WinXP Pro as OS for HTPC ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 02-10-2012, 12:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Been following this forum for a while and, like many before me, I'd like to put together a modest/inexpensive HTPC. (Initially, my principal interest will be audio rather than video.)

In the short term, I'd like to repurpose my current WinXP Pro but, the Pro version of WinXP does not include Windows Media Center. - Would I still be able to use something like Windows 7 Vista XP Media Center MCE PC Remote Control and Infrared Receiver to remote control the music functions of Windows Media Player or 3rd party media players?

Will WinXP Pro allow me to use a SSD SATA III as the boot drive?

Anything else I should know about trying to use Windows WinXP Pro (No Media Center) for the OS of a modest music oriented HTPC?

Thanks!
Dave
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post #2 of 17 Old 02-10-2012, 05:19 AM
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as far as i know yes, but SSD wouldn't be very good in an XP environmental

http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/fo...o-SSD-friendly

it looks like with enough tweaking you can limit the random writes to the ssd, but 7 is much better at handling an SSD, plus if you are just using it for a music oriented one, why not a new distro of linux? if you can't/don't want to buy win7, then a new verison of unbuntu or Mint are very easy to run and setup and usually all remotes work fine with linux as well...

just a though

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post #3 of 17 Old 02-10-2012, 07:06 AM
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Personally, I think you'd be much better off with Windows 7. And it will run on most anything. I repurposed an old Pentium D Dell Optiplex that had run XP Pro all of the first 6 years of its existance by adding a $30 video card and installing W7 Home Prem and it runs better than it ever did before.

And if you install the SSD at the same time as you do the new install of W7, Windows will set up and configure the SSD properly for you.
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post #4 of 17 Old 02-10-2012, 07:10 AM
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If price is a factor, you could also use one of the variations of linux. If you're unsure, you could always try a linux install, Mint for example, inside a virtual environment for free and give the OS a test run. This will let you run XBMC or other options for streaming on your existing hardware.
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post #5 of 17 Old 02-10-2012, 07:23 AM
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for a couple months, I use Win XP WMC on my Mac Mini (late 2009) and found it very frustrating. Did it work, yes. But there was quite a few driver issues, a lot quirks with programs.

Windows 7 is light years beyond XP in the HTPC space.

As for the remote, you should be able to get it to work with your PC. I just can't say if it will work with the programs you're intending. I'm assuming they'll need to be programmed for remote use for the remote to function.
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post #6 of 17 Old 02-10-2012, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the good info. - So, I'm good-to-go; no problem, huh.

Yeah, it does sound like maybe more tweaking, workarounds and time than I'd hoped for. I thought I might get up and running quickly now and then maybe upgrade to Win8 when it gets released. I'll try to get more informed about the various Linux options but, I do want to include a Windows OS because I may want to use it as a normal pc (office apps, some older programs etc.) too. So, maybe Win7.

As for price being a factor, it's really more a matter of first thinking I'm not paying a lot for this muf HTPC, then thinking a bigger one of those might be better; so would more of that; and, maybe that instead of. Next thing you know I'm thinking well, I could save a $100 by using my WinXP Pro. - Not exactly the first time that has ever happened!

Thanks again,
Dave
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post #7 of 17 Old 02-11-2012, 08:03 AM
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If you go with XP Pro, use EventGhost to control the remote. I still use XP Pro on a couple of HTPCs but that's mainly because the software I use works well with it and the remote is designed for it. You could use XBMC or Media Portal for your front end.
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post #8 of 17 Old 02-12-2012, 12:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lsilvest View Post

If you go with XP Pro, use EventGhost to control the remote. I still use XP Pro on a couple of HTPCs but that's mainly because the software I use works well with it and the remote is designed for it. You could use XBMC or Media Portal for your front end.

