So a few weeks ago the P4 computer Grin Tech sent me died, bad motherboard, and despite all attempts to repair it, it's toast. The CPU appearst to at least POST in another MLB out of the boxes of old stuff Etrike had sent me a year or two back (of which I haven't ever gotten a whole system completley working; every time I think I have something going it starts to have wierd problems before I even get the OS and stuff installed), but that's as far as I've gotten, since it's a different chipset I can't just boot up the WinXP that is on the old system's HDD, will have to repair-reinstall it, then fix all the drivers, etc. (still faster than reinstalling by months).
For the moment I'm still able to use the much older AthlonXP backup system, which while extremely slow and incapable of doing even half of what I need it to, is better than nothing.
But Green machine was kind enough to send me a much more recent laptop, which while less useful to me than a desktop (cuz I can't install PCI cards in it) is at least definitely powerful enough to handle the cpu and disk loads that music creation puts on a system. The problem is...it uses Windows10, and nothing I have or need to use was designed with that in mind--almost all of what I have is at least as old as WindowsXP, some of it older. Some of the hardware has drivers that still work, and I've managed to get a USB audio box and a USB MIDI box installed and working, though I have other stuff that I'm still working out a way to get in there.
Software is sort of working--it's wierd. Most of what I have can be copied over and just work, sometimes with a reinstall over the top and then resetting a bunch of settings (days to weeks of fiddling around depending on time I have for it), but for some reason a lot of things simply don't work or they won't reinstall (or reinstall but still don't work). Many plugins can't find their content, evne though it is right where it is expected, and some that have the option to tell them where to find it (most don't; it's just built-in), but they dont' remmeber any of these settings and ask each time they are used, which is very annoying.
Even installing the main program (SONAR6) doesnt' fully work, as none of the additional content/plugins/synths correctly install, and have to be individually manually registered with regsvr32, and some of htem will not work at all that way, as their installers simply dont' run or dont' finish.
I suspect a number of these problems are related to permissions, in that it seems like if a program has to do anything more than display "hello world" on the screen (and sometimes even then), it has to be run as an administrator, and you have to do that manually EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU RUN IT, which is impossible to do for anything except the host itself. (which I can create a shortcut for that supposedly automatically runs it as an administrator in an advanced setting....but I can't do that for the individual DLL files and synths and plugins).
I've already tried taking ownership of everything, and it makes no difference. Havent' found anything other than permissions/ownership/run-as-admin as potential problems, and I can't even solve those completely.
I can run SONAR, and about half of the plugins I've tried so far work apparently normally, but the rest either won't even open, or they don't show up in lists, or they don't work properly when they do open.
Because of the problems with those, almost none of the existing projects open without errors, some crash the program, and a couple of times ti's actually rebooted the laptop!
I've got emails in to some of the vendors that still exist about the issues, though some simply aren't even around anymore to ask, and most of the stuff I use is either freeware or came from beta testing things and is either unsupported software (never released, just get to keep the betas and use them) or bundled with the host it came with (and thus not supported by either the host vendor OR the synth/plugin vendor).
Most have no install media, either are just dll's that get manually registered for DX plugins/synths, or sit in a folder for VSTs for the host to use. Or because they are bundled they only get installed wtih the host software, some of which I dont' have install media for anymore after the housefire (and don't remember which vendor the host was from because I only used the plugns, not the host). Some have downloadable media from the vendors, but some of them have broken sites ro don't exist anymore. So fixing those is up to me and just messing with them till I get them to work, or have to give up.
Eventually I might at least be able to sort out which plugins simply are never going to work, and fix others, but so far many of my main plugins and synths aren't usable.
I still have one more step to try, partly to recover my presets and settings, but it is quite a bit of work itself: going thru the registry of the backup system (whcih is nearly identical in setup to the dead one) and exporting all the registry entries I can find for the plugins and host, then importing all those into the new system. (and hoping THAT doesn't break even more stuff). It might fix some of the stuff that cant' remember it's settings.
Anyway, I haven't been able to do much else yet.
I *am* presently typing this up using my FF portable on the laptop, so it's useful for internet at least.
BTW: before I let it connect to the internet, I disabled a whole range of services (via a list on a site called black-ops-something, using one of hte "safe" versions of the list, plus a few others I researched and verified I don't need/want), and Cortana, and unisntalled a bunch of unwanted and unneeded stuff that came with the laptop. It prevents any updates of anything on the system until I reenable stuff and explicitly allow it, so that I don't wind up with sudden problems down the road from updates unfixing stuff for me, or breaking new things, or deciding to reboot itself in the middle of whatever I'm doing (like Bill's system has done to him a number of times with 7, 8 and 10).
This didn't make any difference to the problems though.