Things to check before switching to Vista Part 1

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 6, 2006
Updated • May 22, 2013
Windows, Windows Vista

Vista here, Vista there - I know that I'm writing many articles about the upcoming operating system but there is already that much to write. You may have heard that Vista has some "enhancements" that could make the switch from another operating system to Vista a living hell. Did you know for instance that many old devices and even brand new software will not work under Vista?

Let us talk about hardware first. You should check whether your devices are supported by Windows Vista before you make the switch - nothing is more frustrating than to realize that a needed device is not working under Vista. The question if a device is working in Vista can be easily answered for hard drives and dvd drives for instance but how about card readers, scanners that use serial connections and the like? Do they work in Vista?

Microsoft created an "Is your computer ready for Vista" check program that checks your computer; Microsoft calls this utility Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor. You may need the Microsoft XML Core Services as well. The scan was running for about a minute, after that I was presented with a page that told me that my PC was ready for Vista. Below that message were information about system requirements, devices and software currently installed on my system.

System requirements told me that my C: drive had only 3 GB of space left and that this was not enough to install Vista. It also told me that my D: drive had only 500 MB of free space. I don't know why the tool did not check drive E: (130 GB free) and F: (120 GB free). It nevertheless told me that I could install Vista on a different hard drive. Everything else that was checked was fine (CPU, RAM, DVD, Video Adapter).

Great information so far, let us see what it told me in the Device tab. It checked the devices that were connected to my computer and found no incompatibilities but one. The scanner was not able to find information about a device called Hamachi. The reason? Hamachi is no device but a emulated device. You probably will run into troubles if you have old devices.

Finally the programs tab. The scanner found four programs of which three ( Anti-Vir, Ulead Videostudio and Tweak UI) were supposed to have minor problems and one ( The Godfather ) with major problems. Vista told me that I had to uninstall the last one before I made the upgrade to Vista. I'm not sure about all the other freeware that I have installed on my system, it kinda scares me that Vista found only those four programs out of more than a hundred. Something seems wrong here.

So, Microsoft says my PC will run Vista and I only need to uninstall one freeware utility for the dream to come true. What did it tell you and how are Linux and MAC users going to use the Vista Upgrade Advisor?

Make sure you check back tomorrow for the second part of Things to check before switching to Vista which will take a closer look if the software that we use on a daily basis will run in Vista.

Update: Note that you need to connect all of your devices to the PC before you run the check so that they can be identified properly and checked for compatibility.


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