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Windows 7: What should we do after January 2020

12 Nov 2019   #201
CornellEngineer

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by michael diemer View Post
Meanwhile, I have done everything I could to tamp down the more obnoxious features of W10. And the machine is growing on her, so I'm not sure we will return it.
As mentioned in my previous post my plan is to stick with W7 for as long as possible and eventually phase in a Linux distro like you have done but I'm not sure that is a suitable approach for my partner. She's not exactly computer savvy and even though Mint is very Windows-like I think there's still probably enough differences that she likely wouldn't find my "solution" acceptable to her.

So I've been looking at refurbished desktops on places like Amazon and Best Buy and there appear to be some pretty sweet deals available. And the nice thing is most of them come with Windows 10 Home or Pro already installed for about the same price as buying just the OS alone! The hardware in these refurbs really isn't too shabby at all so even though these machines aren't as good as what I'm personally using myself they would be plenty adequate for what she does and much better than the older ASUS laptop she's using now which I'm not even sure would run Windows 10 worth a crap. Giving Microsoft another $130 or $190 for only just a copy of Windows 10 Home or Pro bothers me a lot but not so much if she also winds up with a newer and better puter at the same time for basically free. At least that way I can rationalize that the money was spent to get a hardware upgrade and not on a software downgrade!

If I understand correctly there are a number of things one can do to make Windows 10 look and feel a lot like Windows 7 so if I end up going this route that'll be one of the first things I do when the PC shows up to hopefully make the transition a little easier on her. Maybe while I'm doing all this Microsoft makework I'll come to like Windows 10 a lot more than I do now but I'm not betting on it.

Is your wife's new W10 laptop running Pro or Home? Pro has some extra features that casual users like my partner probably don't really need so I'm not sure if the Windows 10 version is as important as other factors like the CPU, hard drive type/size and amount of RAM. If not mistaken the Pro version allows one to disable or at least delay those dreaded forced updates which is appealing but other than that feature not sure what else Pro offers that she would ever really use. I'm not convinced she will like Windows 10 any more than she would Mint Cinnamon but at least this way she can blame Microsoft and not me.


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12 Nov 2019   #202
CornellEngineer

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Rokkor View Post
I enjoyed Windows 7 and planned on keeping it until hell froze over, or it would no longer work on the internet...whatever came first : ) I'm no computer guru, just an end user who was concerned about MS end of support for W7...

Anyway just wanted to say this has been a great website with lots of helpful information and W7 was a great OS. But for me I need to be in control of my OS, not some corporate giant. Thank goodness I found Mint.
Ditto to everything you wrote in your entire post. Been fooling around a little the last few days running Mint 19.2 Cinnamon and Xfce on an old ASUS eeePC netbook we had laying around gathering dust just to get a feel for the look and layout. Obviously the performance was nothing to write home about but considering how old and underpowered that little puter is I'm surprised it's as good as it is. If Mint runs that well on a lousy 32-bit Atom with only 2 GB of RAM off a USB thumb drive no less then I can only imagine how much better it will be on much newer and faster hardware and with it actually installed on an internal hard drive.

I was really impressed by how far Linux has come as far as GUI and user-friendliness since I last dabbled with it for a very short time several years ago. For example, I tried to play an MP4 clip and up popped a dialogue box saying basically "hey, if you want to play this movie file then you'll need this software" and it listed what was required. I checked off a few boxes and clicked go for it and off it went to retrieve everything and install it. Within just a few minutes the movie was playing just fine. Really couldn't have been much easier or more straightforward.

Those Mint guys keep this up and before too much longer it will be "Goodbye Bill & Hello Linus"!
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12 Nov 2019   #203
TechnoMage2016

Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x86
 
 

If anyone can't figure out what to do with their old Win-7 machine, put it in a box and UPS it to me.
Just PM me for the correct address.



I know exactly what to do with it.


Happy Thanksgiving!


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12 Nov 2019   #204
Bree

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by CornellEngineer View Post
... I'm not sure if the Windows 10 version is as important as other factors like the CPU, hard drive type/size and amount of RAM. If not mistaken the Pro version allows one to disable or at least delay those dreaded forced updates which is appealing but other than that feature not sure what else Pro offers that she would ever really use...

Not just Pro, both Windows 10 Home and Pro can pause updates for up to 35 days. MS added this ability to Home with the release of 1903 back in May.


As for the CPU, my experience with older laptops is that W10 will run as well, if not better, than W7 on the same hardware. About the only thing I would not advise trying it on is a CPU with a single logical processor. Dual core would be good enough.
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12 Nov 2019   #205
TakuSkan

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

I was considering putting a new hard drive in my old Win7 PC, doing a fresh Win7 installation, getting all updates, and then making an image that I could use to install a fresh copy on the system after MS drops support in Jan 2020 if needs be.

Can anyone tell me if I'll run into problems when I put the current hard drive back in the system after doing that? Or if I'll have problems installing a fresh copy of Win7 on a new drive to make an image from?

Am I right in understanding that the Win 7 product key is written to the system's motherboard BIOS/CMOS? Or are other hardware components like drives or videos cards also detected by the Windows 7 installation to verify the installation?

I could back up all the non-OS data on the PC's C: drive, delete it all and then make a relatively small image of the drive from there. But the OS installation is probably 3-4 years old. I'd prefer to image a fresh installation, and have it on hand if the existing installation of the OS gets out of hand at some point.

Thanks for any input on this.
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12 Nov 2019   #206
Bree

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TakuSkan View Post
Can anyone tell me if I'll run into problems when I put the current hard drive back in the system after doing that?

No, I have in the past made a system image of a Windows 7 machine's hard drive, replaced the drive with a new one and restored the image. It worked perfectly and activation was retained.


Quote:
Am I right in understanding that the Win 7 product key is written to the system's motherboard BIOS/CMOS?
No, a full key embedded in the bios only started for machines built with Windows 8 pre-installed by the OEM. An OEM Windows 7 machine had an SLP marker in the bios to say which edition it was licensed to run but this was not a key. This marker in combination with a manufacturer-specific OEM key in the OEM system image allowed for offline activation after a factory reset.
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12 Nov 2019   #207
RoWin7

Win 7 Ult 64-bit
 
 

If anyone is looking for refurbs, I would trust MicroCenter more than Amazon or BestBuy. Amazon had 3rd party vendors who are not always reliable. What BestBuy knows about computers can fit into a thimble, with room enough left for an elephant and an avocado pit. MC gives you a short-term warranty on their refurbs and they're very good about returns. MC also sells all parts for building your own. I've been very happy with both a refurb computer and a GPS from them.
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12 Nov 2019   #208
townsbg

Windows 7 pro 64-bit sp 1
 
 

It isn't end of life it's end of support which M$ would like for us to think means end of life.7 will continue to function. It isn't going to be executed on 1/14.
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13 Nov 2019   #209
TakuSkan

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bree View Post
No, I have in the past made a system image of a Windows 7 machine's hard drive, replaced the drive with a new one and restored the image. It worked perfectly and activation was retained.

[Is the Win 7 product key is written to the system's motherboard BIOS/CMOS?]

No, a full key embedded in the bios only started for machines built with Windows 8 pre-installed by the OEM. An OEM Windows 7 machine had an SLP marker in the bios to say which edition it was licensed to run but this was not a key. This marker in combination with a manufacturer-specific OEM key in the OEM system image allowed for offline activation after a factory reset.
Good to hear. Thanks for your input on this Bree. This isn't an OEM system. I built it back in 2010 - 2011 with a new MSI MB at that point. I re-installed Win7 back in 2016 or so, so I wonder if a SLP marker could have been set in BIOS at that point, or the product key. I guess it shouldn't matter though if I install a fresh copy of Win7 on a new drive to image though, right? I'll just enter the product code with the fresh installation to image, and I should be good. Yes?

Grazie!
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13 Nov 2019   #210
CornellEngineer

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RoWin7 View Post
If anyone is looking for refurbs, I would trust MicroCenter more than Amazon or BestBuy. Amazon had 3rd party vendors who are not always reliable.
Thanks for the tip about MicroCenter...I hadn't thought to check with them but will certainly do so in case I decide to go this route.

You're right about refurbishers on Amazon...they are not all the same. Fortunately you can check reviews not just on the individual units themselves but also on the specific vendor who is offering it. Some have refurbished/renewed literally 1000s of machines and have 90% or greater satisfaction ratings while others not so much. Whenever I find a refurb I might be interested in I also check to see which outfit actually performed the work and if they don't have a well-established track record I immediately cross them off the list.

Going to check what MC has to offer now...thanks again for the suggestion.
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 What should we do after January 2020




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