I have been running XP forever. Too old of a machine to run much newer OS'es such as 10, or 8/8.1... So I decided to check out Vista.
I purchased an Anytime upgrade disk (Supposed to be new) on E-Bay.
It didn't come with a COA...Shouldn't it have?
or Did I get hosed by the seller?
I didn't want to do a "Clean install" and loose a bunch of stuff I collected,
and from what I read you are supposed to be able to use the anytime upgrade
disc on the latest (SP3)versions of XP....
Hosed. I could find one of those listed, consisting
of a DVD, with *no* license key.
It's like buying a shoe shine... without the shoe.
Media is useless, without a license key (unless you
plan to use a loader to force activation).
Anytime Upgrades are for specific situations (more
than one version). For example, you probably don't
need media for this, as the process takes around
ten minutes, and consists of linking already-installed
files from WinSXS, into System32 folder.
Anytime Upgrade Key
Vista_Home -------------------- Vista_Ultimate
But that doesn't solve the problem
WinXP Sp3 -------------------- Vista_Home
Anytime Upgrade kits generally disappear from retail
a couple years after they start shipping. There really
shouldn't be any left. For example, Win7 AU disappeared
several years ago. Nothing left. Lots of people
asking "where'd they go?".
At this point in time, there's practically no upgrade
strategy left. It's a waste-land.
To preserve programs and data, you could go
WinXP SP3 --- Vista ---- Windows 7
as you cannot go direct from WinXP to Windows 7.
Windows 7 has practically the same overhead as
Vista. Windows 8 switches to Metro, and uses more
graphics operations for the desktop. On Windows 7
you can disable Aero, which reduces latency on things
like screen recorders, and makes screen shots
more legible by not having transparency turned on.
If you need media, for test installs, try the Heidoc
URL generator. Use the "copy to clipboard" button
in the tool, then paste the URL into your favorite
browser. The actual download URL uses a Microsoft
address. Note the software requirements on this
page well - the "legacy" version of Heidoc is
discontinued, and now there is a gootstrapping
problem for a WinXP user.
You can go WinXP to VirtualBox, but around
3GB or RAM minimum is recommended.
In virtualbox, you can load one of these appliances.
Then visit the Heidoc web site with a browser while
running an OS in VirtualBox. You do this, if you need
to use some software that runs .NET 4.6 or 4.7. Right
now, I can run Windows 10 inside VirtualBox, on my
WinXP machine that has 4GB of memory. It's slow, but
only so when Win10 is doing maintenance.
Once you download an OS to load into VirtualBox, you
can use the Heidoc URL generator. Notice that it no longer
has an option for Vista media, because Microsoft
TechBench would have removed those (as Vista is now
out of support, there's "no need for DVDs").
That's how I'd bootstrap some later OS solution, if
say, I bought a license key on Ebay. If you have a
teeny tiny WinXP machine (1GB), it's going to be
a challenge in any case to upgrade the platform.
Microsoft has the cross-hairs all lined up on you,
for a computer + Win10 upgrade. The Win10 OS is wasteful
enough, it only runs decently while using an SSD
boot drive. (Win10 likes to do AV scans, do file
indexing, and make a general nuisance of itself.
At least, compared to the quiet simplicity of
As for computer, you want a quad core minimum. The
latest "competition" between Intel and AMD, is
helping see to it, that quad core low-end is now
more of a norm than an exception. When AMD gets
their Raven Ridge out the door, you can have
a nice quad core with built-in video card, and
it might be a few bucks less than an Intel solution.
Raven Ridge might be out early next year some time.
As for RAM memory, the chips are getting large enough
now, there aren't a lot of options to "go cheap".
If they use DDR3, I think there might be some
smaller chip options there, to save a few bucks.
There are both RAM shortages and Flash memory
shortages. Other worrying trends are motherboard
prices, where inflation is becoming a real problem
(no value for money on some of them). I saw a
$600 motherboard, where the I/O plate was only
half full. And the chipset has like 20 USB ports,
if they would only fill the back plate with USB.
They could have filled that plate right up with
useful stuff. You're less likely to find a
$65 motherboard now.
My "daily driver" is WinXP SP3. I have plenty of
other OSes (zero Vista, one Win7, two Win8.1, three Win10),
but when surfing, I'm still using WinXP. As long as
I practice Safe Hex, and do all the program download
experiments in the others, I'm OK. My OS probably
has quite a few holes in it now. They've made the
last Firefox for it, so there cannot be much
more life left in it. Some day the wheels will
fall off. The last Chrome was ages ago.