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Upgrading to Windows Vista Using the HP Vista Upgrade Utility

This document pertains to HP Vista Capable Notebook PCs, purchased before October 26, 2006, that are being upgraded from Windows XP to Windows Vista using a retail copy of Windows Vista.
If you purchased your PC between October 26, 2006 and March 15, 2007, AND you ordered the Vista Express Upgrade Kit from HP, see the document Upgrading to Windows Vista Using the HP Express Upgrade Kit.
What is the HP Vista Upgrade Utility and is it right for my PC?
The HP Vista Upgrade Utility is a downloadable testing tool that verifies a PC is an HP Vista capable notebook PC. If the PC does not meet or exceed all the HP requirements, the utility will issue a report and abort the upgrade process. If the PC is HP certified and meets all the requirements, the utility prompts you through the steps needed to prepare the notebook for the upgrade to Vista.
You must download and use the HP Vista Upgrade Utility when upgrading an HP Vista capable PC, purchased before October 26, 2006.
If you upgrade your HP PC to Windows Vista without using the HP Vista Upgrade Utility, and should request technical support from HP, you may be required to reinstall the Vista OS using the HP Vista Upgrade Utility BEFORE receiving any assistance.
What should I do first before starting the upgrade?
Before you download and launch the HP Vista Upgrade utility, do the following:
  • Verify that your PC is on the List of HP Certified Vista Capable Notebook PCs as shown in the See also section of this document. If your PC model is not listed, do not attempt to upgrade to Vista. You may download all the latest service packs from Microsoft, and continue to use Windows XP.
  • Print and read this entire document. If you do not understand the information, or are hesitant about doing the upgrade yourself, contact HP or an HP authorized service center for assistance.
  • Verify that your HP Vista capable PC meets the minimum requirement of 512 MB memory (RAM) for Vista. To check the amount of installed RAM, click Start, then right-click My Computer, and select Properties to open the System Properties window.
    If you wish to improve the performance of your HP Vista capable notebook PC, you can purchase and install additional memory, up to a maximum of 2 to 4 GB of RAM, depending on your model.
  • Verify that you have installation discs and registration keys for all HP and third-party software that you want to install after you upgrade to Vista. You will need these installation discs because the upgrade to Vista will delete all files and applications from the PC. Some programs that were designed for Windows XP will not work in Vista, even if you have the original installation discs.
    HP does not provide discs for programs that were pre-installed with XP. You may have to purchase a new, Vista-compatible version of the software. Contact the software manufacturers for their policy on upgrades and Vista compatible products.
  • Purchase a copy of the Microsoft Windows Vista operating system from a local retail computer store or from microsoft.com. Select the edition of Vista that suits your computing needs.
Overview of the total upgrade process
The following is a summary of the steps involved in the process of upgrading a PC from Windows XP to Vista. Additional step-by-step details are included in other sections of this document.
  1. You must download the HP Vista Upgrade Utility and copy it onto a DVD/CD-DOM disc for use.
  2. Allow the HP Upgrade Utility to verify that the PC can support Vista. Vista does not install on a PC that does not meet specific minimum criteria.
  3. If you have not already created an OS recovery disc, you will be prompted to create one before doing the upgrade. If necessary, the recovery disc can be used to re-install the original XP operating system.
  4. You will be prompted to back up all personal data files to external storage media. During the upgrade process, all files on the PC are deleted.
  5. The HP Upgrade Utility will automatically remove, or change the size of, all partitions on the hard drive
  6. Now that the hard drive has been prepared, you will be prompted to insert the Microsoft Vista operating system disc into the DVD/CD-ROM drive.
  7. The utility will prompt you to press any key to begin the BIOS update process. On completion of the BIOS update, the PC will shut down.
  8. You must restart the PC to install the Windows Vista operating system. You will be prompted to choose between a clean installation and an upgrade, and to enter the installation key numbers.
  9. Once the Vista installation is complete, you must download the HP Update utility from hp.com. This utility will test the PC and install the latest Vista-specific patches and updates from HP.
  10. Once all the updates or patches have installed, you may install any non-HP provided applications using the original manufacturers' discs.