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I'll read up on those programs before deciding. I had thought Media Portal required WMC, but I now realize I was mixing it up with Mediabrowser. - Thanks.
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post #9 of 17 Old 02-12-2012, 05:06 AM
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I tried to keep an XP HTPC going as long as I could but finally just had to give up. Vsync in Silverlight has never worked in XP and was broken in Flash somewhere around version 10.1 (and I assume still is) so expect tearing in streaming video. Also I'm not sure if there is much of an option for DVRing in XP, GBPVR stopped pulling in scheduling data for me and I could never fix it and never found a program to replace it.
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post #10 of 17 Old 02-12-2012, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelWill View Post

I tried to keep an XP HTPC going as long as I could but finally just had to give up. Vsync in Silverlight has never worked in XP and was broken in Flash somewhere around version 10.1 (and I assume still is) so expect tearing in streaming video. Also I'm not sure if there is much of an option for DVRing in XP, GBPVR stopped pulling in scheduling data for me and I could never fix it and never found a program to replace it.

I stream from Hulu and some network sites with no problem. I'm still using BeyondTV which still has the guide data and as long as they support it no reason to change to WMC, even if I go to Win 7.
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post #11 of 17 Old 02-12-2012, 07:53 AM
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Personally I would run as fast as I could to purchase or install Windows 7.

I might break my legs running so fast if I had to...

-

"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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post #12 of 17 Old 02-12-2012, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lsilvest View Post

I stream from Hulu and some network sites with no problem. I'm still using BeyondTV which still has the guide data and as long as they support it no reason to change to WMC, even if I go to Win 7.

I hope Flash has been fixed. I still have the XP pc and have a use for it if it has. And thanks for bringing BeyondTV to my attention, we all might need it from what I'm reading about Win8.
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post #13 of 17 Old 02-12-2012, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars99 View Post

If price is a factor, you could also use one of the variations of linux. If you're unsure, you could always try a linux install, Mint for example, inside a virtual environment for free and give the OS a test run. This will let you run XBMC or other options for streaming on your existing hardware.

Seems to me the the biggest problem with linux right now is the lack of DVR software, everything else seems pretty do-able.
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post #14 of 17 Old 02-12-2012, 10:22 PM - Thread Starter
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After reading Mfusick's opinion, I decided that I better go out and do some shopping. However, I'm now more confused than before. Turns out these cost more than Win7 oem!

Thanks to everyone for the good info!
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post #15 of 17 Old 02-13-2012, 12:39 AM
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if you have to purchase to Windows 7, I would go with something with retail upgrade with three licenses pack. If you have three machines you can put it, that comes out to $40, since you can pick it around $120; the single license version is about $100.

The upgrade kit can work with a clean install. There is a registry hack to let you enter your key after the installation (how to linky). I assume it still works; I haven't done it in about a year, but have done it about five times. MS told me this method when I called when I couldn't activate. No longer are the days of putting in the previous version disc for verification.
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post #16 of 17 Old 02-13-2012, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovekeiiy View Post

if you have to purchase to Windows 7, I would go with something with retail upgrade with three licenses pack. If you have three machines you can put it, that comes out to $40, since you can pick it around $120; the single license version is about $100.

The upgrade kit can work with a clean install. There is a registry hack to let you enter your key after the installation (how to linky). I assume it still works; I haven't done it in about a year, but have done it about five times. MS told me this method when I called when I couldn't activate. No longer are the days of putting in the previous version disc for verification.

If upgrading from XP the OS has to be installed. To prevent hassles in case of install problems, it's best to make an image of your OS using Acronis True Image or Norton Ghost so you can restore the XP install in just a few minutes. I've used the family pack upgrade with no problem. The nice thing about it is it includes both 32 and 64 bit options which some OEM or Retail versions don't.
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post #17 of 17 Old 02-13-2012, 09:01 PM
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actually, with the hack, or a call to MS, you do not need XP installed first. I installed Win 7 64bit on a late 2009 Mac Mini, and XP installs horribly on it. I personally, didn't want any XP legacy stuff on the machine. I also did not want to dual boot between OSX and Win. Thus, I've only done fresh and clean installs of Win 7 on the machine.

I didn't realize that MS had changed the way the upgrade versions worked. Back in the day, if you got the upgrade version, it would ask to see your previous windows installation disc. If it passed, it would continue to install the OS. If not, you couldn't move forward. Needless to say, it was a bit of surprise the first time with Win7.

It was just a suggestion, especially if he had more than one computer that he might want to upgrade to Win 7. $40 is a lot better than $100. I'm just not the biggest fan of OEM discs other than the ones I get with a new computer; even than I tend to be lack luster.
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