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Noel

To XP or not to XP that is the question

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Well, here goes again I am among one of those who is still runing windows 98SE and would like to take a plunge upgrading to XP pro, hoping to gain some benefit from more performance and stability the XP provides. Here are some of my questions. I use my computer mainly for FS2002 (and other flight sims) Video editing and general office work, general entertainment and webpage creation1. Is it better to format my harddrives in NTFS, will it gives better performance than FAT32? And can all programs I run on FAT32 be able to run on NTFS? (if so, will it gives better performance?)2. Is the OS more stable? For example if there is one program lockup in XP can it bring down the whole system, and you are left with the only option that is rebooting. This is what occationally happening here in win98se.thanks

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This is a no branier. If you're still using 98 you're really missing out. XP is much more stable. Don't be skimpy on RAM though. Minimum 512mb RAMIMHO 98 was one of the worst OS's ever.

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I've used Win XP Pro for quite a while -- it's brilliantly stable. Even with an overclocked Front Side Bus, it holds up very nicely. IMHO -- the colors are FAR better than 98!Aim for 512Mb RAM or higher, preferrably DDR.

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Hello MarvelMy experience on changing from 98 to XP Pro:Ihave certainly had added stability - I can work the computer all day without a single reboot.NTFS is much more stable than FAT and has never let me down since converting to it.Cons:I hated the graphic interface and my first job was to set everything back to "classic" interface.I have no use for all the networking additions so had to trawl the web to find how to disable them without affecting the way I wanted the system to work for me.Now I get excellent operation of FS2k2 and must get back to it.Regardsken ellis

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Do be prepared for "driver shock." The underlying architecture of the two OS's is different enough that few, if any, drivers from the 95/98 era will work in the XP environment. For me, that meant waiting a while for the CH Products driver which didn't become available until the middle of 2002. To their credit, the driver installed easily and works just fine, but you will need to do a bit of surfing to get some of the parts you'll need.Not that I use it for simming, but my WinTV card also needed a new driver, and my bargain-basement scanner (a Vivitar) is still on The Olde 133 because they did not continue support for that hardware in XP.XP itself came with a large selection of drivers for common items like network cards, modems and printers. Those all installed flawlessly (well, other than pilot errors) and have worked fine for almost a year now. If you have any uncommon peripherals that you can't live without, though, you might want to check on driver availability before you switch OS's.

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Reading over the answers, I'm not sure how helpful they've been. Several don't answer your question about NTFS. One that does says it is more "stable" than FAT. I'm not sure what is meant by that. NTFS does have journaling which enables it to recover from problems in a way FAT does not, but I would expect that to come at a price, performance-wise. It also has more security features, and I would expect that to exact a cost performance-wise. The differences may be negligble, but unless someone can point to some gaming benchmarks to the contrary -- and I would be happy to be wrong about this -- I don't see performance advantages to NTFS over FAT32 for FS2002. So if that is a significant motivation for upgrading, you might be disappointed.One reply warned you about "driver shock." Good warning. While XP is plug and play, that doesn't mean it is going to find drivers for all devices. So you might want to make sure that your device manufacturers have drivers for XP before you upgrade.Most of the comments went with how stable XP is compared to 9x. Generally speaking, it is more stable, but everybody's mileage varies. If your 98se is stable enough for you, do not upgrade just because somebody tells you XP is more stable. If it ain't broke don't fix it applies here with a vengence. But yes, if you are having stability problems witn 98se, XP will probably handle them better, allowing you to terminate the misbehaving application or process without having to reboot. Probably. Not always.I teach computers and operating systems. XP is just Windows 2000 with a pretty face. I have Windows Me on my FS2002 machine, and have enough client licenses for XP that I could upgrade in a heartbeat. But I don't see any reason to.Just my two cents. Save your money for a hardware upgrade (more memory, a new mobo or video card). That is where the performance increases are to be found for FS2002.-Basil

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Hi,one thing to keep in perspective also is that you can install XP (and 2000) to have a dual boot system. You then have the choice at startup to launch your previous 98 system as you left it, or boot to the newer XP system. This may let you migrate (reinstall) some of the application you often use (for example Video Editing - a different experience with XP as far as crashes do when handling huge DV footage), and keep some legacy application on your 98 system. The installation of a dual boot has been a no brainer on my system, but I would recommend you take the time to study how it works and how to proceed before. Last but not least, it is often recommended to full install XP instead of upgrading a previous OS. Dual boot does just this: it installs a brand new system in its own partition.Hope this helps!

