Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

If your Windows XP machine is running without problems, you can probably keep it for some time - just beware of notifications telling you to upgrade.

Hi Leo, I'm running my eight-year old Dell desktop; running Windows XP Home edition and I want to keep it. Over a year ago, my son increased the memory from 1 GB to 2. He said that's all I need. I'm 72, live alone, and don't do programming or anything fancy requiring lots of memory. Is there any way I can keep things just as they are? I don't have anyone here to help me. Also, when my husband was alive, he purchased and installed McAfee Security System and I've maintained that account with no problems at all.

This week, a friend sent me this from Microsoft download notifications: "Windows XP, SP3, and Office 2003 support ends April the 8th, 2014. Get the free Microsoft deployment tool kit and simplify migration." What does this mean? I've never once had to contact Microsoft for support. Do I have to change my life and my memory? I've heard that besides being costly, Windows 7 requires a lot of space. What do you recommend?

In this excerpt from Answercast #9, I look at a machine that is running just fine with Windows XP and stick to the old adage: if it ain't broke, don't fix it. However, this "Deployment" notification sounds phishy!

XP is still going strong

One of the philosophies that I try to apply when I can is, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

I think that you've got a lot of life still left in Windows XP Home. Certainly, easily for another couple of years (through 2014) and in all honesty, probably sometime beyond. I have an article on it, "How long can I keep running my copy of Windows?" I suggest you have a quick look at that. But in reality, I think that your machine, as long as things are working, should do you for some time.

Eventually, probably, yes, you'll want to end up getting a new machine and when that times comes, then it will be time to look for maybe switching to Windows 7 or whatever is current at that time. But for now, I think you're doing just fine. The fact that you've got McAfee running and that it's been working for you is great. If things are working for you, I don't see making unnecessary changes.

That notification sounds phishy

The Microsoft download notification item kind of scares me in that it feels like a scam, like a phishing attempt. Microsoft deployment tool kit actually has nothing to do with home users. It's not something that is used to make upgrading or deploying beyond XP easier or anything like that.

Typically, Windows and Office aren't co-marketed in the same email. So, those are the kinds of things that make me wonder if the email that you were forwarded is in fact just a phishing attempt. I'm afraid it's trying to get you to download something that is malware.

Stay with Windows XP

So, keep going. You don't have to change your life.

Windows 7 doesn't necessarily require more space, but it probably does require slightly more powerful hardware than (what looks to be) your eight-year old Dell computer.

So, I would look into staying with Windows XP for as long as you can. I don't see any reason not to.

Next - Can an email be picked up from a non-existing email address?

Article C5203 - April 13, 2012 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

Jabba the Cat
April 17, 2012 9:39 AM

I suspect Win XP may be given a further lease of support life as many people refuse to fix something that is not broken...

April 17, 2012 12:17 PM

No, it will not be extended. Windows XP ( while it worked great ) is old, old technology. The end of support notice is for 'Extended Support', not normal consumer support... that is already gone. There is no need to upgrade for this person. And the email is somewhat correct. Those are the products that are ending Extended Support on that date, but there is no reason for a home user to know anything about MDT.

April 17, 2012 12:45 PM

Leo, I've been looking into ReactOS. It's still in Beta and is supposed to be a substitute for XP.
Could you investigate this and let us know you thoughts.

Mark J
April 17, 2012 12:55 PM

Here's what the ReactOS website says about their OS. "Please bear in mind that ReactOS 0.3.14 is still in alpha stage, meaning it is not feature-complete and is not recommended for everyday use." So it is too soon to say much about it yet. But, who knows, it might have some potential.

Ilona Stewart
April 17, 2012 10:56 PM

Hi Leo,
I have 3 laptops, one each with XP, Vista, and 7. You gave that older woman excellent advice, advice that I use myself now. The XP machine is still a very usable machine with its single core processor, one just has to know its limitations.

I go back 28 years in computers, and I can't see anything great about Windows 7, and I don't like all the updates; such a waste of time.

September 23, 2012 12:32 AM

My XP Home computer stopped doing auto-updates and recently started freezing up - no BSOD or anything - just red outlines around mouse pointer and other video abnormalities. I have a P5N-MX motherboard that supports 64bit. In this case, should I upgrade my XP to something else, and if so, what? I also just installed a new 3TB internal SATA drive so it's convenient to just load the new operating system onto the new drive. Networking with 3 different operating systems is also a pain. My other 2 systems are Vista 64 and Windows 7

January 14, 2013 6:10 AM

dear, sir/madam,

I currently using window xp home edition,It is very satisfied for me,in this market only one os system is stable that is a window xp which can do easy work,when shut down,fast,when restart fast,but otherwise other window like 7,vista,8 all is waste time,hope don't stop the window xp,as usual open the window update because the stable is amazing,those create the window xp i am hundred percent slut....

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