Appendix. Installing Windows Vista
Some of you will be fortunate enough to never have to endure the installation of an operating system. After all, a large number of Windows Vista users will obtain the operating system preinstalled on new PCs. Others, however, may be confronted with one of the scenarios discussed in this appendix.
When you install Windows Vista, you'll either upgrade over your existing operating system, which is the less expensive option, or you'll have to buy a full version and install from scratch. Only PCs with Windows XP or Windows 2000 qualify for upgrades; those with PCs of earlier versions of Windows will have to buy the full version.
If you have Windows XP or Windows 2000 and can upgrade, you'll have two choices for installing Windows Vista. You can either perform an in-place upgrade, or do a clean install. An in-place upgrade installs Windows Vista directly over your previous version of Windows. You'll keep all of your applications, files, and settings, just as they were with your earlier Windows version.
If you can't perform an in-place upgrade, you'll have to back up your files, then do a clean install of Vista. When you do that, you'll wipe out your previous operating system, files, and so on. You will then have to install Windows Vista, reinstall your applications, and copy your files to the PC.
Table A-1 summarizes your options for installing Windows Vista.