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This is a good suggestion, but you have to have the free space on your hard drive. If 9x/Me is using all the hard drive space, you cannot configure a dual boot. (I'm ignoring here the possibility of freeing up some space with a 3rd party tool like Partition Magic. That is always possible. But it also costs more money.)-Basil

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Here is a good article (short) on NTFS v fat32http://www.techtv.com/screensavers/windows...3201552,00.html"2. Is the OS more stable? For example if there is one program lockup in XP can it bring down the whole system, and you are left with the only option that is rebooting. This is what occationally happening here in win98se."Yes XP is way more stable than any other versions of windows (except win2k which is just as good) assuing you have it setup with the current and correct drivers for your hardware. In the rare event that something does crash in XP, you can recover from it. I have never had to do a hard reboot of my system since I got XP.I would not do an upgrade from 98 but a clean install. Also, you may not need the pro version. The home version is cheaper and is fine if you don't need any of the advanced features:http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/windowsxp_home_pro.aspAlso, as someone else said, don't touch XP unless you have 512 MB of ram. Anything less just doesn't cut it.

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Tomshardware did a benchmark comparision between XP and 98SE and saw no measurable improvement with XP with gaming applications. In some cases 98SE scored higher. That's not to say there are not some significant adavantages to XP in other areas but if the main goal is performance improvement in flight simulators, you may be disappointed. http://www.tomshardware.com/consumer/20020930/index.html

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>Here is a good article (short) on NTFS v fat32 >>http://www.techtv.com/screensavers/windows...3201552,00.html >Alas, this article really doesn't answer the question about the relative performance of the two file systems for gaming purposes. The article claims that the decision is generally a no brainer because of all the features of NTFS. But few, if any, of those features are important to a user who uses their machine primarily for gaming in a home environment.Sure, it is a no brainer if the machine is going to be used in a corporate environment, and networked. But then one also has to make sure they get XP Pro, and not XP Home (the ability to join a computer to a domain is disabled in XP Home).-Basil

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In reply to Craig's post #8 here's something I read in the article on the winsupersite.Networking features The following networking features are not included in Home Edition: The user interface for IPSecurity (IPSec) SNMP Simple TCP/IP services <----------SAP Agent Client Service for NetWare Network Monitor Multiple Roaming feature Forgive my ignorance but TCP/IP is the protocol used for networking which I have in my home. Does the above mean that it won't work on XP Home? I have cable internet access through a router and a hub with 4 computers attached to it.Also a question about dual boot. I have the drive space and 512M ram so what I've read in this thread it could be done. The thought of having a dual boot system is intrigueing. I would like to have access to XP and have the security of being able to fall back to 98SE if I wanted. Am I correct about this? Also is this an option when using the upgrade or do you have to do a full install in a seperate partition?

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I did it and I am glad, but you must prepare before by:Had to download updates to creative soundblaster live, CH flightsim yoke, my monitor INI file, HP photosmart 1315 (XP accepted my old HP deskjet, parallel port printer), an upgrade for my CD burner software and finally, Nvidia XP 29.42 video driver. I did use an upgrade package which allowed the Service Pack 1 to be installed as well. Finally, I did buy an additional 256 mb of DDR ram. BUT, I commissioned an expert to install the upgrade at my home who makes a living building systems and networks at the cost of $180 (3 hours labor). That alone saved me countless hours of agonizing miscues because there are installation pitfalls.There are no more video artifacts, I can multi task with numerous add-ons such as active sky, hotseat,active camera and I enjoy FS much more than I did with win 98se. All in all, the moderate effort and expense was worth it. Bottom line: XP is a much better resource manager for heavy duty programs like FS and it is well worth the effort.

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>In reply to Craig's post #8 here's something I read in the >article on the winsupersite. >>Networking features >The following networking features are not included in Home >Edition: >>The user interface for IPSecurity (IPSec) >SNMP >Simple TCP/IP services <---------- >SAP Agent >Client Service for NetWare >Network Monitor >Multiple Roaming feature >>Forgive my ignorance but TCP/IP is the protocol used for >networking which I have in my home. Does the above mean >that it won't work on XP Home? I have cable internet access >through a router and a hub with 4 computers attached to it. >I'm not sure what "Simple ... services" mean in this context. But TCP/IP should certainly be available for WORKGROUP functions. What is disabled in Home vs. Pro is the ability to join a DOMAIN. M$ removed this ability -- which exists in 9x/Me FWIW -- in order to prevent corporate users from using Home for workstations in a domain environment.>Also a question about dual boot. I have the drive space and >512M ram so what I've read in this thread it could be done. >The thought of having a dual boot system is intrigueing. I >would like to have access to XP and have the security of >being able to fall back to 98SE if I wanted. Am I correct >about this? Also is this an option when using the upgrade >or do you have to do a full install in a seperate partition?It should work something like this, assuming you have free disk space.XP will see the free space during the install process. It will allow you to use the free space to create a new partition and install XP to that partition. It will create a "boot.ini" file that controls a boot menu you will see when booting up. It will default to XP if you do not select 98SE (which will probably just be displayed as an option for "Windows").Another warning. This part of the installation of XP is "text based." No GUI. It will be familiar to anyone who has ever installed NT or 2000, but not to those whose experience is with 9x. It can be a bit overwhelming to anyone who doesn't have a lot of experience installing Windows, but the text based screens are informative enough that advanced users should have no problem following the choices.-Basil

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The biggest problem I have had so far is that MS decided to stop support Netbeui in Win XP. They want to push you to Netbios over TCP/IP. Thanks, but I'll change if and only if I want to. I had to hunt all over the internet until I finally found Netbeui protocol that I could install and get the XP machine back on the network. Given MS' security problems, netbios over TCP/IP seems too much risk for me.I assume the "TCP/IP services" referenced in a previous message refers to things like ftpd, pppd, telnetd, etc. XP home would be kind of useless without a TCP/IP stack.scott s..

