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Which Windows for the bench?
Which Windows for the bench?
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Old 22nd June 2020, 12:31 AM   #1
ruairi is offline ruairi
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Default Which Windows for the bench?

Hi folks,

20 year Mac user here so a little short on PC knowledge. I've had a 2011 Mac Mini (High Sierra) boot camped with Win 7 32 for probably 6 years. It's been solid but the drive is dying and my kids are claiming the Mac Mini so I need to start over.

I'll do a Bootcamped Mac again, likely used with a clean install of Catalina. What Windows version should I get?

My use case is pretty narrow - Prism dScope, maybe an Audio Precision in the mid term (likely older), simulation software (LTspice etc), Kicad, some speaker simulation stuff. All day to day Audio work is done on my Macs.

Should I buy Win 10? If so which version would you suggest? Or just go with Win 7 32 that I already own?

Thanks!
Ruairi
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Old 22nd June 2020, 12:50 AM   #2
rayma is online now rayma  United States
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Start with what you already have. Maybe you can get the free upgrade.
Here's how you can still get a free Windows 10 upgrade | ZDNet

Last edited by rayma; 22nd June 2020 at 12:52 AM.
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Old 22nd June 2020, 12:52 AM   #3
PRR is online now PRR  United States
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Which Windows for the bench?
Something to worry about: will it be "on the internet"?

I have two special-duty machines on WinXP (2001-2008), and for its era WinXP did everything I could want; but I took them off-line (disabled all net hardware) several years back. One does document I/O via thumbdrive sneakernet; the other has exported 3 files in 5 years via thumb-USB.

On main machines I am clinging to Win7 until some massive worm wipes me out. My father and uncle "love" Win10, and I enjoy reading of their days-long struggles after any Windows Update. Printer quits, paid-for software ripped-out without notice, and worse.
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Old 22nd June 2020, 12:54 AM   #4
ruairi is offline ruairi
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Originally Posted by rayma View Post
Start with what you already have. Maybe you can get the free upgrade.
Here's how you can still get a free Windows 10 upgrade | ZDNet
I like any option that doesn't require spending money! But given that I'll likely not do this again for another 6 or 7 years I'm wondering if I should future proof myself somewhat and go Win 10 64.
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Old 22nd June 2020, 01:04 AM   #5
rayma is online now rayma  United States
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You could use them in virtual machines.
Best Free Virtual Machine Software in 2020
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Old 22nd June 2020, 01:59 AM   #6
Tubelab_com is offline Tubelab_com  United States
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As alluded to earlier download Win 10 directly from Microsoft's web site. Choose the Create Windows 10 Installation Media option to make a DVD or bootable flash drive. I have done it both ways. This will run a program on your PC to make this disk or flash drive. It works on a W7, W8.1 or W10 PC.

Download Windows 10

Use this newly created media to do a clean install on your new machine. Read each of the option choices carefully, because this may be your only chance to disable spyware and Cortana. The machine will work as is, but it will not be "authorized" and thus display a nag screen and some customization options will not work. After you are convinced that it works for you and you want to keep it, try to authorize it using the W7 key that you already have.

I have done 6 or 8 PC's where it worked fine, and two that did not. They were both off lease laptops probably attached to a corporate account that did not permit user upgrades. Win 8 keys are hit or miss. W 8.1 keys work, but Vista and XP keys are "invalid."
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Old 22nd June 2020, 02:26 AM   #7
givemeyoursoul is offline givemeyoursoul
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I'm a big fan of the W10 LTSB, but you can't buy it. I own other versions of W10, which is how I justify using it. LTSB is designed for cash registers, ATM, mission critical computers. It gets only security updates. No Cortana, no Edge, no Windows store. Oh and you can actually turn off the built in spyware "telemetry". You actually CANNOT turn off telemetry completely with any other version.
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Old 22nd June 2020, 04:46 AM   #8
ruairi is offline ruairi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRR View Post
Something to worry about: will it be "on the internet"?

I have two special-duty machines on WinXP (2001-2008), and for its era WinXP did everything I could want; but I took them off-line (disabled all net hardware) several years back. One does document I/O via thumbdrive sneakernet; the other has exported 3 files in 5 years via thumb-USB.

On main machines I am clinging to Win7 until some massive worm wipes me out. My father and uncle "love" Win10, and I enjoy reading of their days-long struggles after any Windows Update. Printer quits, paid-for software ripped-out without notice, and worse.
Over the last 6 years I'll only go online to install or update software, other than that it's offline and powered down when not in use.

Your family's struggles are what I was worries about, I've read the Win 10 horror stories too.
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Old 22nd June 2020, 04:57 AM   #9
ruairi is offline ruairi
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Originally Posted by rayma View Post
You could use them in virtual machines.
Best Free Virtual Machine Software in 2020
I'll look into this but I have a feeling it'll require more PC chops than I have!
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Old 22nd June 2020, 04:59 AM   #10
ruairi is offline ruairi
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Originally Posted by Tubelab_com View Post
As alluded to earlier download Win 10 directly from Microsoft's web site. Choose the Create Windows 10 Installation Media option to make a DVD or bootable flash drive. I have done it both ways. This will run a program on your PC to make this disk or flash drive. It works on a W7, W8.1 or W10 PC.
Thank you. Bootable Flash is the way to go for my install.
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