Large numbers of individuals and companies still have older versions of Windows running on their computers. And even with Windows Vista on the horizon, compared to these older versions, Windows XP still offers a user-friendly experience and security functions that go far beyond its predecessors, including Windows In Chapter 2, "Installing Windows," we talked about baseline Windows XP installation concepts and features as well as how to perform clean and professional installations of the XP operating system.
In this chapter I cover how to perform an upgrade Windows XP installation, in which Windows XP replaces a previous Windows OS without first removing all data from the system drive and starting from scratch. An upgrade installation is most useful in cases where you have customized user settings that you want to preserve.
This option, however, does not always work flawlessly, especially if you are upgrading from an operating system other than Windows Professional or Windows XP Home Edition to XP Pro due to the differences in the Registry structure and the startup process. Stability issues aside, if you allow Windows XP to back up the existing operating system during the upgrade you can later uninstall Windows XP and effectively revert your computer back to the state it was in immediately preceding the Windows XP upgrade.
The ability to uninstall is contingent on the disk volume being FAT32 and not NTFS, that you have not created or deleted any disk volumes on the system, and that you do not delete any backup files created during the upgrade installation process.
However, a large established base of existing computers running older versions of Windows is present in nearly all organizations. Although nearly everyone would like to take advantage of the new capabilities of Windows XP, upgrades are not always feasible.
First and foremost, there is the significant cost of new software and its licenses. In addition, you need to take into account the following: Many older computers lack the hardware resources required to run Windows XP. You cannot upgrade all operating systems directly to Windows XP. Upgrading a large number of computers on a network involves a considerable investment in time and money. Applications running on existing computers may not be compatible with Windows XP.
Available Upgrade Paths Possible upgrade paths for computers running older Windows operating systems depend on the operating system currently installed as well as the version of Windows XP you plan to install.
Should you need to upgrade such an older computer to Windows XP, it is preferable to perform a clean installation of Windows XP as described in Chapter 2 after you have upgraded the hardware to an appropriate level. You must perform a clean installation of Windows XP on these computers. Verifying System Compatibility The Windows XP compatibility tool enables you to create a compatibility report that identifies any problems with hardware or software on a computer that is to be upgraded to Windows XP.
Select the Check My System Automatically link. The Microsoft Windows Upgrade Advisor dialog box enables you to download updated Setup files from the Microsoft website. The Microsoft Windows Upgrade Advisor dialog box tracks the construction of the upgrade compatibility report. This will take a minute or two.
When this action is completed, the Microsoft Windows Upgrade Advisor displays a list of items that may not be compatible with Windows XP, as shown in Figure 3. If no incompatible items are found, it informs you of this fact. To obtain additional information on any item, select it and click More Details.
To save a copy of the compatibility report, click Save As, type the name of the file to be saved in the dialog box that appears, and then click Save. Items that may be included in the upgrade report shown in Figure 3. Incompatible software that may require upgrade packs, or applications that are not compatible with the Control Panel in Windows XP.
If you do not remove these applications, you may receive an error message when upgrading to Windows XP. See Knowledge Base article http: Plug and Play hardware devices that are incompatible with Windows XP Professional or require additional files. If this happens, simply continue the earlier procedure from step 6. Note that if you have not yet purchased Windows XP and are wondering whether your computer will support an upgrade, the Windows XP Upgrade Advisor is available from Microsoft at http: Upgrade Scenarios After you have run the Microsoft Windows Upgrade Advisor and ascertained that you want to perform an upgrade installation of Windows XP, you are ready to proceed.
Before Upgrading to Windows XP After you are satisfied that an upgrade is worthwhile, you should perform several additional preliminary tasks. The following tasks are suggested, and depend on the current operating system on the computer: Back up your data before upgrading, in case something goes wrong during the upgrade. If upgrades are available, you should install them before upgrading your computer.
Otherwise, machines with older BIOS versions may not shut down or restart properly. Turn off power management features so that they do not activate during upgrade.
You can do this from the Power Options applet in Control Panel. Use an antivirus program that has been updated with the most recent antivirus signatures to scan the computer to ensure that the computer is free of viruses. In addition, use another program such as the Microsoft AntiSpyware Program http: After you have completed this task, remove or disable these programs because antivirus programs can interfere with the upgrade process.
Ensure that all hardware is listed in the Windows Catalog. Also check with hardware manufacturer websites for updated device drivers.
If you have used programs such as DriveSpace or DoubleSpace to compress partitions on computers running Windows 98 or Windows Me, you should decompress these partitions before upgrading to Windows XP, and then remove the compression utilities. If the Microsoft Windows Upgrade Advisor tool has identified software applications as being incompatible with Windows XP, upgrade or remove these programs.
Software manufacturers may have released upgrade packs or newer versions that enable older programs to work properly with Windows XP, and with Windows XP SP2 in particular. You should note the following items in particular: Older applications that depend on file system filters such as disk tools, disk-quota applications, and certain older antivirus programs should be removed because they cannot work properly on Windows XP.
Some older applications may contain drivers that overwrite Windows XP system files. Windows XP forbids such activity because it would damage the Windows installation. You may need to obtain and install migration dynamic link libraries DLLs for such software. Contact the software distributor for upgrade packs containing these DLLs. Network client software for other networks cannot be upgraded for use with Windows XP. You need to obtain new versions for this software. You should remove these tools.
Other third-party software items such as fault-tolerant disk options, uninterruptible power supply software, and certain network clients and services should be upgraded or removed. It may be possible to run certain older applications in compatibility mode after you have upgraded to Windows XP; see Chapter 12, "Windows Troubleshooting," for further details.
Ensure that the latest service pack is installed on your computer. In particular, Windows NT 4. Ensure that no unnecessary programs are running when you are ready to begin the upgrade. Windows XP does not support volume sets or stripe sets created on basic disk volumes in Windows NT 4. If you are upgrading a Windows NT 4. If you are upgrading a Windows computer, convert the disks containing these volumes to dynamic storage. Some keyboards and mice do not work after an upgrade.
One way to prevent this kind of trouble is to check with the vendor for the latest drivers or try installing generic device drivers before upgrading. If Windows XP drivers are not available, Windows drivers may work.
Upgrading a Windows NT 4. Remember that you cannot upgrade a computer running Windows NT 4. In addition, you cannot upgrade a computer running a server version; you must perform a fresh install. Use of this version is nearly identical to the procedure displayed here, except that the option for New Installation Advanced is not present. Note that an upgrade from Windows NT 4. NOTE You can also upgrade by accessing the installation files from a distribution share located on a server on the network.
Then open the Run dialog box and type x: The Welcome to Windows Setup dialog box see Figure 3. Select Upgrade Recommended to begin the upgrade, and then click Next. You would select New Installation Advanced to completely replace your current version of Windows or to create a dual-boot system.
The License Agreement screen appears. The Your Product Key screen appears. Type the character alphanumeric product key and then click Next. Click Next to continue. Installation files are copied and the computer restarts. At this point, no change has been made to the old operating system.
This may happen more than once. This can take up to 40 minutes. You are asked for additional information only if Setup cannot obtain a required piece of information. When installation has completed, the computer reboots and displays the Welcome to Microsoft Windows screen.
The options available and the procedure for performing WPA were discussed in Chapter 2. Similar to the option presented during an original installation, enter your name and the names of any other users in the Who Will Use This Computer?
You might not see this page when upgrading from Windows Professional. Click Next and then click Finish. The logon page appears. Click your username to begin. Upgrading a computer running Windows Me is similar. Perform the following steps: