Special Edition Using Microsoft Windows Vista: Chapter 2, Installing and Upgrading Windows Vista
This excerpt from Que's comprehensive new reference on Windows Vista walks you through the installation process, whether you're upgrading from XP or doing a clean setup. It also explains how to check whether your hardware is Vista capable, product activation, and multiboot operation.
You learned about the hype about Windows Vista, all its new features, and some of the details of its design and architecture in Chapter 1, "Introducing Windows Vista." The question at this point is, "Are you really going to install it?" If you are, you should go ahead and read this chapter and the next one. In this chapter, I coach you on preparing for the installation and checking your hardware and software requirements; then I discuss some compatibility issues that might affect your product-purchasing decisions. The next chapter covers post-installation issues, such as personalizing Windows Vista to suit you. I also walk you through the setup procedure.
Of course, if Windows Vista is already installed on your PC, you might be able to skip to Chapter 3, "The First Hour." However, you should at least take a brief look at this chapter because it includes some discussion that might affect your software and hardware installation decisions when using Windows Vista in the future. Understanding what you can do with and shouldn't expect from an operating system is always good background material when you use a tool as complex as a computer on a regular basis. Pay particular attention to the section about RAM and hard disk upgrades, and how to research hardware compatibility and find the Windows Vista'approved applications list on the Windows Catalog site.
As you'll learn later in this chapter, the Windows Vista Setup program automatically checks your hardware and software, and reports any potential conflicts. Using it is one way to find out whether your system is ready for prime time. It can be annoying; however, it is better than finding out something is amiss at midnight when you're doing an installation, especially when you could have purchased RAM or some other installation prerequisite the previous day when you were out at the computer store. Likewise, you don't want to be technically capable of running Windows Vista, only to experience disappointing performance. To help you prevent such calamity or surprise, the first part of this chapter covers hardware compatibility issues.
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