UPDATE 06/28/2020: Am reclaiming Media Library space by deleting old pics.

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How old is your WIN7 computer? Are you willing and able to open up your computer case, and work on the hardware inside? Those are a couple of questions to ask yourself as Windows 7 support ends on January 14, 2020. Upgrading from WIN7 to WIN10 on a 2016 build was no problem for me, because the hardware was still fairly new. On tests involving an old 2006 Asus MoBo with an AMD processor, the WIN10 was just too slow, after upgrading from WIN7 (note: this was originally a Windows Vista build, and WIN7 didn’t come out until 2009). Testing the upgrade from WIN7 to WIN10 on an old 2009 Dell with Intel MoBo and processor produced better results, i.e. WIN10 worked fine, but not as well as it did on the 2016 build. Such tests usually require using a different HDD or you backing up your entire WIN7 installation to an image before seeing how upgrading to WIN10 would work on your computer – if it doesn’t work you can do a full restore of your OS and settings back to what you had with that image. Do you know how to do a WIN7 full image backup? That’s another question you’ll need to answer.

If your computer was made before 2009 and/or you don’t want to mess with hardware and/or you don’t want to mess with trying to upgrade from WIN7 to WIN10, then it would probably be best to start shopping for a new computer … plenty of great bargains show up all the time, but you’ll have to search and be patience in order to find a great bargain. A bargain computer will come with Windows 10 OS. You can keep that old computer in case you ever want to learn how to work on a computer’s hardware and/or piddle with testing software…maybe even try upgrading it from WIN7 to Win10 whilst that upgrade is still free. You have already purchased a bargain WIN10 desktop computer, and put all your previously backed up DATA onto it, so you are now free to piddle with that old computer.

Now your old computer still has WIN7 on it, and you really like WIN7 … note, I loved Windows Vista, and had many Vista licenses – 1 Ultimate license and many Home Premium licenses. Bought a bargain Dell with WIN7 on it, but liked Vista better. As I upgraded other computers, I purchased a full WIN7 license because the Vista seemed slower with some of the hardware upgrades. Still liked Vista better, but was slowly moving to WIN7. Tried the WIN8 and WIN8.1 on one computer, but never liked them so stayed with WIN7. Even tried the Windows 10 upgrade when it came out, but hated it and went back to WIN7. Kept trying the WIN10 upgrades, then going back to WIN7, until I finally found a version I liked – version 1809, around the end of 2018. After that, I purchased a full Windows 10 license and installed it on my main computer. Built some new computers in 2019, all of them have Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro on them…I also test different Linux Distros on ‘Rose’, ‘Antec Sr.’ and ‘Apevia’ builds – tho they each have their legally Windows activated WIN10 Pro $11-14 OEM license on them.

Before Windows Vista had come out, I had always rushed out and purchased Microsoft’s newly released Windows OSes – sometimes a full license and sometimes just an upgraded license. However, after Vista, I have been slow to move to another newly released Windows OS. I understand loving WIN7. I understand hating WIN10 before you really try it. Windows 7 is now in Microsoft’s ‘History of OSes’ book…technology has moved a long way since 2009, and WIN7 can no longer keep up.

I recommend buying a nice bargain priced Windows 10 computer, or building one with an OEM Windows 10 Pro license from URcdkey…they show it at $16.20 today, but they might send you a code after you sign up that will lower it a few dollars. I’ve purchased 4-6 licenses from them, and all were easily activated after installation (I have some posts on how to install without internet first, and then hook up internet after installation and activate the OEM license with the Product Key they send you). There are other sites like URcdkey – I have one license from KINGUIN that cost me a little more, but activated easily. There is a new site I just found after reading Noobs Lab article – GoodOffer24 – but I have never tried them. Point is you can buy a legal Windows 10 OEM license for a lot less than most people know. Buy a new cheap HDD/SSD and use that old computer to learn about hardware, software upgrades, and/or to test Linux on.

