Microsoft retires its 12-year-old Windows XP operating system this
. Even so, we see there are still millions of XP computers out there. Here’s how to upgrade windows XP to Windows 8, if you own one.
Microsoft Corp. has issued its final update to fix known security flaws with XP. After that, XP machines will still work, and you can install past security updates. But you won’t get new ones to address any new security flaws. Your machine might face greater security risks. Because hackers know Microsoft will no longer issue updates, they have extra incentive to look for security flaws.
Here is a summary of the system requirements:
- Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
- RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
- Free hard drive space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
- Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
Back up your data:
Since you won’t be able to keep any files, settings, or programs when you upgrade from Windows Vista or Windows XP, we recommend you back up all files and locate any program installation discs (or purchase confirmation emails) prior to updating.
You can transfer files before you upgrade by copying them to an external hard drive, USB flash drive, or CD, and then moving them to the location you want on your new PC. Be sure that the drive or disc has enough space to hold everything you want to move. If don’t want to use an external hard drive, USB drive, or CD, you can move your files to OneDrive to have all your files in one place and have the latest version on your PCs. For more info, see Getting started with OneDrive.
How can I upgrade my computer?
Check here to see whether your computer is running Windows XP: http://amirunningxp.com
– If it is, run the tool here to see whether your computer is powerful enough to upgrade: http://bit.ly/KkZERx
– If you can upgrade, you can buy a DVD version of the latest Windows 8 version for $120: http://bit.ly/1mQBzCe
– You’ll need to back up your files and have discs for old programs handy, as an upgrade requires wiping out your hard drive. Microsoft has a step-by-step tutorial: http://bit.ly/1mYSYEj
– Keep in mind that it’s likely better to use that $120 toward a new computer. You’ll be getting something more powerful.
What if I keep using my XP computer, despite the risks?
– Be sure to run all the previously released updates, plus the last one out on Tuesday.
– If you don’t need the Internet connection, unplug it. That will minimize the risk. Be careful about attaching USB storage drives, as that might introduce malicious software.
– If you need the Internet, refrain from using email, Facebook and other communications channels through which malicious software might travel.
– It’s also a good idea to lock down your computer by using a profile that lacks administrative rights and to remove
older software you no longer need.
Where can I get more information?
What end of support means: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/end-support-help
Upgrade information: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/upgrade-to-windows-8 .