"Upgrade to Windows Vista - Licensing, Compatibility Issue and Installation Steps"

When we plan to upgrade to Windows Vista, we are typically referring to replace the existing version of Windows with Windows Vista. This is called an in-place upgrade with hope that we can keep all of the documents and settings.

The reality is that in-place upgrades often don't work as planned. So, you must backup all of your important documents and other data before upgrading. Also, you must understand what kinds of upgrades are even possible as only certain versions of Windows can upgrade to certain versions of Windows Vista.

From a licensing perspective, only certain Windows versions are eligible for a Windows Vista upgrade. That is, you can't purchase and install an Upgrade version of Windows Vista unless you're using a supported Windows version now.

If you are still running Windows 95, 98, 98SE, ME or Windows NT, you cannot purchase an Upgrade version of Windows Vista. Instead, you must purchase the full version of the Windows Vista product edition and perform a clean installation of Windows Vista.

If you're running Windows 2000 or Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, you can purchase an Upgrade version of the Windows Vista product edition. However, you must perform a clean install and cannot perform an in-place upgrade.

Good news for those that are using the Windows XP Home, Professional, Media Center, and Tablet PC Editions, you can get the Windows Vista Upgrade version and can be upgraded, in-place. However, there are some restrictions on which versions of Windows can be upgraded in-place to which Windows Vista versions.

Windows Version Vista Home Basic Vista Home Premium Vista Business Vista Ultimate
Windows 2000 Professional No No No No
Windows XP Home Edition Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows XP Professional Edition No Yes No Yes
Windows XP Tablet PC Edition No No Yes Yes
Windows XP Professional x64 Edition No No No No

Note: You cannot upgrade your old versions of Windows to Windows Vista Starter and Enterprise edition.

Upgrade to Windows Vista - Installation Steps

This section will show you step-by-step how to upgrade to Windows Vista from your existing Windows. Well, the installation process is almost same as clean installing Vista. So, here we will shows you the steps that are different.

1. The first difference is that you will launch Windows Vista Setup from within Windows XP desktop environment. So, just insert the Windows Vista Setup DVD into the PC/laptop DVD drive. The setup process will auto-run, and you will see the following screen.

install windows vista

2. Click Install Now to continue. In the next step, you'll be asked if you want to go online to get the latest updates for installation. Make sure you are connected to the Internet and setup will search for and download any updates. Select the 'Go online and get the latest updates for installation (recommended)' option.

3. Setup will proceed as it does during a clean install, and you'll enter the product key, and accept the license terms.

4. The next screen will ask the type of installation you want. Select the Upgrade option. Setup runs a compatibility check to determine whether any of your hardware or software will need to be reinstalled-or will work at all-after the upgrade is completed.

upgrade windows

5. After scanning your system, Setup will show you with a Compatibility Report, as shown below. This screen shown that your computer doesn't have software that prevents you from upgrading the operating system. Click Next button to continue to step 7.

Windows compatibility report

6. However, what you see here will depend on how many stuff you've installed on your computer, the more that you installed bigger the chance that there will be problems. The following screen is an example that Windows request you to uninstall the Nero - Burning Rom program before perform an upgrade.

compatibility report errors

7. Setup will continue exactly as it does during a clean install. Some of the steps will be skip such as configure your user name, password, display picture, and machine name, because you've presumably set up all of those options in your previous Windows version.

8. Setup jumps right to the Automatic Updates phase and then the time and date settings. After that, you click the Finish button, and Windows Setup tests your system performance and then loads the Welcome Screen.

If everything went well, you should be able to log on to your previously established user account and access a desktop. So, this is the step-by-step guide that allows you to upgrade to windows vista from your existing windows.

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