Linux has come a long way since 1996, but there are many reasons why Linux desktop usage stays stuck around the 2% of market…below even the Chrome OS. No matter what they say, it is still a keyboard based OS, but there are many apps that are easily selected and graphically installed. If you need or use the basic Auto Scroll function of a mouse, Linux doesn’t have that. If you use a printer or scanner, it might not work with Linux. Wi-Fi? Many Distros have problems with Wi-Fi. A USB Docking Station – many Distros have no clue what it is. Gamer? Then you are already on WIN10, and know that Linux isn’t a gaming OS. Ryzen processor? Linux can have problems with AMD products, especially the newer Ryzens. AMD GPU? That may end up being throttled down or not working at all with Linux. Basically, Linux still has hardware recognition problems. I have found that Ubuntu 18.04.3 (not 19.10 or 19.04) is the most reliable Linux Distro, but may take a little longer to adjust to than some Ubuntu-based Distros like Zorin or Mint. I recommend Ubuntu 18.04.3, but have Zorin and Mint listed at #3 and #4 on my Top 10.

There are several Zorin 15.1 versions … one costs $39 – I downloaded the new Core version (free), i.e Zorin-OS-15.1-Core-64-bit-r2 iso and followed these Instructions. They suggest balenaEtcher to create the ‘Live’ USB (probably because the MacOS users demand it), but other USB creators work, especially Rufus. The main problem I have had with balenaEtcher, is that if you’re using it in a Windows OS, then you’re probably going to need Linux to recover the full USB back to a usable Fat32 – the format seems to limit what Windows is seeing, and I have never found a way to fully recover that USB for future use…other than putting Linux and GParted on the job. I’ve read that GParted works in Windows, but I don’t trust it there, even using the ‘Live’ GParted version. Microsoft might have some safe apps that can reformat a USB after using balenaEtcher on it, but it’s just easier for me to use a Linux computer on it.

DistroWatch on Zorin OS:

Zorin OS is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution designed especially for newcomers to Linux. It has a Windows-like graphical user interface and many programs similar to those found in Windows. Zorin OS also comes with an application that lets users run many Windows programs. The distribution’s ultimate goal is to provide a Linux alternative to Windows and let Windows users enjoy all the features of Linux without complications.

They do a pretty good job of it to. Zorin notes that it is also an “alternative” to the macOS, so this suggests that Zorin is a truly graphical focused OS…catering to both Windows and macOS users.

OK…have had recent problems with ‘Live’ USB Linux Distros on ‘Apevia’ the Ryzen™ 5 3400G with Radeon™ RX Vega 11 computer, so going with the ‘Antec Sr.’ for these ‘Live’ tests, and to also install Zorin onto a test 128GB SSD. The Ryzen™ computer seems to work great with an updated Linux Distro, so will do that test at the end.

First ‘Live’ test … Zorin 15.1 recognizes my Wi-Fi:

 

Only needed me punching in the security code (many Linux Distros have Wi-Fi problems; however, Ubuntu or Ubuntu-based ones don’t seem to have that problem). Everything seems good with the ‘Live’ test, so I went for the installation – basic install, so will skip most of the redundant steps…next, I want install updates and third-party software during installation:

 

The installer then checks to see if you want to “unmount the partition”:

 

Select yes, and then continue. Installation type is next:

 

Select erase and install Zorin. Next, make sure the correct disk is selected:

 

Yep…128GB SSD, then click Install Now. Name and password stuff:

 

This install took 9-10 minutes, and I rebooted…removed the ‘Live’ USB, and newly installed Zorin OS 15.1 booted into the desktop.

 

Info all looks good. Here’s the default wallpaper.

 

Here’s how to change the wallpaper:

 

The WIN7 wallpaper look:

 

Change to a dark theme:

 

Next test is to move the newly updated Zorin OS 15.1 (on a 128GB SSD) to the ‘Apevia’ Ryzen™ computer:

 

Linux doesn’t seem to have any problems with the Ryzen™ APU once the Distro gets a full update. OK, I think that does it for this post, and good luck to you Windows 7 users on whatever you decide!

Rule of Thumb – if you can’t install Ubuntu on it, then you can’t install any Linux Distro on it.