A+: Requirements for upgrades
Note: These official requirements are _wildly_ optimistic. Faster and bigger is _much_ better.
Official Hardware Requirements for Vista/XP
HD space: 15GB in 20GB partition/1.5GB in a 2GB partition
Some older systems might require processor, memory, or hard disk upgrades to be qualified to run Windows Vista or XP. You should make sure your computer meets or exceeds these standards before you start the upgrade process.
Because upgrading to a newer version of Windows retains your existing application software and settings, you should also make sure that both your hardware and software are compatible with Windows Vista or XP.
• For Windows Vista:
• Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor— This is accessed by clicking the Check Compatibility Online button when you first insert the Windows Vista DVD. Of course, the computer that you want to upgrade will need to have Internet access. The direct link for this site is http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-vista/get/upgrade-advisor.aspx.
• Windows Vista Compatibility Center— http://www.microsoft.com/windows/compatibility/.
• Windows Vista Logo’d Products List— http://winqual.microsoft.com/HCL/Default.aspx?m=v.
• For Windows XP:
• Upgrade Advisor on Windows XP CD— You can run the Upgrade Advisor from the Windows XP CD. Click Check System Compatibility from the Welcome to Windows XP menu, and then click Check My System Automatically (note that this upgrade advisor is no longer available for download from the Microsoft website). After the analysis is complete, the Upgrade Analyzer displays any incompatible hardware or software it finds.
• Windows XP Logo’d Products List (formerly the HCL)— http://winqual.microsoft.com/HCL/Default.aspx?m=x.
Before you upgrade to Windows Vista or XP, you should also download any new device drivers or new application updates that you need. Create a folder for your updates on your system and uncompress them if necessary so they can be used during the upgrade process. And of course, back up any important files, email, and settings: for example, Internet Explorer favorites, your email program’s blocked sender list, or use the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard for the bulk of the files and settings on your computer.