  11. When all your programs are installed and the PC is operating normally, you may recover any personal data files that you backed up earlier in Step 3.
Follow the detailed step-by-step instruction below to perform the upgrade.
Critical conditions for a successful installation
To install the Microsoft Windows Vista operating system, and the updates from Microsoft and HP successfully, you must:
  • Connect the PC to an AC power supply. Do not disrupt the power supply during the installation process.
  • If you have a high-speed Internet connection such as DSL or cable modem, connect the PC to the Internet using an Ethernet or USB cable. The installer automatically downloads and applies updates from Microsoft and HP during installation.
  • If you do not have a wired high-speed Internet connection during the installation, Vista cannot install the latest updates from Microsoft and HP. After the installation is complete, go to microsoft.com to download the latest updates from Microsoft. Then get the HP updates using the HP Update utility.
  • Disconnect any printers, external storage devices, and all other peripheral devices from the PC. Once Vista is installed, you may reconnect the devices, one at a time, and allow the PC to install the necessary drivers and programs. Upgraded printer and peripheral drivers may be required.
  • When prompted, select the option for a clean installation not an upgrade to Vista. A clean installation deletes all files on the hard drive and installs only the required applications. Do not choose the upgrade option.
Download and start the HP Vista Upgrade Utility
The HP Vista Upgrade Utility automates the procedures for upgrading the HP Vista capable notebook PC to Windows Vista. To avoid conflicts during the upgrade, make sure only one person is logged on to the PC, and close all other Windows applications.
To download and start the HP Vista Upgrade Utility (sp34397.exe), do the following:
  1. Locate the HP Upgrade Utility for Windows Vista (English only) on the hp.com web site.
  2. When you are in the download dialog box, click Save, and save the utility file to the desktop.
  3. You must copy the downloaded HP Vista Upgrade Utility file from the desktop to a DVD/CD-ROM disc, or an external storage device such as a flash memory stick.
  4. When you are ready to begin the upgrade, launch the utility from the stored location. Do not launch the utility from the desktop icon.
    • If the utility was saved onto a disc, re-insert the disc into the drive and the utility will start automatically.
    • If the utility was saved to an external storage device, navigate to the device and double-click the file to start the utility manually.
Follow the on-screen information and prompts as the HP Vista Upgrade Utility guides you through the Vista upgrade process.
Verify that the PC can support Vista
The first test that the HP Vista Upgrade Utility performs is to verify that the PC is an HP Certified Vista Capable or Premium Ready notebook PC. Do not attempt to upgrade a PC that fails the HP Vista Upgrade Utility test. Microsoft offers its own minimum Vista capable qualification test. Your PC may pass that Microsoft test; however HP only supports PCs that pass the HP Vista Upgrade Utility test. Attempting to use the HP Vista Upgrade Utility on any other PC will cause an error and the utility will quit.
If prompted, perform any requested actions, such as uninstalling anti-virus protection or disconnecting a peripheral device, before continuing.
Create an XP recovery disc
If you have not already created a set of recovery discs, you will be prompted to do so now. You can only create one (1) set of HP Recovery discs, and the discs will not work on a different computer. You should create the XP recovery discs before upgrading to Vista because, if for any reason you wish to return to XP, you can use the recovery discs to re-install the original XP operating system.
To create the HP XP Recovery discs, do the following:
  1. If the HP Vista Upgrade Utility detects that the recovery discs have not been made, you will be prompted to insert a CD/DVD and click Next to automatically launch the Backup and Recovery Manager.
  2. Select Expert Mode if available; otherwise, click Next.
  3. Select the option to Create system recovery discs. Click Next and follow the instructions.
  4. When prompted, insert blank discs in the DVD/CD-ROM drive. Be sure to label each Recovery disc and store the entire set of discs in a safe location.
    If your PC has a CD-ROM drive, you will need 11 or more CD-R discs. For a DVD/CD-ROM drive, you will need at least two DVD-R or DVD+R discs. Do Not Use -RW discs.
