Will upgrading my Vaio to XP wreck my settings?
January 2, 2004 2:04 PM   Subscribe

I'm about to upgrade my beloved Sony Vaio laptop from Windows Me (blecch) to XP. Will this screw up my previously installed drivers, software, documents, etc? Anything I should know before I start?
posted by Vidiot to Computers & Internet (15 answers total)
I tried upgrading my aging laptop (300mhz, 64m ram) to XP, and the install program choked, saying my machine wasn't oomphy enough to be upgraded. Have you insured that your machine is compatible with XP?
posted by crunchland at 2:25 PM on January 2, 2004

My boyfriend and I just went through computer trauma last week on this. His Sony Vaio had WinMe and we bought the XP upgrade. Tried installing the motherfucker three times and it didn't take - coughing up error messages and then it couldn't find proof that the machine had WinMe on it. So we installed Me again - essentially blowing away his entire hard drive - then tried installing XP on it two more times. Nada. Finally research online found out that we had to have a BIOS update - one BIOS update for Me and one for XP. Here's my post on Annoyances.org on this which includes the names of the patches I had to have from the Sony Support site (not sure what your model is). Most of the advice on there was to do a clean full install from XP - not just an upgrade. I swear my next machine is Linux or Mac - this is just bullshit. Also be sure and run the 'readiness wizard' that tell you if you machine has enough memory and disk space etc to run XP. Good luck!
posted by ao4047 at 2:31 PM on January 2, 2004

Response by poster: Hmmmm. This is the XP upgrade that I got free as a rebate from Sony in early 2002. (I've just been incredibly lame and haven't gotten around to it...and just found the CD after misplacing it for a while.) So I'm pretty sure it's compatible, since Sony gave me the upgrade. It's a PCG-R505TL, if that helps at all.
posted by Vidiot at 2:40 PM on January 2, 2004

Response by poster: (oh, and the main impetus to me wanting to install was that my new NetGear WiFi card seems to make the system crash every five minutes or so whenever I have a WiFi connection. I just want something that's more stable than Me has been.)
posted by Vidiot at 2:42 PM on January 2, 2004

One tip when upgrading from one OS to the next is ALWAYS grab the latest driver for the device you use to connect to the internet. Whether that's a modem or a Lan card. Reason being, it will allow you to get online and get any updated drivers you may need after the install (which some times happens). Saves hassle later on.
posted by madmanz123 at 2:50 PM on January 2, 2004

"Anything I should know before I start?"


That's the most important thing.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:10 PM on January 2, 2004

Make sure you have the drivers from the in-tar-net before installing (as was mentioned). XP chokes on less than 128 MB of RAM.

Also, and I say this as a friend, find the real install of XP, not the upgrade. As you said, you legeally own XP -- using the upgrade from ME will leave lots of cruft and possibly random crashes (this was my experience upgrading from ME to XP on my Dell laptop, a clean install of XP solved almost all the problems I noticed).
posted by j.edwards at 4:03 PM on January 2, 2004

Response by poster: So for an OS-upgrade newbie: how do I go about doing a clean install? Do I have to spring the big bux for a copy of XP when (as you point out) I own a legit copy of the upgrade?
posted by Vidiot at 4:17 PM on January 2, 2004

Response by poster: (by the way, many thanks to all who are posting here. Much obliged.)
posted by Vidiot at 4:18 PM on January 2, 2004

Do I have to spring the big bux for a copy of XP when (as you point out) I own a legit copy of the upgrade?

If you can boot from the CD-ROM, XP setup will boot and check for an existing install of Windows (or ask you for the ME CD). At that point, delete the hard drive partition and reformat -- this should do a clean install.
posted by j.edwards at 4:23 PM on January 2, 2004

I've been going through prayer/fasting/meditation in prep for doing a clean install of XP (and man, will be it a pleasure to toss ME off the train). One site I found that seems pretty thorough and helpful is Paul Thurrott's walk-through; although a couple of years old, it seems comprehensive and well-illustrated with screenshots.
posted by Kat Allison at 8:21 PM on January 2, 2004

Crap, sorry, link in previous post should be this.
posted by Kat Allison at 8:27 PM on January 2, 2004

It is very good advice to do a clean install if at all possible. (I actually took a machine through Win95a via successive upgrades over years to Win95b, Win98, Win98 SE, WinMe, and finally XP, just 'cause I was lazy, and never had a problem until XP SP1 made it all go kablooie. My experience was emphatically not the norm, though.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:49 PM on January 2, 2004

Do a clean install, get your internet connection working, and then download and install your updates first thing, before installing the rest of your programs/hardware. You might also want to look at this thread regarding a problem I had with one of the update components on XP.
posted by taz at 11:30 PM on January 2, 2004

Also, pre-download the Blaster patch. It will fit on a floppy (zipped, but XP has ZIP integration).
posted by j.edwards at 11:37 PM on January 2, 2004

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