Upgrading to Windows Vista: Performing the update installation

Mark Minasi provides the information you need to ensure Windows Vista will run on your system. This chapter is an excerpt from Minasi's book, "Mastering Windows Vista for Business Professionals."

SP1 and R2

Mastering Windows Vista for Business Professionals
By Mark Minasi and John Paul Mueller

The following excerpt is from chapter two of Mastering Windows Vista for Business Professionals, entitled "Installing Vista."


Check out the rest of this chapter, Installing Vista.

Performing the Update Installation

When you upgrade, the installation procedure copies the settings from your current version of Windows and applies them to the installation of Vista. Remember that you can only upgrade the Windows XP Home SP2, Windows XP Professional SP2, Windows XP Media Center SP2, and Windows XP Tablet SP2 editions. Other Windows products, such as Windows 2000, Windows NT, and Windows 9x require that you perform a clean install (if you can install on the target computer at all). It's important to remember that the upgrade process can require a lot of time to complete.

NOTE: Microsoft places all of the outdated files from your Windows XP installation in a Windows.old folder when you perform an upgrade. The subfolders contain the Window XP files as well as the unchanged Registry settings. Even though these files exist, you can't boot Windows XP from them. Microsoft only provides these files so that you can retrieve settings you require to customize Vista completely. When you're sure that you no longer need the Windows.old folder, you can delete it to save space on your hard drive.
  1. Insert the DVD in a DVD drive. If AutoPlay is enabled on your computer, Windows displays the introductory screen. If not, open an Explorer window and double-click the DVD. This should trigger the AutoPlay action. If it doesn't, double-click the setup.exe file on the DVD to run it.

  2. Click the Install Now link. Setup asks whether you want to obtain important updates before you begin the installation process. Generally, it's always a good idea to update your system. You want to be sure that everything on your system is ready for the installation process, including essential system files. Notice that this window also contains a check box that asks whether you want Microsoft to know about your installation experience.

  3. Check or clear the I Want to Help Make Windows Installation Better option.

  4. Click Go Online to Get the Latest Updates for Installation. You must remain connected to the Internet while Setup updates your system. After Setup completes the update process, you'll need to enter your product key. This setup screen also contains an automatic activation option that you should keep checked unless you're installing Vista on a machine that lacks an Internet connection.

  5. Type your product key and click Next. Setup displays the licensing agreement next.

  6. Read the licensing agreement, check I Accept the License Terms, and click Next. Setup asks whether you want to perform an upgrade installation or a custom installation. Normally, you'll perform the upgrade installation to use existing settings for your machine. The only time you need to perform a custom installation is when you want to modify your setup with Vista in mind. For example, you might choose to add Vista features immediately, rather than simply install the feature set that Microsoft thinks you need.

  7. Click Upgrade. At this point, the Vista installation becomes more or less automatic. Follow any remaining prompts to perform setups for your unique machine configuration.

  8. Complete the setup using the steps in the "The Installation Paths Converge" section of the chapter.

Continue to Performing a new installation of Windows Vista.

Mark Minasi is a best-selling author, commentator and all-around alpha geek. Mark is best known for his books in the Mastering Windows series. What separates him from others is that he knows how to explain technical things to normal humans, and make them laugh while doing it. Mark's firm, MR&D, is based in Pungo, a town in Virginia's Tidewater area that is distinguished by having one -- and only one -- traffic light.
Copyright 2007 TechTarget
This was first published in March 2007

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