Remembering Windows

I often see comments that say things like, "I never needed to use the terminal in Windows." Or "I never needed to issue commands or do weird things in Windows"...
I find these statements quite odd.

As I am a New Linux User... I used Windows for well over a decade, from 95 to 2000NT to XP, skipped Vista... used 7 briefly...
I remember things a little bit differently.
I remember looking up guides, for Windows, that the First Thing they Suggest was Run > type cmd
Prompt = Terminal.

The First thing suggested for other things was:
Run > regedit.

I edited the registry... a lot. I mean a whole lot. It seemed a rare week that I did not need to tweak or edit a registry entry for something or other.
And I opened the Prompt for all manner of things... not as a Windows Guru... But because the guides I looked up all say to do so.

I remember clearly, on Windows, running into installation failures - often with some vague unknowable error code that performed an Illegal Operation. No other clues as to what went wrong. Eventually, for many, I finally worked out, with much, much research, that it was...
A dependency issue.

Does anyone else remember these things?
Or am I a freak of nature that spent a decade using the Dominant Operating System experiencing these things?

Speaking of installing on Windows... I also hear people say that you never need to install from source on Windows.
Yes you do!
Here in Linux, we use "Make" > "sudo make install" or maybe... "ninja build..."
But not on Windows, right?
I sure did. For years.
Ninja and Make are both tools used on Windows as much as on Linux.
Run > cmd

ninja -f /path/to/build/file.


I still have a largely unread copy of "DOS for dummies". When I was an IT contractor, around 2000, for 2 years, I would be in the companies build area, creating 12 Dell Optiplex machines in one go using a Ghost Server image setup by 3rd Level Support engineers. One of the Technicians employed by the company was fully conversant with the "over 1,000 different DOS commands". He set me a challenge for me to change the password on a works machine and 3 'benches' down he could login with my credentials on my screen using DOS. I was (annoyingly) impressed. The best story about this guy I can tell is that he was sent out to a worksite to rebuild a Windows NT machine that had crashed.
When he got back to base, he received a phone call from the client. She couldn't find the icon for an Application that they relied on in Finance. While speaking to her on his mobile phone he opened a DOS terminal and created the missing icon remotely and said to the client. If you look to the bottom right of your screen you should see it." "Oh yes!" came the reply, "I hadn't spotted it. Thanks for that!"
In terms of editing the registry, I had a "wonderful" experience of manually removing Norton AV from a personal client of mine - it took me 3 hours to remove every single entry related to it on a Windows 98 machine.
On another job, as a Contractor, a Windows NT4 Workstation had died and it was critical - I remember having to bulk copy all the files, a bit at a time. I'd only got half way through when the client said he had not expected it to take so long. I explained I was trying to rebuild the directory trees to ensure all files were copied to the right place. He decided not to continue as I had been there "too long" - I would have loved to have seen the end result of my fruitless labours.
This is why I would rather forget Windows. My first experience of sitting in front of a Trade Union Tulip Workstation, with 5 and a quarter inch floppy bay, looking at a terminal after booting to be faced with
and a blinking cursor, having had no PC experience at all (It was Windows 3.1) I had no idea how to launch! That's what led me personally to buy an Amiga 1500! Yay for WIMP (Windows Icon Menu Pointer) systems from scratch, almost instant boot and instant off - no stupid shut-down procedure! I was just getting competent in the Amiga Shell when I purchased my first PC, a Pentium 120 and played on it too much, losing all that ground I had taught myself on the Amiga Shell!|


From the point of view of the average Joe, who isn't into anything IT-related, that statement (that using the terminal is not required in Windows) is virtually true. I say this because I've been that average Joe since Windows 95, and in all this time I can count with one hand how many times I've ever used the command prompt.

Knowing what I know today, using Linux and running terminal commands daily, I'm sure my life would've been easier if I had bother to learn a few commands for the Windows prompt. Still, the fact is that everything worked, and most problems could be fixed with relative ease. There was always some workaround or program with a nice interface that you could just install and uninstall.

