How to reuse your software/hardware when you upgrade!

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cdeamaze
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Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:19 pm

How to reuse your software/hardware when you upgrade!

Post by cdeamaze » Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:13 pm

All manufacturers updates their products often. That's how they make money. They always encourage people to upgrade. The theme is if you don't, your sytem will be obsolete. Most people buy their arguments and believe when they upgrade their computer, they also need to upgrade their existing hardware or software. After you read this post, you may think it twice before you upgrade!

In real estate,a professional will tell you the three most important factors of a piece of property are "Location, Location, Location". Well, in computer industry, the three most important factors are "Reuse, Reuse, Reuse". Not only it is green to your environment(less pollution, cleaner air, reduced waste), more importantly, you can save money. Needless to say, Microsoft, Adobe, Intel, HP, you name it, are all against this idea. How can you tell? Look at their products, they are not forward compatible. Their recipe for success in business is introduce a product which is incompatible with previous products. When their customers find out their products are no longer working, what can they do? Upgrade, Upgrade, Upgrade. Thus my HP printer I bought 5 years ago will not work in Windows 7. My music software will work in XP but not in Vista or Windows 7. Even my Norton software Ghost v 14 which I bought on Black Friday last Thanksgiving will not work in Windows 7(I didn't know that when I bought it). A month after I bought Ghost they introduce v 15 to fix the problem. The price tag for upgrade ?$49.95 after I paid $69.95! This it is Ok if it is small amount. What if you have a Cool Edit(see Doug,djm on TimeWarp Creates Rainbarrel and Granularity Noise), which will not work in Windows 7 and you don't want to pay $350 to get the same software? Or worse yet, in my case, I have a hardware/software which cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars!

You don't have to buy a new hardware/software just because you upgrade your computer/operating system if you know the trick! Instead of buying a new hardware/software, you can also install a dual(or even triple) boot operating system with say, Windows 7, preinstalled and install a second operating system such as Vista or XP. The beauty of this approach is that you got to keep your old hardware/software and will not cost you a dime (assume you still have Vista or XP somewhere and hardware driver for either one is available) .

For example, I have a Gateway with Windows Vista installed. I have a copy of song writing software called Cakewalk which is incompatible with Windows Vista. Instead of throwing it away, I installed a Windows XP along with Vista (this makes it a dual boot configuration) which makes my Cakewalk function again!

You can also save money in your hardware. For example, my HP printer will not work in Windows 7(it may if I can find the right driver!). Instead of wasting my time searching all over the web which may cause mental anguish, I just boot into my Vista. Whola! my printer starts to work again! Thanks, to dual boot!, but not to Microsoft or HP!

I am so impressed with the saving that now I have a triple boot(XP, Vista and Win7), plus a backup copy each, for a sextuple-boot configuration in my Gateway! There is a surprise benefit in addition to money saving: peace of mind, which is priceless! If a virus ever attacks me in one of my operating systems or one operating system fails, I just switch to another while I try to find a solution. In the mean time, my computer remains fully functional! I might get carried away but you get the idea...

This article first appeared in USB digital input. But it is so important to the general public that it deserve its own place.
Last edited by cdeamaze on Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.

DewDude420
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Re: How to reuse your software/hardware when you upgrade!

Post by DewDude420 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:02 pm

Dude,

double booting, let alone triple of quad booting, is NOT something the average user should undertake. it requires a good knowledge of how partitions work, along with how bootloaders and whatelse work.

the people that know how to do this sort of thing obviously already know when and how it should be used. the majority of people that don't know...well, there's good reason...they're not technically advanced to do so.

when you start telling millions of people to dual-boot their systems, and they fail at it, you get a whole lot of dead systems.

it's good advice, it really is...but it can be found elsewhere and should only be attempted by someone who really know what they're doing.

....especially if you wanna quad boot say 7, xp, linux and 98.

the main problem in getting this to work is if the system already comes with windows 7 installed, installing xp is going to cause bootloader issues that they'll have to fix later. Sure, win7 is aware of the xp loader and how to deal with it, but that requires XP to be installed BEFORE 7..it's like they say on the ubuntu forums....install windows first, then ubuntu...otherwise windows writes the mbr and your first OS is left unaccessable.

a far far better solution, especially if you need an OS for one or two applications that are just incompatible with your host...is virtual machines. i currently have both VirtualPC 2007 and Sun VirtualBox. Any OS I've installed under it works great, and in the case of VirtualBox...I needed WinXP for my flatbed scanner...the drivers couldn't even be hacked to work under 7...so I installed a copy of XP under a VM, applied a direct USB host routing function (so the vm talks to USB devices natively rather than through the OS, a feature VirtualPC2007 lacks) and was able to install and use the scanner under the XP VM, despite the fact Win7 had no idea what to do with this thing. With modern processors supporting hardware virtualization (Intel-VT, AMD-V), the performance issues aren't what they once were and you could actually get some work done in an XP VM if you had to. heck, I full-screened my XP VM for someone and they had no idea it wasn't the host OS.

Gord
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Re: How to reuse your software/hardware when you upgrade!

Post by Gord » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:14 am

I agree with Jay that virtual machines are a Good Thing. I have used VMware Workstation for years and am a huge fan of the product.

