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Operating Systems

All the hype for Windows XP has motivated millions of people to upgrade their computers. Unfortunately, many of them have faced problems during the upgrade. It isn’t so much that there are problems with XP, which of course there are, but the real problem is that many PCs do not meet the real minimum requirements of XP. This is a common problem based on the understated minimum requirements set by Microsoft. In an effort to sell as many copies of XP as possible, it has been hyped dramatically and without a realistic caution statement.

This is not to put all the blame on Microsoft since I know that a large percentage of people who upgrade their operating systems do not pause to read the important system information that is readily available. Considering all the hype, it would probably make little difference if the minimum system requirements were not understated. People read about all the advantages of a new operating system and promptly assume that their computer will benefit from an upgrade.

The main thing to remember is that new, high performance operating systems are designed to work on new high performance equipment. On older equipment, these new operating systems can actually slow things down or even stop them from running at all.
Several people have brought me their computers because they slowed to a crawl after being upgraded from Windows 95 Windows 98 SE. I have been able to help some by merely increasing RAM but the older systems just don’t work as well as they did before. To avoid these problems it is essential to exceed the minimum requirements outlined by Microsoft before an upgrade. Better yet, avoid the upgrade unless there is a specific reason for it, other than just having the latest operating system in your computer.

As a computer technician it is important for me to be familiar with all the Windows operating systems. I have rack drives and a hard drive with Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows 2000 and Windows XP. I have used all of them for various tasks and found all of them satisfactory for the kind of work I do. I am using these operating systems on a self-built computer with an 850 MHz Athlon processor and 512 MBs of RAM. The motherboard had integrated video and sound that worked fine with Windows 98 but failed to work with Windows 2000. I had to replace them with compatible AGP and PCI cards. I had to download new drivers for both my printer and my scanner before they would function with Windows 2000 or Windows XP. Those were the only problems I faced with these cutting edge operating systems.

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