Article ID: 932616 - View products that this article applies to.
Important This article is valid only when you are trying to install a 32-bit operating system. This article does not cover 64-bit operating systems. For more information about installation choices for 64-bit versions of Windows Vista, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
932795 Installation choices for 64-bit consumer versions of Windows Vista
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INTRODUCTION

This article discusses the installation choices for consumer versions of Windows Vista. This article does not include information about Windows Vista Starter, about Windows Vista Enterprise, or about versions of Windows Vista that you install by using Microsoft Volume Licensing.

The method that you use to install Windows Vista depends on the answers to the following questions:
  • Do you have an upgrade license of Windows Vista or a full product license?
  • Does the version of Windows that is installed support an upgrade to the version that you purchased?
  • Do you want to preserve your personal files, settings, and programs? Or do you prefer to perform a clean installation of Windows Vista?

MORE INFORMATION

General information about how to install Windows Vista

Definitions

  • Upgrade to Windows Vista An upgrade to Windows Vista preserves the currently installed personal files, settings, and programs. You can upgrade only certain versions of Windows to certain versions of Windows Vista.
  • Custom installation (clean installation) of Windows Vista A custom installation or clean installation of Windows Vista does not preserve the currently installed personal files, settings, and programs. Windows Vista is installed without third-party programs. You can perform a custom installation of Windows Vista by using either an upgrade license or a full product license. However, if you own an upgrade license, you must start the installation in the current version of Windows. At the installation choice menu, select Custom to perform this action.
  • The upgrade version of Windows Vista An upgrade version of Windows Vista is a license that lets you install Windows Vista if you already own a compliant, licensed version of Windows. You can perform either an upgrade installation or a custom installation of Windows Vista by using an upgrade license. However, you must start the Windows Vista installation in the compliant version of Windows.
  • 32-bit operating systems Windows comes in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. This article discusses upgrade options when you are running a 32-bit operating system and you are trying to install a 32-bit version of Windows Vista.
  • N versions of Windows Vista N versions of Windows XP and of Windows Vista do not include Windows Media Player. N versions are designed for customers in Europe. You cannot upgrade an N version of Windows. Instead, you must perform a custom installation.

Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2)

You must have Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 installed before you can upgrade a Windows XP-based computer to Windows Vista. To verify that you have Windows XP SP2 installed, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
  2. On the General tab, verify that Service Pack 2 appears in the System area.
If Windows XP SP2 is not installed, install it before you start an upgrade to Windows Vista. To obtain Windows XP SP2, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://update.microsoft.com

How to determine whether your computer is running a 32-bit version or a 64-bit version of Windows XP

For more information about how to determine whether you computer is running a 32-bit version or a 64-bit version of Windows XP, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
827218 How to determine whether your computer is running a 32-bit version or a 64-bit version of the Windows operating system

Installation choices

Your installation choices depend on the version of Windows that you have installed. This section describes the choices that are available for each version of Windows.

Upgrading is not supported for some language versions of Windows XP

Upgrading from the following language versions of Windows XP to the matching language of Windows Vista is not supported.
  • Windows XP with the following Language Interface Packs installed:
    • Bulgarian
    • Croatian
    • Estonian
    • Latvian
    • Lithuanian
    • Romanian
    • Serbian-Latin
    • Slovak
    • Slovenian
    • Thai
    • Ukrainian
  • Windows XP Media Center Edition with the following Language Interface Packs installed:
    • Traditional Chinese (Hong Kong)
    • Traditional Chinese (Taiwan)
    • Czech
    • Danish
    • Finnish
    • Norwegian (Bokmål)
    • Polish
    • Portuguese (Portugal)
    • Russian
    • Spanish
    • Swedish
    • Turkish
  • Windows XP Tablet PC Edition with the following Language Interface Packs installed:
    • Czech
    • Danish
    • Finnish
    • Hungarian
    • Italian
    • Norwegian
    • Polish
    • Portuguese (Brazil)
    • Portuguese (Portugal)
    • Russian
    • Spanish
    • Swedish
    • Turkish

Installation choices for Windows XP Home and Windows XP Home N Edition

Upgrade
If you have Windows XP Home or Windows XP Home N Edition installed, you can upgrade to the following versions of Windows Vista:
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Home Basic N
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Business N
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
Note Make sure that you have Windows XP Service Pack 2 installed before you upgrade to Windows Vista.

After you purchase the retail store package or download Windows Vista from the Windows Marketplace Web site, follow these steps:
  1. Insert the Windows Vista DVD.
  2. Select Upgrade during the Setup process.
Custom installation
You can perform a custom installation of the following versions of Windows Vista in Windows XP Home or in Windows XP Home N Edition:
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Home Basic N
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Business N
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
The custom installation option is offered at the price of the upgrade DVD package.

After you purchase the retail store package or download Windows Vista from the Windows Marketplace Web site, follow these steps:
  1. Back up all the data and settings by using Windows Easy Transfer or Windows XP Backup. Windows Easy Transfer is available on the Windows Vista DVD.
  2. In Windows XP Home or Windows XP Home N, insert the Windows Vista DVD.
  3. Select Custom during the Setup process.
  4. After the installation is complete, you can restore the data that you backed up in step 1 from the backup media.

