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Published on 02.19.07 by Brent Trahan

Windows Vista Upgrade Install

How-to upgrade your previous version of Windows to Windows Vista.


This guide walks you through the process of performing an upgrade from a previous version of Windows to Windows Vista.

Upgrade Paths from Previous Versions

Windows 2000 Pro and all versions of Windows XP can be upgraded to Windows Vista with an upgrade license. No other versions of Windows can be upgraded to Vista.

Upgrading from some older versions of Windows requires a clean install instead of an upgrade. Here is a table that outlines the upgrade options mapped to the different Windows Vista editions provided by Microsoft.

System Requirements

The computer you’re installing Windows Vista on needs to meet some minimum hardware requirements to run Vista properly.

Home Basic

  • Processor: 1GHz (32 or 64 bit)
  • System Memory (RAM): 512MB
  • Hard Drive: 20GB with 15GB available for Vista
  • Video Card: 32MB Memory and DirectX 9 Support
  • DVD-ROM Drive

Home Premium, Business, Ultimate

  • Processor: 1GHz (32 or 64 bit)
  • System Memory (RAM): 1GB
  • Hard Drive: 40GB with 15GB available for Vista
  • Video Card: 128MB Memory, DirectX 9 Support with: WDDM Driver, Pixel Shader 2.0, 32bits per pixel
  • DVD-ROM Drive

Please Note: The requirements above are bare minimum. If you only meet the requirements above don’t expect a speed demon.

Keep in mind: Windows Vista was designed to run on a dual core or better processor on a system with lots of memory. I recommend at least 2GB of RAM. If you want to experience the pretty side of Vista you need a high end video card also.

Lets Upgrade to Windows Vista

Before you go any further I highly recommend reading my guide on using the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor to make sure your hardware and software is compatible with Windows Vista.

Don’t complain if your computer crashes or acts up after you upgrade to Vista.

Install Windows

  1. Insert your Windows Vista DVD in your DVD drive while your old version of Windows is running.


    Click Install Now to start the upgrade.

  2. If your computer has broadband internet access I highly recommend selecting to check for updates during the installation.



  3. Type your product key that came with your copy of Vista. I don’t suggest selecting to automatically activate Windows. It’s a good idea to use the computer for a while before activating the license. You don’t want to activate a license on a machine Windows Vista doesn’t work on. Press Next when you’re ready to move on to the next step.


    Hint: You don’t need to enter a product key to install Vista. You can legally install and use any version of Vista without a product key. Click here to find out how.

  4. Accept the license agreement and click Next.


  5. Select the upgrade option if your upgrade supports it.


    I’m assuming your installation supports an upgrade from now on and you selected to perform an upgrade.

  6. Windows performs a quick hardware and software compatibility check and gives you a screen similar to the screen shots below if your computer fails.


    Click Click here for more information and you get something similar to the screen shot below.


    If your software or hardware is not compatible with Vista you might want to check the manufacturer for updated drivers or software.

  7. Now the upgrade to Windows Vista starts. This can take a long time, so sit back and relax. Below are screen shots of the installation. Your computer will restart a few times.



Set Up Windows

Windows Vista is now installed and it’s time to set up your new installation.

  1. Click Use Recommended Settings.


  2. Adjust your time and date settings and click Next when you’re finished.


  3. Select the place you’ll use your computer the most.


  4. Click Start to boot up Windows Vista for the first time.


  5. Before Windows Vista boots for the first time it must perform a performance check to see what features to turn on or off.



Now your computer should be running Windows Vista.

Still need help? Ask your computer question now.

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One Response to “Windows Vista Upgrade Install”

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  1. EFFBEOTCH says:

    It didnt work, it delited all of my files

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