NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, October 2006
Getting Ready for Windows Vista
By Gene Barlow, User Group Relations
Copyrighted October 2006
gene@ugr.com (click to email author)

The next few months promise to be an exciting time for PC users as Microsoft rolls out their new Windows Vista operating system. While some business systems may be released late this year, most of the action will take place shortly after the beginning of the new year. Now is the time to start planning how you are going to take advantage of this new technology.

This is the first new version of Windows in over five years and is a major change in how PC user will interact with their computers. Lots of new function has been added to Vista to make it the most exciting new Windows since Windows 95 was first introduced. You will want to be a part of this major step forward in technology.

Some of the new features added to Windows Vista include:

  • A complete redesign of the graphical user interface that you see and interact with. Windows Vista has a fresh new look and is a lot easier to use.

  • Finding things on your Vista computer is going to be much easier. Files can be stored in one location, but retrieved in many different ways.

  • New multimedia tools will now be part of Vista . This will help you to better work with your images, music, and videos files.

  • Communications between computer systems has also been greatly enhanced. Connecting with other computers can now be done quickly and easily.

  • System security has also been enhanced. Vista will provide you with more security features than older Windows systems did.

These are just a few of the hundreds of new features you will find in Vista. To read about more of them download the Windows Vista Product Guide found on the Microsoftís web site at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/getready/preview/.

Interested and excited about Windows Vista? You should be. This is a very important change in how we use our computers. So, what do you need to do to get your computer ready for Windows Vista?

Microsoft suggests two ways to move to Windows Vista. They are as follows:

  • Do a Clean Install of Vista on top of your old WinXP operating system. This replaces your WinXP system with a new Windows Vista system. You will have to save all of your data files and settings from your old system before installing Vista and then put them back on your hard drive after Vista is installed. You will also need to reinstall all of your application programs from their original CDs. This is a lot of work, but it should give you a cleaner Vista system. Unfortunately, in the process you will destroy your old WinXP system. I consider this approach too risky for my use.

  • Do an in-place upgrade of your old WinXP operating system with Windows Vista. This will install Windows Vista on top of your old operating system, but will keep all of your application programs and data files from your old system in the Windows Vista replacement. This is an easier way to go, but if things donít work, you have just destroyed your old working WinXP system in the process. Again, too risky for my liking.

So, how can you get to Windows Vista and still have the protection of your working WinXP system while you are getting use to Windows Vista? The secret is that you setup your computerís hard drive to run multiple operating systems. That will give you the ability to run both your current WinXP operating system and the new Windows Vista operating system on the same computer. This is easy to do with the right software tools.

First, you need to set up a logical Data partition on your main hard drive to hold all of the data files. Then you can access those data files from either of the two operating systems you are using. To do this, you need a partitioning utility like Acronis Disk Director Suite 10.0 . More about this excellent utility later.

Once you have moved all of your data files from your WinXP partition to this new Data partition you will be ready to install Vista . You can do this in the following ways:

  • Multiple Operating Systems with a Clean Install of Windows Vista. Using the top rated partitioning utility, Acronis Disk Director Suite 10.0, you set up a second primary partition on your main computer. Then you install a Clean version of Windows Vista in this second primary partition on your main hard drive. When you are done, you can switch back and forth between your WinXP operating system and your new Windows Vista operating system using the OS Selector utility that comes with Acronis Disk Director Suite 10.0 . This lets you keep your working WinXP system while you are building your new Windows Vista system. You will need to install any application programs in the Windows Vista partition that you want to run under Vista. This will give you the cleanest installation of Vista possible.

  • Multiple Operating Systems with an Upgrade Install of Windows Vista. Also using the partitioning utility, Acronis Disk Director Suite 10.0, you set up an empty space on your main computer where your Vista primary partition will reside. Then you copy your WinXP operating system partition into this empty space on your hard drive. This gives you two primary partitions, each with WinXP installed in it and running. Next, you do a Windows Vista upgrade install into the partition with the copy of WinXP. This will replace WinXP in that one partition with Windows Vista, but still keep your application programs and settings. You can switch back and forth between the two operating systems using the OS Selector utility that comes with Acronis Disk Director Suite 10.0 . This is the easiest way to get to Windows Vista from WinXP.

By using multiple operating systems on your computer to run both WinXP and Windows Vista, you do not risk having to burn your WinXP bridges before you are comfortable with Windows Vista. This gives you the time to test out your application programs and get everything working on your new Windows Vista system before you commit to using it exclusively. Once you are satisfied that Windows Vista works perfectly for you, then you can discard the old WinXP system and only use Windows Vista. It may be several months before you finally get rid of WinXP. You do not need to get rid of it the day you first install Windows Vista like the two Microsoft options suggest.

To help you move to Window Vista, we are putting several things in place. First, you will need a copy of the excellent partitioning utility, Acronis Disk Director Suite 10.0. This product normally sells for $50, but we offer it to user group members and their friends for a discounted price of $29 in our Fall Special bundle. You will also get a copy of our tutorial, Getting Ready for Windows Vista in the Fall Special bundle. Both of these for only $29 is an outstanding bargain and one that you wonít want to miss. Order yours today from our web site at http://www.usergroupstore.com. Look for the Fall Special and use the order code of UGFAL06 to complete your order.

To help you understand and use Acronis Disk Director Suite 10.0 to get ready for Windows Vista, we have just completed a new tutorial titled, Getting Ready for Windows Vista. You can view it on our web site at http://www.ugr.com/tutorials.html. This will help you to better understand the steps needed to set up multiple operating systems on your computer. Those ordering our Fall Special on a CD will receive the tutorial CD with their order. Finally, we are working on a detailed step-by-step technical paper titled, Using Acronis Disk Director Suite 10.0 to Install Windows Vista. This paper should be available around the end of October on our web site. We want your move to Windows Vista to be successful, so we are offering you all of these tutorials and papers to help you get there as planned.

Be one of the first to use the exciting new Windows Vista operating system on your computer and share this information with your friends. We will help you get to that point safely and easily with our excellent products, tutorials, and prices. If you have any questions about this article or Acronis Disk Director Suite 10.0, please send them to gene@ugr.com. I look forward to helping you if I can.

Gene Barlow
User Group Relations
Voice: 435-652-3005
PO Box 911600
Email: gene@ugr.com
St George, UT 84791-1600
Web: http://www.ugr.com

This is one of a series of monthly technical articles that I distribute to those that have subscribed to this newsletter. You can subscribe at http://www.ugr.com/newsletters.html. Watch for them and learn more about your computer and its hard drive. If you do not want to receive these newsletters, simply reply and ask to have your name removed from the list and I will do so immediately. User group newsletter editors may print this article in their monthly newsletter as long as the article is printed in its entirety and not cut or edited. Please send me a copy of the newsletter containing the article so that I can see what groups are running the articles.

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