Advice On Upgrading To Windows Vista

With few months away for the birth of a new child in Windows family of operating system, Windows Vista, Microsoft has released a tool to analyze the requirements to stay prepared for installing it. One will see in this article, what is that tool, its installation and its use. We will also see some topics such as, what is the minimum system requirement for installing windows Vista, key reason for upgrading to vista, what are the different editions of Windows Vista.

What are Advisor tools?

Wow, what a surprise! With advisor tool, computers can analyze themselves and tell human brains what they want more in order to run new software, which is going to be released in the near future. One needs to simply install the tool and sit for a while, to take the advice. I was really surprised to see such an intelligent tool.

Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor tool:

This is a tool which can tell the PC users what they require for running windows vista with all new features. It also tells the user what hardware component of computer requires to be changed, before installing Windows Vista. The advisor tool is also a beta version, which is yet to be released as full version. The upgrade advisor tool was released during May 2006.

How it works?

It will start its work by collecting computer’s hardware details, including the external devices attached to it. It then prepares a report based on the details available.

What one need to have before running advisor tool?

This is the easiest question, that can be answered by one word, i.e. perhaps “the computer” itself. But, additionally, you need to have internet connection for accessing advisor tool itself. Apart from that, the computer should run Windows XP or Windows Vista Beta.

Why so? Can we install and run on operating systems other than Windows XP, Windows Vista Beta?

It will not work on any other Windows family of operating systems. The reason is that, Windows Vista Full version will be the improved version of Windows XP and Windows Vista Beta. So, Microsoft believes that the computers running Windows XP should be able to run Windows Vista.

What should users do if they are running Windows 95, 98, 2000, ME?

They should compare the computer hardware with the list given in the Microsoft web site. Of course, if they still want the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor to run, then they have no other options, but, need to purchase and install Windows XP.

Are there any problems with the Vista Upgrade Advisor tool?

Yes, that is why, still it is under beta, which means it is a test version, which is little far apart from the final release of advisor tool. It will not be able to tell definitely, in the final report that, whether some of the cards work or not in Windows Vista.

Basic requirements for running Windows Vista:

In, Microsoft has released a list of “Minimum supported system requirements” and said as follows,“PCs that meet the minimum supported system requirements will be able to run the core features of Windows Vista with the basic user experience.”According to its list, the minimum system requirements are as follows,

Processor - 800 MHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
(Processor speed is specified as the nominal operational processor frequency for the device. Some processors have power management which allows the processor to run at a lower rate to save power.)

System Memory - 512 M.B.
GPU - SVGA (800x600)
Graphics Memory - -
HDD - 20 GB.
HDD Free Space - 15 GB
Optical Drive - CD-ROM
(The CD-ROM may be external (not integral, not built into the system))
Audio -
Internet -
File System - NTFS (New Technology File System)

However, one will need to have higher Hard disk capacity to install other programs apart from Windows Vista. If one wants to run aero features that come with Windows Vista, then they should have a Graphics card which supports Direct X 9.0.

What should one require to look for when they purchase a new PC?

They can go for PCs which are designated as Windows Vista Capable or Windows Vista Premium Ready.

I have already got report from the windows upgrade advisor tool which is under its beta. Should I require running it again after a month or two?

The answer seems to be yes, because, Microsoft may upgrade the tool itself to accompany new requirement specifications. Also, some of the devices that are not detected by beta may get detected by the new release of upgrade advisor tool.

How to start Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor tool:

One can start Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor tool by using the link, presents a File Download dialog box. However, the above said link may get changed. In such case, one can go to and type “Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor” and press the search button. This will build a list of different links, which is pertaining to the typed search condition. Select the link which has a 90% relevancy to the topic. It may be the first link. This may take one to “Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor” introduction page. Navigate through the page to look for keyword “Download”. Click on download or link given there. You will get the file download dialog. Now click “Save” button to save the File to hard disk. After completing downloading and scanning procedures, run the file. One will get a security warning displaying the Name and Publisher of the file. Make sure that the name is Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor, and the Publisher is Microsoft Corporation. Now, click the run button. If the name and publisher are incorrect do not run the file by clicking “Don’t Run” button. Delete the file and try to download it again. Now, one will get a welcome dialog. From now on, one can proceed by reading through the instructions given by the installation wizard. At the end of installation wizard, a dialog box with a check box indicating “Launch Microsoft Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor” will be displayed. Mark it to run the advisor tool directly on closing the installation wizard.

