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NJmike PE

What does the Fox say?

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Ok, I have an old PC from 2003 (a Sony Vaio) that I have been milking along. It's been acting up more lately than it used to and I have a software program that will really only run well on XP (SolidWorks v2004).  I use SolidWorks on that PC occasionally and thus would like to keep it going.

Anyway. A short while back the DVD drive quit reading DVDs, though it still reads CDs. Back when the PC was new I created some restore disks that consist of 1 CD that kicks off the restore and 1 DVD that has all the backup info on it, 3.6G worth.  I would like to run this restore, but it won't read the DVD.  It appears my options are to try to copy that DVD to multiple CDs... which I tried but the CD spanning method I used won't run properly at the "now insert the backup disc" point of the restore process.  Apparently it's looking for the executable stored on the DVD.

Does anyone have a really inexpensive solution for this?  Is it possible to get it to boot from one of the USB ports?  Cause I could totally get all the info on one USB.

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I'm no wiz like Fox but you should be able to get it to boot from a USB via the BIOS menu settings.

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I went into the BIOS and there wasn't an option to set a USB port to be a bootable drive.  Not sure I know enough more to make it do so.

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Can you post what you did or a pic of your screen?  With the USB plugged in you should be able to just press F11 after a "normal" start...

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I'm not sure what else I could share that I haven't. It doesn't boot from the USB ports; I have tried leaving a USB plugged in. The only options to set in the BIOS are the two CD drives I have and the one (yes indeedy) 3.25" floppy drive.

Edited by Audi driver, P.E.

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Solidworks 2004!!!!!!

(OT: haven’t used SWX since that version, until this week. We are finally switching over to SWX 2018 from 10 years using ACAD/Inventor. The horror show is finally ending...)

Have you tried a quick google search? Looks like there might be a few YouTube videos showing how to do this...possibly.

Like this one (bonus points for Spanish): http://



Is “External Device” an option in your bios?

Is the computer dead? Why the need for restore? If you happen to have another computer, what about just partitioning that and installing XP? Dual boot?


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I don't recall "external device" being an option. I'm thinking I would have tried that. Pretty sure my only options are the two CD drives and the floppy drive.

I've never really had good luck with dual boot machines. Might have to resort to that. But one question: since XP is no longer supported, wouldn't that open up the machine to security issues?

Edited by Audi driver, P.E.
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I don't recall "external device" being an option. I'm thinking I would have tried that. Pretty sure my only options are the two CD drives and the floppy drive.
I've never really had good luck with dual boot machines. Might have to resort to that. But one question: since XP is no longer supported, wouldn't that open up the machine to security issues?


Well definitely don’t do your web surfing on that partition.

Another option could be to run a virtual machine (not dual boot). Might be possible to sandbox that. We did this to maintain support for AutoCad Mechanical desktop legacy files on XP VM on a native Win7 machine after that sw became unsupported. The machine speeds today are much better than they were back then so it might not matter much performance wise. Also you’d suffer some GPU acceleration features but I doubt SWX2004 had much of that and/or it might not matter to you to do rendering. I could be wrong. I suppose one issue with this is you might need to purchase additional software to run the virtual machine which may be what you are trying to avoid. I can’t remember how we accomplished that.

Do you have solidworks at work? I just learned there’s a license extension policy where you can use SWX on a home machine for personal use not associated with any work license. Of course, I’d be wary of doing this kind of thing if I were developing any kind of new technology that my current company could claim rights to. (Yeah they are like that).

Also SWX is pretty liberal about allowing you to use their software for a year for free if you have a side gig starting up and you’re cash flow strapped. A guy at my work mentioned this to me recently. Not sure what happens after one year, but I guess they’d want you to start paying for it. :)

Of course if you’re just modeling your living room to rearrange your couch and side table, this may not be what you’re looking for. ;)
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Whether or not a computer will boot from a USB drive or external device is related directly to the BIOS on the motherboard.  If you don't see the option in the BIOS screen, it won't do it...at least without a firmware update.

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Ok @knight1fox3 8th gen Intel i7 or AMD something or other?  Is there anything you would recommend other than the i7?

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19 minutes ago, Audi driver, P.E. said:

Ok @knight1fox3 8th gen Intel i7 or AMD something or other?  Is there anything you would recommend other than the i7?

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1368073-REG/intel_cd8067303734902_core_i9_7980xe_18c_lga2066.html?kw=INCI97980XE4&ap=y&smp=y

intel_cd8067303734902_core_i9_7980xe_18c

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2 hours ago, Audi driver, P.E. said:

You remember I make an engineer's salary, right?

Ha ha, indeed. Right now either Intel or AMD is a solid choice. The new AMD Ryzen line (now 2nd gen) of CPUs really give Intel a run for the money and very competitively priced compared to Intel. For Intel, you'll pay a little more but certain can't go wrong with the latest 8th generation product line. Really depends on what you are looking for in terms of features on a motherboard. 

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13 hours ago, knight1fox3 said:

Ha ha, indeed. Right now either Intel or AMD is a solid choice. The new AMD Ryzen line (now 2nd gen) of CPUs really give Intel a run for the money and very competitively priced compared to Intel. For Intel, you'll pay a little more but certain can't go wrong with the latest 8th generation product line. Really depends on what you are looking for in terms of features on a motherboard. 

Thanks. In your mighty O, which AMD compares best with the 8th gen i7?

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2 hours ago, Audi driver, P.E. said:

Thanks. In your mighty O, which AMD compares best with the 8th gen i7?

Obviously this will depend on CPU clock speed, but AMD was smart in their latest CPU naming convention such that it generally aligns with Intel's Core offering. In other words, Ryzen 7 = i7, Ryzen 5 = i5, etc. The latest 2nd gen. Ryzen CPUs should be version 2xxx I believe.

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