Toronto Dentist Seeks IT Services Help

IT Services For This Dental Office

A friend of a friend wrote to us about undertaking some IT upgrades. This free info may help guide your own IT updates decision making.  In the end, this dentist hired us to do everything or him. The server side work was above his tech skills.  While you do teeth, we’ll do tech, so feel free to call us for all your dental office computer needs.

Dear Adam,

I am considering some IT upgrades services.  I think I mentioned in our office we’ve got 1 Dentrix Server, 1 Image Server (Capture Link) and 7 workstations  (small form factor) throughout (which yes, I wired all myself 🙂 ) We’ve been running Windows Server 2003 and XP Pro, needless to say their doom. I don’t want to purchase new computers if I don’t have to and definitely not from [name of company omitted.]

SO, one of our front desk computers is flashing that nice blue screen with white letters and shutting down whenever it feels like it as well as freezing too often. I cleaned it up (from a software perspective) making startup faster but it still freezes from time to time(I’m thinking motherboard). I’m not ready for a full overhaul this year, but will need to start updating to Windows 7 Pro on all the stations and more than likely buy a new station computer.

I’ve attached the system specifics for our server and the technical guide for the stations as well as specs for a new computer. All the computers will be 5 years old soon. I really wanted to know if the Windows 7 Pro (32Bit) will be compatible with the Windows Server 2003 while all the other stations are still running XP Pro, just for the immediate future. I guess, I’m kind of hoping I can copy the current networking specs into the new comp and have things up and running smoothly again.

So what do you suggest?? If I can make the quick fix on my own for now, great, but I would be interested in seeing what the best options are going forward re: upgrading the guts of the servers and migrating from 2003 to 2008 as well as whether or not to buy similar systems (like the new one I’ve attached – inexpensive) or make simple memory/processor upgrades and update to 7 Pro??

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Toronto Dentist

Dear Toronto Dentist,

I wouldn’t bother attempting to repair the failing XP machine. Replace it. Once a computer has hit 5 years, it crosses the line of diminishing returns and becomes more expensive to repair than to replace. In the same vein, when you are ready to upgrade the rest, replace them (the system you’ve attached is suitable). Don’t bother trying to upgrade components and operating systems of the old machines.

Windows 7 is compatible with Windows server 2003 and with the rest of the stations still running XP, but keep in mind that Microsoft has discontinued support for Server 2003 and XP and it is now considered legacy. This mean no more patches or bug fixes or updates will be published.

When it comes time to upgrade the server to Windows 2008, if you have the capacity on the motherboard, the only thing you’ll need to do is double the RAM. A file server does not demand much of a CPU, so upgrading it will not be a good investment. Having a quality, reliable backup will be the best place to spend, as the hard disks will be the next thing to die (moving parts with motors always do, eventually).

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Dental IT Support Services – Toronto & Durham Region

TUCU provides IT Services for dentists in Toronto & the GTA. We have a long list of happy clients dating back to 2003.  Contact us today.