This document pertains to HP Notebook PCs and third-party PCs that are not equipped with Windows Vista.
Will Microsoft Vista run on my newer PC?
HP only supports a Vista upgrade for certain models of notebooks. Before making any decisions about upgrading to Vista, you should refer to our complete list of HP Certified Vista Capable PCs . If your notebook does not appear on this list, HP does not support the upgrade and does not provide BIOS and driver updates for PC not on the list.
On the other hand, if you choose to ignore the HP recommendation, you may go to the Microsoft web site and consult the Microsoft Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor (English only) . This tool provides a full report of how your PC compares to the minimum Windows Vista requirements. Microsoft has a commitment to provide Vista related drivers and software for a wide variety of PCs. Microsoft drivers may not work properly or may have limited functionality for HP products.
The Microsoft Upgrade Advisor may suggest making changes to your PC such as adding additional memory, a larger hard drive, and an improved graphic card to use Vista. Upgrading the memory, the hard drive, and the graphic card is easy to do on most desktop PCs. However, the graphic chip for most notebooks is built into the mother board and cannot be upgraded.
After running the Microsoft Upgrade Advisor and reviewing the report, you can decide whether or not to upgrade an existing PC (which may be difficult or cost-prohibitive), purchase a new HP Certified Vista Capable PC (which may be outside your budget at this time), or continue using your existing Windows XP operating system for the time being.
Should I upgrade to Windows Vista?
If your PC is designed to run Vista, and you have read the product reviews in trade publications that explain some new feature in Vista, and the features are not available in the existing XP operating system, then you should upgrade from XP to Vista. However before making the decision, you should be aware of the software and hardware cost involved.
Several different versions of Microsoft Vista are available, each version has different features and costs. For instance, Aero, the pretty graphic interface is not available in Home Basic. The anti-virus and other security programs designed for XP operating systems will not work, and you will want to purchase new protection for your Vista PC. The software programs you purchased and use every day, may not run as efficiently in Vista, although Microsoft does provide a Compatibility Wizard to help with problems.
You may want to purchase or upgrade some of the following hardware components to take advantage of Vista features: Larger hard drive, additional memory (1 GB minimum), enhanced graphic card (graphics cannot be upgraded on notebook PCs), or a DVD disc drive (with both read and write capability).
Finally, you will have to verify that the component manufactures or Microsoft can provide Vista drivers for your older hardware. Without the proper drivers, the component will not work. The Microsoft generic drivers will provide minimal functionality.
How can I keep Windows Vista programs up to date?
The HP Update utility checks for and downloads updates of your computer's firmware, or Basic Input/Output System (BIOS), software, and drivers. It can also help you update the security and functionality of your Windows Vista operating system. HP Update was installed on notebook PCs that shipped with Vista.
If your PC came with Vista, you should set up the automatic update features from HP and Microsoft to periodically check for updates.
If you PC was upgraded from XP to Vista, you should download and use HP Update utility. For more information, see HP Notebook PCs - Obtaining and Using HP Update .
I upgraded to Vista, and no longer can connect to the internet. What do I do now?
If you were able to connect to the internet with XP, and no longer can do so in Vista, the problem is that your PC has the wrong drivers for the I/O chip set.
Drivers are pieces of software that give instructions to various components on your system. The ones that were designed for XP often do not understand the instructions from Vista. You will need to download and install drivers designed for Vista.
Since your PC cannot connect to the internet, use a different PC to visit the Software and Drivers Downloads page on the HP web site. Download the drivers to either a disc or memory stick, copy them onto your PC, and then install the proper chip set and modem drivers.
Once your PC is connected to the internet or local network, run the HP Update utility to look for any other updated drivers.
Will my existing programs work or do I have to use the trial software that came with Vista?
The trial software is provided so you can see some of the features of the new programs. To try the software, click on the program icon to get an activation key, and follow the instructions to purchase your own copy of the program.
On the other hand, if you want to use your existing program, you should uninstall any trial versions of the software included on the system before installing your older version of the program. Simply click Start > Control Panel > Uninstall a program , then select the trial program from the list, and click Uninstall . Then you may install your older version.
Once you install the older version of the program, if it doesn't work properly, Microsoft provides a Program Compatibility Wizard that helps you configure Vista to run older programs. To locate the wizard, click Start > Help & Support , and enter the text compatibility in the search field.
Why can't I view DVD movies?
There are a variety of issues that can occur that can prevent you from being able to view your DVD movies. Make sure that the disc and its drive are clean, all other programs are turned off, and that you've turned off any power settings that could cause the computer to go into sleep mode.
Next, be sure that you use QuickPlay to view your DVD movies. Media Play 11 does not work, because it lacks the proper codec , or decoding software, for Vista.
PCs that come from HP loaded with Vista Basic or the HP business image do not have DVD player software included as part of the package. You will have to obtain DVD player software from an authorized retail outlet.
For more information on DVDs and DVD movies, please see HP Notebook PCs - Troubleshooting playback problems with CDs, DVDs, and VCDs .