also hate fancy visual garbage that takes time to load or interferes with my task. It does not increase the chances that I will look at the ad, but it does increase the chances that I will get disgusted and refuse to buy the product. I hope advertisers see posts like this one. They need to get a clue.

- Collapse -
A different browser

Hi, Lee. I too have problems with long running scripts. Kroger is especially frustrating. However, I found another browser named "BRAVE". It seems to be working well so far. Response time is excellent when loading pages. it does not crash or stop working. Hope this helps.

- Collapse -
The update issue actually doesn't bother me

I like to have my computer fully updated. I do miss being able to delay a problematic update until it is fixed, but I will put it in eventually (unless it is not actually an "update"-- Microsoft has been known to sneak things in that way). I do hate to have my computer changed on me. I hate having my defaults reset and my data scanned (and sometimes deleted). I especially hate things like removing good features that never caused anyone any trouble because people were actually using them to get their computers to work properly or according to what the user needs. I hate being treated like an idiot. I hate knowing that I am being spied on and I can't outsmart them because they know exactly what they have put on my machine and I do not. You are right, though. Updates (meaning actual updates that keep the system secure or fix bugs) are cumulative, and they really need to be installed. However, having a company that is known to despise their customers and spy on the innocent push those updates angers people, and rightfully so. To allow someone to access your computer you really should have some level of trust there. Microsoft has destroyed all trust.

- Collapse -
What Will You Do When

Your Win 7 is no longer supported by software manufacturers? That was the deciding factor for me. New version of Quicken? Won't install on my old XP system! Tax software? Would not install the 2017 version of that on XP. But what about malware? Symantec/Norton was going to still support XP 5 years after MS support ended. Plus, hardware protection plus malware protection due to obscurity (do you think any self-respecting writer of malware is going to create malware for an obsolete OS? I don't think so. They want MAXIMUM impact. Writing malware for something like XP right now would be almost useless due to lack of numbers of users. The only thing that caused me to get a new PC with Win 10 (aside from the super sale price) was that I couldn't run the software I needed to run.

- Collapse -
Not an issue for me.

My plans for when Windows 7 support ends is to have already upgraded from it as soon as Windows 8 was released in its production version, and then to have upgraded to 10 and keep it current within days of the most recent release.

(But waiting a couple of days is wise, as it avoids the complications experienced by early adopters of 1809.)

Sticking with "legacy" operating systems is seldom wise, and even when it is necessitated by some poorly-developed proprietary software that cannot run under the new O/S even in compatibility mode, then the software should be replaced.

Note that Window 7 will continue to work. It merely will no longer be updated, and therefore it will become increasingly vulnerable to malware over time. It will also become increasingly obsolete, as more applications will be written to take advantage of the new O/S features that are not present in Windows 7 and therefore will not work on machines running it.

Some people stuck with Windows 3 when 95 came out, and with 98 when XT came out, and with XT when Vista came out, and now with 7 when its replacements came out. Whenever a MS O/S represents a major change, particularly involving the user interface and configuration, some people resist, reluctant to endure the (usually very brief) learning curve. You might as well stand on the shore and wave your arms around to prevent the tide coming in.

Resistance is futile. You WILL be upgraded.

- Collapse -
Not true

This is a legitimate question. Those who refuse to accept Windows 10 will not be forcibly upgraded. There are other options available. Microsoft does not own our computers, our software, or us. They do not rule the world-- no, not even the OS world. They just think they do. The original poster is not asking for an answer like the one you gave. The question is: "What will you do?"

- Collapse -
Resistance is futile. You WILL be upgraded.

ok I try to be silent and let folks have their opinions, but this is too good to pass up commenting on.
I see no need to resist something that is bad.
win 8 was a waste of time and I never upgraded to it as I saw it started bad and went to worse.
win10 is a bit better than 8, but the unwanted updates ruins it.
So the person with wisdom shall resist win10 - the rest will struggle with it.
to my surprise win10 operates fine on 1 box,but in the next room - same network same ibm box
same win 10 bought the same day and came from the same batch - that box has one failure after another. a strange thing, but true. 1 is ok and the other is not - yet the same hardware same OS just in the room next door and It needs fixed often. [yes other IT ppl worked on it besides me - its just win10]

Ill use something else, but win 7 will work fine as I do not use the ms browser or email programs
havnt updated it from ms in the last 4 years and I surf online almost every day. [with my own protection]

- Collapse -
7 to XP?