Admittedly, these programs often came along with tons of bloat. But that's another story. In general, there simply was no need for me to mess around with computers very much. I was able to get work done, play videogames, browse the web... I'm sure most people using any computer, regardless of the OS, feel the same way.


Yup another Average Joe here although I was not afraid to edited the registry if I absolutely had to .... wasn't something I did monthly where as now I use the terminal many times daily .... which is why it was hard for me to adapt to Linux and although I know you really don't need to use the terminal to enjoy Zorin .... a whole new world opens up for you if you do ....

What I miss about Windows is the vast amount of programs you can download and use and all the games I can play that I've already downloaded to external HD.s from CD's I know longer have .... years worth .... Steam is fine but I don't wish to purchase these games again so that is why I don't remove Win 10 from my dual boot option ....

I just wish I could put Win 7 (I have a disk I paid for) on my older Acer Aspire V3-572PG-93RL .... it had Win 8.1 on it but has been converted to Win 10 .... I found all the drivers for Win 7 on the Acer Website for that model laptop .... but there are a ton of them and I don't know which ones to download ..... I assume the newest ones .... once I have made a back up copy of the present OS I will format the HD and install my Win 7 disk ..... at least that is my plan ....

Oh well "the best laid plans of mice and men" ..... :roll_eyes:

And as to why I don't dump Win 10 on my current Asus gaming laptop it is because Asus doesn't offer drivers for Win 7 and I tried to install Win 7 on it using the disk but it won't even install .... gets to the point of installing drivers and says "not compatible"


You guys are not alone when it comes to being glad your Windows days are over. I have had to use almost every version of Windows from 3.1 to Windows 10. I did manage to skip 8 and Vista. Most of my use was connected with my work as I worked on industrial CNC machine tools like lathes and milling machines and lasers.

Most of those machines used their own proprietary operating systems but we used laptops running Windows to reinstall the software if it got lost or corrupted. And most of our calibration equipment used some version of Windows.

i got a laugh out of swarfendor's comment about sitting in front of the machine and looking at the blinking cursor. I am probably much older than you guys but my first experience with a computer was on a couple of really old CNC machines. The computer on them was I believe made by Digital Electronic Corp. I could be wrong about that. But they were so old that we had to use cassette tapes to load them. I think they were PDP8M models if I recall correctly. They had a row of paddle switches on the front of them. It they lost power and the battery back up failed they were dumber than a rock. Kinda like some of our politicians. Anyway we had to set a certain number of the switches on the front and then insert the tape and hit run and it would load up the bootloader. Which we would now call the bios. After that you set the switches in a different combination and loaded the operating system with another tape. And then finally the operator of the machine could take over and actually install the CNC program that told the machine how to make whatever part the machinist was supposed to make that day.

As far as the terminal in Windows I did use it quite a bit. Most of the time it was to go into the config files for the boot up sequence to turn off something that was causing problems. I also like Aravisian spent time in the registry trying to remove all traces of programs left after I tried to uninstall a program I didn't want or one that was causing problems. I found that trying to use a so-called registry cleaning programs usually caused more headaches by removing something I didn't want removed.

Do I miss Windows? I sure do. Just like I miss the migraine headaches I used to get. Some things are a real blessing to miss.

1 Like

I agree with that statement whole heartily ..... when I first had to use a work-a-round to keep Win from auto-updates I had to do several registry changes you can imagine my surprise when I got a message that Win was updating ..... went back into the registry and found my changes set back to normal .... this after I had used CC Cleaner .... next time I paid attention and didn't click the Registry button in the program ... live and learn ....

My first computer was a Tandy EX with one 51/4 floppy drive ... running MS-DOS based ..... with Personal Deskmate Software ....

1 Like

I found this site on the web for downloading drivers for my Acer .....

Anyone know anything about it or how to download them ..... it says it will do it for me but not sure how .... ?????

