When Windows XP becomes obsolete on April 18, 2014, you may, as I’ve mentioned previously, have to upgrade your computer. However, if you’ve got a lot of older equipment attached to your PC, that may also have to be upgraded at the same time.
Peripherals like printers, scanners, and external hard disks require software called drivers to make them work. These need to be rewritten for each new operating system. If you’ve got a ten year old peripheral, then the chances are that the manufacturer hasn’t written a driver for Windows 8, and may well not have written one for Windows 7 either.Still using a printer like this? Probably not for much longer.
Why don’t they keep it all updated?
Quite simply, hardware manufacturers don’t expect people to be using equipment of that age. A survey showed that they expect customers to upgrade their computers every two years, and their peripherals every three years, so a ten-year old printer is effectively three generations old. That may sound like an unrealistic expectation on the part of the manufacturers, but look at cellphones – the average American upgrades their phone every twelve months, and new models frequently sell out the day they’re launched.
Unfortunately, this has major implications when you upgrade from XP. It may not be possible to make all your other kit work with your new system, even if you keep the same computer and the item is still working absolutely perfectly. In these cases, the only realistic option will be to replace those items with new, more up to date ones. You may be able to continue using them if you go to Windows Vista and there are suitable drivers, but we don’t recommend that approach.
It’s a problem we’ve been dealing with for years, and while we will always do our best to make your existing equipment work, we can’t promise to be able to do so. If your peripherals are more than a few years old, then you should budget for upgrading them at the same time, so start planning now! If you’re upgrading external storage, remember to allow for transferring the data to the new disk.
On the positive side, you’ll end up with a much better system all round.
We’ll be happy to advise you on whether your existing equipment will be adequate. Talk to us and let us help you evaluate your options.