Flatworm like you there are a few here that say they will upgrade to XP or 8.1 when 7 support ends. XP support has already ended and 8 will end same time as 7. The only one left then will be 10.
Xp has even gone the same as 2000 in that browsers that will work with it are about to no longer work.

- Collapse -
As I've Said Before...

Malware is not a big issue for me because most malware "kits" are not going to be for an old OS that is rapidly losing market-share. The big issues were when software publishers go out of their way to exclude computers running the "unsupported" operating system. Would be nice if they can keep the old code and check what the OS is, but few do that especially if core features in an app rely on new features of an OS. What I found was that a brand new computer with 12 GB ram and a TB hdd was less than 500 dollars. And now I have an extra desk to put the new machine on so it doesn't matter. The old system still has a usable HDD but my power supply is dead. And my NORTON still works fine on XP.

- Collapse -
Not an Issue but is for my wife

My wife had to keep her Laptop on Win 7 because her Photoshop is on it and won't move to 10 as it's now a subscription service and she only uses it for personal fun with grandkid picks and website she does and such and won't use another program.

- Collapse -
Photoshop works just fine in Windows 10

I have Adobe CS5.5 which includes Photoshop 12.1 released in 2011 back when Vista was the current MS O/S. It works just fine in Windows 10 (and it also worked in 7 and Cool and I am curious why you think it does not.

In fact, I had to do an O/S reinstall recently (of the current version of Windows 10) and reloaded my Adobe CS5.5 (and MS Office 2010) from original distribution disks. Not only did it install and work perfectly, it performed all of the available updates.

Indeed, I have yet to locate a piece of "legacy" software that does not run under Windows 10. I even play old Kings Quest I on it from back in the days when it ran from a floppy disk under DOS, and an old version of Bookworm v. 1.0 from the early 2000s. Compatibility with Windows 10 has never been any kind of issue for me. I have even run Photoshop v. 4 under it.

- Collapse -
legacy software that doesn't work on Win10?

Well, all of my own little utility programs that I wrote using Quick Basic over many years, for instance. And there is nothing in those programs that specifcally couldn't or shouldn't work. But the Quick Basic runtime stopped being supported in Win7 already. So i have been seen to wander off to an "antique" XP system with a USB stick carrying my Basic programs and the files I needed to manipulate ...

- Collapse -
That is the problem

"Whenever a MS O/S represents a major change, particularly involving the user interface and configuration, some people resist, reluctant to endure the (usually very brief) learning curve."

But herein lies the failure of M$. When they make these OS upgrade and enhancements, they should always offer the user the option to have it look, feel and work the same, just with newer additional features or underlying enhancements that will support future technology. Instead they give their effing programmers free reign, (who live by the motto - if it's more than a few weeks old, it's boring, let's totally redesign it). As bad as M$'s failings are, I think the worst of it is the programmer's along with lack of oversight of them, by senior management. Back in the day, I pointed out how many times, from W95 on til W7, in the Display Properties, they kept flip-flopping the RESOLUTION and COLOR boxes once you got to that screen (L to R, then R to L, ad nauseum). And that is just one minor example of letting the programmer's do whatever they want. Just because something can be coded, doesn't necessarily mean it should be.

- Collapse -
The real problem...

...is that the programmers, and even the entire company, are way out of touch with the users. They all do what they want. They do not care how it affects us. They do not care what we want. They also believe that we are all stupid and cannot make our own decisions. As far as they are concerned, home users fall into two categories: young people who are only on the computer to surf the internet, and old grandmas who are storing recipes. I have yet to see them consider us as real human beings with real needs. They think that we want flashy new effects, not a functional system.

