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XP Home or XP Pro?!?!?!

by medicman615 / October 9, 2004 9:59 AM PDT

I'm leaving the Army due to major disability and will be going back to college. I wanted to upgrade to a computer I knew would handle anything I'll need for the next four years of school. I bought an HP Pavilion a530n because I wanted one of the new 64-bit AMD processors, and an incredibly good deal presented itself at the PX on that system. It came with 512Mb of PC2700 Ram and XP Home Edition on it and I have been using that for about seven months now. It's starting to act up on me now: slowing down, doing weird stuff I don't think it should and didn't do before, etc.

I've picked up from the CNET discussions that it's a good idea to reinstall your OS periodically and start fresh. I have the "System Restore" disc that HP recommended I create when I first started using it that will take it back to the way it came from the factory with XP Home and the pile of bundled software. I have my own copy of productivity software which is Office 2000 Professional, so I wouldn't necessarily have to depend on the bundled stuff that came with it. Unfortunately, productivity software was NOT the only thing in the bundle, and I don't use 90% of the stuff. I also have a brand-new copy of XP Pro I bought before I got this computer.

Which would be the best way to go, using the System Restore disc or putting XP Pro on it?

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Re: XP Home or XP Pro?!?!?!
by glenn30 / October 9, 2004 10:06 AM PDT

Personally I would put XP Pro on it so you are not faced sometime in the future with that "System Restore" disk from HP with the pile of bundled software you do not want. I would use the NTFS file system over Fat 32... then you are set to go for a good college career. Thank you for your military service.

Best of luck!

Glenn

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Re: XP Home or XP Pro?!?!?!
by medicman615 / October 10, 2004 9:34 AM PDT

Thank you for your help, Glenn. I had heard that NTFS was the better file system, but your confirmation is valuable information. I couldn't even get rid of most of the bundled software I didn't use, it wouldn't let me. Going with my XP Pro as you suggest is the best way around that.

I appreciate your time and advice, and also your thanks for my service. That means FAR MORE to soldiers and veterans than you probably imagine.

Eldon

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Re: XP Home or XP Pro?!?!?!
by nicknackr / October 9, 2004 12:03 PM PDT

I, too, thank you for your service to our country.

Since you already have a copy (and, really, even if you didn't) Windows XP Pro is hands down the better OS for you. WinXP Home is not designed to network easily, and you will need that at college. It is simply more versatile than Home.

Your install of Pro will be faster than the Home HP combo due to all the overhead they include.

The way to keep an install lean and mean is to only install the programs you need and nothing more. Also, registry cleaners and disk defragmenters go a ways toward keeping a system up to speed.

Best wishes, hth, n

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Re: XP Home or XP Pro?!?!?!
by medicman615 / October 10, 2004 9:55 AM PDT

I purchased Registry First Aid and Registry Compressor from Rose City Software to do the registry cleaning stuff because I couldn't understand Regedit or Registry Mechanic. The only productivity package I need is my Office 2000 Premium.

I know you said to keep it lean and mean, but I also feel compelled to put on my McAfee Internet Security Suite that has antivirus, antispam, privacy protection and a firewall. I also like my Adaware 6 Professional (thinking of upgrading to the new SE version) and Spybot Search and Destroy. Besides that, the only software I'll have to put on is what I need to run my peripherals: printer and scanner.

Thank you for your time and advice. As I said to Glenn, thank you VERY MUCH for your thanks for my service to our country.

Eldon

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Re: XP Home or XP Pro?!?!?!
by medicman615 / October 10, 2004 10:10 AM PDT

Is there any way to download all of the Windows updates to CD/DVD so I could put them on after OS installation without having to risk going on the Internet? My plan is to install XP Pro (as advised), then Office, McAfee Internet Security Suite, Adaware 6, Spybot Search and Destroy, and Registry First Aid/Compressor in that order. All of them want you to connect and register while you're doing the install, but I think all of them will let me put that off until I'm done with all of them.

If I had a way to put the Windows updates through SP2 on before connecting to the Internet, it'd be that much safer, right? At least that's kind of the idea I've gotten from some of the things I've read, and it makes sense to me. I just don't have any idea how to get the stuff on disc.

I REALLY appreciate advice from you guys who know what you're doing, because I'm not as knowlegable about computers as I would like to be. With your help, maybe I can get there.

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Re: XP Home or XP Pro?!?!?!
by Michael Geist / October 10, 2004 10:20 AM PDT
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Re: XP Home or XP Pro?!?!?!
by John Robie / October 10, 2004 10:55 AM PDT

I would suggest ordering the free SP-2 CD from Microsoft. It ususally takes only a week to receive. Install after your WinXP Pro OS and before the other programs that may on a wild chance cause a problems.


http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/updates/sp2/cdorder/en_us/default.mspx

SP2 replaces all the past WinXP updates/patches including all those of SP1. After installation check with MS Windows Update for anything else that you may need.

JR
Vet, Korea & Nam
USAF Ret.

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Agree!!
by glenn30 / October 10, 2004 12:13 PM PDT

Eldon, I agree with JR's suggestion completely... SP-2 is free from Microsoft by simple online order. Install XP Pro then SP-2 before adding other software or going online.

For added security I recommend SpywareBlaster and SpywareGuard.These are small utilities that require little attention. Only need to check for reference updates from time to time and they just sit there doing their thing.

http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html
http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareguard.html

After install check for the latest updates. SpywareBlaster will have more frequent undates than SpywareGuard does.

Best of luck with XP Pro. I have had nothing but excellent performance with it and SP-2. Happy

Glenn

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Re: Agree!!
by medicman615 / October 10, 2004 1:50 PM PDT
In reply to: Agree!!

Thank you so much, Glenn. You've been a big help. I'm SO GLAD I decided to put my question up here on the CNET XP forum before I took any action. It's a great relief to get good advice from those who know what they're doing.

You take care, and I'm sure I'll have a good experience with XP Pro just as you have.

Eldon

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Re: XP Home or XP Pro?!?!?!
by medicman615 / October 10, 2004 1:46 PM PDT

Wow, JR, thank you for your post. I had no idea that SP2 superceded everything that had come before in SP1 and SP1a, I thought they were kind of an ongoing build of patches, and you had to have all of them. That makes it VERY easy, because I've seen the SP2 CD order thing before on the Microsoft website.

Korea AND Nam? You REALLY picked a rough time to be a warrior. I've been a medic for 23 years. Thank you for your numerous sacrifices.

Eldon

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