Instant Organize would take “forever” if you did it on someone with no spouse or children. It was a true infinite loop. This one had to be fixed, so I’ve put up a new point version.
Back to upgrading my wife’s laptop from XP to Vista? Do you know what the first step should be? It’s to backup all your data.
I have never had troubles with Microsoft Operating System upgrades in the past, but there is a small but significant chance that it might not go quite right. You always hear about a few horror stories. So it’s better to take the time to do the backup.
I did consider different types of backups. The software that came with my External Drive is Sonic Backup MYPC 6. Checking this software on the web, I found it was four years old and is a cut-down version. That rules that out.
Searching for good backup software, I determined that Acronis True Image 10 Home is the one I would choose if I needed a comprehensive backup strategy. It is very highly rated, can make a complete image of the hard drive for fast restoration of everything, and works both in XP and in Vista. It’s only $50.
But my wife’s laptop is fairly new, and doesn’t have much on it yet. If I had to reinstall her Operating System, it wouldn’t be that big a task. So I picked the middle road: using Microsoft’s own Backup that comes with Windows XP. If you have Media Center Edition, you can find it either under Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools or under Administrative Tools -> System Tools. You may have to install it if you have XP Home.
It works simply and quickly. In 5 minutes, it backed up and verified all important files and data to the external hard drive for me. One thing to consider. After I install Windows Vista, will I be able to get the data back if I need it? It turns out that Windows Vista’s Backup utility has significantly changed and it cannot read this backup. I can always read it off my other XP machines, so for me that’s not a worry.
Backup’s now out of the way. Next I’ll do the upgrade.