How to Remove Windows XP & Install Windows Vista


If your computer runs on Windows XP and you'd like to install Vista, you'll need to do a bit of housekeeping to move all of your programs and data over to the new operating system.The process does take a large amount of time, but it's not complicated. With this information on the most important aspects of removing Windows and installing Vista, you'll be well on your way.

Things You'll Need

  • External back-up media (external hard drive, DVDs, etc)
  • List of programs installed on Windows XP
  • Make a list of all programs you have installed on your computer. You'll use this checklist after you've installed Vista on your computer.

  • Locate all data files on Windows XP that you want to save. These include personal documents, music, bookmarks and any other files you want to keep. Most files will be in your My Documents folder or on your Desktop.

  • Attach your external back-up media to your computer or insert a blank DVD into the proper drive. Drag and drop the files from your computer to the external media. Do not remove the external media until the backup process has completed, unless you need to change DVDs.

  • Remove your external media, insert the Vista installation DVD and reboot your computer. When your computer starts back up, select the "Boot From CD" option on the Boot Menu to start the Vista installer.

  • Choose the Advanced mode on the Vista installer menu screen, and click through the terms of service acceptance window. When you reach the menu that asks you to select a partition you wish to install Vista to, select the "Erase Partition" option and erase your Windows XP partition.

  • Choose to install Vista on the partition that you just erased. Your computer will automatically begin the installation process, and may reboot several times while installing the operating system.

  • Once Vista is installed, log in to the computer and attach or insert the external media on which you saved your data files. Drag and drop your data files from your external media to your computer.

  • Install the programs you had installed on your Windows XP system. Reboot your computer after each installation to avoid problems. Use your program checklist to be sure you don't omit any. rebooting after each installation to ensure there are no problems.

Tips & Warnings

  • External hard drives are great for backing up files. They cost more than DVDs, but they are much easier and faster to use for data backups and transfers.
  • Once you erase the Windows XP partition, you cannot get it back, so be sure you have backed up all of your data before proceeding with the installation.

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