  5. If the HP Vista Upgrade Utility is unable to find or open the HP Backup & Recovery program on the PC, you may want to exit the upgrade and get instructions on Obtaining a Recovery CD or DVD set. You may skip this step and continue with the upgrade process, but if you need to recover to XP in the future, you will need to be a registered owner and will have to purchase a set of recovery discs from HP.
Back up all your data to external media
To preserve your important information, the utility prompts you to back up all your files. During the upgrade, all of the programs and personal data on the hard drive will be deleted. Use one of the following options to back up your data to a DVD/CD-ROM disc or external storage device.
  • The HP Upgrade Utility will attempt to launch either the Roxio or the Microsoft backup and recovery program, depending on what is installed on your PC.
  • If no backup program is found, or if desired, you may stop the upgrade at this point and use a third-party backup tool to organize and copy your files. You can restart the HP Vista Upgrade Utility when the files are safely backed up.
Backup and recovery tools are designed to locate and copy the desired types of personal files; however, there is no guarantee that they will copy every file. Please read and follow the software manufacturers' instruction for best backup and recovery results. Data may be lost or deleted if backup is not done according to software manufacturers' instructions.
Allow the utility to remove hard drive partitions
The original XP installation on your PC divided the disc space on the hard drive into three parts. After you backup your data, the HP Vista Upgrade Utility prompts you for permission to remove the partitions and make all the space on the hard drive available as one partition for Vista. Click Next to continue.
Insert the Windows Vista operating system disc
After removing the hard drive partitions, the upgrade utility silently copies some files in the background and then does the following:
  1. Prompt you to remove the HP Vista Upgrade Utility disc.
  2. Prompt you to insert the Windows Vista OS disc in the DVD/CD-ROM drive.
    Leave the DVD/CD-ROM drive door open at this time.
Read the information presented on the utility’s window, and continue following the prompts.
Update the BIOS and restart the PC
Before it can operate with Vista, the PC's Basic Input Output System (BIOS) needs to be updated. This process is called flashing the BIOS. All the information needed to update the BIOS is included in the HP Vista Upgrade Utility.
Do not turn off the PC while the BIOS is being updated. Attempting to cancel this update operation will cause damage to the BIOS and will require that the PC be repaired at an HP authorized facility.
Read the information presented on the utility’s window, and continue following the prompts.
  1. When prompted, verify the PC is connected to an AC power supply.
  2. When prompted, click Next to begin flashing the BIOS.
  3. Do not interrupt or attempt to stop the flashing of the BIOS.
  4. When the PC turns off after flashing the BIOS, close the disc drive door, and press the power button to restart the PC.
  5. When prompted to Press any key to boot from the DVD/CD-ROM disc, press Enter or any other key on the keyboard.
    If the PC starts in XP, or displays an error message that it cannot find an operating system, turn off the PC and repeat steps 3, 4, and 5 to boot from the DVD/CD-ROM.
  6. Follow the self-explanatory instructions presented by the Windows Vista installation program.
    Although Microsoft allows you to choose an upgrade option that saves the old XP files, HP requires you to select the clean installation option that deletes all the old files.
The PC may restart multiple times during the installation and configuration. The Vista installation could take up to an hour to complete. The Windows Vista installation is complete when the Vista Welcome image is displayed.
What should I do after Windows Vista is installed?
When Windows Vista is installed and configured, the Vista Welcome Center image is displayed. The Vista Welcome Center contains links to information about your new Vista operating system.
Figure : Vista Welcome Center Image
Simplified screen shot of the Vista Welcome Center
Although the Windows Vista OS is installed, many software applications and peripherals (printers, cameras, etc.) may operate with limited functionality, or not at all, until you do the following tasks:
  1. You must download and run the HP Software Update utility (English only) to check for and install critical software updates from HP automatically.
    When prompted to Run or Save the download, click Run to start the utility while still connected to the web.
  2. Connect any printers and other peripherals - one at a time - and allow Windows Vista to detect the device and install the latest drivers and updates.
  3. Reinstall all your favorite programs - one at a time - using the original installation discs and registration codes. After installing each program, go to the manufacturer's Web site and check for Vista updates and patches.
  4. Finally, recover the important personal files that you backed up to external media. You can sort through the files and restore only the files that are important to you.


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