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Author Topic: Can't deal with XP and old computers any more. Help!  (Read 8691 times)

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Offline jevs

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Can't deal with XP and old computers any more. Help!
« on: January 27, 2013, 08:08:56 PM »
So, I lost interest in my CNC conversion awhile back because the computer kept crashing and when I finally got it working decent, it went to do an update and it killed it.

This computer has never been stable it seem like. Now I am tired of messing with it and want to just build a new computer, or update every part of this one. The problem is being stuck with Windows XP Home.

I don't want to try and piece together an old junker appropriate for XP and I also do not want to load a crappy 32 bit version of XP on a newer fast computer.

So, what do I do? I spent my whole day trying to get XP loaded on this computer from 2004 and had no luck, just one crash or error, or blue screen after another. I am not going to waste more time on it because even if I get it running, it will end up crashing again anyway.  

I do have a couple brand new versions of Windows 8 sitting here that I could use on a new computer, but I am guessing that will leave me worse off than trying to get Mach3 to run on Windows 7 (which I have no unused copies of).

I basically want to upgrade this old computer with a new MB, CPU, Memory, Power Supply, and possibly a solid state drive. I just want a reliable and stable computer so I can actually get to using this CNC I have had for about a decade now instead of being aggravated by old junk computers.

I am using a Machmotion I/O board with two parallel ports from the computer connected to it at the moment. My understanding is that the only way I can keep this setup is to use a 32 bit version of Windows 7 (silly slower version that I would never put on a computer I built today).

The other option seems to be a motion controller of some sort and then connect that to my Machmotion I/O board??
And then can I use a proper 64 bit Windows 7 or Windows 8??

Need some advice here. I hate to have to add another board to my system, but I am also not going to deal with old junk computers any more. Looking for advice.

By the way my maching is a Pratt and Whitney Tapemate C that I gutted and redid all the electronics including motors. I am using Teco drives and motors from Machmotion.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2013, 08:23:25 PM by jevs »
Re: Can't deal with XP and old computers any more. Help!
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2013, 08:22:37 PM »
The speed of a 32 bit and 64 bit system depends on what you're running on it.  We have CAD/CAM software on both and when it comes to high end 3D modeling and rendering, 64 bit is a little faster.  For things that are not so processor intensive, there is hardly a difference, if any at all.  I doubt you'd see any difference in Mach3 between the two.  All it's doing is pulsing the PP and it doesn't need a super computer to do that.  We have Mach3 running on an old 800MHZ PC with 1G ram and on a newer 2.8GHZ with 8G ram.  Other than the newer PC possibly being a little faster oping files, there is no difference as far as Mach3 is concerned.

Google industrial PC's.  You can buy a brick PC with Win7 32 bit installed for around $400.
Re: Can't deal with XP and old computers any more. Help!
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2013, 08:23:57 PM »
The speed of a 32 bit and 64 bit system depends on what you're running on it.  We have CAD/CAM software on both and when it comes to high end 3D modeling and rendering, 64 bit is a little faster.  For things that are not so processor intensive, there is hardly a difference, if any at all.  I doubt you'd see any difference in Mach3 between the two.  All it's doing is pulsing the PP and it doesn't need a super computer to do that.  We have Mach3 running on an old 800MHZ PC with 1G ram and on a newer 2.8GHZ with 8G ram.  Other than the newer PC possibly being a little faster oping files, there is no difference as far as Mach3 is concerned.

Google industrial PC's.  You can buy a brick PC with Win7 32 bit installed that would fit right inside your control cabinet for around $400.

Offline jevs

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Re: Can't deal with XP and old computers any more. Help!
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2013, 08:28:58 PM »
I know Mach 3 wont run any faster and I know an old junker will run it, but I am tired of dealing with problems of old hardware, no longer supported drivers, etc.

I hate to pay $100 for a 32 bit version of Windows 7 too :(

I want to use the case I have, as it is already integrated into the machine.

So is the consensus that the best thing to do if you want to use a new or newer computer is to use Windows 7 32 bit? Or is it worth it to just get a motion controller that should work with anything and no longer be constrained by having to use old operating systems?

My understanding is that a motion controller would be better and more stable than the computer directly running things anyway?

I also would like the benefit of faster boot ups and faster operation of other things (besides the actual running of Mach3).
« Last Edit: January 27, 2013, 08:31:28 PM by jevs »
Re: Can't deal with XP and old computers any more. Help!
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2013, 08:44:25 PM »

So is the consensus that the best thing to do if you want to use a new or newer computer is to use Windows 7 32 bit?


If you want to keep using the PP, that's your only option.


My understanding is that a motion controller would be better and more stable than the computer directly running things anyway?
 

That depends on the motion controller.  We're experimenting with the Ethernet smoothstepper now, but didn't have much luck with the USB version.  Just keep in mind that when you use an external motion controller, it's software handles most of the things that Mach3 does for you now...and not everything Mach3 does may be supported by the external motion controller.


