Thanks for the info. I realize the risks although I'm not a PC expert . It's a matter of weighing the cost vs risk.
In other words, if my Mom was a typical multi-daily average 'net surfer PC user, I'd have already replaced her PC.
My nephew is a Linux guy so I can get him to help out if we have to switch over to Linux on Mom's PC.
I have Linux Mint in my own PC CD/media kit but am not familiar with it yet. I've loaded It on my Win 7 PC at home to insure that it boots ok but haven't spent time as yet with it.
Thanks for the info. Mom doesn't do any banking transactions on her PC but she does use her CC at Amazon occasionally.
I have her banking acct and CC's set up on my home PC to monitor for fraudulent transaction activity.
While I'm no ace about this stuff, I do check things with Process Explorer, Netstat -b, CPU use, etc, just to take a look occasionally at her PC to look for things that appear abnormal.
I will get more familiar with Linux Mint since I already have the CD at home. Perhaps that's the best way to go with Mom's PC, no expense, etc.
Regarding the overall XP scene, I'm somewhat of a "show me" guy with this topic . I'm not doubting the cautious advice at all, don't want to be misunderstood about it.
There's been so many predictions of doom at other forums that sometimes I wonder about it. In other words, there are posters elsewhere that claim to have been running older versions of Windows without any issues.
I'm not taking those posts as complete truth but I'm looking at my Mom's PC as sort of a "lab test" situation to see how it goes for a while.
In my Mom's case, if a rare (this is a rare risk according to all I've read here and at other forums around the 'net) firmware/BIOS infection occurred, one from which I couldn't recover her PC, I'd brick her PC since the loss would be minimized as it's outdated (hardware).
If there were a situation where her PC is compromised without any symptoms being noticeable, I have backups of those few items that would be needed to be recovered in the event that replacing her PC would be required.
If her PC gets infected by one of the conventional scenarios (ie, browser hijacked, "FBI" screens, false popup's appearing, etc), recovery from those situations is fast with full-HDD images stored elsewhere, as well as a cloned HDD that I keep at my house.
Coincidentally, I was planning on posting a similar question in the XP section at this forum soon, at the 3-month point (since Apr 8th), to see how other XP users have been doing the past 3 months.