Windows Vista installations my way

I’m finally getting the hang of installing Windows Vista. Having done 4 PCs in the last few days, I now think I know what I’m doing. To be honest, there’s not a lot to it. The hardest part is remembering to reinstall the important applications you use and finding drivers for some of the more obscure peripherals you wish to use. But the actual installation phase is a doddle.
It’s definitely a journey that’s worth taking if your PC is less than 2 years old and you don’t want to buy a new one. There are also some decent deals around for Upgrade copies of Windows Vista including these I found at
So here are a few little tiplettes to help anyone who’s contemplating upgrading their PC into the 21st century:
  • Make sure your PC is capable of running Windows Vista by running the Upgrade Advisor.
  • Fix any hardware issues that this flags, especially making sure you have at least 1GB of RAM.
  • Backup all your stuff onto a reliable external hard drive. Grab everything from your My Documents folder, your desktop and anywhere else you have saved files you don’t want to lose. Don’t forget your Outlook .pst files (the place where your local emails are stored) whose location can be found by right-clicking (inside Outlook) on the top folder of the personal folder you wish to backup, selecting Properties, then Advanced).
  • Unplug the hard drive, shut down the PC and sleep on it overnight. This last bit is very important.
  • In the morning, boot up your PC and check the backup you’ve made includes every single file you need. With fresh eyes you may spot a few extra files you might otherwise have lost. Once you’re happy your backup is complete, unplug the external hard drive and put it somewhere safe.
  • Remove all non essential external peripherals like printers and scanners from your PC
  • Install Windows Vista by following the instructions that came with the disk.
  • After Windows Vista is installed, install anti-virus as quickly as possible, then run Windows Update again and again until there are no more updates to install.
  • Now plug each of your device in one by one, waiting until the installation of the drivers is completed. Check Device Manager (just type Device Manager in the instant search box under the Start button) and fix any hardware related issues by locating the correct drivers.
  • Restore your backup files to your PC, tidying things up as you go.
  • Once everything is tickety-boo, set up a backup routine so your data is automatically saved to an external hard drive location as you go.
  • Invite your friends round to smugly show off your "new" PC!

Actually, there’s a lot more to it than that. But it’s pretty idiot-proof really. If you’re unsure about what to do, ask a friend for help. Chances are by now there’s someone you know who’s already successfully upgraded their PC.