Some Clarity On This Upgrade?

by Liz
(Redcliffe Qld Australia)

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I have Windows XP and have no idea if I have upgraded to Service Pack 2 or 3. What put me off the idea of upgrading is that you have to backup everything. That is such a big job!

I lost everything on a laptop a few years back, and in particular all my photos. That was the result of doing some sort of upgrade, and I ended up having to put my computer in to the computer technician and have all my software installed from scratch. So many documents and all my old emails were all just gone!!!

I am now wary of doing anything like this. I feel I will probably buy a new computer before 2014 if it's that bad rather than run the risk of losing everything again when I do an upgrade!

I do appreciate the information though. Thanks!

My Reply


Hello Liz. Many Thanks for your contribution.

Losing data is always a painful experience and it does put you off attempting further upgrades.

However there are some things you can do to ensure you do not lose any data in future. Most importantly, follow the golden rule of computing: Backup, Backup, Backup!

I appreciate it is a big job having to go through all of your data: locating where your files are, which files you need to keep, which ones you don't, etc.

The key to making this easier is to manage things as you go along each day. Accept one day your files will need to be moved onto a new computer, for example, and put the necessary steps in place.

Some ideas include:

* Create a folder (directory) structure in Windows Explorer that makes sense to you. Split directories into sections such as Images, Videos, Word Documents/Spread Sheet Documents, etc.

* Make your data file names something meaningful. For example the title of the Word Document or what the picture is showing, including the date (e.g. 'Alps Skiing Holiday - Me On Slope - March 2010.jpg').

* Purge or delete any data files you do not need to keep. You could also create an Archive Folder with sub-folders for each year, and move all of your files you need to keep into those folders.

Then copy your Archive Folder to an alternative location.

Outside of these suggestions, ensure your data is retained by:

* Pulling together a list of data you wish to retain e.g. Photographs, E-Mails, Word Processed documents etc., and copy them to a secure location, such as a CD, DVD or External Hard drive.

* Alternatively, sign up for something online such as Google Docs or Sky Drive from Microsoft.

Here you can upload all of your data and access it from anywhere. The space (or Capacity) you are provided with is very generous and should be enough for most home computer users.

I sometimes use these facilities to temporarily store data files I need to keep when re-building clients computers and I or they do not have an alternative local storage solution to hand.

Once you have your data backed up, follow the steps in the Preparing to upgrade to SP3 section of the Download Windows XP SP2 page and have confidence that your upgrade will work this time.

Note this page also shows you how to identify which Windows XP Service Pack you are running.

New computers in 2015 will have Microsoft Windows 10 installed. Take a look at the Windows 8 Review page for a taster of some of the things you will find in this new version of Windows (Win 8.1 and Win 10 are similar in look and feel).

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