Upgrading to Windows Vista Beta 2

I’m upgrading my home PC to Windows Vista using the Beta 2 version just released by Microsoft. Here’s my story.

Before I even considered updating to Vista, I ran the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor which found no impediments to installing Vista.

Here’s my base system specs:

  • Intel Celeron 2.4GHz
  • 768 MB RAM
  • 230 MB Disk (useful space) in two partitions
  • DVD burner
  • CD burner
  • NVIDIA GeForce FX5500 (256MB memory)
  • 10/100 Network card

And my peripherals:

  • Logitech wheel mouse
  • Microsoft multimedia keyboard
  • HP PSC 1510 (printer/scanner/copier)
  • HP Photosmart 935 camera

Here’s what I encountered during the install process. I apologize if the steps are out of order at all.

  • First off I made sure to copy my files to a separate partition on my hard drive.
  • Then I popped in the DVD and started the installation.
  • The first screen asked me to check with Microsoft to download the latest installation file. The installer took a while to find the file (busy server at Microsoft I think), but once it did, the download was very quick. The installer then quit and restarted.
  • Next, the installer continued with the Collection information step. During this phase, it identified three pieces of software that I had to remove before it would continue. I had to un-install McAfee Security Center (and by extension my McAfee anti-virus software), Windows Defender, and Real Player. I had to close the installer; the installer gave no option to go back and repeat this phase. I went to bed at this point and started again this morning.
  • Next I removed the required software and restarted the computer (Anti-virus software required a reboot to un-install).
  • I then restarted the install process, and re-downloaded the installation file. No further warnings appeared, and installation proceeded.
  • The next stage was to select which type of installation I wanted to do. I chose to do an Upgrade Install as I didn’t want to have to re-install all my software. The only other option was to do a custom install which apparently would’ve allowed me to choose to do a clean install as well as disk options (partitions, formatting, etc…). I didn’t examine the options at all, so I can’t comment on what’s down that path.
  • The Upgrading Windows window then sat on my screen for quite a while. There are five steps to the process as follows:
    • Copying Windows files – copies files from the DVD – would appear to be limited to the speed of your DVD drive and the IDE bus.
    • Gathering Files – DVD activity seems to be non-existant; disk activity is variable. It took a long time at 91% and a very, very long time at 99% before proceeding.
    • Expanding Files
    • Installing features and updates
    • Completing upgrade
  • Installation failed sometime in the last three steps. I heard the PC reboot at least twice but wasn’t sitting watching it. I’m going to attempt to do a clean install now. Will start another post to display the results of that attempt.

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