Should one required to keep all devices that are connected to the computer turned ON?

Yes. This is because, the advisor tool is built in a way that it detects all devices that are attached to the computer and turned ON. It will report whether these devices are compatible for use with Windows Vista. This is most important point for devices such as printers, scanners etc. which are most frequently used.

What does one gain by using the Windows Vista upgrade advisor tool?

As said previously, it is going to give a report on whether Windows Vista can run on available hardware devices or not. Moreover, it gives an idea of about new supported devices. It also gives an idea of upgrading or changing the system, depending on the current hardware details.


Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor performs the task in 4 basic sections.

  • Scanning and collecting system hardware, software details,
  • Allowing the user to choose what he or she wants to do with Windows Vista.
  • Suggest the user what hardware it requires to run Windows Vista,
  • Suggest the user what softwares and drivers will work on Windows Vista, and also shows concern about security issues.

Stages in Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor tool:

There are 5 stages.
1. Scan system,
2. Feature selection,
3. Hardware Assessment,
4. Software Assessment,
5. Print all details.

The Scan system stage will scan the computer system collecting the hardware information including external devices that were attached to the system. It is perhaps the starting screen of Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor tool.

The next screen stage is feature selection. In this stage, user will select which type of work, that one does using Windows Vista. Windows Vista can be used for variety of applications. One can make use of Windows Vista to play games, to do office work, professional work such as programming, web designing, play multimedia, browse internet, connect to network and copy some required things etc. These can be selected in Feature selection screen which informs the advisor tool what one want frequently from Windows Vista. For example, the user may select play multimedia. Then the upgrade advisor tool suggests that, for playing multimedia one should have high quality graphics card and good sound card in case, the graphics card and sound card is not present in the system.

The Hardware assessment section tells the user, which are the supported devices that can be detected by the Windows Vista. It also, gives a report that tells user of which part of the system hardware such as memory, Hard disk, CD-Drive etc. is required to be replaced in the system.

The software assessment section gives a Device and Software Report, which contains a list of devices that do not have Windows Vista compatible drivers. This means, the devices marked will not be able to get recognized through Windows Vista, which requires a search for new drivers or a replacement. Search in the manufacturer’s web site for updated driver, before replacing the equipment with a new one. Some drivers will be installed by Windows Vista automatically. Such device drivers are listed separately.

The last section gives the option of taking printout or saving the report of all the four sections. This section gives another option of saving the entire report.

Which edition suits you most?

Now, we have seen how the Windows Vista Upgrade advisor tool works. No matter from the edition that it suggests to install, let us see what are the 5 editions for Windows Vista, and whom the editions are suited.

The Windows Vista Editions:

  • Windows Vista Home Basic
    It contains features that one can use in home environment. It also includes advanced security features, which secures the data in home computer.
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
    An improved edition from Home Basic, this edition contains the Windows Media Center capabilities which turn the system into a new Home entertainment center. One can make use of Windows Media Center to record and play favorite TV programs.
  • Windows Vista Business
    This edition focuses mainly on the business organization of any size. The operating system is designed, keeping in mind, the needs of the business community. There will be more protection to business data. There will be warnings for impending hardware failures. The operating system contains a set of backup tools that can be used to create backups at regular intervals. One can get connected to work place via network even if one is traveling.
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
    This edition is designed to lower the IT costs and risks. The edition contains all the features that are available with Windows Vista Business. In addition to these features, the edition contains Windows BitLocker Drive encryption, which uses hardware based data encryption technology. It also comes with a set of new features which ensures application compatibility with other operating systems including non windows operating systems such as UNIX, Linux etc. This includes a new feature of the Windows Vista Enterprise, the Virtual PC Express. The operating system also contains additional features which includes advanced multi language support.
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
    The edition is the most powerful, feature rich edition, consisting of almost all features. One can work from any where, which includes home, office, while traveling etc. It includes high networking capabilities. One can enjoy games, music, videos with advanced effects and newest set of features. It also combines the features that are available with the Business Edition along with the features of Home Premium and also with Enterprise Edition.

    Windows Vista can only be installed in NTFS. This makes a problem who are having FAT32 and a lot of data stored in single HDD. To convert FAT32 to NTFS, one should be ready to loose data.

Check out more topics on windows from here,

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16 Reasons Why Should You Select Windows Vista

Advantages and Disadavantages of Windows Vista

Advice on Upgrading to Windows Vista

All about Windows Vista Migration

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