Just a reminder for WIN7 users, Microsoft’s support for Windows 7 will end January 14, 2020. The upgrade to Windows 10 is still free even tho Microsoft publicly says it isn’t – some info on how to do it is Here, Here & Here.

I tried to avoid moving from Vista to WIN7, because I loved Vista (had many licenses for the Home Premium & one Ultimate Vista); however, technology doesn’t wait around for computers to make up their minds, so I slowly made the move to WIN7. Liked it well enough, after some time to adjust, to buy a full Windows 7 license and build a new computer using it in 2016. Didn’t like the WIN8 versions nor the first WIN10 versions when they came out, but did finally adjust to WIN10, and ‘Have It’ on all 5 of my fairly new desktops plus the laptop.

Four weeks to go, but you actually have plenty of time to still safely test both Linux and WIN10, if you get moving now. Linux has a “Fragmentation” problem – well over 2000+ (false rumor of only 600+) Linux Distros & an *INCREDIBLE* fragmented terminology problem, which leads me to the infamous Linux “Distro Hopping” (spelling of that is also fragmented, of course):

A distrohopper is someone that keeps switching from one linux distribution to another, not with the intention to just test a certain Linux distribution, but with the illusion to find the perfect Linux distribution that suits all his/her needs and to install that as his/her main Operating System. Ofcours that distro does not exist.

Ignore the entire buggy Arch & ‘Archies’ Distros, avoid the many hardware recognition problems of MX Linux, forget Debian unless you’re running servers, etc. I suggest going to Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS since it is the best supported (financially, desktop, and reliable long term support) and most popular Linux Distro. Maybe a few Ubuntu-based Distros like Zorin OS, Linux Mint, Linux Lite and maybe Solus (Gnome DE) if you feel venturous and have the time. You can also purchase a *LEGAL* OEM Windows 10 Pro license key from URcdkey for $15.60 (use a code and lower that price) for testing, but you will only be able to use it on one MoBo. In preparation for these tests, you might also buy a couple 120-128GB SSD’s, and a few extra 16-32GB USB thumb drives if you don’t have many.

That pic shows two SATA Tray-Less Hot Swap Mobile Racks: 1) the Kingwin KF-251-BK Dual 2.5” SSD/HDD (from Amazon), and 2) the Kingwin KF-250-BK Single 2.5” SSD/HDD (from eBay).

Both of those are made for the external ‘Floppy Drive’ bay (AKA 3.5” bay), so you may need to get a different Sata Hot Swap Mobile Rack or an adapter if you only have a 5.25” bay available.

The highlighted Lime-Rectangle shows two 5.25” bays, and the highlighted Red-Rectangle shows two 3.5” bay. If you don’t have the 3.5” bays, then check out a different Hot Swap Rack, or get something like this 5.25 to 3.5 Drive Bay Adapter (from Amazon):

The Kingwin KF-251-BK Dual 2.5” SSD/HDD might be best for these tests, since it gives you a little more flexibility for swapping drives:

Note: That requires two available SATA connections on your MoBo, and two SATA power connectors. If you only have one of each, then maybe go for the Kingwin KF-250-BK Single SSD/HDD:

You very likely have a noisy slow and standard 3.5” WIN7 HDD in the computer now…disconnect it for these tests, and reconnect afterwards as needed to access your WIN7 OS and data. These new parts (SSD’s & Hot Swap) will come in handy for whatever you decide to do later, and it doesn’t make sense to buy more old stuff for these tests. After ‘Live’ testing, install Linux on one of those new SSD’s – it’s separate from your main WIN7 disk (if you disconnected it!), so no harm can be done. Do the same with that WIN Pro OEM license from URcdkey…I use and test a lot of OSes, and nothing beats these fan-less SATA Tray-Less Hot Swap Mobile Racks for safely protecting OSes from each other. Only ‘Antec Jr.’ (my main computer) has a ‘permanent’ interior M.2 PCIe SSD installed, and my laptop uses a ‘permanent’ SSD since laptop drives aren’t made for swapping around, but I use Hot Swap bays for the others.

I offer some advice on Linux ‘Live’ USB creations and testing in posts on this blog…there is plenty of other Linux advice available, i.e. just run an internet search for your question, and more than likely you’ll see some answers from “Ask Ubuntu” on your questions. Very handy site, tho certainly not the only one. Many people end up keeping their old computer and adding Linux on it…then they buy or build a new computer with Windows 10 – Linux is good, but Windows 10 will be obviously better.

Will add this post to the WIN 7 series: For Windows 7 users page…