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Tips for XP users upgrading their laptop to Vista


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I've been getting a few question lately in my PMs regarding upgrading from XP to Vista and some issues that have surfaced with some certain laptops. To remedy this I've drafted a common ground step by step guide that you guys might want to post up for the other users. The guide is as follows:

Upgrading to Vista can have it's rewards but it can also open a pandora's box of issues as well, but with the right steps these issues can be avoided entirely.

1.) When you are going to upgrade to Vista you should do this first above anything else. Contact your laptop vendor to ensure they have Vista drivers and software for your laptop. Certain laptop hardware parts may have issues with Vista or may not have drivers. To avoid the most common issues with Vista, you should always contact your vendor to make sure ALL parts in your system are supported properly.

2.) Make sure you have have the recommended hardware requirements before you upgrade to Vista. You at least want to support Vista Home Premium specifications. This means 1.0 GB of RAM, a GeForce 6100, Radeon X1000/HD or equivalent video card supporting DirectX 9.0c, and a 1.6 GHz CPU are required at minimum for best functionality. If you can get better hardware, by all means do so. The more powerful your system, the better off you are and the faster your system will be.

3.) Check your software to make sure it supports Vista. Not all applications support Vista. Many legacy pieces of software that worked issue free on XP might have issues on Vista and may not work properly. Make sure your software works. Also make sure your system has drivers for every part of the hardware as well. Drivers are going to be a key to getting the system fully working.

4.) Certain hardware will have certain limitations on Vista. This mainly focuses on audio cards. As you may know Audio processing in Vista is done primarily in software with minimal hardware assist. The best supported audio solutions at this time currently are through Realtek Semiconductor's HD series and VIA Technologies' Envy24 series, though chipsets from vendors like Sigmatel and Conexant will work well also. As of current news it was discovered Creative Lab's claim to have the best support of Vista audio has proven to be falsified. While OpenAL has proven to be accelerated under Vista with the usage of the special ALchemy driver for EMU10K1 or later chip variations, Creative has ignored many issues and the level of support given is far lower that other vendors leaving Creative's SoundBlaster cards with only a complete feature support level of about 25% or less. Nvidia, at this time, has functional BETA drivers for their SoundStorm and nForce MCP for users with nForce 2 audio included chipsets. These drivers do include OpenAL support but only for OpenAL specific audio programs. Realtek also provides drivers for it's AC'97 codec used with the nForce MCP and SoundStorm as well so by comparison you do have somewhat of a choice if one driver has issues with programs.

5.) AeroGlass will also require certain hardware as well, but there are some limitations you might be be aware of at first. AeroGlass will work on just about any DirectX 9.0c certified graphics chip with ShaderModel 3.0 specifications and at least 64MB of RAM, but not all will be as functional as others. The GeForce 6100 or Radeon X1000/HD series will have the best performance with AeroGlass. The Intel GMA series and other integrated graphics chips will support AeroGlass but only minimally and desktop performance will be very strained under heavy work loads with multiple windows open. For best results, I HIGHLY recommend you have at least a GeForce 6600 or Radeon HD series with at least 128MB of RAM. If you have a certified DirectX 10 graphics chip such as the GeForce 8100 or Radeon HD 2400 you should not have any issues at all.

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Good one Tiger! Sound and well thought out advice for the mainstream. Maybe a word would be appropriate about that performance-hogging Aeroglass desktop, and my own feeling that virtually any hardware will be slower under Vista than under good ol' XP.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Best thing i ever did was upgrade to vista! i find it performs better than XP, but thats just me, i fortunately am one of the lucky ones to not have a problem to this day

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