Nov 12, 2007

Things to Check Before Upgrading to Vista

Vista, the new operating system from Microsoft, is being marketed as a revolution for the personal computer. All the enticing benefits the new system offers have spurred lots of people to download Vista Windows. If you’re contemplating upgrading your XP-running PC, here are some factors you need to address first.

1. Check your PC.

Before you download Vista Windows, check your computer if it’s ready for upgrades. To do this, you need to download and run the Windows Upgrade Advisor tool. This will assess your computer and give you a list of the Vista versions that are compatible with your unit. To be able to download Vista Windows, your computer must have at least 800MHz. Premium-ready PCs need at least 1GHz.

2. Make sure you have enough memory and hard drive space.

Another thing to note before you download Vista Windows your PC must have at least 512 MB of RAM. The minimum requirement for a premium-ready PC is 1 GB of system RAM. Plus, to be able to download Vista Windows, your hard drive size and free space must be no less than 40 GB and 15 GB, respectively.

3. Determine graphics adapter capability.

To enable you to download Vista Windows, your graphics adapter must be DirectX 9 capable. Premium-ready machines need at least 128 MB of video RAM to be able to download Vista Windows. Cards that are Vista-capable should have a minimum 64 MB of video RAM. These requirements need to be met if you plan to exploit the Aero Glass graphics. Otherwise, if your existing video adapter is Vista-capable, there is no need to upgrade it. It should be noted that a notebook computer with graphics card that is not compatible has a lesser chance of a successful upgrade to the new system.

4. Your computer must have a DVD drive.

So you can download Vista Windows, your PC should have a DVD drive in which you could install Vista.

5. Determine the version of Vista your computer is capable of running.

Before you download Vista Windows, determine first the version most appropriate for your computer. The five different editions are:

· Windows Vista Home Basic – provides basic operating system usability; suitable for average home users; will sell for $200 for new PCs, and $100 as an upgrade for those with existing Windows license

· Windows Vista Home Premium – offers more functionality than previous Vista Home Basic version; best choice for most PC users; features Aero and Media Center interface, DVD Maker, Movie Maker HD, backup scheduler, SideShow that allows use of auxiliary displays, comes with a Sync Center to synchronize files with other PCs over a home network, and parental controls; premium costs $240 for new computers and P160 as an upgrade if you have an existing Windows XP Home license

· Windows Vista Business - useful for standard business needs; comparable to Windows XP Professional; will be a staple on the corporate desktop.

· Windows Vista Enterprise – has advanced features like BitLocker Drive Encryption for laptops, application compatibility tools, and multi-language support

· Windows Vista Ultimate – has all the features of Vista Home Premium; features support for dual CPUs (multi-core are supported in lower versions), remote desktop host, file encryption (with full-drive BitLocker capability), faxing, domain-based networking for office networks, and web hosting; will sell for $400 for new PCs and $260 as an upgrade if you have an existing Windows XP Home or Pro license.

6. Existing applications must be capable of running under Vista.

To ensure that you can download Vista Windows and install it successfully, run the Application Compatibility Toolkit to help you distinguish the applications that may not be operate under Vista.

7. Back up your data.

Before you download Vista Windows, do not forget to back up your data. Prior to installation of the new operating system, be sure to check that you have all the installation media from your existing software and the proper licensing information.

The steps above are all essential requirements that you need to consider before you download Vista Windows. Also, notebook computers and desktop PCs should be able to meet all the hardware specifications.

Author: Marko Hammond

Article Source: Things To Check Before Downloading Windows Vista

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