Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Upgrading from Windows XP to Windows Vista: The Upgrade Installation Process

Before one choose to follow the Upgrade Installation path, we recommend that one backs up all ones important data to external media like a CD/DVD or USB drive before proceeding with the upgrade installation.

From within Windows XP and with all programs and windows closed, insert the Windows Vista DVD and let it autorun. This setup screen below will appear and simply click on Install now

It's not really necessary to check for updates online at this stage but one may if one chooses to and then insert the product key

Accept the Licence Agreement and then select the Upgrade option. A Compatibility Report will appear with information about software and drivers which are not supported by Windows Vista. At this stage it is safe to abort the setup process if the Compatibility Report indicates that most of ones programs will not be compatible. One can do so by simply clicking the red "Close" button on the dialog window of the Compatibility Report. If one wishes to proceed with setup then simply select "Next" and the upgrade process will commence.

The setup process follows clear stages. These can be seen below. Once "Expanding files" has progressed for a while the system will restart.

On the system booting up again, "Expanding files" will continue, followed by another restart after "Installing features and updates" is complete. On restart "Completing upgrade" will continue and then the system will restart for a final time before booting into Windows.

Problems Experienced

With the specific upgrade installation under review, the following problems were experienced on finally booting into Windows Vista:

1. The system hanged for about 10 minutes on final restart at a pale blue entirely blank screen and from there it hanged again for about 15 minutes at a dark blue screen with only a mouse pointer and this text in the bottom right hand corner visible:

Windows Vista(TM) Beta 2
Evaluation copy. Build 5384

A hard restart from the power reset switch was necessary and then the system booted fully into Windows Vista for the first time.

2. Audio was very bad and scratchy and all attempts at rectifying this with a driver update failed. The Intel Audio Studio icon on the desktop failed to open the program too.

3. The Avast! AntiVirus icon on the desktop failed to open the program although the AntiVirus itself was active, despite it being known that Avast! is fully functional and compatible in Windows Vista.

4. The ATi Control Panel failed to open the program but in all fairness this had been indicated by the Compatibility Report.

5. Each and every time a Office 2007 application was opened, it first went into a "setup" mode before the application would open. Word was opened repeatedly and this occured on every occasion.

6. The system went into a BSOD while trying to update the sound drivers. On Restart sound was still bad and the system was left on for four or 5 hours. Out of the blue (pun intended) the system restarts randomly and I only become aware of this when I hear the really bad startup audio. This error message has been found on the desktop a number of times now and looking for a solution to the problem, unspecified drivers were identified as being the cause: