I need to be able to run 32 bit drivers and software (Cubase SX) on a brand new Dell machine, 3000 series, running Windows 8.1. It came with the OS already installed – I have no OS recovery discs.
The specs of the machine are as follows:
- Inspiron 3847
- 4th Generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-4460 Processor (6M Cache, up to 3.4 GHz)
- 8GB Dual Channel DDR3 1600MHz (4GBx2)
- 1TB 7200 rpm Hard Drive
I’ve researched online, and these are the options I have found – I’m not particularly IT competent, so please bear with me – which option is the most promising option please?
1. Dual boot.
Create a partition in the HD, disable the secure boot and install XP, keeping Windows 8 in the other part. I’m not interested in using Windows 8 at all to be honest, so I’ll make this part of the drive as small as possible, freeing up more space for XP.
I’ve read that a Windows 8 mobo doesn’t have XP drivers/SATA drivers though – so I’m unable to install XP altogether? But I’ve also read that if I have an XP SP3 installation disc, this will ‘streamline’ the drivers(?) and fix this problem?
2. Virtualization software.
I’ve read that this can create conflicts when running two OS simultaneously – is this the case? And again, would I be able to install XP onto my machine without XP drivers on the mobo or would it be a ‘virtual version’ of XP? – apologies again for my ignorance – I’d never heard of virtualization until yesterday.
3. Running XP off an external drive.
I don’t even know if this is possible? What problems would I encounter if it is? It might be an attractive solution as I would avoid messing about with the PC itself?
4. Wipe Windows 8 completely, install Windows 7 and use the ‘XP mode’?
I like the sound of this *best*, but I’m not sure how reliable XP Mode is?…and I’m not sure if I’m able to wipe Windows 8 completely and install 7 – is this doable if I buy a Windows 7 install disc with license?
5. There appears to be a 32 bit version of Windows 8?!
Would this solve everything or would I end up with a half baked machine? …and would I be able to install my ‘legacy’ software on it?
So! There you go – lots to think about… please note that I work completely offline to security issues aren’t a problem.