Any XP Horror Stories?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Carlo Medina, Nov 26, 2001.

  1. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Hi All,

    I'm contemplating switching over from 2K to XP Pro at home. I game a bit, as well as work on the same machine, and the added game compatibility and the (reputed) similar stability of XP to 2K has me really wanting to pull the trigger.

    Just wanted to hear if there are any horror stories out there before I dive in. Here's my rig, if anyone knows of any incompatibilities with any of my parts, please, PLEASE chime in!

    Athlon 850 Tbird non-OC

    Abit KT7-RAID mobo

    512MB PC133 Crucial RAM

    Quantum Fireball Plus 40GB ATA100 HD

    MSI 64MB GeForce2 Pro video card

    Guillemot Muse sound card

    ACER 1640 DVD-ROM

    Plextor 12/10/32 CDRW

    Linksys 10/100 NIC card
     
  2. Kelley_B

    Kelley_B Cinematographer

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    I have a very similar rig to what you have and I had ZERO problems doing a fresh install of Windows XP.
     
  3. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Zero problems for me and that was upgrading from win2K. XP for me is by far the best OS I've used
     
  4. Samuel Des

    Samuel Des Supporting Actor

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    Carlo - Have you had any problems with the Abit mobo? I read the occasional horror story, and wanted to know before I build my PC. Do you plan to use its RAID capability?
     
  5. Alvin Lau

    Alvin Lau Agent

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    I have the Abit KT7A-RAID motherboard. It's an Athlon Tbird 1ghz system that I've been running for about six months now, with XP for the last couple of months.

    I had some stability issues in the beginning (Windows 2000) but after upgrading the bios and via drivers, the system has been rock solid. XP has been great too.
     
  6. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    When I first built the KT7-R system, it would hang up every few minutes. Turns out there was something off about the voltage regulators on the board. The 1.80 value was routinely around 1.87 and the 3.3V value was like 3.37V. Going into the bios and backing off the settings to yield real-world values of 1.80 and 3.30 fixed everything and it hasn't hung up since (October 2000).

    This problem has been relatively scarce (don't think it's an overall QC problem at ABIT, I just got a bum board that I jimmied to work) as far as I can tell from the Computer Forums that I browse.
     
  7. Mark Leiter

    Mark Leiter Second Unit

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    I have heard one thing that kinda left a bad taste in my mouth. I dont know the exact way this works, but it goes something like this....

    XP has a code written in it that reads the serial numbers of all your components. If you make more than 6 upgrades (i think) then XP will crash. You'll be forced to have windows reinitiallized by Microsoft.

    They put this is as an anti-bootlegging measure.

    Maybe someone out there will have a more precise description of what i'm talking about.
     
  8. Uchendu Nwachukwu

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    That feature is called Windows Product Activation.
    When you first install Windows XP, you will be given a 30 day period in which you may use it without activating it. After that 30 days are up, you will be unable to log in without activating first.
    Activating involves Windows reading various serial numbers from 10 pieces of your hardware, combining that information* with your Windows Product Key, and sending that to Microsoft. In that way, your Product Key (and thusly your copy of Windows XP) is tied to that particular machine. This process can be completed over the internet or through your modem, or if necessary you can make a voice call to Microsoft. The call will be free, and they will even accept international collect calls.
    If you change a certain number of components in your hardware within 120 days, you will be asked to call Microsoft to re-activate your copy of Windows.
    For desktops:
    6 changes with the same network card
    4 changes if the network card changes
    For laptops
    9 changes with the same network card
    7 changes if the network card changes
    If you change one component multiple times, it only counts as one change, so if you change... say... the Video Card 10 times, it's still only one change.
    *Before your hardware information is sent to Microsoft, it goes through a 'one-way hash'. This makes it so Microsoft has no idea what hardware you have, however the same hardware will always produce the same 'key'.
    Consider this example: Let's say your phone number was one of the items used (not that it is). let's say your phone number is 123-4567. Windows would remove every other digit, leaving 1357. That would be the number that gets sent to Microsoft. They don't know your number, but if your number changes, it will register a change (unless you get extremely lucky with the new number).
    So that's Windows Product Activation in a nutshell.
     
