Saturday, September 7, 2013

Windows Frustrations

I am still running Windows XP.  I know that I am going to have upgrade to Windows 7 sometime next year.

A few months back, Corel VideoStudio X5 suddenly stopped working -- for no apparent reason -- with one of those obscure error messages that tells you nothing but, "I'm not working anymore!"  Technical support at Corel lasts 90 days, and my 90 days were over, so I figured, "What the heck, I'll buy the upgrade to X6, and if there is still a problem, technical support will help me solve it."

Nope.  X6 failed the same as X5, they had no idea why, and when I told them that I had successfully got X6 working on a much older (like 2003 vintage) laptop, the response of the technical support guy was, "It is only licensed for one computer.  Your newer computer isn't capable of running it."  Yet it ran X5 fine until one day -- splat.  And apparently a number of other users of X5 and X6 have had the same experience -- suddenly it stopped working.  My guess is that there is some other piece of software that was automatically downloaded, like Apple QuickTime, but no one seems to know who the guilty party is.

I was thinking of buying a blindingly fast quad core laptop, and just figure that on a completely fresh system, X6 would work, but that is beginning to look like $1000+ (at least with 16 GB of RAM) with Windows 7.  If I had the distribution CD for XP, I would do a fresh install, but HP in its infinite wisdom, did not provide it, and I am sure that they would just laugh now.

Perhaps it makes more sense to buy the Windows 7 Home Premium upgrade for this PC.  It is still a reasonably quick box with a 500 GB hard drive, and the upgrade is only $110 on Amazon.  It will be something of a pain, because I will have to copy all my files over to my backup 1 TB external drive, but I've got 584 GB free there, which is way more than enough.  Any suggestions?  (No, Linux isn't quite practical -- I need to be able to run Office 2010 for compatibility with the College of Western Idaho.)

UPDATE: It turns out that the RECOVERY partition still exists on the old hard disk, which is now a USB drive.  I wonder if I can successfully use this to recreate XP Pro on my current hard disk?  The answer seems to be yes, but it is too late to do that this evening.


  1. I installed a solid state hard drive on my aging PC and got a tremendous increase in performance.

    Reviews on Amazon say that "hybrid" hard drives, which combine a conventional disk with some solid state memory, give a big improvement in PC performance.

  2. If you go to Windows 7, spend the extra for Professional, so you can run a virtual XP disk if necessary. 16-bit legacy programs won't run on Windows 7, and I was running two (but am down to one now.) The virtual disk is free from Microsot, but won't run on Premium.

  3. look in your bios setup and make sure you can enable boot from a usb external disk.

  4. Linux is faster than Windows on the same hardware, no question. But the bulk of my students are submitting papers in Microsoft Word format. I have had only so-so luck with using OpenOffice to markup and return papers to them.

    I have found that trying to find a working video editor for Ubuntu Linux is more frustration than it is worth. Although the frustrations with Corel VideoStudio X6 are getting there. It works fine on one of my Windows boxes; on the other, probably because of conflicts with some other software or device driver, it does not.

  5. If you have a legitimate license, it is legal to download media to exercise your legal OS rights. There are torrents available for all of them.

  6. TMLutas: are those torrents with or without viruses and malware built-in?