On the EXTREMELY RARE chance that someone has an *intact*
(Media Direct + Factory Restore capable) Inspiron 6400, I'd
love to get an image of the MBR to restore a machine, here.
If not, I'll just reverse engineer the MD MBR and compare with
an FR MBR to create my own "hybrid" (unfortunate waste of time!)
So what ? This desktop comp I'm using was built in '02 or '03 , and it's
working just swell . Some of us don't have to have the
newest-latest-greatest of everything . I drive an old truck , and my Harley
is old enough to get antique tags ... the truck already has 'em .
My wife is pretty old too , but that's another matter entirely .
On Friday, January 15, 2016 at 7:12:38 PM UTC-6, Terry Coombs wrote:
Our vehicles are '95 and '01 (and we don't buy or can aford snow tires like
some here). With 4 laptops and 4 desktop mostly running W7...none of whith
are more than 8 yrs old. Only 3 were bought new...I just sell or give away
stuff and replace with Craig's list stuff. Last desktop was a 3 yr old i5
quad 3rd gen for $100 w/8Gb of RAM. No, you don't have to have the latest,
but you don't need crap either!
The wife is 17 yrs younger, so...I guess she stays!
I think the laptop dates from '06 , and it's the newest we have . I have a
new (faster) processor (7 bucks on ebay) in the drawer that I'm goingto
install probably tomorrow . The original is becoming unstable due to
repeated overheats . I keep tellin' her she can't block the air intake on
the bottom and she keeps ignoring me .
The shop comp and my desktop are both on ASUS M2A-VM motherboards with AMD
Athlon 64X2 processors and 2 Gb of DDR2 RAM . All my comps run XP Pro and an
individualized suite of applications .
On 1/16/2016 4:27 AM, Terry Coombs wrote:
I *upgraded* to XP just as the end-of-life notice was taking effect.
I pulled all the updates from their server and keep them on an external
USB drive (so I can install them on any machine). Most of these are
unimportant as our machines don't talk to the outside world (and most
of the updates are "security updates").
My tablet PC's, multimedia, authoring and engineering PC's run XP
along with this "email/WWW" PC, the HTPC (linux can't cut it) and
two of the laptops. I keep a disposable (i.e., system that I am
willing to reload on a moment's notice) "shoebox" PC running XP to
evaluate new pieces of software.
I have Vista and 7even laptops (that don't seem to afford me any
No one has ever "recommended" 8.x and I'm not eager to have yet
another (bad) MS OS to support. And, 10 is inherently designed
to sell the user to vendors so we'll NEVER see that.
I.e., XP is the workhorse here -- and I *design* electronic devices
for a living, seeing nothing "necessary" (or even helpful!) in the
more recent offerings!
I have heard that from a lot of people concerning XP, the major issue
with sticking to it is there may be a *must* have piece of software that
you will want and some point that will not support XP, or browser
support for it will start to fail as internet standards change.
The reverse argument is stronger: that NEWER OS's will not support
some legacy piece of software OR HARDWARE thereby necesitating a
forced software (application) or hardware upgrade -- just to "stay put"!
I have no desire to *hope* drivers for each of my printers, scanners,
motion controllers, pointing devices, plotters, digitizers, etc.
are supported on some newer OS. Nor do I want to have to exhaustively
test every application under that new OS just to verify I can
*STILL* do what I have always BEEN doing with them!
"Been there, done that, T-shirt, etc."
I keep a Compaq 386 Portable
because I have some ($2K) hardware that requires an ISA bus. And, some
($10K) software that requires that hardware.
I have a ($25K) piece of equipment that requires a genuine printer port
(not a USB printer interface) and others that require genuine serial
ports. Another ($14K) that requires 3.5" floppies.
I can probably find newer versions of all of these devices -- possibly at
much lower pricepoints. But, I'd still have to spend that money AND the
time to find/acquire them -- AND learn how to use them, their quirks, etc.
Any "software improvements/upgrades" run the risk that work I've done
with older/other versions might no longer be compatible with the
*new* (and improved?) versions. Or, worse, may require some massaging
to *make* it compatible (more time on my part).
[Remind me: why am I upgrading the OS? Where do the BENEFITS
from that undetaking come into play??]
Granted, there are some improvements in *some* of the (software)
tools that I use. But, do they offset the cost of upgrading
(time, money, uncertainty/risk)? And, won't I have to upgrade
yet again, NEXT year?
The same is true of the hardware. You can quickly get into a mode
where all you are doing is treading water.
The risk of some technology/capability that can't be "back-ported"
to an older OS (etc) is relatively easy to address: buy a new laptop
for THAT purpose when/if the need becomes acute. But, you don't
have to move EVERYTHING to that platform! The appeal of a laptop
is you can store it in your sock drawer when you don't need that
The risk of changes in network protocols is minimal. There are lots
of open source solutions to those "products" and enough of an XP-base
still out there that folks will continue to develop for those
If those efforts ever prove inadequate, then you drag the laptop out of
your sock drawer for those needs. Or, simply don't avail yourself of them!
(e.g., we don't have Flash *installed* on any of the machines, here.
Are we *truly* "missing" anything??)
I have several pieces of software that will not run under Win 10 that run
fine under XP. Some don't run at all, and some that have sound such as some
games and a TV dongle show the pix but no sound.
I don't really want the OS to do anything but load and run the programs that
I use. With almost 15 years one would think the bugs would be out of an OS,
but not so and now a whole new one to start over with.
I also have to keep some older systems with true rs232 and parallel printer
ports around to load and run some equipment at home. When I was working
anything faster than a 386 would not connect to some of the equipment that
costs many thousands of dollars. Had a hard time finding a 3 inch floppy
drive of the PS2 type to go to a $ 20 K machine a while back. Industry seems
to keep equipment many years. We had some that dated back to the 1920s that
still worked fine if we could find spare parts or have them made.
Whats worse is when a program *appears* to work. You move on to
"check" the next. Eventually, decide the new OS *appears* to
support all your programs. So, you decommission (and DISCARD!)
the old machine/OS (why upgrade if you're going to keep the old
machine in a closet, anyway? why not just continue to use it?)
Then, sometime later, you discover that some aspect of one of the
programs doesn't quite work properly. And, you've effectively burned
your bridge to the old OS (can't even INSTALL it on the new computer
in place of the new OS because certain drivers don't exist!).
I installed FrameMaker on one of the Vista/7even (can't recall which)
laptops so I could work on a publication while the office was being
rearranged. Heck, it's just a DTP program, what parts of the OS
could break *that*?? Keyboard+display+mouse+disk!
Yet, the application hangs periodically. Why? <shrug>
And, as I have no recourse (other than to kill the process)
when this happens, I have to remember to explictly "save"
every few minutes! I'm LESS productive than I would have been
on XP or 2KS!
I used to be a big fan of the AfterDark screensavers. Some were
genuinely entertaining (e.g., the apartment house). But, all
were handy because I could just move the mouse to a selected
corner of the display and invoke the screen saver *instantly*.
The move to XP cost me those screen savers. So, any monies
expended on them (and time to learn, install) is lost. I now
have XP's *sad* screen savers with less functionality. is this
offset by any potential increased reliability of XP over 2KS?
So, what is this "upgrade" GIVING ME that would make me
want to risk these REAL LOSSES/costs?
Exactly. I can leave a NetBSD running for YEARS without having to
reboot (I have one in my bedroom that runs 24/7/365 without a hiccup;
uptime is probably a year or more -- would have been longer but I
changed to some lower power hardware to eliminate the fan noise).
When it's *your* money and time, you tend to think a lot harder
about the relative value of changes ("upgrades"). Now, when friends
bemoan my old(er) hardware/software, I ask them to give me a detailed
list of the things they think I might want from any proposed "upgrade",
based on their FIRST HAND experiences with those upgrades.
It's amusing to see how much they CAN'T say advocating their proposals!!
"Oh, but the new machines are so much FASTER...!"
