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Sunday, June 3, 2007 - Sun, 3 Jun 2007

Now on to the Vista upgrade. One first word of advice. Don’t start it at 10 p.m. like I did if you want to get to sleep early.

My HP Upgrade came with 2 DVDs. One was an HP Upgrade Utility which you’re supposed to run first and last, and the other is the Windows Vista disk. The instructions said at the top: “Warning: Windows Vista is a new installation. Any personal files and programs installed on the computer will be overwritten during the operating system installation.” I really didn’t want that. This computer was new (bought in November) and we haven’t really “junked” it up yet. Also I wanted to see if Behold would still run after the upgrade. But the instructions seemed to indicate that the HP installation would require a fresh install.

So that meant I had to be even more careful in my backups. I had to backup any extra user files that some of the programs installed kept in their Program Files directory. I had to also make a list of all the software installed, so as to be sure to reinstall everything again. Then I’d have to check for any customized settings we used for each program. Normally I find clean installs take 2 or 3 days before everything is running smoothly again.

After my “second” backup, I was ready for the HP Upgrade Utility. One of the first steps was that it wanted me to create a set of recovery disks if I wanted to go back to XP again. I really didn’t want to write 3 DVDs (or 18 CDs), so I instead copied the 13 GB recovery partition over to my external drive. That was much easier.

Then they say they have to delete the recovery partition to do the install. Since I just backed that up, I have no problem letting it go. I really don’t expect to go back to XP on that machine again anyway.

Then it upgrades the BIOS and gets ready to install Vista. Reading the 25 char/digit licence key from the tiny Windows Vista sticker was a difficult task for me without a microscope. Up come the License Terms. If you have a half an hour to read the 56 items they have in there, they are quite all encompassing. I almost worry that I might be giving them my first-born, but I accept their terms because you have to if you want to continue with the install.

Next, I was surprised. It asks me if I want to Upgrade or Install Clean. The Upgrade was disabled, but it says: “To Upgrade, start the installation from Windows”. Now they tell me!!! After I spent an hour copying program settings and after I unnecessarily copied and deleted the backup partition. Oh well. I cancel the install, reboot to Windows XP and start running the Install from the Vista DVD. Do the licence key and do the license terms again. Now I can select “Upgrade”.

First it looks for potential issues with my Computer. I didn’t expect any since it was supposed to be Vista ready. It came up with four: Microsoft Interactive Training (who cares), Sonic MyDVD Plus (also who cares), Windows Messenger 5.1 (I can upgrade), and nVidia Display Drivers (I can upgrade).

Then the Upgrading Windows screen comes up with 5 items on it followed by “Your upgrade may take several hours to complete”. Let’s see how long it takes. Items 1 and 2: Copying Windows Files and Gathering Files (whatever they mean by that) took 24 minutes and was followed by a reboot. Item 3: Expanding Files took 18 minutes. Item 4: Installing features and updates took 1 minute. That was followed by a reboot that then said: Windows Vista: Please wait a moment while Windows prepares to start for the first time. I guess Microsoft feels a “moment” is 5 minutes. The final Item: Completing Upgrade, took 47 minutes. But that was followed by: Set Up Windows (9 minutes) and then the first real boot of Window Vista and a short wait for Windows to Prepare Your Desktop.

Yay! Windows Vista. It looks a bit strange because the window is stretched and it is using 800 x 600 pixels. I presume it is because it needs to update the NVidia drivers. Also the AVG Free Antivirus did not start up. Also it didn’t connect to my wireless network. I had to temporarily turn broadcasting on (which I normally leave off for extra security) and then it connected.

So I put in the HP Upgrade Utility again. It detected that Vista is now installed and said there were 4 things it wanted to do. First was to Install HP device drivers and applications. It had a long list of all their installs which were all checked by default, including some unwanted things like Norton, Microsoft Works, and Microsoft Office Trial. I unchecked those and let it go. It seems like it will take forever. It’s now 3 a.m. so I’ll let that go overnight and go to bed.

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