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Author Topic: Can't deal with XP and old computers any more. Help!  (Read 8562 times)

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Re: Can't deal with XP and old computers any more. Help!
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2013, 09:48:42 PM »
We have an industrial PC here with parallel port running Win7 Embedded 32 bit and so far it's working well.  It still needs more testing before it hits the shop floor, but it looks good.

We have a local shop that refurbishes Dell PC's.  I can get a 2.8MHZ tower with a fresh install of XP Pro for $80.  There may be something similar in your area.  Something like that will run Mach3 just fine.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2013, 09:53:20 PM by rrc1962 »

Offline jevs

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Re: Can't deal with XP and old computers any more. Help!
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2013, 09:53:15 PM »
How much are those?
What is the advantage of having it embedded over just using a solid state drive so you can change it later if needed?

I can basically replace all the guts of this case for $500 or less and have a pretty fast computer with SSD etc. Most of the ones people sell for CNC seem to cost a couple thousand plus??

Will Mach 4 Hobby have these same OS constraints? Hate to gimp the computer if it won't be an issue in the future. I have not bought the full version of Mach 3 yet, because I have not been able to cut a part yet to need more lines of code. By then maybe Mach 4 will be out?
Re: Can't deal with XP and old computers any more. Help!
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2013, 10:03:50 PM »
Embedded is just a stripped down version of Win7 designed to be used in machinery applications.  It has all of the core functionality without any of the garbage that comes on the typical store bought PC.  It's usually faster because there is not as much going on.  You won't find a desktop PC in an industrial CNC application.  That's where the small industrial PC's come into play.  If you open up a ProMotion or Burny controller, you'll find a small brick PC inside, probably running Win7. 

Prices on industrial PC's can range from $400 to just over $1000.  Depends on what you want with it.  The cheap ones work fine.  Tons of ram and huge hard drives are not necessary.  We've been running them for years with XP.  Just now started experimenting with Win7.  I really don't see any difference between XP and Win7 as far as Mach is concerned.  The main reason for going to Win7 is so we can offer the "latest" OS.  I don't think we're going to mess with Win8. 

Offline jevs

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Re: Can't deal with XP and old computers any more. Help!
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2013, 10:14:16 PM »
Makes sense, but sounds like it is getting a little too proprietary for me. I like to be able to upgrade, swap parts, upgrade or change OS, etc. without buying from one source.

It also sounds like these may not be available now? I want to get this going ASAP. I sold my little mill, so if I need to mill something, this is all I have. I want to start building my router and possibly a 3D printer soon, and need to get past this and learn how to use it properly.

Based on what I have read so far, I think my cheapest course of action is to just find a Win 7 32 bit disc as cheep as I can. Install it and see if I can get a bootable computer. If so then run it a bit and see if it has issues still. If not, then I am done. If it still acts up I can at least do some diagnostics to narrow it down. If it will not load even with Win 7, then at least I have a new OS for when I change components in the PC. Since nothing is going to work above 32 bit, I guess that is all I can do since Win 8 seems to not be an option (or at least no one has said they have tried it).

So, tomorrow my mission will be to find Win 7 32 Bit as cheep as possible and go from there.

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Re: Can't deal with XP and old computers any more. Help!
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2013, 11:00:13 PM »
Looking around and is even more discouraging. I am going to spend more getting this computer to run than just buying a new computer :(

I can find a new computer for under $300 (non-proprietary) with Windows 7, but they all have the 64 bit version :( I guess I could ask them for one with 32 bit on it.

Will the 32 bit even work right on a 64 bit machine?
Re: Can't deal with XP and old computers any more. Help!
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2013, 11:08:26 PM »
You can run a 32 OS bit on a 64 bit CPU.
Re: Can't deal with XP and old computers any more. Help!
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2013, 11:08:50 PM »
You might want to try wiping the old hard drive and then installing. I am a Systems Administrator and also have a degree in Computer Forensics. Computer Forensics relies heavily on file structures and how the operating systems works with files. I have had a few instances of re-installing Windows XP over a copy that had issues and at times have ran into problems. After wiping the hard drive using DBAN (Dariks Boot and Nuke) or Active Killdisk, XP installed perfectly. My 'educated' guess tells me that when re-installing an OS, some of the old files are re-used and not write new ones over them. Wiping a drive will write all 0's to the drive, basically resetting it to unused condition.

Can't say for sure that it will fix your problem but worth a try. FWIW - XP is arguably the most reliable operating system Microsoft has produced. Windows 7 has been very good also.

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Re: Can't deal with XP and old computers any more. Help!
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2013, 11:15:55 PM »
Hmm, I deleted the partition more than once and even selected the slow formatting version when creating the new partition (not the quick format one). How could it not have wiped it enough that it would still be using old files? I am doubting all that extra work will do anything for me.....you still think so based on this?
Re: Can't deal with XP and old computers any more. Help!
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2013, 11:52:27 PM »
Formatting and deleting partitions is not the same as wiping a drive. Re-formatting a drive does not delete the old files, only the pointers that show where the files are. Think of it as a book. The Master File Table is the index of the book. When you delete a file it only erases the 'index' entry and lists it as being available to write to, but the page of the book is still there and still has all of the data. This is where computer forensics comes in :o. Formatting a drive only re-writes the Master File Table and readies it for use.

Wiping a hard drive has fixed installation issues about 3 or 4 times now for me. The two software solutions I mentioned (Active Killdisk and DBAN) are both free downloads. You will have to burn them to a CD and boot to the CD and follow the prompts. I have only used DBAN a few times but have used Active Killdisk probably over 100 times. When conducting a forensic examination we must forensically wipe our destination drive prior to loading our evidentiary image to it. Formatting doesn't cut it.

Headed to bed now but let me know if you have any questions and I will try to answer them in the morning.
Re: Can't deal with XP and old computers any more. Help!
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2013, 12:56:24 AM »
Makes sense, but sounds like it is getting a little too proprietary for me. I like to be able to upgrade, swap parts, upgrade or change OS, etc. without buying from one source.



If you like to tinker with the guts of the PC, the industrial route isn't for you.  They are small and designed to be embedded inside a machine controller.  Most of the cheaper ones run the Atom processor and are a fanless design.  The fanless design means that there are no cooling fans circulating shop dust through the PC.

You probably won't find 32 bit off the shelf.  When we order the industrial PC's we can choose between XP, Win7 or Win8...32 or 64 bit.