"Really? Pick a (nontrivial) task. We'll sit down, side-by-side
and see how long it takes you to get it done with your hardware
and software vs. the same task for me. *If* you finish before
me (doubtful), we'll figure out what the RELATIVE performance
increase has been. And, we'll assume that will apply to
EVERY activity. Over the course of a year. We'll use some
outrageous burdened labor rate to reflect an INFLATED cost
(savings!) and see just what this effort will 'buy me'..."
If you're playing video games, you *might* benefit from a new
machine -- but not a new OS! OTOH, if your BRAIN is involved in the
activity, chances are, the machine will just spend more "effort"
WAITING for you.
On 1/16/2016 3:30 PM, Don Y wrote:
I either go to Linux or use this for updating XP supposed to be good
till 2019... seems to work.
How to Get Updates for Windows XP from Microsoft until 2019
Interesting approach. I'm not sure I would rely on it, though.
There can be subtle differences in an OS "tuned" for an embedded
environment vs. a desktop environment. Embedded environments tend
to be more resource constrained. Telling an OS that it is
"embedded" could alter the way it allocates and manages resources;
potentially in ways that significantly impact performance.
Just like telling an OS that it is in a SERVER environment
would alter the way it allocates resources, schedules jobs, etc.
Two simple examples:
In embedded environments, you often don't have any/as much disk
to use for "swap"/paging file. You may, in fact, disable swapping
and rely exclusively on available RAM to hold all "real"
memory. This could needlessly hamstring a desktop machine into
NOT exploiting the abundant disk resources available to extend
the available "virtual" memory.
In embedded environments, you tend to have fewer network connections
(a server tends to have tons of them; a desktop, something in between).
TCP connections take up resources -- for every open connection
(even if it's a connection being used by "another logged in user"
who isn't "active" at the present moment -- like when you "Switch
User" without logging off, first). So, an OS thinking that it is
operating in an embedded environment might tune the network stack
for fewer connections -- at the expense of throughput for
the MULTIPLE connections that desktop users tend to exploit.
Personally, I've not seen any need for *any* of the XP updates
that I've installed. My machines don't talk to the outside world
so the "security updates" tend to have no noticeable impact on
OTOH, I note at least two "bugs" remaining in the "OS" (silly
term because many of the "programs" aren't really part of the
"OS" per se!):
- hammering on SMB/CIFS shares tends to cause the bandwidth to
unexpectedly drop to some ridiculously low level; almost
approaching what you could do with a serial port!
- MOVE-ing a folder/file from an external (USB) drive seems
to leave a file handle open on that drive. Attempts to
eject it afterwards are met with "someone is using that drive"
There are also annoying inconsistencies throughout the UI that
the "OS" presents:
- sort order varies based on what is presenting the filelist
- file sizes are sometimes exact, sometimes KB/MB, sometimes
- file sizes are sometimes rounded up; other times truncated
or rounded down
- you can create a file in a place where it can not be accessed,
deleted, renamed, etc. (path length limitation)
- more that I can't recall...
They've already sent me the MD Repair (and *Restore* -- which is more valuable)
media. But, it doesn't address the "restore partition" (for Windows). In
fact, it doesn't even acknowledge that it exists in the way it partitions
Dell doesn't provide a means of restoring the "restore partition"
on their products. So, you have to cobble together the hooks for
the Utility/Diag partition, Media Direct partition, Windows partition
*and* the "non-restorable" restore partition in a way that allows all
4 features (normal boot, diagnostic boot, media direct boot and factory
restore boot) to operate from the same MBR/disk image.
On Monday, January 18, 2016 at 2:36:50 PM UTC-5, Don Y wrote:
Don't you have a set of restore DVDs? With my 5 year old HP, it has
a restore image on the drive, but it also prompts you to create from
that a set of DVDs that have the restore partition too. Took about
15 mins and 3 DVDs. If you don't have something besides the restore
partition, you're just open to being hosed, eg HD fails.
Yes, amazing how judgemental some fools can be. The HOMELESS TEEN
that the machine is destined for probably wouldn't care if it was
*20* years old!
Perhaps the upthread *sshole would care to donate a BRAND SPANKING
NEW MACHINE (with all the software LICENSED and PREINSTALLED)?
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