HP today announced Microsoft Windows Vista will be available across its consumer and business product portfolios beginning with the new operating system's launch Jan. 30.
To help ensure customers have the best experience available, HP also has enhanced its HP Total Care program with Vista-specific services and built-in support tools. The new products and services take advantage of Windows Vista to provide customers new and exciting ways to work, play and enjoy life.
HP has worked closely with Microsoft to help ensure that all HP consumer PCs and more than 450 printing and imaging products are Vista-ready. In addition, a broad portfolio of HP products that are Vista Premium-ready is available for both consumers and business customers.
Here are five steps you can take to upgrade your HP notebooks to run Windows Vista:
Step 1: Locate, order or create your Windows recovery disks
Locate the recovery disks that you may have created for your PC that is currently running Windows XP. If you cannot find your recovery disks, you will need to order the disks from HP, as they are critical to the upgrade process. If you experience problems during the upgrade (power outage, etc.), recovery disks can get you back on track.
The recovery disks contain a copy of your hard disk contents the day the PC was shipped ? including the original Windows XP operating system, HP and partner applications and popular peripheral drivers ? and can recover your computer back to its original configuration.
For ordering instructions or creating recovery disks for your HP Pavilion or Compaq Presario desktop or notebook PC, please see the sidebar to the right.
Step 2: Prepare for backing up your data
You must plan on backing up all your personal data on external storage devices before loading the Windows Vista upgrade DVD.
If you've got a good amount of data to transfer and you don't want to do the DVD shuffle, you can order an HP Personal Media Drive or HP Pocket Media Drive to make the migration easier. These convenient storage devices can hold anywhere from 80 to 500 GB of data and are great for portable storage of data, music or pictures afterwards.
Or choose the HP Media Vault, with storage capacity that expands up to 1.2 TB ? up to 500,000 photos, 16,000 hours of music or 340 hours of video.
If you plan to transfer files from an existing PC running Windows XP to a new HP PC running Windows Vista, you can use the same back-up procedure above. Or, you can use the Windows Vista Easy Transfer wizard, already loaded on your new PC running Windows Vista.
You'll need an Easy Transfer Cable, a special USB cable designed to create a direct link between your existing and new PC. Once you connect the two PCs, you will be prompted to install the Windows Vista Easy Transfer tool on the PC running Windows XP. Then you can be ready to transfer files.
Step 3: Check for drivers
A driver is a program that allows your PC to communicate with an attached peripheral device, such as a printer, disk drive or keyboard. For non-HP peripherals, check with the manufacturer to locate relevant Windows Vista drivers.
More than 450 HP imaging and printing products are Windows Vista Ready and will operate smoothly with Windows Vista. This includes new and older printers, scanners and digital cameras. Windows Vista drivers will be available for download beginning January 30. Get more information on HP and Windows Vista support.
If you receive the Windows Vista Upgrade Kit from the Express Upgrade to Windows Vista offer, or you order it directly from HP, it will include a DVD with most of the popular HP and partner drivers. Drivers will also be available for download on the HP Web site starting in late January. Of course, all new HP PCs running Windows Vista will have most of the necessary drivers pre-installed.
Step 4 : Update software applications
Take an inventory of your application software programs to identify the programs you never use and the data files you no longer need. Doing this will free up valuable storage space and speed up the upgrade process.
Check with your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and anti-virus software provider to determine if their software is compatible with Windows Vista, or if new Windows Vista-compatible software is required. If new Windows Vista software is required, acquire this software before proceeding with the upgrade.
Be aware that some software applications you use today may not work in the Windows Vista environment and will require replacement by equivalent Vista-compatible versions or different applications.
Register (activate) all software applications that you may have not registered with the application manufacturer. You may be entitled to free upgrades to Windows Vista-compatible applications if you have registered your applications with their respective manufacturers.
Also, check with your software providers to determine which applications will run on Windows Vista. Most likely, you?ll be able to find Windows Vista compatibility information on each software provider?s Web site. There may be workarounds and upgrades to address known behavioral issues regarding the functionality of Windows XP-compatible applications in the new Windows Vista environment.
Step 5: Run the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor
If you plan to buy a new HP PC running Windows Vista, you won?t need this step.
However, if you have an HP Windows Vista Capable PC (purchased after April 2006 and marked with a Windows Vista Capable logo), download and run the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor from Microsoft (see below) to learn what hardware and software updates may be necessary to install and run the features of Windows Vista that you want.
For example, you may need to upgrade your video card or add more memory to gain the full experience of the new Windows Aero functionality. Better to know now, so you have time to get what you need before you begin your migration.
Following these steps can offer you a smooth upgrade to Windows Vista. After you?ve made the transition to Windows Vista, HP offers multiple support options on the basics of the operating system to all customers with a current product warranty. Visit our Web site http://www.hp.com for the most up-to-date drivers and support information.
SmartFriend by HP
To help you with your Windows Vista migration, HP offers the Smart Friend by HP service ? a calling card that gives you direct access to an HP technical support expert.
HP can guide you through the whole upgrade process ? from data backup to migration, including answering your 'how to' questions on Windows Vista features after you've completed the migration. You can visit the SmartFriend here.