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Hi Basil,Long time friend. Glad to see you around again."But few, if any, of those (NTFS) features are important to a user who uses their machine primarily for gaming in a home environment."I have to disagree. Even if you don't use one or more of the security, networking or compression features it makes available that you say are "corporate" features only, two specific features of NTFS in particular are transparent and absolutely critical for *all* users regardless of their experience: reliability and large drive usage.NTFS, like ext3 and other file systems on Linux, is journaling. Fat32 on the other hand, is not and is prone to loose user data like no tomorrow - specially on a "newbie's" or family system considering practical use (turning off the computer with the power switch, etc). I have no doubt every Win9x user, pro and newbie alike, is intimately familiar with ScanDisk - simply because it is forced to run so often on Fat drives because that system corrupts more data than you can throw a fish at.NTFS doesn't loose data like Fat32 (sure it can and does happen, but it is very rare on NTFS systems and usually for much different reasons). Hence the lack of ScanDisk on XP: there's no need (said to great sighs of relief :-)). NTFS automatically recovers itself from possible data damaging situations - in mere seconds and wholly in the background.The second indispensable feature for all users: large drive support. In todays world of 250 gigabyte hard drives, NTFS is an absolute must. Because of its modern design, little drive space is wasted on cluster size: NTFS can format the largest of drives and still use a cluster size as small as 4k. Fat32, on the other hand, must use a cluster size of 32kb(!) on any drive above 32 gigabytes. As a matter of fact, you can't even format partitions greater than 32GB on Win9x and XP, although its possible with external utilities. To get the same cluster size benefit as NTFS however, you'd have to format a 250GB drive into 31 8GB partitions - its not even possible (and can you imagine? :-lol). Even on an average 80 gigabyte drive with 32GB or larger partitions, Fat32 wastes and makes unavailable a huge chunk of that space: drive space that sits unused which could otherwise fit a few more of those large games. I don't even want to contemplate how much would be lost on the largest 250GB drive with 32kb clusters. Whats more: as drive size increases, NTFS doesn't decrease in speed - Fat32 most certainly does.So, I'd say NTFS (or another modern, journaling file system) is an absolute must in all circumstances these days - regardless of user experience. Which means using XP, Linux or some other operating system.Take care,Elrond

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While ftp daemons and other servers are only included in Pro, XP's "simple tcp/ip services" are indeed the "extra" utilities of TCP that most don't use: echo, quote, daytime, etc. So, no need to include them in Home, or indeed install them for the vast majority.XP Home without the standard TCP/IP stack would be completely useless though! :-)Take care,Elrond

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Thank you Basil, Scott and Elrod, Your posts have been very helpful and informative. I would assume you should do a scandisk and defrag before attempting the XP install. One thing though, would I purchase the XP upgrade or full install to install a dual boot system?Sorry I didn't respond sooner but right after I posted my questions this morning my computer at work crashed. Dreaded 'corrupt registry' but I think I've found the answer to that problem since I got home and can access the internet.

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>Simple TCP/IP services <---------- >>Forgive my ignorance but TCP/IP is the protocol used for >networking which I have in my home. Does the above mean >that it won't work on XP Home? ? Here is what Mastering Windows XP Home Edition (www.sybex.com) says about Simple TCP/IP Services:"A group of TCP/IP services (including a Quote of the Day service and an Echo generator) that you're unlikely to need. Don't install them unless you're sure you need them, because they can be used in denial-of-service attacks by malware that gets into your computer. Worse yet, some personal firewall software packages don't monitor these services."As others said, normal TCP/IP works just fine.

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Or at least that COULD be the question. For my upgrade from Win98, I chose Win2K for the following reasons:1. Same solid kernal as XP2. NO activation technology! I am delighted to have picked up what amounts to the same core as XP without the AT. I just plain do not like the whole concept of AT!3. It's basically leaner, which fits my needs just dandy.4. Win2K pro will be supported by MS until Mid 2008--which is actually longer than they will be supporting XP Home.5. Everything I run runs on Win2K no problem.6. One can improve the GUI if they wish with Windowblinds etc.7. And can I say it one more time: NO ACTIVATION TECHNOLOGY! This alone is worth the upgrade!!!!!!!!8. And of course, can us NTFS.Cheers,Noel

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