Configuration options available updating os windows xp
However, this concluding part should be of even wider interest than the first, since eventually most PC musicians have to install a Windows OS from scratch, whether on a brand-new DIY computer, an old one that's beginning to sag under the strain of many software installs and uninstalls and hardware changes, after a particularly bad crash, or when a new operating system such as Windows Vista is released.
The first time you do this it can be a daunting experience, although Microsoft do make the actual installation relatively painless.
A few motherboards offer BIOS backup or recovery options, but many don't, so there's nearly always a risk during this process (which can last several nail-biting minutes), unless you have an Uninterruptable Power Supply.
The most sensible approach is therefore only to update if there are features in a newer BIOS that will specifically benefit your system, such as bug fixes or extra configuration options that you consider useful.
Retail copies of Windows cost significantly more than OEM or upgrade copies, but you can install them an unlimited number of times on different PCs, as long as previous installations are first removed.
In other words, if you're building a new PC, you can legally use your existing Retail Windows disk on the new PC, as long as you're scrapping the old PC or recycling it with Windows deleted.
Previously, you could only officially buy it alongside a hardware item such as a hard drive or CPU heatsink, but since August 2005 any 'system builder' has been qualified to buy the OEM version, even a hobbyist, without having to buy any other hardware.
However, many people seem unaware of the main reason for OEM's lower price: its license is tied to the system on which it is first installed, so if you buy an OEM version of Windows, once it's been installed on a PC you can legally reinstall it on that same PC as many times as you like, but you can't transfer it to another PC.
However, six further revisions had been released since that date, containing a host of fixes, updates, and improvements, culminating with version 1577 of November 16th 2006, so after I'd built my new PC (see last month's issue for details), I carefully performed a BIOS update to take advantage of all of these, which also gave me a completely new Hardware Monitoring page in the BIOS, displaying voltages and temperatures.
Some people seem to regard PCs using the Windows operating system as incapable of running for any more than a year without requiring a complete reformat and re-installation of both Windows and all software applications, to rejuvenate them.
This may certainly be the case for those who pay little attention to what they download and install via the Internet and from freebie cover-mount CDs, and who don't bother about security issues relating to firewalls, viruses and spyware.
Another reason for this longevity was the fact that I used a disk-imaging utility, so if I experienced any problems I could restore a previously backed-up version.
For the most stable installation, I would never advise an 'over the top upgrade' install of a new and different version of Windows over an older one (Vista over XP, or XP over 98SE for instance), because you're always starting at a disadvantage, with all those stray files and unwanted Registry entries that inevitably creep into any long-term Windows installation.