Meta question: Should there be XP replacement repair guides?
Hi everyone! I just helped an impecunious gentleman repair a crusty old Gateway KAV60 netbook. The biggest problem with it was actually software: Microsoft Windows XP was in an endless reboot cycle.
While it has a recovery partition, I didn’t feel it would be ethical to simply reinstall XP¹ with IE8 and tell him that it was all good for going online. But, I also didn’t want a perfectly fine computer tossed in a landfill when it could be repaired.
The fix was to install a lightweight distribution of GNU/Linux, overwriting Windows XP. I chose 32-bit L’ubuntu, which will have security updates for at least the next three years. The gentleman came by the next day to thank me for the upgrade and tell me how everything was working perfectly. In fact, since he now has the latest browsers, he’s been able to do things he couldn’t with XP, like watch videos online again.
While that was fairly simple for me, it’s unlikely a KAV60 owner would find a simple, step-by-step recipe to do what I did. Which is too bad since, of all the repairs that can be done on this machine to keep it working, replacing XP is probably one of the most needed.
I know that iFixIt has some general topics on various GNU/Linux distributions, but there’s no link to them when people search for repair guides for a specific machines.
I suggest that iFixIt have a policy of providing a link on how to upgrade to a secure system for machines that came with Windows XP. There could be one generic repair guide for “Upgrading from Windows XP” which most systems could link to. Then, as people have time or the inclination, specific guides for individual machines could be created which could mention the specific quirks (“hit F2 to boot from USB”) and include actual screenshots.
What do people think?
¹ For those who don’t know: Microsoft abandoned XP years ago and no longer sends security updates. Even worse, IE8 was the last Internet Explorer for XP. Microsoft dropped security updates for anything less than IE11 back in 2016. Giving someone an XP machine is simply unethical.
Is this a good question?