How to prepare to install Windows Vista on a computer that is running Windows XP

Article translations Article translations
Article ID: 931227 - View products that this article applies to.
Expand all | Collapse all

On This Page

INTRODUCTION

This article describes how to prepare to install Windows Vista on a computer that is running Microsoft Windows XP.

MORE INFORMATION

To prepare a Windows XP-based computer to install Windows Vista, follow these steps.

Step 1: Back up important files

We recommend that you back up important files in advance on the Windows XP-based computer. When you do this, you help prevent the loss of files if you make a mistake during the installation of Windows Vista. 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

Step 2: Determine whether the software and the peripheral devices that you use on the Windows XP-based computer are supported in Windows Vista

For more information about how to do this, 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
Additionally, you can use the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor to help determine which edition of Windows Vista you can install. For more information about the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/buyorupgrade/upgradeadvisor.mspx

Step 3: Determine how much free space is available on the hard disk

To install Windows Vista on a Windows XP-based computer, you must have about 15 gigabytes (GB) of free space on the computer's hard disk.

To determine how much free space is available on the hard disk, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click My Computer.
  2. Right-click the drive where you want to install Windows Vista, and then click Properties.
  3. Click the General tab, and then view the value in the Free space field.
You cannot perform the Windows Vista installation if there is insufficient free space on the drive where you want to install Windows Vista. If sufficient free space is not available, increase the free space on the hard disk drive, or add a hard disk.

To increase the free space on the hard disk drive, delete the following items on the computer:
  • Temporary files
  • Temporary Internet files
  • Unnecessary data files
Additionally, you can empty the Recycle Bin on the desktop and remove nonessential programs on the computer. For more information about how to increase the free space on the hard disk, see the Microsoft Windows documentation.

Step 4: Verify the file system

To verify the file system on the drive where you want to install Windows Vista, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click My Computer.
  2. Right-click Local Disk (C:), and then click Properties.

    Note If you want to install Windows Vista on a drive other than drive C, right-click the appropriate drive, and then click Properties.
  3. Click the General tab, and then view the File system field.
To perform the Windows Vista installation, the drive on which you want to install Windows Vista must use the NTFS file system. If the drive on which you want to install Windows Vista uses the FAT32 file system, convert the drive to use the NTFS file system. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.
  2. At the command prompt, type convert drive_letter: /fs:ntfs, and then press ENTER.

    Note In this step, drive_letter is a placeholder for the letter of the drive where you want to install Windows Vista.
  3. When you receive the following message, type y, and then press ENTER:
    The type of the file system is FAT32. Convert cannot run because the volume is in use by another process. Convert may run if this volume is dismounted first. ALL OPENED HANDLES TO THIS VOLUME WOULD THEN BE INVALID. Would you like to force a dismount on this volume? <Y/N>
  4. When you receive the following message, type y, and then press ENTER:
    Convert cannot gain exclusive access to the drive_letter drive, so it cannot convert it now. Would you like to schedule it to be converted the next time the system restarts? <Y/N>
  5. You receive the following confirmation message:
    This conversion will take place automatically the next time the system restarts.

    Note When the computer restarts, the file system is converted to NTFS file system. The computer automatically restarts again and the files are checked. The computer automatically restarts one more time to finish the conversion.
    Restart the computer to complete the conversion process.

REFERENCES

For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
931225 How to prepare to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows Vista
For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
931226 How to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows Vista by using the upgrade version of Windows Vista
For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
931228 How to perform a custom installation of Windows Vista on a computer that is running Windows XP

Properties

Article ID: 931227 - Last Review: June 11, 2007 - Revision: 1.3
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 kbhowto kbexpertisebeginner kbenv kbsetup KB931227

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