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vista support ended / ending? best choice for desktop os (small form factor pc)

#1
hi i am currently a vista user but am looking to move to another OS due to support ending from MS and developers (chrome etc) so my question is 3 part,
1. can i feasible stay on vista if so for how long ?
2. if best to change from vista do i move to seven for desktop experience even though support for that will end soon
3. if none of the above what is most suitable OS for my small ff pc win 8.1 or win 10? (acer revo 3600 Intel Atom N230 - 1.6 GHz Processor 4gb ram nvidia ion graphics currently installed a 320gb mech drive but have ssd spare.)


thanks for reading
 

richc46

Staff member
Vista Guru
Gold Member
#2
Yes you can stay on Vista. Your major problem, in my opinion, is that without support and updates, you will be a prime target for hacking etc. You will probably be prone to virus and malware. You passwords etc may be endangered.

I would move to 10. I would join our 10 Forum, for support and help.
https://www.tenforums.com.
I would not get involved in an Operating System that already is receiving only security updates.

I am using 10 and it is not a power hog and, in my opinion it is an awesome operating system. I personally, like it better than Seven. I never used 8.
 
#3
hi rich

thanks for support,
yes this is why i thought best to move i did try to search a upgrade advisor to see if my machine hardware was compatible but couldnt find one for win 10.
thanks again
 

Ex_Brit

Older but no wiser
Vista Guru
Gold Member
#4
There's no clear path for upgrading Vista to 10 (or 8.1 for that matter) so it's not surprising you couldn't find one.
What I did was upgrade to Windows 7 SP1 which is good until 2020. That is in turn upgradable to 10.
 

ilikefree

Vista Guru
Gold Member
#5
When you think about all the people still using XP without any problems I doubt you will be at risk of attack if you continue to use Vista.
Problems you are likely to face will be more about new programs not supporting Vista with drivers etc.
If you have all the programs you will ever use, don't worry.
Of course you could always switch to Linux Mint Cinnamon which is very much like Vista
 
#6
The question of whether and for how long a Vista system can safely remain online is certainly uppermost on my mind these days, and will no doubt be a major topic of discussion here long after those hard-to-get security patches finally come to an end after April 11. As ilikefree points out, the millions of people who are still running XP have thus far fared surprisingly well, perhaps largely due to continued support from antivirus software and browsers. Most antivirus software still supports Vista, with a number of exceptions (https://www.vistax64.com/system-sec...-longer-supported-some-security-software.html). In my opinion, the greatest threat we face is that major browsers are ending support for XP and Vista simultaneously. We've all heard about Chrome, and now Firefox is planning to move XP and Vista users to an ESR that may no longer be supported after September 2017 (https://www.vistax64.com/vista-news/304812-update-firefox-support-windows-xp-vista.html), and of course our obsolescent Internet Explorer 9 will be unsupported after April 11. Certain minor browsers and/or software such as Sandboxie might be our last resort.

I have to agree with rich46 that it's a little late in the game to jump on the Windows 7 bandwagon. On the other hand, it is extremely similar to Vista; and it has a huge user base, so software makers will continue to support it long after Microsoft abandons it, just as they did with XP. (Windows 8.1 on the other hand may suffer a fate similar to Vista.) As Ex_Brit points out, "there's no clear path for upgrading Vista to 10." Even if you successfully upgrade to 7, the free Windows 10 upgrade offer expired on July 29 - and I didn't fail to notice that a large majority of Win7 users rejected that, which has got to tell you something. If the past is any guide, another version of Windows will appear in 2018. Mainstream support for Win10 is scheduled to end in October 2020 despite last summer's Anniversary Update, which evidently did not count as a service pack or "8.1" for lifecycle purposes. Personally, I'm in no mood to reward Microsoft by buying Win10, and not intending to buy another PC until Windows 11. If I should conclude that Vista is too insecure for online purposes, I might take it offline and rely on mobile devices or perhaps buy a Chromebook for surfing the internet. Then again, our old hardware could fail at most any time...
 
#7
I'll be of a different opinion, and this won't win well over those who wish to stick staunchly with Microsoft's support policies. To continue though, I am dealing here with x64 Vista only, not x86 (or 32-bit). Is that a problem?

I cannot in good conscience recommend Windows 10. A great deal of customization is out the window, and besides, every time an update comes, it resets a good deal of them. Also Microsoft is slowly moving everything to its Modern UI, and while I applaud them for their efforts to get in to the mobile stream of things, it's really too late for them. It's a Google/Apple world when it comes to phones and tablets.

You actually could stay with Vista. Chances are once April 2017 hits, you'll be able to download updates for Server 2008 (the initial release) from the Microsoft Update Catalog and install those updates. They WILL install. Over at MSFN Forums, a few of us have done this successfully for a year with Windows 8 (which I'll get to in a moment). So until January 2020, you could patch Vista with codebase-identical updates from Server 2008. Your only issue will be can you run whatever applications you need to use? Support for many browsers is disappearing. But there are still a couple options.

