Tech Tips Home
The Best Tech Tips And Daily Deals
Newsletter On The Internet!

WorldStart Tech Tip And Store Search
Email: Password: Login Remember Me

Like what you see here? Subscribe to the Tech Tips newsletter!   Email: Subscribe

End Of XP: Don’t Be Flip About It

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 by | Filed Under: File & Disk Management

Patricia writes:

I am disappointed that you at WorldStart seem to have a flip, cavalier attitude about the genuine hardship being posed for some people by the end of support for Windows XP.
“Well, maybe it’s time to replace that old computer.”  “If you still can’t get your (whatever) to work with Windows 8.1, maybe you should retire it.”
OK, fine.  So, what are people supposed to use for time and money?

Changing computers is a nightmare for me.  I have years of critical records on my XP computer.  They came from my DOS computer to my Windows 3.1 computer to my Windows 95 computer to my current XP computer.  Every move is more difficult than the one before.  It is many hours of work to move all the data, and to reinstall the successive generations of software, or find work-arounds, to access the data.  The costs are not only the hardware, and usually at least some new software, but also the hundreds of dollars in bench time at my local guru to rebuild everything.

So, you ask, “Why don’t you do the change yourself?  That would be free.”  Not exactly.  I am probably capable of learning to do it, but I provide care and care management for a severely disabled relative who can never be left alone.  My partner volunteers a few hours a week, and there is a part-time nursing attendant.  But I am responsible for 18-21 hours a day of care.  My whole “other life” has to fit into the time that’s left.  So, is it better to pay the local guru for the work, or pay overtime for the nursing attendant so I can sit home (messing) around with a computer?  You tell me.
I know, there’s supposed to be software out there that will move everything.  It gets some rave reviews.  It also gets some disaster reviews.The end of support for XP is not just an inconvenience for some people.  For some, it will require substantial expenditures of time, energy and money, all of which may be in short supply.

Patricia, we have certainly never intended to be flip or cavalier about the end of XP.  We fully recognize that switching operating systems can be time consuming and expensive. Although I do think that as the deadline to the end of XP support approaches, we are being pretty blunt about things.

There’s nothing we can do about Microsoft’s decision to end security and but patches for Windows XP on April 8 except warn XP users of what’s coming and honestly tell them about their options if they want to stay safe. I have tried to explain some of Microsoft’s reasoning behind ending support, and that has ticked off several people. But whether it’s because they are greedy or XP has outlived its usefulness doesn’t really matter. Support is ending and users will have to make some changes to compute safely.

And if we seem to be getting blunter about the situation as the deadline nears, it’s because I’m a little alarmed that a lot of people just don’t seem to be taking it seriously.  I know that those important records that you’ve taken great care to preserve all these years matter to you, and I don’t want to see anything happen to them because of a virus. All I can ask is that no one shoot the messenger.

 Let’s go over options for the end of XP support:

1. Stick with XP and take the computer off-line –  Free and easy, but could be inconvenient. But if you have a tablet or a phone that can access the Internet, a good option. But don’t go online with that computer, ever.

2. Upgrade current computer to Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8 – It’s going to cost you a few hundred dollars, but if your system can handle the later version, it could still save you some money over purchasing a new system. But it will be a clean install over XP, so you will need to back up any files or programs you wish to save.

3. Switch to a free operating system such as Linux Ubuntu and use a Windows Emulator such as Wine to run programs – inexpensive, but could be labor intensive.

4. Add Linux to your XP machine and run a dual boot. Disable XP for online and only go online with Linux – Free, but there is work involved in setting up Linux.

5. Purchase a new computer – which is expensive. But you could also opt for a refurbished computer for much less. There’s the cost of the new device, plus the time and effort of transferring your data.

6. Switch to a tablet or Chromebook – this is not a good option if you have certain computer programs you must run. But if you use your computer primarily for Internet and e-mail, it’s a viable option.

7. Do nothing and hope for the best. – I absolutely do not suggest this. As I’ve said before, it’s like leaving your house unlocked and hoping no one breaks in.

Good luck to everyone who still needs to transition from XP by the deadline. If you have any questions be sure to ask us here.

~ Cynthia

Tags: , , , , ,

44 Responses to “End Of XP: Don’t Be Flip About It”

  1. pulikkal basheer says:

    When Microsoft stops supporting XP, does that mean that they will no longer activate
    fresh installation of XP? Until now, whenever I have noticed that my XP computer has been infected by a rootkit or such other stuff, I used to reformat and reinstall the
    XP. Microsoft would then reactivate my copy of XP since it is not OEM version.
    Will this support stop as well?

  2. Kim says:

    Thanks for all the help you provide. I am sorry to see you take so much grief trying to help others. A saying that rings true for me is “No good deed goes unpunished”. Hang in there and keep doing what you do!


    • marie says:

      I bought chromebook, which didn’t work for me…then purchase used computer with Windows 8 and Office suite (just over $200). Surprised the public’s contract with MS doesn’t include protection against the company’s decisions to end support for a product they promoted and sold. Where are all the lawyers when you need ’em? Last, Understand Bill Gates IS back at MS in some sort of advisory (Chairman?) position, as market dropping (too bad, weep, weep).

  3. John Lapitsky says:


    Whoa! No sense taking your frustrations out on the people at WorldStart. I don not run XP, but have read every article and tip given by the people at WorldStart and not one time did I feel they were being flip OR cavalier. Not once, ever. You want to vent send a letter to Bill Gates.

  4. Glory says:

    I cannot Dl the Mozilla and Goggle chrome , I get error XP Com. I have purchased the System Mechanic, and hoping it will fixed the registry on my Pc. I have a 2 yr old Computer. Is there anything else, I could do, to fixe it ? Please help … Tyvm

  5. Brad says:

    This is response to Patricia…
    I’m using all caps below because I’m shouting this.


    Some people need to hear the tawdry details about XP’s support ending for it to sink in.
    I love my XP but I too realize that it’s time to bite the bullet and move on.
    Happy about it? NO, but that’s life.

  6. Jackie Smith says:

    I have XP, but I use Firefox, not IE. Do I still need to get a new computer or a new system?

  7. Jim says:

    A timely post. I have converted my old XP over to linux and will be OK with it. But my wife tried using it, and I think she won’t be able to handle it if I convert her xp over. I didn’t know you could have a dual boot with only XP disabled for internet access. That would be the ideal solution for her. I’ve googled the question, but no luck yet. How do you disable only the XP internet access after you install the dual boot? Thanks. Jim

    • Patricia says:

      Yeah but …

      So far as I understand it, which isn’t much, you can only be in one operating system at a time. You have to reboot to change back and forth. It’s like having 2 distinct computers on the same machine. So there’s a “pain in the butt” factor to it, and a lot of stuff that can no longer be done. For examples: You cannot be online with the bank and have your accounting software open at the same time (say, you are looking for the mistake in your check register) because the processes will likely be in different systems. You cannot import from the Internet into Word docs, or test links. You cannot directly import or attach XP items (such as photos) into e-mails. Yada yada yada, I thought about this option, but decided, at least in my real world, it wouldn’t be very practical.

      • audra says:


        You are correct. This solution does, basically, involve working with two different PCs and rebooting every time you want to go to XP or go online. However, for people who have software and files they need to keep that only work on XP, but do not need to have any online access to, it is a viable solution. Is it the most practical for everyone? Probably not. But will it work and benefit some users? I hope so.

        • Patricia says:

          I’m sure it will benefit some (or many) users. I guess I’m really just reiterating that there are no quick, easy and convenient solutions. People will have to assess what they need, or want, to do with their computers, what their tolerance is for aggravation, and what their time and money budgets will allow.

  8. Patricia says:

    I will put this in all caps because I am shouting:


    But I am disappointed in what seems to be the attitude of some WorldStart writers. They don’t seem at all to to recognize that the end of XP isn’t just an inconvenience to some people. For some people, or even many people, real difficulties and genuine hardships are involved. Life is not always as simple as, “Throw it away if it’s old,” or “Throw it away if it doesn’t work.” This is not an adventure to anyone who isn’t a geek.

    If I were a teenager, with nothing to manage but my social media, my selfies and my play lists, this change would be a nothing. But I’m not a teenager, and I haven’t been one any time in the last 50 years.

