Recently we have received many inquiries on Microsoft's announcement that Windows XP support is ending on April 8, 2014. What does this mean for FSG simulator owners running Windows XP? Here are some answers to frequently asked questions on this subject.
The questions and answers presented in this FAQ are merely intended to inform you of potential risks and possible upgrade options as an end user. Ultimately, it is up to you or your IT department to determine whether or not you should upgrade to Windows 7.
1. What does "end of support" actually mean?
A: According to Microsoft's website, "end of support" means that:
"After April 8, 2014, Windows XP users will no longer receive new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates from Microsoft."
For home and office users, this can be a somewhat scary announcement. However, for most of our simulator users, there is very little online activity that would expose you to security threats. Many "appliance" type devices around the world (medical, industrial, etc.) will continue to use XP for some time because it is a highly stable platform. In fact, Microsoft will continue to sell XP to companies like ours until July 2015.
2. Will my computer stop working?
A: No, your computer will continue to function exactly the same as it always has.
3. Will my computer be at risk?
A: If your computer is online, there will always be some risk of a security breach. And of course, without continued updates and security patches from Microsoft your computer will be at a slightly higher risk than before. However, if you use your simulator computer to simply play golf, your exposure will be very limited. If you surf the web, check email, etc. on your sim computer (not recommended) you will greatly increase your exposure and therefore increase your risk of contracting a virus or malware.
FSG will not be held responsible for security breaches, or systems infected with viruses or malware. Ultimately, it is up to you or your IT department to determine whether or not you should upgrade to Windows 7.
4. Is there anything I can do to protect my PC?
A: Yes, we recommend you install Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) which will continue to be supported on Windows XP systems until July 14, 2015. MSE will help protect your computer against viruses and other malware for the next several months. Please see this article for more information.
Alternatively, you can unplug your computer from the internet. This will provide the maximum security protection. You can always connect it again briefly to get updates and support from FSG if necessary.
5. If my hard drive fails after April 8, 2014, can I still re-install Windows XP?
A: Yes, Microsoft will continue to allow you install and activate Windows XP until at least July 14, 2015. Use the appropriate XP software installation disk and the license key located on your computer.
6. I just purchased a new simulator and/or computer recently. Is there an easy way to upgrade?
A: Yes, if you purchased a simulator and/or computer between September 2013 and May 2014, you may qualify for our Windows 7 Hard Drive Swap Program.
7. Should I upgrade to a newer version of Windows?
A: Yes, you should definitely consider upgrading to Windows 7 before July 14, 2015. However, in order to do this, you must first make sure your hardware and software are compatible (see below). At this time, FSG does not support or recommend Windows 8.
8. Will my simulator run Windows 7?
A: The answer depends on the hardware and software you currently have. At a minimum, you must have a Windows 7 capable computer, a DSP2 ball tracking device, and a dongle and license to use the E6 Golf software.
NOTE: LS Golf 3, Tribute 1 & 2, and Darts are not compatible with Windows 7.
9. Is my computer capable of running Windows 7?
A: See this chart of FSG computers to find out if your computer can run Windows 7.
10. Can I purchase Windows 7 or a Windows 7 computer from FSG?
A: Absolutely. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for pricing.
11. Which version or Windows 7 should I use?
A: For residential customers, FSG recommends Windows 7 Home. Commercial customers may want to use Windows 7 Pro, depending on their network environment. To take full advantage of the computer memory and future software upgrades, we recommend using the 64-bit version of Windows 7. See the above chart to make sure your PC is compatible with the 64-bit version.
NOTE: It is NOT recommended to purchase or use an "upgrade" version of Windows 7 to convert Windows XP to Windows 7. Typically, simulator users do not really have any sensitive information to backup or transfer (except possibly saved games). FSG recommends formatting your drive and installing a "clean" version of Windows 7. This will provide you with a fresh, stable installation of Windows 7. All our software is available for download on this website. Motherboard and graphic card drivers are available from the manufacturers website. It is highly recommended you hire a qualified computer technician to perform the Windows 7 installation.
12. Do I have a Hotlink Card or DSP2?
A: Most systems sold after June 2013 have the newer DSP2 ball tracking device, which is fully compatible with Windows 7. The DSP2 is a small black box connected to an ethernet port on the back of your computer (usually with a red cable). There will be four flat gray cables plugged into the DSP2 device.
If you do not have a DSP2, and the four flat gray cables are plugged directly into the back of your PC, then you have the older Hotlink Card. Please contact email@example.com for pricing on a new DSP2.
13. Are Ion cameras compatible with Windows 7?
A: Yes, both Ion1 and Ion2 cameras are fully supported on Windows 7 32-bit and 64-bit systems.
If you still have questions about Windows 7, please email firstname.lastname@example.org