The next best thing would be to move to Windows 8, and by that I don't mean Windows 8.1. I mean the out of support Windows 8. I use the x64 build as my daily driver. I have been installing security and flash updates from Windows Server 2012 (initial release) since February, and it's gone without a hitch. In fact the update filenames shows as Windows8-RT-KBxxxx. There's a whole thread on this at MSFN. One really good thing is that you escape all of the telemetry updates that Windows 7 and 8.1 users have to content with. The bad thing is, no start menu - HOWEVER !!!!!! - just install Classic Shell and you're golden. Plus it can be upgraded over Vista. And it is a touch faster than Vista.

Remember though, these options don't exist for x86 (32-bit users). Only x64. Just my more than two cents.
:)
 
#8
Hello Jody Thornton! I just came across an old post of yours at the Pale Moon forum minutes before I saw your post here. (I still haven't actually tried Pale Moon, but it is perhaps the most promising browser option for Vista now.) I'm somewhat curious why 32-bit users like OP billybellfoot and I can't follow your renegade suggestions, but be that as it may...

Getting back to the original poster's specific questions:

what is most suitable OS for my small ff pc...(acer revo 3600 Intel Atom N230 - 1.6 GHz Processor...)
Probably none of us have that hardware, but I did some googling. The most suitable OS for your system would no doubt be the OS it originally shipped with, namely Windows XP. FWIW I came across one specific post at Windows Central from someone claiming to have tried both Win7 and Win10 on an r3600 who concluded that performance was better with 7. If you are really running Vista on that system, then performance with Win7 probably would not be any worse than what you are experiencing now; perhaps even a bit better.
 
#9
Renegade suggestions ...lol. That's cute. Good to speak with you Vistaar.

The reason x86 users are out of luck would be that (unless I'm mistaken) Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2012 are only released as x64 platforms. So there are no sources for 32 bit updates using either option. It is unfortunate.
:(
 
#10
The reason x86 users are out of luck would be that (unless I'm mistaken) Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2012 are only released as x64
You may be right about Server 2012, but there appear to be x86 versions of Server 2008 patches, e.g. Microsoft Update Catalog - not that I actually relish the prospect of manually installing a lot of stinkin' patches that might very well break something. In fact, Microsoft has already turned up the difficulty level on their Windows Update game for those running Vista to such an extent that I don't think I will bother installing the final four months of genuine Vista patches.
 

townsbg

~~тσωηsвg~~
Vista Guru
Gold Member
#11
I agree with Vistaar on your processor - it is a very weak one and would perform best on XP which requires considerably less resources than Vista. 7 might give you slightly better performance but your processor isn't good for anything more than web browsing. I dislike 8 due to the UI but some people get around that. Also I don't trust M$'s newest version of spyware and I'm not too confident they will change their data collection policies with any future versions. Personally I doubt that I will be using any version higher than 7 on my personal system. A legit copy of 7 will be hard to find now. If you are interested in that path you will have to buy from a private seller and hope that it isn't a pirated or over utilized copy. You can certainly stay on Vista but as mentioned hardware and software compatibility is already starting to drop. You will also have to be very careful on the internet with very few additional patches especially when browser support ends and you really should stop using it on the net when antivirus support ends. On the other hand it is more secure than XP. There is also the option of installing Linux if you are up to the change. Just some considerations.
 

ilikefree

Vista Guru
Gold Member
#12
I have had Windows update turned off for months and I use Pale Moon and have had no problems yet
I will switch to Linux when I feel my system is unsafe.
I have Mint on one bootable USB and Kali on another and use them both with my Vista based laptop.
I'm just getting to know the different systems and getting ready for the switch over.
 
#13
I'm on the same boat with ilikefree, I installed debian to my laptop a while back and am close to doing the same thing to my desktop.

I've heard many people facing multiple problems with computers that are upgraded to w8.1/10, if I were you I'd hop on to the ubuntu world, I'm sure your computer would like it too, considering the specs you gave.
 
#14
hi i am currently a vista user but am looking to move to another OS due to support ending from MS and developers (chrome etc) so my question is 3 part,
1. can i feasible stay on vista if so for how long ?
2. if best to change from vista do i move to seven for desktop experience even though support for that will end soon
3. if none of the above what is most suitable OS for my small ff pc win 8.1 or win 10? (acer revo 3600 Intel Atom N230 - 1.6 GHz Processor 4gb ram nvidia ion graphics currently installed a 320gb mech drive but have ssd spare.)

thanks for reading
I don't see any reason with current PC hardware, to upgrade only the OS.

Taking a look at min. system requirements, Vista min. requirements for CPU, and memory are less than 7, 8 and 10. More recent OS's such as 8 & 10 IMO are able to take advantage of more modern PC architectures. If your PC was originally designed for and under XP and Vista. I don't see any reason to upgrade only the OS.

If your PC was originally was bundled with Windows 7 I can see possibly upgrading only the OS to 8 or 10.

If you have a copy of 8 or 10 you could possibly perform a test run, installing 8 or 10 to determine differences in how the PC behaves and responds

The PC I'm running Vista on is approx. 10 years old purchase new back in 07. Before upgrading to Windows 8 or 10 I would first upgrade to a newer PC architecture. Which would mean for me a third PC. Currently I maintain two pcs and two laptops.

