REVIVING THE XP MACHINE


REVIVING THE XP MACHINE

 

I am writing this entry on my second laptop. Its predecessor was a Lenovo too, purchased in the autumn of 2005. It was a rip-off then, costing roughly 10,000 yuan. The technology evolved so fast that after a couple of years the machine slowed down to such a pace that it inched ahead like a snail.

xp desktop 

Despite its speed, it was this XP machine that witnessed my gradual mastery of the technology. I learned the basics such as copying, cutting and pasting on it. I also learned on this machine how to build a project completely from scratch. It helped me realise that digital media, be they text, images or vids, all come down to ones and zeros. When I look back to all those errors and mistakes I made on this machine over the years, I keep smiling because I am all the wiser to their credit.

 

Then in 2013, eight years after I got the first Lenovo, the second laptop came into my possession. It is a ThinkPad, but the brand is no longer owned by its original American corporation IBM. ThinkPad now comes into the Lenovo family. The new laptop runs on Windows 8. Now completely at ease with the OS, I enjoy the machine.

 

After I started to use the ThinkPad, my former Lenovo was largely idle there. Its Windows XP system still ran, but as time went by, various problems popped up.

 

The first problem was with its Internet connection. For some unknown reason the connection became unstable and sporadic. Because I did not use it to surf the net, I left it as it was. The only application it was put to was testing some ancient software on it.

 

Some weeks ago I decided to learn to install the Windows operating system vie a USB. After some false starts, I made it. Now my first XP machine is running, slow but steady. I will note down the process of the revival in this entry.

 

1 Prepare the USB

With the help from a Chinese website http://www.ushendu.com/ I made a USB disk for installing OS.

 

2 Get the Win XP SP3 ISO

Years ago I downloaded and archived an original disk image of Win XP SP3 the English version. I attempted several times to install the English language OS on my machine but in vain. This time the ISO was just there available when my attempt resumed.

 

system properties3 Go to BIOS and set the machine to start from a USB or the hard disk

When the machine was starting, I pressed F2 (the key depending on the brand of the machine) and entered the BIOS interface. The machine was set to start from a USB. Strangely enough with some USB you would have to try the hard disk mode. Whatever, keep trying until it works.

 

4 Setup starts

When the setup was initiated, I could not supress the excitement within myself. When I was asked for a serial number, I searched for one on the Web and keyed it in. It worked!

 

5 Install the original drivers

These days most machines can update their drivers automatically. But when I got my machine in 2005, there was an accompanying CD which contained all the drivers for the machine. Luckily I made a copy of all the files and archived them lest the CD be lost. When the setup was done, I located the drivers on my digital archives and installed them all. When it was done, everything seemed to become normal, including the mouse, sound, images and video.

 

6 Sort out the connection problem

The Internet connection was still faulty, but luckily the wireless connection worked. So I turned on the ancient Wi-Fi and got the machine wired. Though the connection was not super-fast, it was stable.

 

programs7 Windows Update

I turned on Windows Update. Through Wi-Fi, over 200 updates were downloaded over several hours. When all the patches were done, the Internet connection came alive, fast and stable. The connection problem was gone. Thank Goodness.

 

8 Install two optimisers

After the connection came back to normal, I installed my favourite system optimisers: Advanced System Care and Advanced System Optimiser.

 

9 Update the drivers

Through ASO, all the ancient drivers (dating back to 2005 and earlier) were updated. The machine sped up.

 

10 Install Office, Bookshelf and MS Student 2009

Considering I might use the machine occasionally for work, I set up some ancient office programmes. They were compatible with each other, working perfectly on the XP system. The three programmes are MS Office XP, Bookshelf 2000, and MS Student 2009.

 

11 Install SUPERAntiSpyware

To guard against malware, I ran the SUPERAntiSpyware.

 

12 Install VLC Player, Everything and Sumatra PDF

VLC Player is for multimedia playback, Everything for hard disk search, and Sumatra PDF for viewing PDF files.

 

Looking down at the up-and-running XP machine on my desktop, I remind myself that nothing is impossible to a willing heart. Failure is not a shame. Each failure helps to pave the way to the ultimate success. Hooray.

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