xxxxxxx xxxxxxx [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2002 3:30 PM
To: xxxxx xxxxxxx
Subject: RE: Should I upgrade to Windows XP?
usual the answer is not as simple as it should be.
XP comes in two versions, XP Professional and XP Home Edition.
I will assume that you have the Home version as the professional
version has a lot of networking and security capabilities that
Home does not. Some of these capabilities, especially the security
functions, might be confusing to the home user and cause problems.
XP contains an onerous requirement called activation. This "feature"
makes you activate the product within 30 days of installation
or it will stop working. The activation takes a snapshot of the
hardware your system has and sends a hash of this to the Microsoft
web site where an activation key is returned that ties that particular
install of Windows to that particular hardware. If you or anyone
else were to try installing and activating on another machine
activation on this different machine would fail and the installation
would stop working in 30 days. If whoever you got this Windows
XP from has activated this CD with another machine, your installation
would not activate. Activation could also be a problem if you
were to install, activate and then update your hardware in the
future as it would appear to Windows that it was running on new
hardware. You would have to call Microsoft's activation number
and explain yourself to get another activation key for your new
hardware. There is some leeway before Windows thinks it is running
on new hardware, in other words a simple change like more memory
or new graphics card is not "supposed" to cause reactivation.
I am not a believer in upgrades. Upgrades tend to upgrade problems
into the new operating system and sometimes these problems or
misconfigurations in the old OS are amplified in the new OS causing
even larger problems. I would, whenever possible, start from scratch
(empty hard disk) and do a full install followed by a reinstallation
of all Windows applications I use. This is not to say that it
doesn't work for a lot of people. Works well for some completely
renders the OS unusable for others and somewhere in between for
older hardware and software (usually over 2 years old) may or
may not work in Windows XP. Microsoft provides an XP compatibility
check package that you can run before trying to upgrade. It is
supposed to check everything on your system, both hardware and
software, and tell you if anything will not work in XP. Unfortunately
this software is very large and lengthy to download from Microsoft's
the minimum requirements for Windows XP is a Pentium 300Mhz CPU
and 128MB of ram. The least I personally would run it on for a
satisfactory experience would be at least a Pentium 600Mhz CPU
and 256MB of ram.
may be sounding like I am trying to talk you out of this but I
am only trying to make you aware of the pitfalls. Personally I
think XP is the best Windows Microsoft has released yet but nothing
is faultless. Upgrading has worked very well for some people and
has rendered other peoples computers unusable without a complete
hope this is more helpful than it is confusing, but at least I
have made you aware of as much as I can via e-mail.