  9. Ryan Peter

    Ryan Peter Screenwriter

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    Doesn't the Corporate Edition of Windows XP bypass the activation?
     
  10. Uchendu Nwachukwu

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    Yes it does, but the only way to get that legally is to buy a minimum 5-pack Open License, which involves giving detailed information to Microsoft (such as your address, phone number, etc.)
    So if they see your product keys online or if they suspect, they can come after you. Plus it's really expensive.
     
  11. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Sorry, I should have mentioned. I work for a very large state-run organization and we have (and always had) a very large license agreement with Microsoft. We have the corporate edition and I do enough work at home to justify loading the OS at home (we have more than enough user licenses negotiated, think in the hundreds). So WPA won't be a problem for me.

    I was asking from an installation/user standpoint if anyone had horror stories, like drivers that refused to work (or didn't exist) or frequent crashes.

    Thanks
     
  12. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    To be honest Carlo, XP (for me anyway) has proved to be the easiest-to-install OS I've found so far - except for RedHat 7.2 which won the contest by correctly picking up my Mitsubishi 19" monitor in addition to everything else [​IMG]
    No lockups, no problems with hardware. However it's not as fast as Windows 2000 on my machine. The version of NTFS it uses is slightly different to the one with 2000. Different enough to make my copy of Ghost 2001 redundant (but that's another thread).
    I don't like the 'over friendliness' of it. Whereas Win2000 feels like a professional product, XP seems to want to hold you hand and kiss you on the ass. That's just a personal preference though.
    Unless you're going to use the new remote access options, I don't think it will give you much over 2000 and you may find that it runs a tad slower. You could always dual-boot and try for a while.
     
  13. Samuel Des

    Samuel Des Supporting Actor

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  14. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Samuel, I'll never know without RMA'ing it, and I'm not going to do that unless I have to. I know that backing off the bios values yielded real world numbers that were closer to the desired numbers, and increased stability. After months of being up and running I stopped questioning it.
    Rob, yeah I don't need to be hand held, I'll probably turn off a lot of the "extras". But to be honest, I've been working with the old GUI for almost a decade now and I am ready for a GUI overhaul (and I've liked what I've seen at the stores running XP).
    I'm a tweaker, but I'm not a bleeding edger, so if it runs like 5% slower, I'm not going to lose sleep on it. It just needs to run Madden, Baldur's Gate, and Comanche. [​IMG]
     
  15. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Cinematographer

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    I just upgraded to WinXP today, and the only problem I've had so far was with my DVD player (Software CineMaster v2). The player wont start. I tried using Windows Media Player's DVD player, but I found out the decoder I use isn't compatible with XP. So the only way to upgrade my decoder is to pay $29.95, which there's no way in hell I'm doing. I don't know what I'll do now, but I'll find a way to get my computer to play DVDs again.
     
  16. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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  17. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Cinematographer

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    Joseph, when I load the DVD Player application, the little window comes up saying "DVD Player is loading," but that's about it. Nothing loads at all.

    Another thing worth pointing out is that when I start my computer, a pop-up window comes up from XP's Help and Support telling me that my DVD decoder isn't compatiable with XP.
     
  18. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Okay, I'm going to do it tomorrow! I've burned everything I need to save onto a CD and will prepare to wipe my HD and install XP. Wish me luck!
     
  19. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Well, I dual booted (put W2K on one partition and XP on another). I'm using XP now and that's what my PC is default to load to, with 2K as choice #2.
    I must say that I do like the new GUI of XP very much. I'm what would be considered an advanced user, and yes XP does hand-hold you a lot. But the nitty gritty stuff is still there, you just need to find/enable the things you want. I love the new color scheme and the way fonts look so much better on my monitor. As an aspiring author, I look at the screen a lot while writing fiction, and this will definitely ease my eye strain. [​IMG]
    Tommorow comes the ultimate test: Madden 2002. [​IMG]
     
  20. KenA

    KenA Stunt Coordinator

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