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Microsoft Windows Vista Upgrade Considerations

This is the last article in the series detailing Microsoft’s newest operating system named Vista. The previous two articles described the versions of Vista intended for home users. There are a couple of additional versions of Vista intended for businesses that are not covered in this series.

You have read about Vista, seen the commercials, and heard all the hype. Now the question becomes – am I ready to upgrade? When deciding whether to upgrade to Vista there are several considerations that need to be taken into account. Which are as follows:

  1. Hardware – if keeping current system will it be sufficient to run Vista or will an upgrade, or new system, be required?

  2. Software – will all your software be compatible with Vista? To determine if you need upgrade your software need to check with the publisher to determine compatibility.

  3. Peripherals – can all of your peripherals, such as printers, scanners and additional devices, work under Vista? This usually is can be determined using the Vista Upgrade Advisor, which is discussed later.

  4. Data – this entails creating a data backup plan if upgrading a current system and migrating data and settings to a new system if necessary.

Vista System Requirements Per Microsoft:

Recommended System Requirements for Vista Home Basic:
  • 1GHz Processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • At least a 20 GB hard drive with 15 GB free
  • DirectX 9 Compatible Graphics Card with 32 MB Memory
  • DVD Drive

Recommended System Requirements for Vista Home Premium:
  • 1GHz Processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • At least a 40 GB hard drive with 15 GB free
  • DirectX 9 Compatible Graphics Card with 128 MB

If this all seems overwhelming and you are not sure if your system meets the requirements then you can use the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor (link at end of article) to determine if your system is ready for Vista.

The Vista Upgrade Advisor will test your system to determine if the system meets the standards for running Vista. The test will create a report that details what will and will not work with Vista. The report lists possible problems with hardware, software and presents solutions for rectifying the problems before installing or upgrading to Vista.

If the report comes back numerous problems that will be troublesome to fix then it advisable not to upgrade your current system but invest in a newer Vista capable system. To make migrating to a new system easier Microsoft has created Windows Easy Transfer (link at end of article) which can be used to transfer custom settings and files from the old system to the new system.

Upgrade Advice and Summary:

  • Invest in Vista Home Premium – the Aero graphics make it worthwhile.

  • If upgrading a current system it is advisable to wipe the system clean and start from scratch. Though an in-place upgrade can be performed with Vista, a clean install is always best!

  • Backup, backup, backup! Make sure all your data is backed up before starting the upgrade process.

  • Make sure all hardware and software will work with Vista. Do not want to revert to an old operating system when you find out your photo organizing software does not work!

Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor


Windows Easy Transfer


Purchase Windows Vista
This is the Home Premium Upgrade version that allows upgrades from Windows XP or Windows 2000.

MS Vista Home Premium Upgrade
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Features of Windows Vista Home Basic Edition
Features of Windows Vista Home Premium Edition
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Content copyright © 2015 by Allison Nunn. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Allison Nunn. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Allison Nunn for details.


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