Installation choices for Windows XP Professional and Windows XP Professional N Editions

Upgrade
If you have Windows XP Professional or Windows XP Professional N Edition installed, you can upgrade to the following versions of Windows Vista:
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
Note Make sure that you have Windows XP Service Pack 2 installed before you upgrade to Windows Vista.

After you purchase the retail store package or download Windows Vista from the Windows Marketplace Web site, follow these steps:
  1. Insert the Windows Vista DVD.
  2. Select Upgrade during the Setup process.
Custom installation
You can perform a custom installation of the following versions of Windows Vista in Windows XP Professional or in Windows XP Professional N Edition:
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Home Basic N
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Business N
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
After you purchase the retail store package or download Windows Vista from the Windows Marketplace Web site, follow these steps:
  1. Back up all the data and settings by using Windows Easy Transfer or Windows XP Backup. Windows Easy Transfer is available on the Windows Vista DVD.
  2. In Windows XP Professional or in Windows XP Professional N, insert the Windows Vista DVD.
  3. Select Custom during the Setup process.
  4. After the installation is complete, you can restore the data that you backed up in step 1 from the backup media.

Installation choices for Windows XP Tablet Edition

Upgrade
If you have Windows XP Tablet Edition installed, you can upgrade to the following versions of Windows Vista:
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
Note Make sure that you have Windows XP Service Pack 2 installed before you upgrade to Windows Vista.

After you purchase the retail store package or download Windows Vista from the Windows Marketplace Web site, follow these steps:
  • Insert the Windows Vista DVD.
  • Select Upgrade during the Setup process.
Custom installation
You can perform a custom installation of the following versions of Windows Vista in Windows XP Tablet Edition:
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Home Basic N
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Business N
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
After you purchase the retail store package or download Windows Vista from the Windows Marketplace Web site, follow these steps:
  1. Back up all the data and settings by using Windows Easy Transfer or Windows XP Backup. Windows Easy Transfer is available on the Windows Vista DVD.
  2. In Windows XP Tablet Edition, insert the Windows Vista DVD.
  3. Select Custom during the Setup process.
  4. After the installation is complete, you can restore the data that you backed up in step 1 from the backup media.

Installation choices for Windows XP Media Center Edition

Upgrade
If you have Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 or Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 installed, you can upgrade to the following versions of Windows Vista:
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
After you purchase the retail store package or download Windows Vista from the Windows Marketplace Web site, follow these steps:
  1. Insert the Windows Vista DVD.
  2. Select Upgrade during the Setup process.
Custom installation
You can perform a custom installation of the following versions of Windows Vista in Windows XP Media Center Edition 2002, in Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004, or in Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005:
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Basic N
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Business N
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
After you purchase the retail store package or download Windows Vista from the Windows Marketplace Web site, follow these steps:
  1. Back up all the data and settings by using Windows Easy Transfer or Windows XP Backup. Windows Easy Transfer is available on the Windows Vista DVD.
  2. In Windows XP Tablet Edition, insert the Windows Vista DVD.
  3. Select Custom during the Setup process.
  4. After the installation is complete, you can restore the data that you backed up in step 1 from the backup media.

Installation choices for Windows 2000

Custom installation
If you own Microsoft Windows 2000, no upgrade installation path is available. However, you can perform a custom installation that uses an upgrade license by starting the installation in Windows 2000.

If you have Windows 2000 installed, you can install the following versions of Windows Vista by performing a custom installation:
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Home Basic N
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Business N
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
After you purchase the retail store package or download Windows Vista from the Windows Marketplace Web site, follow these steps:
  1. Back up all the data and settings by using Windows Easy Transfer or Windows XP Backup. Windows Easy Transfer is available on the Windows Vista DVD.
  2. In Windows 2000, insert the Windows Vista DVD.
  3. As you complete the steps on the Setup wizard pages, remember to select Custom.
  4. After the installation is complete, you can restore the data that you backed up in step 1 from the backup media.

Upgrade paths between versions of Windows Vista

The following table shows the upgrade paths that you can use to upgrade to another version of Windows Vista.
Collapse this tableExpand this table
To Vista Home BasicTo Vista Home Basic NTo Vista Home PremiumTo Vista BusinessTo Vista Business NTo Vista Ultimate
From Vista Home BasicUpgradeNot availableUpgradeUpgradeCustom installationUpgrade
From Vista Home Basic NCustom installationUpgradeCustom installationCustom installationCustom installationCustom installation
From Vista Home PremiumCustom installationCustom installationUpgradeCustom installationCustom installationUpgrade
From Vista BusinessCustom installationCustom installationCustom installationUpgradeCustom installationUpgrade
From Vista Business NCustom installationCustom installationCustom installationCustom installationUpgradeCustom installation
From Vista UltimateCustom installationCustom installationCustom installationCustom installationCustom installationUpgrade
Note This is a "FAST PUBLISH" article created directly from within the Microsoft support organization. The information contained herein is provided as-is in response to emerging issues. As a result of the speed in making it available, the materials may include typographical errors and may be revised at any time without notice. See Terms of Use for other considerations.

Properties

Article ID: 932616 - Last Review: June 30, 2011 - Revision: 8.9
APPLIES TO
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Home Basic N
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Business N
  • Windows Vista Home Basic 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Business 64-bit Edition
Keywords: 
kbhowto kbinfo KB932616

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