    I have been planning for this. I am a bit behind schedule in getting off XP, but I should be all right. I despise Win8 in all its manifestations, but I already bought a couple of full box retails of Win7 Pro, along with full box retails of Office and some other software. These do not have OEM licensing, so they and my other efforts can follow me for some years, from computer to computer if necessary. According to MS, my current XP machine should be able to run Win7, but it’s old, so I don’t think it’s a wise investment to upgrade it. My guy’s machine is newer and can be upgraded. I’m already discussing and negotiating with my local guru to build me a hot new box, for my software and data migrations, and for my partner’s upgrade, which I don’t have time to do. Fortunately, my guru is an absolute wizard. I am keeping the peripherals, all of which are compatible, and I am keeping my hard drive in case anything is overlooked in the process. But all this comes at rather a steep price and considerable sacrifice. My “do without it” list is long.

    On the bright side, I doubt I will ever have to go through this again because, at my age, I will probably die before the next go-round.

  9. Barbara Pickett says:

    Patricia, I feel for you! I’ll bet though that you could find the help and explanations you need through a local college, trade school, library, or even your church affiliation, for not much money or hassle…you just need to get the word out that you need help. If I could I’d do it for free, but alas you’re there and I’m here! ;>) Good luck and God bless.

    • Dark Sonja says:

      That’s a nice thought but it sure isn’t practical. The librarians look at you like you’re speaking Martian, there is no local college or trade school out in the country, no one does anything for cheap if they even know how to. I am the one my friends and family always came to for help and now I can’t help them cause I can’t get Windows 8.1 to work decently and haven’t gotten my stuff onto it either.

      • cynthia says:

        If you have any questions about 8.1, be sure to ask us. We have lots of articles on the topic and we have our own guide to 8.1 available in the store.

  10. Terri Bradley says:

    I too have been happy with XP & am devastated I will no longer be able to use it safely on line. My son came yesterday & I thought he was going to put Win 7 on for me. However when I got home he had put Linux Mint on a dual boot. He said it will give me time to trial it & see how I get on with it. This is my first day & I am not sure but it does seem quite user friendly. Some of my programs had to stay on XP as they could not work on Linux. Time will tell. However my fear of not being able to learn a new system is slowly fading as it appears to be pretty obvious. Still trying to find things though. My son does not live with me so I cannot get his help immediately. He did find ways around putting some programs on that did not appear to be compatable, so there is hope. So don’t be afraid of trying it. I am 72 & am trying it.

    • Patricia says:

      Plunge onward!

      We are about the same age. I bought my first computer in, I think, 1982. It had an operating system and features that practically no one even remembers these days. We wrote most of our own programs because there were practically none for sale. I have been through generations of computers and software. I could entertain you for hours with war stories that would leave you LOL. Fear isn’t my problem. Time and cash flow in the Obamaconomy are my problems.

  11. dave says:

    I understand Patricia frustrations completely. I have two PCs that will not run W7/64 and so am looking for a MOBO/CPU/ram bundle that will do so but it must have 2 PCI slots because I have 2 very good soundcards to fit (one of the computers is for “serious” music work which why I do not want W8!)
    Unfortunately my wife became very ill last Sept and I had to give up my pt time job and am now £700 worse off so that MOBO bundle needs to come in at under £100 since I still have 2 W7 OS’s to buy.

    My plan is to defeat internet on the XP machine but leave it on the copper network as sort of “server”. Not sure HOW yet!

    Another problem I have is with certain music softwares that require an online activation. The companies tend to think you are ripping them off and getting activation on a new OS can be a protracted PITA.

    This is ALL about Msoft being greedy. They could easily keep XP support going for another 5 years (say) by which time most folks would find that a lot of new hard and software will not run on it. If Ms said “we will pull the plug when XP drops to 5% of market THAT would be fair. No, GREEDY BASTARDS.

    Lastly: Surely it cannot be beyond the wit of man to design some software that would protect my Xp machine on the net if I run it out of a W7 machine? I.e. on a crossoever RJ45.


  12. dave says:

    That’s 700 a month BTW!

