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January 14, 2019 2 min read

Case Study: Replacing an obsolete POS Point of Sale server system with a new system, while maintaining existing MS-DOS legacy database

The beige PC on the left is typical of many point-of-sale retail computers running retail store software. The original hard drive finally failed and it was definitely time to replace the machine.

The only problem is a new machine won't run Windows XP properly, which is the operating system required to map his printer ports to old parallel printers.

What is the solution?

Build as new a machine as possible while maintaining compatibility with customer's DOS server server running under Windows XP, and provide the legacy parallel and serial ports needed. 

The black machine on the right is equipped with modern components such as a solid state drive, a new slim case with high quality power suplly, 6 USB ports, parallel, serial, and even PS2 keyboard and mouse ports for specialty barcode scanners. 

Windows XP had to be installed from CD, updated and all drivers added. Even on the new solid state drive, this was a lengthy process to say the least. 

Next was to restore an old style .Bkf backup from a secondary drive we installed years ago that did automatic backups. Thankfully that was still working and we were able to recover all of the store's data without losing a single invoice, product, or customer, what a relief! while this sounds like a fairly automatic procedure it was actually done folder by folder to ensure everything went back into the correct place. 

Once up and running it was an amazing machine for a couple of reasons. 

1) we have never seen Windows XP running on modern hardware on a solid state drive, and wow was it fast!

2) it was a little nostalgic to be running Windows XP again (released in 2001!) an operating system that we ran for so many years and were surprisingly comfortable with.

Finally it was time to deliver the new pc back to the store, plug everything in, map of all the network drives, and set up the specialty printers and barcode scanners. 

It was a long, tedious and challenging job, but well worth every hour we put into it. We think our client was happy with the outcome as well.