How to prepare to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows Vista

Article translations Article translations
Article ID: 931225 - View products that this article applies to.
Expand all | Collapse all

On This Page

INTRODUCTION

This article describes how to prepare to upgrade from Microsoft Windows XP to Windows Vista.

MORE INFORMATION

Back up important files

Back up important files on the Windows XP-based computer before you upgrade to Windows Vista. A backup of files helps prevent the loss of files if you make a mistake during the upgrade. For more information about how to back up files in Windows XP, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
308422 How to use the Backup utility that is included in Windows XP to back up files and folders

Install Windows XP Service Pack 2

Before you can upgrade from Windows XP to Windows Vista, you must install Windows XP Service Pack 2. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322389 How to obtain the latest Windows XP service pack

Verify the upgrade status of the Windows XP-based computer

To determine whether you can upgrade the edition of Windows XP on the computer to Windows Vista, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/buyorupgrade/upgradepaths.mspx
If you cannot upgrade the version of Windows XP to Windows Vista, perform a custom installation. (This kind of installation is also known as a clean installation.) When you perform a custom installation, you cannot migrate the Windows XP settings to Windows Vista. For more information about how to perform a custom installation of Windows Vista, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
918884 How to install Windows Vista

Verify that the programs that you are using are supported by Windows Vista

For more information about how to determine whether programs are compatible with Windows Vista, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
931359 How to determine whether there are program-compatibility issues before you install Windows Vista

Verify the free space on the hard disk

To upgrade from Windows XP to Windows Vista, you must have about 15 gigabytes (GB) of free space on the hard disk on which Windows XP is installed.

To determine how much free space is on the hard disk, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click My Computer.
  2. Right-click Local Disk (C:), and then click Properties.

    Note If Windows XP is installed on a different hard disk on the computer, right-click the appropriate hard disk.
  3. On the General tab, view the value in the Free space field.
If the hard disk on which Windows XP is installed does not meet the free space requirements, you cannot perform the upgrade. If insufficient space is available, increase the free space on the hard disk. Or, perform a custom installation. For more information about how to free space on the hard disk, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
306542 How to use the Desktop Cleanup Wizard in Windows XP

Verify the file system

Before you perform the upgrade, you must verify that the hard disk or the partition on which Windows XP is installed uses the NTFS file system. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click My Computer.
  2. Right-click Local Disk (C:), and then click Properties.

    Note If Windows XP is installed on a different hard disk on the computer, right-click the appropriate hard disk.
  3. On the General tab, view the File system field.
For more information about how to convert a hard disk from the FAT32 file system to NTFS, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
314097 How to use Convert.exe to convert a partition to the NTFS file system

Properties

Article ID: 931225 - Last Review: June 20, 2008 - Revision: 2.3
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
Keywords: 
kbharmony kbupgrade kbsetup kbenv kbexpertisebeginner kbhowto KB931225

Give Feedback

 

Contact us for more help

Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.
Get more support from smallbusiness.support.microsoft.com