Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

Moving to XP

Well, I am finally where it becomes necessary to move to XP from 98SE on my home boxes.  As this tends to me a more mature forum, I have a few questions for those who have made the migration:
- Any reason to spend the extra for PRO over Home?
- Should I migrate or just start fresh on a clear hard drive? My concern is some of my older hardware, like my scanner has software that was a bugger to install the first time.
- How long do I need to set aside for this, assuming I am PC savvy, and have used XP, just not done a migration.
- I have heard we are allowed a Laptop and Desktop from the same license, yet I cannot find where this is the case.  If it is, would that include two desktops at home?

Of course, feel free to toss in any advice.  For the Linux folks, I do have a Linux box running Red Hat, so no need to suggest switching. ;)


Saturday, February 28, 2004

Hard Drive crashed yesterday (IBM 40Gb Deskstar - less than 3 years old) so rebuilding as we speak

Had Win2K Pro, installing XP Pro.

Takes about an hour + installing any specific drivers you'll need.

Definitely install from scratch. You can always partition your drive (if you have the software to do in non-destructively like Partition Magic) and copy anything you want to save off first.

Don't know about licences.

XP Home vs Pro is going to depend on what you're going to do with it. I was surprised how lite XP Home was in terms of connecting to network domains. But it's good enough for the missus's machine.

Saturday, February 28, 2004

Oh yes. The real bastard I'm not looking forward to is spending 3 hours reinstalling .NET framework/VS.NET/MSDN!

Saturday, February 28, 2004

Therein lies the catch does it not?  Sure, I can format the drive and load XP in an hour.  Loading all those applications I have installed over the years, takes a the time. 

I am tempted to do on-demand installs, as I need them, but they problem is I generally use them because I am in a pinch. To then go back and find the CD (easy) or the website with the download (sometimes very hard).

As for Home vs. Pro, what made you choose one over the other (and the 2nd box is my wife's)?  What networking item was required or did you find essential to justify 2x the cost?

Keep those suggestions/thoughts coming.

Saturday, February 28, 2004

i've installed XP Pro on 3 different machines. no problems. and the first install was directly over 98. it was a little funky, but it's run great for 3 years.

XP pro has Remote Desktop and IIS, which Home doesn't. those werre the 2 biggest differences for me. (there's a hack on google groups to get IIS running on XP Home.)

Saturday, February 28, 2004

>i've installed XP Pro on 3 different machines

i've installed THE SAME XP Pro on 3 different machines.

Saturday, February 28, 2004

Mike - what do you need from your home box? If you're only now switching from 98 I'm guessing (hoping!) it's not a development box.

The Pro version is much more flexible and robust in its networking capabilities. Remote Desktop is only available in the Pro edition for example. And you'll need Pro to access a domain-based network. XP Home will not allow you to be joined to or managed by a domain. So. if you're accessing objects on a domain (via VPN for instance) with any frequency you'll soon grow tired of re-authenticating.

XP Pro also has file encryption and restricted file access built into the OS. Do you keep sensitive data on your local drive?

The system restore features in Pro are more robust including things like device driver rollback.

What else?....

IIS is part of Pro not Home.  XP Home doesn't support multiple processors (don't know about HyperThreading though).

I'd say, if you even think you might do more with your machine than read e-mail, surf the web, and play games and mp3s then go for Pro.

Saturday, February 28, 2004

If you have to connect frequently to a domain, that is the only reason I can see to justify spending the extra moolah on Pro.

- I don't think you need the secure files feature if you're still on 98SE.
- Remote Desktop is great.  Only comes on the XP Pro CD, but will install on XP Home.  Borrow the CD, install it.
- As said above, IIS is for Pro only, but an easy hack and it runs on XP Home.

Do a reinstall.  Inventory your apps FIRST.  I'm in the process of doing this myself right now.  It takes long.  It sucks, but its like going to the dentist, sometimes you just got to do it.  Take a stiff drink first, that will help ease the pain.

Ken Klose
Sunday, February 29, 2004

I do Java development work on XP Home. I think XP Home is fine for a personal machine. Maybe XP Pro is better if you do Microsoft development work, but all of the tools I need work just fine with the Home edition.

Sunday, February 29, 2004

Thanks all --

Seth - I do java work so 98 has been fine.  The processor is fast and I rarely have an issue.

As for domain connection, I use VPN through client provided software so I am not sure if XP pro makes a difference.

I would also be interested in hearing if anyone knows of something that will do an inventory of all installed software. 

I am leaning toward a clean install as I have not done one since I install 98 5 years ago. 

I am _not_ one of those who have had problems with 98, until I tried burning CDs.  For some reason any burner software I install gives me the BSOD in VXD VWIN32(05).  Perhaps I am just wishful thinking that XP will solve my issue.

Sunday, February 29, 2004

> XP Home doesn't support multiple processors (don't
> know about HyperThreading though).

XP Home does support HyperThreading  just not multiple physical processors.

Rob Walker
Sunday, February 29, 2004

>I would also be interested in hearing if anyone knows of >something that will do an inventory of all installed software.

Sunday, February 29, 2004

A couple of years ago I went to a 2 hard drive set up and I would never go back:

1.  Do a fresh install, tweak everything the way you want it and install your favorite applications.

2. Using a program like Norton Ghost (or similar),  make an image of your hard drive and save it to the second hard drive.

3.  There is no step 3

4. Do regular back ups of important data, (e-mail, porn, etc,)  to the second drive.

When something (a new driver, program, etc) farqs your computer,  just restore from the Ghost image and then copy you data files over from the second drive.

I use this at home and work and it  has saved my butt on more than one occasion.

Joe On Software (Joe)
Sunday, February 29, 2004

You're talking about not having done a clean install for fiive years.

I presume you have upgraded the hardware during that time? You'll want 256MB of memory minimum, and I would say aim for a 1GB processor.

Next disappointment will be that some of your hardware just won't install. You can forget about your scanner for a start - you need to change scanner pretty well every time you change OS.

Stephen Jones
Sunday, February 29, 2004

Stephen, I've got to disagree with you about hardware not installing.  I've been running a Dell box for past 5 years.  It came with 98.  I put NT on, what a nightmare!  I upgraded to Win2K, and was surprised at how few problems I had.  I only needed to track down drivers for Video, Modem and Scanner.  I just did a complete wipe and install of XP and it was smooth as silk, picked up all the hard-ware by itself.

Ken Klose
Sunday, February 29, 2004

I'm amazed you got your scanner to install. I had to ditch the scanner when I upgraded to W2K because there were no drivers, and no intention of making them.

It actually took me nearly a year from when I first upgraded to Win2K to when I had everything working. The zip drive took months and the Adaptec software for the CD/RW wouldn't let the machine go into standby for nearly a year.

A 2K to XP upgrade should go pretty easy. Basically the drivers are the same; they should have been the same for win 98SE adn W2K, but few companies seemed to bother with WDM until Win2K was out and they had to support both OS's.

Stephen Jones
Sunday, February 29, 2004

Install Win2K Pro, skip the XP bloatware.  I use XP at work (hate it) and Win2K at home (like it).  I use as little Microsoft written software as I can get away with and the further you are from the WinNT mothership the harder that becomes.  I only need to buy one Win2K license for every machine in the house (I might be kidding, or I might not :)  Anyway, I see no reason to upgrade, and never will.

Monday, March 1, 2004

I've used Ghost at work for rollouts but never at home. I'm wondering what anyone's thoughts (Joel?) are on the rollback feature of XP.

I run XP Pro at home and at work for development. Work box is backed up nightly so I don't ever have to worry about it but I have had to rely on the rollback twice at home. Both times it worked effortlessly and flawlessly restoring my system to a previous date's state.


Tuesday, March 2, 2004

And without getting /too/ far off-topic....Sven, what do you "hate" about XP?

Just curious - not looking for a religious war.

Tuesday, March 2, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home