However, in the past I have had very mixed results when trying to use audio on a virtual machine. I haven't tried it in a while and I expect that it is better now than it used to be, but I would still be apprehensive about trying to do something like record from the (virtual) sound card in a VM.

cdeamaze
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Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:19 pm

Re: How to reuse your software/hardware when you upgrade!

Post by cdeamaze » Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:05 pm

DewDude420 wrote:Dude,

double booting, let alone triple of quad booting, is NOT something the average user should undertake. it requires a good knowledge of how partitions work, along with how bootloaders and whatelse work.

the people that know how to do this sort of thing obviously already know when and how it should be used. the majority of people that don't know...well, there's good reason...they're not technically advanced to do so.

when you start telling millions of people to dual-boot their systems, and they fail at it, you get a whole lot of dead systems.

it's good advice, it really is...but it can be found elsewhere and should only be attempted by someone who really know what they're doing.
Thanks for pointing this out, Jay. You are absolutely correct, I totally forgot about it. When I was first introduced concept of dual boot, I was so excited to try that I even forgot the author's warning to back up all my data before I tried and I didn't get all the tools I need. As a result, I got a dead system. It took me more than a month before I can get my Vista back but my data is gone for good.

So here are the options you have:
1. Dual(Multi) boot configuration
2. Virtual machine such VMware Workstation or Virtual PC

Warning: You could lose your data or your computer may not function if you choose dual boot and you
1.do not backup your data before you try,
2.are not following the procedure. Read procedure carefully. Understand every step involved. Print it out if necessary.
3.do not get all the tools you need. Get all the tools you may need such as EasyBCD (or VistaBootPro and Dotnet Frame 2.0). Of which EasyBCD is preferred because it is less complicated and very user friendly
4. fail to get professional help when you don't know what you are doing
Gord wrote:I agree with Jay that virtual machines are a Good Thing. I have used VMware Workstation for years and am a huge fan of the product.

However, in the past I have had very mixed results when trying to use audio on a virtual machine. I haven't tried it in a while and I expect that it is better now than it used to be, but I would still be apprehensive about trying to do something like record from the (virtual) sound card in a VM.
I agree with both Jay and Gord that the second option (Virtual machine or VM) is a much easier solution. But it may have its own limitation. As Gord pointed out, I am not sure you can record "real" music from a "virtual" machine. :D

DewDude420
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Re: How to reuse your software/hardware when you upgrade!

Post by DewDude420 » Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:11 pm

I have used VMware Workstation for years and am a huge fan of the product.
VMWare was the first real virtualization I ever did, and I was quite happy playing around with it. Before hardware virtualization came about, it was quite about the best out there. Now that we've got stuff like Intel-VT and AMD-V, it did level the playing field. I will however say that I've got multiple solutions for various OS's...and also for various uses, here, this quote sets me up to talk about that:
However, in the past I have had very mixed results when trying to use audio on a virtual machine. I haven't tried it in a while and I expect that it is better now than it used to be, but I would still be apprehensive about trying to do something like record from the (virtual) sound card in a VM.
Yes, this is true. Sound has been one thing that's somewhat set a VM back depending on what you want to do. Playback is generally OK...and the newer VM's have different ways of interfacing sound..I still wouldn't trust it with recording. I look at it like this...at least for me, the recording I need to do is very simple...i just want to send an analog signal in to an ADC and record the resulting samples in a format I can load up later...that's all. I don't really need any kind of fancy interface or processing for this aspect....I just want to get the audio in to the computer. You can generally find some application in whatever OS you're on that will do this...then you can load the resulting file in the virtual PC in your application of choice and work. Playback of audio in MS Virtual PC 2007 in just about any host I've used has been quite good. I haven't really tried recording. However, Sun Virtualbox has a feature that will let me interface a USB device directly with the VM, bypassing the host OS entirely...and it just so happens my codec of choice is USB....so in that case, I can actually record in the VM "natively" since it's talking to the USB card directly without host intervention. I tested this the other week.

Honestly, I have no real serious use for a VM other than piddly little things. It's just a toy to me.
I was so excited to try that I even forgot the author's warning to back up all my data before I tried and I didn't get all the tools I need. As a result, I got a dead system. It took me more than a month before I can get my Vista back but my data is gone for good.
My solution was...different. When I started playing around with the concept of dual-booting, I did it on a second PC that didn't have anything vital on it. I could format and start over as much as I wanted. My early-early days with Linux taught me a LOT about disk partitioning, mbr's, bootloaders....and that made setting up multiple-os solutions a breeze. Thus far, I have not entirely killed a system as a result of a failed dual-boot...the last time I thought I had was when I attempted to boot windows XP from a Win7 loader and got an error about HAL.DLL....which required a small tweak to the bootloader entry and all was solved.

It's an entirely different task if you've got experience working with all that stuff before...like I said, it's nothing for me to be able to take something like a Win7 laptop and make it triple-boot without backing any data up...or stuff...and sure, the first time I jumped in to it I encountered things like a missing/broken XP entry in the Vista loader, or XP wiping out the Vista/7 loader entirely....but still, good idea to back up before you try....OR....you could play around with dual-booting in a virtual machine and get the hang of things ;)

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