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40. Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor

Upgrading from one operating system to another can be problematic in the sense that one never really knows if the hardware or software you already have will be compatible with the new operating system.

Fortunately, two companies, Microsoft and TouchStone Software Corporation have created Vista readiness applications that instantly tell you whether your PC is compatible with the latest Windows Operating System.

Microsoft Vista Upgrade Advisor

Microsoft have taken the worry out of upgrading by developing an Upgrade Advisor application which you can download and run prior to installing Windows Vista.

The software scans your PC and provides an easy to understand summary of all system, device and program compatibility issues on your PC. you can then see at a glance which of your current software applications will work with Vista and which, if any, pieces of hardware/devices you may have to upgrade.

To download the Windows Vista Upgrade advisor click on the following link:

Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor

TouchStone's Vista Readiness Test

An alternative to Microsoft's Vista upgrade advisor is TouchStone Software Corporations Vista Agent. TouchStone has been a trusted source for PC diagnostics for over 20 years, so has plenty of experience to offer.

The Vista Agent requires the download of a secure Active X application or plugin that is compatible with Internet Explorer, Netscape, Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla, Opera, and other popular web browser software. It is easy to use and provides a comprehensive breakdown of system hardware passes and failures. It even advises you if your PC needs to update any drivers.

If driver updates are required there isn't any need for you to start searching the web for replacements. For a yearly subscription of $29.95 (US) (£15) you have access to DriverAgent.com where you will have access to the most current and up to date drivers available for your system.

If you are using a dual boot system, wherby two operating systems are installed on separate partitions, make sure that the Windows XP partition, or whichever partition you will be eventually using to upgrade to Vista is 40 GB in size. Any less and the Vista Readiness test will say that your computer fails the test. The parameters for disk size with Vista readiness test are set for Vista premium and Ultimate which require a minimum of 40GB. Obviously Vista Basic will only require 20GB but this is not taken into account with the test.

The Vista Readiness test performed by Vista Agent is free and can be downloaded from the following link.

Windows Vista Readiness Test