How To Get Ready to Upgrade from XP to Vista

Microsoft has posted a nice little summary to get you ready to upgrade your Windows XP machines to Windows Vista. It talks about backing up all of your files, as you should be doing anyway, of course you have to be at Service Pack 2 level, you need to verify the upgrade status of your computer, make sure your programs will still work and that you have enough hard drive space on your NTFS file system.

Verify the upgrade status of the Windows XP-based computer
To determine whether you can upgrade the edition of Windows XP on the computer to Windows Vista, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/buyorupgrade/upgradepaths.mspx (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/buyorupgrade/upgradepaths.mspx)
Additionally, you can use the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor to help determine which edition of Windows Vista you can install. For more information about the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/buyorupgrade/upgradeadvisor.mspx (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/buyorupgrade/upgradeadvisor.mspx)
If you cannot upgrade the version of Windows XP to Windows Vista, perform a custom installation. (This kind of installation is also known as a clean installation.) When you perform a custom installation, you cannot migrate the Windows XP settings to Windows Vista. For more information about how to perform a custom installation of Windows Vista, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
933178 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/933178/) How to install Windows Vista Source: How to prepare to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows Vista

Some of the other KB articles you may have to visit:

308422 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308422/) How to use the Backup utility that is included in Windows XP to back up files and folders

322389 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322389/) How to obtain the latest Windows XP service pack

933178 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/933178/) How to install Windows Vista

931359 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/931359/) How to determine whether there are program-compatibility issues before you install Windows Vista

306542 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306542/) How to use the Desktop Cleanup Wizard in Windows XP

314097 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314097/) How to use Convert.exe to convert a partition to the NTFS file system