Users of Windows XP and Windows XP Professional can upgrade to a version of Vista.
Microsoft also gives users the ability to upgrade an existing version of Vista to a premium version of Vista through what they call “Windows Upgrade Anytime.” However installation of Vista can have problems when attempting either method of upgrading.
Multiple problems can occur during the upgrade process. Problems include hardware issues, upgrade incompatibility with the existing OS, having a Vista DVD meant for use in another country, having multiple operating systems on the computer, conflicting files and disabled or aborted upgrades.
Each problem could cause the upgrade process to fail. This leaves you with an incomplete installation.
Depending on how far along the installation was, you may be left with a corrupted operating system only partially installed or multiple errors appearing when you try to continue the installation. Errors must be resolved before you can resume.
You can avoid many upgrade problems by preparing your computer before the upgrade. Use the upgrade advisor tool to determine if your computer can handle Vista.
Ensure that your hard drive is formatted in NTFS format; if it already has a copy of Windows it should be. Also ensure that you are not running in Safe Mode, restart to start in Normal Mode.
Verify that you have downloaded or have a copy of Vista that is in the same language of your home country; otherwise the upgrade will fail.
Confirm that you have Service Pack 2 installed for XP or Vista before upgrading. Click on “Windows Update” in the Start menu to verify.
Since a copy of Vista “connects” itself to a specific hardware configuration, install any new hardware components and allow the current OS to update their drivers before upgrading. Make sure external hard drives are connected as well. This will help Vista “recognize” a certain hardware configuration.
Even by following the above advice, you may still encounter problems. If you receive a message that a certain file or folder has stopped the installation locate the folder or file using the Start menu search bar. Right click the file name and rename it. Or if you do not need the folder/file, delete it and restart the installation. If the installation says it is disabled, verify that you are starting the upgrade from within the currently installed version of Windows.
Microsoft does not recommend trying to upgrade computers that are running versions of Windows older than Windows XP Service Pack 2 due to the amount of space and video processing power that Vista requires. Using the Windows upgrade advisory tool can aid in determining compatibility.