I also would like the benefit of faster boot ups and faster operation of other things (besides the actual running of Mach3).

Of the 6 PC's we have running here on a daily basis, the one that boots the fastest (under 30 seconds) is the 2.8GHZ machine running Mach3 in the shop.  Part of that could be the disk image we burn on the machine PC's.  It's a stripped down, lean and mean version of XP.  All that's there is what it needs to run Windows and Mach3.

every machine we have that runs Win7, which is most of them, take 5 minutes or longer to boot.  The exception is an industrial PC that we put Win7 (32) Embedded on.  It is lighting fast.

Offline jevs

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Re: Can't deal with XP and old computers any more. Help!
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2013, 09:07:09 PM »
Will Windows 7 32 Bit run as good or better than XP? Or, is there still a good reason to stick with XP?

There is a chance just switching to Win 7 with no hardware upgrades might work on my computer.  It will have newer drivers and stuff on the disc to recognize my hardware so maybe workarounds to get it to load the first time would not be necessary. The computer is not that bad. It is one of the faster P4's, 1 Gig RAM, AGP 256MB Geforce Video Card, 400Gig HD, Wireless network card, and of course the extra Parallel ports card.

Maybe I should just pay up and get the Win 7 32 bit and try to load it? If it loads at least then I can run some diagnostics to test the memory, hard drive, etc. and pin point a problem (if there still is one). Right now I cannot even get Win XP to fully load. It seams like it is giving a BSOD when it starts loading the drivers for stuff. Maybe Win 7 would load everything and at least get it bootable.

I like Windows 7 much better than XP. Some of the little things like the snipping tool come in so handy. Windows 8 does nothing for me (always just use the regular desktop screen), but it does run faster and boot faster.

I just hesitate on the 32 bit version, because that is all you get. If this limitation ever goes away, then you will be buying a new OS to get 64 bit.

As far as boot time Windows 8 kills everything :) especially on SSD drive. It's fast! In reality as far as bloat crap, Win 8 is the best. It's just that all that new "metro" screen crap stinks and just makes you click more stuff to do anything.  Slide to bottom right, click settings, click power, click shut down...just to power off = annoying.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2013, 09:12:03 PM by jevs »

Offline BR549

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Re: Can't deal with XP and old computers any more. Help!
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2013, 09:14:09 PM »
XP is the prefered OS for Mach3.  You can still buy a new computer and load your version of XP on it. Then you have new hardware.

OR go to Tormach and buy a brand new computer with an embedded version of XP already installed.

Just a thought, (;-) TP

Offline jevs

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Re: Can't deal with XP and old computers any more. Help!
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2013, 09:17:43 PM »
I have two Windows 8 Pro upgrades sitting here still in the shrink wrap. The good thing about these is they come with a 32 bit and a 64 bit system on separate discs.

The only problem is, I may have to have a working OS already on the computer to install it and XP will not install. The sucky thing is, this all happened when a Windows update was being done.

Anyone tried this on Windows 8 Pro 32 bit?

Offline BR549

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Re: Can't deal with XP and old computers any more. Help!
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2013, 09:31:34 PM »
SO you are tired of all the problems with the old stuff BUT want to jump right into the fire with a version not proven to run mach3 correctly???

Have you tried reloading the XP you have as a clean install Reformatting  the drive??

Just a thought, (;-) TP

Offline jevs

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Re: Can't deal with XP and old computers any more. Help!
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2013, 09:37:56 PM »
SO you are tired of all the problems with the old stuff BUT want to jump right into the fire with a version not proven to run mach3 correctly???

Have you tried reloading the XP you have as a clean install Reformatting  the drive??

Just a thought, (;-) TP

No, hence the part where I am asking questions first ;) Ultimately I just want to stop wasting my valuable time and get the machine to cut something. Right now it is dead in the water because of the PC. Windows XP will not load period. I am going to have to update something and with that comes questions of updating the OS. I would never use XP on any computer again, except Mach 3 is a problem...

I deleted the partition and reformatted a new one. Win XP will not load. I can get it past the input of the CD key and the time/date/time zone stuff, and after that I get a BSOD. I had a lot of errors to battle just getting it that far, but had no success with the BSOD every time I try. The only thing I can try next is taking out hardware until I find a way that it lets it load without a BSOD or other error. Or, I can try a different OS....

Right now I think some piece of hardware is not liking drivers or something as it is installing. But this is just an educated guess based on where it is stopping during the install.

This is Windows XP Home Premium. Unfortunately, this is all I have available except Windows 8. So I will have to buy something to try anything else.

So if I have to buy a new OS I guess Win 7 32 bit is the way to go? I was only asking about Win 8 because I have it now at $0 dollars to spend and it has 32 bit.....not saying It is a good idea, just asking...
« Last Edit: January 27, 2013, 09:47:06 PM by jevs »