- Collapse -
New Look and Feel

It just occurred to me the other day that they do this on purpose, so that one can see from afar that this dude is using the latest version as opposed to the next guy that is still on the "old stuff." This way, they hope, peer pressure will make people want to upgrade - same as the next model car (which may actually be much the same inside, but it has that new grille or whatever.)

- Collapse -
You are probably right

...and it says pitiful things about Microsoft. I guess they figure that putting out a quality product is too hard, so they rely on something as idiotic as peer pressure to drive sales. It also says horrible things about the way they see us. Do they really think that we have no need for computers that function properly and reliably? Apparently, they do.

- Collapse -
I have to suppose that they do know

But they sure don't act as if they care.

- Collapse -
Resistance is futile. You will be upgraded

Ah! The StarTrek the next generation has enormous impact on M$ Operating system too I presume....

- Collapse -
I noticed that

I guess children just don't like to think for themselves or make their own decisions. They will put up with whatever Microsoft throws at them. I feel sorry for them. I, on the other hand, will be happily getting my work and play done on a computer that actually works and meets my needs. I am actually willing to put in the time and effort to get one and make it work. Maybe they will figure it out someday.

Post was last edited on December 2, 2018 3:25 PM PST

- Collapse -
Easiest way to move into Linux....

....is using a LIVE USB that also has Persistence set up on it. That allows time to learn it between now and then. You can make your own, but most new to Linux have some difficulty doing that, so better to just buy one cheaply already set up.

Here's Linux Mint 19 fast flashdrive with Persistence. It's 64 bit version with MATE desktop. You can add and remove programs, also save data to the drive, it's not limited to"read only" like a LIVE CD or DVD version is.

Other desktops like XFCE and Cinnamon also available in 32 and 64 bit versions too.
Video to view it.

- Collapse -
I am not new to Linux

I have installed and used it before. However, the links are nice. I have already set up a live usb. All I need to do is finish getting my computer organized and backed up and I will start migrating. As for others, well they may or may not need help doing this. It only looks scary.

The biggest warning is about backing up your computer before beginning. If you do something wrong, then you need to start over again. To do that, you might need to reinstall your previous OS. Back up the system. It goes without saying that all of your data should be backed up. Also, consider that Linux can be dual booted with Windows. What that requires is another partition to install Linux to. As long as you have the space for that partition, the Linux installer will take care of creating it.

- Collapse -
actually that was to OP

but not a problem, not always easy to see that in these forums. I had another post that may show up eventually when Lee gets around to it, showing various windows running OK under Linux inside a virtual box.

- Collapse -
Just Be Sure You're Safe

Keep using Windows 7:
1. Use a reliable anti-virus/anti-malware software, paid or free version, such as Avast, AVG, Panda, MalwareBytes, etc.
2. Use a browser that's safer than Internet Explorer. Chrome, Firefox, etc. Avast anti-virus free version (and the paid version) include a beefed-up secure version of Chrome browser.
3. Connect an external hard drive with a USB cable to your computer and create a full System Image backup. Do this once a week. Make sure the external drive has enough space to hold two or more System Images. Keep the two most recent System Images, and allow older System Images to be deleted/overwritten when the drive fills up. Unplug the external drive each week after making the System Image. This keeps your backups safe from malware/ransomware/virus attacks.
4. Continue using Windows 7 for as long as it does what you need it to do. If you acquire new software, or games, or streaming video, etc. which doesn't run on Windows 7 then that will be the time to consider a newer operating system. (I still have Windows XP installed on a 40GB partition on a secondary hard drive in my main PC. It has three or four really useful programs and about eight old favorite games, none of which run on Windows 10. So, I can restart the PC anytime and select Windows XP on the boot menu; very useful. Another option would be to run XP as a virtual machine. Anyway, just sayin' when you eventually get a newer operating system, new computer, you can still use Windows 7 even then!)