  13. susan flaherty says:

    I am already a subscriber & paid for premium newsletters. the article u wrote about W-XP was very good. My question is I got my XP hooked up to my printer, will it be OK to just print some thing off when I used my MS word 10

  14. Kathleen Degelmann says:

    Hi, I too am very upset with Microsoft and am grateful to WS for all the info and tips. My solution, though expensive, was to dump MS and buy APPLE! Our son has had it for years & loves it. They provide the new operating systems when needed. Their support is terrific! I used to spend half my computer time learning and fixing and patching my old computer. Finally, my XP was fairly stable & they quite supporting it! Nuts to that. If I was going to have to buy and learn a new system, it sure as heck was not going to be MS! I paid the extra $ and Apple transferred everything to my new computer, and showed me how to use it. I am in my late 60’s and I don’t plan on having to do this ever again! Now, 7 months later, I’m still VERY happy with my decision.

  15. […] due to the weakened security of the XP system, now that Microsoft has ended support. Here are some suggestions for options to switch.If/When you do decide to switch, we also have some articles about transferring your data. This […]

  16. David says:

    Until you can switch to W7 ……
    1. Use Google Chrome as your browser, that is, avoid IE
    2. Consider using Sandboxie and WOT
    3. Use an encryption program for sensitive data (or remove sensitive data)
    4. Use a hard drive cloning program, a second hard drive,then disconnect it.
    5. Don’t click on or open email attachments unless you’re sure they’re OK

  17. Just finally switched from XP to new computer. says:

    I can totally relate to how this lady felt. What I found to be an inexpensive fix for the problem was about $80 – it’s called a external harddrive – about the size of a deck of cards and is 1 TB. I put EVERYTHING of my old computer onto it – EVERYTHING. . . I was fortunate enough to find someone to build me a computer for around $700 – but a less expensive one with a USB port and she has all her information at her finger tips – it will never be lost and the information can be added to. I have used all of the operating systems of Microsoft and going from XP to Win7 was the best and easiest for me. The most like XP… just suggestions for her. I know how she felt – I only moved what was needed off the Toshiba external HD to the new computer – but it made it so-o-o easy.

  18. Just finally switched from XP to new computer. says:

    OH and before I forget… what I used on the internet with XP until I got the new computer…. I ran Google Chrome with the adblockers,(this cut down majorly on what I picked up from the internet) CCleaner, Malwarebytes and Spybot daily. I could no longer find a virus program that worked with XP.

  19. Robert M. says:

    I bought the new HP Laptop with 8.1. I can’t hardy use it. I taught myself XP & after 10 yrs. I know it great. But I can understand the menus perfectly. It has been a month of transferring files, pics, music, & programs to 8.1 & I still can’t do any of it without the help of the support people that came with it. I still can’t right click & send a picture to another file OR CDR. BUT the most ridiculous is going in & turning on my old XP just to get my EMAIL & finish sales on EBAY. MY ONLY GRIPE IS make a NEW XP !! I don’t want my computer like my smart phone. I don’t want to touch the screen so I can read it. I don’t like the fingerprints on the screen. Just give me simple munus that make sense & I can use my common sense to figure out myself without a GEEK SQUAD.

  20. Earl Melton says:

    One word for Patricia:


Leave a Reply

Like these tips? Get them for FREE in your email!

WorldStart's Tech Tips Newsletter

  • Tech Tips Daily - Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

  • Tech Tips Weekly - If you don't want our Tech Tips newsletter every day, then sign up for this weekly newsletter to get the best information of the week. Sent on Fridays.

Other Newsletters

  • WorldStart's Daily Deals - Every week, we send out great deals in our Daily Deals newsletter. Many of these deals are exclusively for our Daily Deals newsletter subscribers and can't be found with our regular specials.

  • Just For Grins - Each issue includes a couple clean jokes, some funny quotes, and a hilarious reader's story. Newsletter is sent five days a week.

Enter Email Address:


Your e-mail address is safe with us!
We only use it to send you the newsletters you request. It is NEVER disclosed to a third party for any reason, ever! Plus, if you decided you don't like our newsletters (don't worry, you'll love them), unsubscribing is fast and easy.

Free Newsletter Signup

Tech Tips Daily

Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

Tech Tips Weekly

The week's best in tech and computer help. Get your issue sent to your email every Friday!

WorldStart's Daily Deals

The very best deals on the Internet! Get a new set of incredible sales every day of the week!

Just For Grins

Clean jokes, funny quotes, and hilarious comics. Sent 5 times a week straight to your email.


Love Worldstart? Refer A Friend!

WorldStart's Premium Membership

Tip Archive