I'm planning to upgrade a Dell Dimension 4100 this weekend from Me to XP since Microsoft is dropping support. I have a few basic questions though...
Microsoft dropped support for ME internally years ago. They're only dropping it now because of Vista due out next year (and also because Microsoft have nearly shot themselves in the foot by leaving it so long between XP and Vista that they nearly ended up having no mainstream support for any version of Windows at all). But just MS are dropping support doesn't mean it will stop working.
1- I bought more memory for my computer (it currently has 128 mb and I bought two 256 sticks). I've put memory in newer computers before, where I just turned off the computer, removed the old sticks, put in the new ones and restarted. Will it be the same deal for this computer?
2- I have updated versions of some software since some of my Me programs don't work on XP (CD burning program, etc.). But do I have to worry about hardware, such as my sound card not working?
When you install XP (which I recommend you do by wiping the hard drive as opposed to doing an upgrade), XP will install all the drivers for the hardward that it recognises. You just need to find the missing drivers for the bits XP hasn't recognised. But as this machine is a good few years old, there is a good chance XP will know what to do with the majority of the stuff in there.
3- If I need to get drivers for my hardware, can I use my Me CD? Or do I have to go to the company's website to download drivers? Also, I don't have my Dell receipt anymore, so is there some way through Device Manager that I can find out exactly what brand/type of sound and graphics cards I have in case I need to get drivers?
You can use Device Manager on WinME to get the device names and what not to write them down and do some Googling later on to fill in the gaps for hardware that XP doesn't recognise.
You won't be able to use your ME CD anymore as XP is an entirely different kettle of fish and none of the ME drivers will work in XP anyway.