If you’ve been tuned in to the other posts in this series, you know that Windows XP, like it or not, is done. And, you know you have options. So what’s your next step? Change your operating system, of course!
If you’re thinking, that is way easier said than done, you’re absolutely right. Many people simply choose to hand their computers over to the pros when it is time to upgrade their existing version of Windows, let alone change to a completely new operating system. But if you’d like to have a go yourself—or, if you are just curious to know the process—keep reading this post.
Important Note: This is a general information post. It is not intended as a how-to manual for changing to a new operating system. Should you choose to change operating systems, follow the steps in the manufacturer’s instructions. However, read this post before you start the process.
A Beginner’s Checklist for Changing Operating Systems
So let’s start at the absolute beginning. Before you change operating systems, you should know these four basic elements:
Let’s break this down further:
This raises an interesting point. If you have a 1 GHz Intel Atom processor and 1 GB of RAM, with about 90 GB available on your hard drive (as does my netbook), does this mean you’re good to go with installing Windows 8.1? In theory, yes, but practically, no. These are the minimum specs that Windows 8.1 needs to run. Once you add on your Internet security suite of choice, your music player, your video player, and your productivity software, you’ll be looking at—and waiting for—a very slow machine. Just like in your financial budget, it’s best not to start with maxed-out specs for your computer. If this is your only option, try to run programs singly, and pay attention to how much memory background programs, like anti-malware suites, are using.
Did you note the phrase later use? That’s right. Do all this before you leap from one OS to another. Changing operating systems can be stressful, but you’ll be better able to cope if you know from the start that your computer, devices, and new operating system can all work together.