The Clock Is Ticking on Windows XP

December 17, 2012

Upgrade From Windows XPWhat were you doing on August 24, 2001? Yes, I’m asking you about a date more than eleven years ago. What about October 25, 2001? Still more than eleven years ago. Those were the dates when Windows XP was released to computer manufacturers and the date it was first made available to the public. Let me throw out one more date and that is April 8, 2014. On that date Microsoft will end extended support for Windows XP. In short, there will be no more security updates.

Let me spell it out for you as clearly as possible, XP users need to move to a newer operating system in less than 18 months and the clock is ticking. Back in February, I highly recommended you migrate your operating system to 64-bit. Windows 7 is already more than three years old and is a very solid platform. Windows 8 has been released and I’m definitely waiting for the interface to be fixed before I’m ready to upgrade.

Now why am I telling you about this today? By now you’ve hopefully read about the awful Windows Update KB2753842 that caused some fonts to stop working in a large number of programs. This update was so bad that Microsoft has pulled it completely. Unfortunately a lot of people already had it installed. Users who have Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Vista have all been able to easily remove this update. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for Windows XP users as some haven’t been able to remove it at all. As of right now the only way I know to completely remove it is to reinstall the operating system and software from scratch.

This is a very drastic step, but is the only sure way I know right now. If you are truly going to do this, please move to a newer operating system at the same time. As operating systems age and support diminishes, problems like this become more common. Pretty much any time I get a call from someone having any type of problem, I can assume they are still on Windows XP. While that isn’t always the case, it is true in the vast majority of cases.

While you may not make the move today, it is something you need to seriously consider sooner rather than later. Don’t wait until 2014! Plan the migration and get it right. Not sure how to install an operating system from scratch? I wrote about it in Setting Up a Computer From Scratch – Part 1 – The Operating System. Now go ahead, start researching the update now.

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5 Comments

  1. Bruce Jones

    To remove it through XP, you just need to go into Add/Remove Programmes, and click “Show Updates” at the top, after they’ve loaded, scroll through to find the update number, they are shown in parentheses, and remove it, and restart the computer.

    Reply
  2. Ken Graham

    May I suggest an alternative to removing XP, or any operating system – Clone it to an external drive before you are having issues and try to have at least 2 clones. I recommend a Hard Drive Dock http://bit.ly/yOmygG, then you can just buy decently warranted Hard Drives like 5 year warranted Western Digital Black SATA Drives.

    There are a number of Cloning programs you can purchase and a Couple Free ones, the free ones you choose are very dependent on your RAM memory resources.

    If you have less than 512 meg of RAM – go to http://www.Clonezilla.org and make a CD as you may not have a DVD player. This is a text based cloning tool.

    If you have 512 meg of RAM you will probably prefer to go to RedoBackup.org as this is a Graphical cloning tool.

    The benefit of the above is they copy any operating system as a clone backup – the disadvantage is you must restore to get at any files. You can not restore to a smaller partition than the original with the free clone software mentioned. It is advantageous to partition your operating system with programs separate from your Data.

    If you would like to extract files from within a Cloned backup and you are using Windows I suggest looking at a paid program like http://bit.ly/drive-snap-shot.

    I`ve used the above mentioned free programs many times, sometimes I have had a backup not work but fortunately have always had at least one work where I had 2 or more. I am also reminded of a particularly difficult case where a EFI Fiery External RIP which uses XP acted as if Virus infected even after a restore to a known good backup. As it turned out the CMOS had been corrupted which required removal of the onboard battery. After removing and replacing the battery and doing a restore all was well.

    Of course I recommend the above programs are also recommended for newer systems as well. It is just that in so many cases it doesn not make sense to update operating systems unless replacing computers.

    Ken Graham
    CommunityPrinters.com

    Reply

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