This article describes the versions of Microsoft Windows XP that you cannot upgrade to Windows Vista because of language pack issues between the two products. This article also describes how to perform a custom installation of Windows Vista to work around this issue.
Windows Vista is available in 36 languages. This includes 11 languages that are available in Windows XP only if you use a Windows XP Language Interface Pack. However, you cannot upgrade a Windows XP-based computer that is running one of these packs to a version of Windows Vista that uses one of the new languages. If you try to do this, the Upgrade
option is not available. Instead, you must perform a custom installation of Windows Vista or a clean installation of Windows Vista.
This issue occurs if the operating system language in Windows XP does not match the language of the version of Windows Vista that you install. This issue affects the following language versions of Windows XP:
Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition uses Windows XP Multilingual User Interface Pack (MUI) language packs to support a subset of languages. When you install Windows Vista on a computer that is running Windows XP Tablet PC Edition and a language pack, you cannot upgrade the computer to a version of Windows Vista that uses a non-English language. In this scenario, to install a version of Windows Vista that uses a non-English language, you must perform a custom Windows Vista installation or a clean Windows Vista installation. This issue affects the following language versions of Windows XP Tablet PC Edition:
- Portuguese (Brazil)
- Portuguese (Portugal)
Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 Update Rollup 2 supports additional languages. However, you cannot upgrade Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 with Update Rollup 2 to the matching language version of Windows Vista. This issue occurs because the computer runs the English version of Windows Media Center Edition 2005 together with a language pack that provides localized strings. The operating system is in English even though the computer is running a localized language such as Spanish. Because the operating system is in English, you cannot upgrade to a non-English version of Windows Vista. This issue affects the following language versions of Windows Media Center Edition 2005:
- Traditional Chinese
- Norwegian (Bokmål)
- Portuguese (Portugal)
This issue does not affect the following language versions of Windows Media Center Edition 2005:
- Simplified Chinese
Custom installation information
Although you may be unable to upgrade the computer to Windows Vista, you can perform a custom installation of Windows Vista. A custom installation helps preserve the data files from an earlier installation of Windows XP. Consider the following limitations when you perform a custom installation of Windows Vista:
- You must reinstall all the programs after you install Windows Vista.
- You cannot preserve Windows XP settings, such as Windows Media Center recording settings. In this scenario, you must reconfigure Windows Vista. This includes setting up Windows Media Center.
- You must move personal files to an appropriate location in Windows Vista.
- Windows Easy Transfer is unavailable. Windows Easy Transfer does not let you transfer files and settings between computers if a language difference exists.
Although this article describes how to manually restore personal files after you perform a custom installation of Windows Vista, you can also use a third-party backup program to back up the files from Windows XP and then restore them to Windows Vista. Before you do this, we recommend that you make sure that the backup program is compatible with Windows Vista. Also, we recommend that you become familiar with the process to back up and restore files. If you decide to use a third-party backup program to preserve personal files, you may want to also follow the steps in this article to create a second backup copy of the files.
Install Windows Vista
To perform a custom installation of Windows Vista, follow these steps:
- Insert the Windows Vista DVD, and then click Install now.
- Follow the steps in the installation program until you reach the Which type of installation do you want page. Notice that Upgrade is unavailable.
- Click Custom (advanced), click the partition on which you want to install Windows Vista, and then click Next.
- When you receive a message that states that the partition contains files from an earlier Windows installation and that these files will be moved to a folder that is named Windows.old, click Next. Then, follow the remaining steps to install Windows Vista.
Locate personal files
The Windows Vista installation program creates the Windows.old folder to store files from the Windows XP installation. To locate the Windows.old folder in Windows Vista, click Start
, type drive:\windows.old
in the Start Search
box, and then click Windows.old
in the Programs
If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or click Continue
You must move personal files from their former folders to the corresponding folders in Windows Vista.Important
We recommend that you do not delete any files or folders until you verify that all the personal files have been successfully restored to Windows Vista.
For more information about how to restore your personal files to Windows Vista, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
How to restore your personal files after you perform a custom installation of Windows Vista