Before you purchase anything..
Vista needs more RAM and more space in which to operate than previous Windows editions. There is good reason for this, as Vista is way more capable of overcoming system errors, and has way more security coded in. In order to take advantage of Vista’s Aero facility, a good quality video card is also required.
- Target systems do not need to dual or quad core but dual core or higher is an advantage.
- RAM should be at least 1gb, and more if the target system has an integrated video card.
- Hard drive size should be 120gb or more, where 60 – 80gb is allocated as the primary partition.
- Video should have at least 128mb ‘dedicated’ RAM for Aero and other visual enhancements to work.
If your present system is the same as or better than the above, Vista should install and run well.
Why does Vista require more resources than XP? Simply because Vista is NOT just XP with a new look.
However, there are more considerations to take into account as this just covers the operating system. You may have peripheral devices for which there are no Vista drivers, i.e. scanners, printers, webcams, even keyboards etc.
Software often has an OS identifier coded in such that any attempt to install on a newer operating system will ultimately fail. This applies to drivers, applications and utilities, and essentially forces the computer owner to pay for versions which will work in the new OS.
You may well find that a printer driver will work but the printer support utility doesn’t. Some older applications may appear to work without issue on the face of it, but may also display quirks with which you may not be able co-exist.
A first test to see if Vista will work for you is the ‘Vista upgrade advisor’. It is ONLY an advisor, and it will be your responsibility to check out its findings with hardware and software manufacturers.
OEM or Retail?
When you buy an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) product, you are taking on FULL responsibility for ALL support and warranty issues. This is why OEM products are cheaper.
When you buy OEM Vista, you get only one platform level. If you buy 32bit OEM Vista, that is all you get. If you lose the DVD, you take on the responsibility of replacing it. If you want support, looking in a mirror will show you who is responsible. Retail purchases cost more, but you get all of the normal rights of a customer, full support, and you also get both 32bit and 64bit DVDs.
OEM Vista can only be installed on one system, and it lives and dies with that system. It is NOT transferable to another system. You can activate it as many times as you like as long as it is the original system being used.
Retail Vista can be transferred to any other machine, and activated as many times as is required. If you lose or damage a DVD, Microsoft will replace it.
All versions of Vista can only be activated on one machine at any one time. If you need two computers running Vista, you will need to buy two Vistas.