It is recommended that you get Windows Vista preinstalled with your next new PC. This is the best way to acquire Vista. Another reasonable option, assuming you know what you’re doing and have recent hardware, is to purchase a retail version of Windows Vista and then perform a clean install of the OS on your existing PC. I don’t recommend that you install Vista over Windows XP.
Here’s why. Installing Windows Vista on top of Windows XP may cause incompatibility problems that you might not be able to fi x easily. When you buy a new PC with Windows Vista preinstalled, it’s almost certain that the components in the PC will have been selected for their compatibility and will have the latest driver software. PC makers also support their products with Web sites that provide the latest known drivers. These sites aren’t usually as up-to-date as they should be, but they will at least work. In general, you shouldn’t consider installing Vista over Windows XP unless the following conditions are true:
• You need a feature of Vista that you can’t add to XP.
• You need an application that requires Vista.
• You can’t afford even the least expensive new PC that comes with Vista preinstalled.
Even if one of the preceding conditions is true, you may be better off backing up all of your old data to a CD/DVD or removable hard disk, formatting the old PC’s hard drive, and doing a clean install of Vista. This avoids the possibility that some components of the old OS will hang around to cause conflicts. If you’ve never backed up and formatted a hard drive, however, don’t try to learn how on any PC that’s important to you.
If you do decide to install Vista over Windows XP, at least run Microsoft’s Vista Upgrade Advisor, to determine which drivers you may need to update first; and regardless of how you need to install Windows Vista, there are various ways in which you can get this system installed.
Source of information : Wiley Windows Vista Secrets SP1 Edition
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