I also have a list of drivers from the Acer Website that I can download to a flash drive to install it when Win 7 asks for it .... would that be the bast way .... I think maybe so .....

I think this should be the best way.
I have not used DriverPack before and it is wiser to trust the product website than a third party website that you have not heard of.

1 Like

Oh yes those nightmare days of win 95, you could grow old just waiting for an image to load! why I did not dive into Linux I do not know, fear I guess, fear of the unknown, Zorin pro does everything I need, go back to any version of windows?? no way.


As I was never able to afford a decent graphics card, I've just been playing video games years after their release... In fact most of the games I play run perfectly fine inside a VM, so I don't even dual boot anymore.

Can't have any issues with drivers if you never have to play catch with the industry's increasing hardware requirements :joy:


I had the same issue with my ASUS X470-PRO. I had just upgraded from an AMD 2.6 GHz to a Ryzen 7 1700X 8 Core CPU board and had purchased Windows 7 64-bit to install onto it. No joy ... why? Because the board was expecting Windows 10 so the USB keyboard would not connect, neither would a USB mouse. Solution? I had to dig out one of my old faithful Cherry AT Keyboards with a PS/2 adapter - had to install it completely using the keyboard! LOL!


I agree I'm sure if I remember right when I tried to load Win 7 it asked if I wanted to load drivers from a disk or Win on line I never choose Win on line as I was afraid that They would load drivers for Win 10 ....

Also if I format my HD will I have to download and install a different BIOS ?????

1 Like

Yes. I using still terminal=cmd in windows also GUI terminal CYGwin Putty. Some popular terminals here 15+ Best Free Terminal Emulators For Windows In 2021. I loved terminal. RembertĂłw Atari64XL with screen Ready.

OK I answered the BIOS question myself after 2 hrs of digging around on the net .... apparently it is completely removed from all functions of the OS as it is attached to the mother board and not the OS .... so I shouldn't have to change it ....

Now if I format my C:/ (where Win 10 is ) using GParted should I save my EFI Partition 1P1 and just format the other 3 ..... 1P2 ... 1p3 and 1P4 .... instead of the entire disk .... also 1P4 is called a Recovery Disk .... will it allow me to format it

You should backup any data from the Windows userfiles that is documents, downloads, pictures; etc. because these folders will also be deleted when you delete the Windows partition. You can delete 1P2, 1P3 and 1P4. As the label states 1P4 is a recovery partition. You can delete the recovery partition if you have no intention of returning back to your old system that is windows 10.

1 Like

Yes I have no intention of putting Win 10 back on that laptop so I will delete those 3 partitions leaving 1P1 so I can dual boot with Win 7 and Zorin .....

Thanks :grin: :+1:

I also plan to make a image of that SSD drive just in case something goes horribly wrong .... using RescueZilla of course ....

1 Like

Talking of software cleanups, during the last years of regular use I always avoided CCleaner which the IT guys used as it would delete unused files. The best remover I used was Revo Uninstaller in Advanced mode - all the registry entries that needed to be removed would be highlighted in black. Depending on the piece of software being removed would reflect on the time needed to check mark all the bold entries in the advanced removal window, but was a lot easier than trawling through the registry. I always used the free one.


I guess I need to back up and regroup here .... looks like I tried to combine two different laptops in the above post.... my current one which is an Asus .... I dual boot Win 10 and Zorin and an Acer which currently has Win 10 .... the Acer is the one I will wipe the drive on and install Win 7 ....

My Asus doesn't support drivers for Win 7 only the Acer does .... sorry for all the confusion .... :crazy_face: :roll_eyes:

Yup CCleaner can do plenty of damage .... it is the only program I ever installed that caused me to have to reinstall an OS .... the rest of the re-installations were caused by human error ..... :roll_eyes: :grinning:

I always liked CCleaner, up until when it got bought up by Avast. This type of tools were very intimidating to me so I always double checked what I deleted before clicking, and made sure no sensitive files were selected :smiley:

1 Like