- Collapse -
Yes, safety first

Thanks for the great list of safety suggestions. I agree that if i do continue trying to use Win 7, precautions must be taken, and yes, as software and hardware age - Win 7 won't be a viable alternative forever.

Which brings up a question. I had read that there was a study done that concluded that if you did not have admin access on your computer, that alone would cut down on a large percentage of threats.

Here are two articles about that:

https://www.tomsguide.com/us/standard-accounts-stop-malware,news-18326.html

https://www.computerworld.com/article/3173246/security/94-of-microsoft-vulnerabilities-can-be-easily-mitigated.html

Might that also be something to do to help minimize the chances of something happening?

Right now too many things run on Win 7, so I am hoping that I can find an alternative that will still allow that - cases for both Linux and Win 10 have been made in this discussion, which is great. I can't see keeping the Win 7 computers and not connecting to the internet. That would turn them into filing cabinets, so I guess I am going to need to eventually bit the bullet.

Again, thanks for the safety tips - great and much appreciated!

- Collapse -
Yes, did that for my youngest daughter

all the way most of high school even. Then she was using XP and set for a "Limited" account, but that meant I had to install anything she wanted, but considering the virus and trojans she gathered over jr-sr high school years, it was worth it. They all seemed limited to just her profile, so I could use my admin one to get things cleaned up again. She did better when moved to W7. She's in 2nd year college now, and on a new laptop since past year with W10. I did set where she can decide on WHEN she gets updates, mostly I leave it to her now. So far so good for the past year. I do worry one day it may get dumped in front of me with "Daddy, fix it!" like in past.

- Collapse -
Windows . Who needs it?

Hi. Well, I bought an elcheapo tablet when Win 8 came out , as well as upgrading one of my Win 7 computers to 8. After a time getting frustrated with not being able to navigate Win 8 , nor find anything where it should be, ( and I’ve been using windows since 95 SE ) , I threw the cheap tablet in the junk pile , rolled back Win 8 to Win 7 on my desktop , and bought a Mac. Much happier now. When 7 support ends , I’ll probably disconnect from the internet , on the Win 7’s, and just use the Mac. Macs are great , the support is wonderful, and I don’t have the myriad problems associated with Windows . Macs aren’t perfect , nothing is , but they beat the pants off Windows , for me.

- Collapse -
As a general rule...

Those who want to just use the computer without thinking too much about it (and who can afford it) will probably go with a Mac, while those of us who want control over our own computers and systems will be likely to turn to Linux. Of course, this will not necessarily be true of everyone, but it gives those who are wondering how to jump the Windows ship a place to start looking.

One of the original reasons that Windows became so popular was because it was so customizable and it could be controlled. They have thrown that big advantage down the drain. Slowly they have been removing choice and control from their customers and replacing it with watered-down settings and flashy graphics. They claim that they are giving the control back to the users, but they are not doing any such thing.

I'm sure that those who love Macs have a reason or two for it. Likewise, those who love Linux have plenty of reasons to sing its praises. However, the two alternatives are for different types of users. I have nothing against Windows itself. It is a good OS. However, I have a growing dislike for Microsoft that started many years ago. Windows is not worth it.

- Collapse -
Macs are Unix

And as perhaps the fanciest implementation of Unix and Unixy operating systems, Macs are not for just for people who don't know anything about computers, are just wrong.

I open up terminal on either, and I'm in the same world. There are differences and no doubt, but Macs are for the technically adroit as well.
I think what happens is that many versions of Windows are really fragile, and 10 is one of the worst. So people just think that the fussing about is making them computer savvy.

Had another update on my W10 laptop. Apparently Microsoft decided that my Laserjet was no longer in existence. Killed the drivers and no more are allowed. Maybe I could write my own. But sheesh, Still works on my Mac. Still works on W7, still works on my Mint machines.

And it still works on my toy Raspberry Pi.

I've been finding driver support is starting to be terrible on W10.

Why do I like My Macs? Only because they are a fully functioning computer that works after updates, and allows me to easily get down into the nuts and bolts.

CNET Forums