This post is for everyone that is still using Windows XP as their operating system. The End of Support for Windows XP will occur on April 14, 2014. XP was first released in 2001. After 12 years and 3 operating systems later, Microsoft is pulling the plug on its support for XP and it’s service packs 1, 2, and 3. What does this mean for you? It means when new programs come out, or if there are updates to the programs you already have, there will not be any guarantee that your XP system will be conflict free. Also the support for security threats to XP (ie. viruses, spyware, malware) will all be discontinued.
Solution: To prevent any problems or risk of data loss, the easiest thing to do is upgrade to Windows 7. Here are some things to look out for:
1) Can your computer’s processor handle the massive operating system upgrade? To prevent a massive system slow down, you should upgrade your computer if you are running an Intel Pentium 4 or less.
2) Does your computer have sufficient RAM? For comparison, you can get by with 500 megabytes of RAM running Windows XP. With Windows 7, you should have 2 gigabytes for smooth operation, but could get by with 1 gigabyte. To check your system’s RAM click Start, All Programs, Accessories, then System Tools. This also can be found by clicking Start, Control Panel, System and Maintenance, then System.
3) How much hard drive space do you have? It is best to have 20 gigabytes of hard drive space available for the Windows 7 upgrade.
4) How do you back up your information? All of your documents, videos, music, and photos need to be saved to some sort of device other than your computer to prevent any data loss. Buying an external hard drive that you can connect to your computer is one way to back up your information. Another is to buy a networkable hard drive that you can connect to your router. You are then able to access all your devices wherever you have an internet connection. Carbonite is another inexpensive option if you want to have someone else monitor your information.
For more information on End of Support, visit Microsoft’s website at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/products/lifecycle