Minimum Windows Operating System Requirements

note: "minimum system requirements" doesn't mean the OS is going to run well when installed on a PC with minimum or close to minimum system requirements. It also doesn't address issues with various PC architectures, used with memory, cpu, hard drive, video, etc.

Windows XP (is another choice to switch to)


  • Pentium 233-megahertz (MHz) processor or faster (300 MHz is recommended)
  • At least 64 megabytes (MB) of RAM (128 MB is recommended)
  • At least 1.5 gigabytes (GB) of available space on the hard disk.

Windows Vista

800-megahertz (MHz) 32-bit (x86) processor or 800-MHz 64-bit (x64) processor.
512 megabytes (MB) of system memory. ...
DirectX 9-class graphics card.
32 MB of graphics memory.
20-gigabyte (GB) hard disk that has 15 GB of free hard disk space.


Windows 7

1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor*
1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver.

Windows 8.1

Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster.
RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver.

Windows 10

Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster.
RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
Free hard disk space: 16 GB.
Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver.
 
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Ex_Brit

Older but no wiser
Vista Guru
Gold Member
#15
The MS Upgrade Readiness Tools may be of help. If you are going to 7 SP1, it's good until 2020, 8.1 is the only "8" that's current now but 10 is far better and IMHO less burdensome on resources.
 

townsbg

~~тσωηsвg~~
Vista Guru
Gold Member
#16
I don't put any stock in Windows system requirements, especially the minimum which in my opinion account only for running the OS with as much turned off as possible and doesn't consider other installed programs many of which have their own processes running all the time. 7's "requirements" are a little more accurate than Vista's but some find that it runs a slightly smaller foot print than Vista. For any version it is best to go by recommended requirements as the minimum specs for your computer with better specs if possible. This is especially true of ram and I wouldn't go without a minimum of 2 gb as the amount of ram impacts everything. I find that looking at specs is more accurate when looking at the applications used instead of the Windows version. The OP easily has sufficient ram unless they plan on running large apps, do video editing, are heavy gamers, or use virtual machines. As I mentioned the CPU is the system's weak point. A 1.6 ghz single core processor is only good for what I like to refer to as light computing - web browsing, music, viewing small videos or dvd's, light games, office, etc. It is a cheap processor designed for an economic computer and is best for XP (or lower) or linux and not for Vista and higher. Expect slowness no matter which version of Windows you use if you upgrade or even stay on Vista and try not to do too many tasks at once. If the OP is fine with current performance it should matter very little if he wants to put 7 on it. I can't speak for 8 or 10 though.
 
#17
What townsbg stated is true and to the point.

Running Vista x64 on a PC with an Intel Core(TM) 2 CPU 6400 2.13 Ghaz 800 HHz with 4 gigs main memory. Vista runs ok but sometime becomes dead slow while running some applications and/or with multiple apps open.

What I do to step-up performance is to run a memory program such as e.g. Wise Memory Optimizer.

I'm not certain with this hardware if Vista x64 (vs x86) is a better choice as it requires more system resources.

Some PC I've upgraded by upgrading the CPU and sometimes have upgraded to a faster memory. Some PC motherboards are able to accept later and other versions of a CPU (and memory) which potentially will improve performance. You need to look at the motherboard's specs to determine which cpus it will accept.

I've sometimes have upgraded the motherboard rather than upgrading only the cpu.

Other specs to look at are the FSB (front side bus) and BSB (back side bus) (if used). "Front side" refers to the external interface from the processor to the rest of the computer system, as opposed to the back side, where the back-side-bus connects the cache (and potentially other CPUs). This spec your pretty much stuck with, however it's possible and potentially fairly inexpensive to upgrade to a later version of your motherboard with a faster FSB and BSB (if used). Or go to completely different motherboard if it will fit into your PC case. Some cases because of the shape and design of the motherboard it may difficult to switch over to different type or brand of mb.

I've also upgraded to better performance HDD hard drives. I've read some PC users have significantly improved a PC performance by replacing their main hard drive with a solid state drive. SDD's will speed up your computer, however there are advantages and disadvantages when comparing SSDs with HDDs.

SSD vs. HDD: What's the Difference? | PCMag.com

The video adapter is another piece of hardware to take a look at. Specification of video adapters vary quite a bit, better & faster adapter often will have a better cpu and more memory.

Many PCs including my Vista PC, the built-in motherboard video adapter has only min memory and cpu. I could improve performance by disabling the built-in video adapter and installing a better performing video adapter into a free PCI slot.
 

townsbg

~~тσωηsвg~~
Vista Guru
Gold Member
#18
I'm not so sure that this computer is even worthy of a hardware upgrade as newer hardware won't come with Vista drivers and might not come with 7. The same can be said for a new GPU. A ram upgrade might be do-able but for light uses the OP already has a sufficient amount and it appears that he is already at the motherboard's max capacity. I was unable to find out what the socket is but unless there is a dual core processor using the same socket a cpu upgrade would offer very little advantage. Looking at the system upgrading would likely be very difficult to due to the size and design. The good news is that the 3610 has a dual core processor so perhaps the cpu can be upgraded.