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after hosting a developer installfest in phoenix and watching people go through the upgrade process (some easier than others...some very painful), i decided to give it a whirl.  I'm a bit of an operating system snob, that is to say that i'd never upgrade...i just don't believe in that -- operating systems represent the slate to me, and it should be clean.

so here i go...here's the specs:

  • Dell Dimension 4400
  • Pentium 4, 1.7 GHz
  • 1GB RAM
  • 40GB HDD

Start time: 21:00

could not get the dvd to work...but i couldn't get any dvd to work...argh..something jacked with my dvd drive on winxp.  okay, i fiddled with it enough and am going to try to use an ISO mount of vista.

21:40: real start time: 21:40
21:46: vista upgrade informed me that nero 6 needs to be uninstalled...okay, uninstalling
note: i have a bunch of other random stuff on here: quickbooks, quicken, a random ancestry program, photoshop cs, windvd, avg antirivus, acrobat reader, vnc, alltunes, etc.
21:48: upgrade starting again -- it asked me to enter the pid key again -- kinda frustrating -- i already entered the long key...would have been nice to been saved.  process started...windows says "your upgrade may take several hours to complete"
22:09: Gathering files (41%)...
22:19: Restarting... (this will be interesting since i used an ISO mount -- curious if Vista setup copied all necessary files it needed)
22:21: Reboot success -- and back into the Vista setup!
22:23: Expanding files (21%) - at the installfest, most machines seemed to be consistent on hanging out here at the 21% mark for a while
22:48: Installing features and updates completed
22:52: Rebooted..."Please wait a moment while Windows prepares to start for the first time..."
22:57: Completing upgrade...
23:24: Completing upgrade (36%)...
23:44: Completing upgrade (53%)...
23:49: Automatic reboot
23:52: Completing upgrade (64%)...

i've got a car appointment in the morning...heading to bed now.  not sure if my tracking will be accurate anymore as i need to hit the sack...so as it stands, i'm not at a vista desktop yet, and it's been 2hrs, 12 minutes.

00:38: well, my daughter just woke up screaming so i thought i'd take a look.  boom, vista desktop.

so in total (and maybe actually a bit shorter), it looks like my upgrade took about 3 hours.  i'm not sure what is optimal (i have never upgraded an OS before myself to even have a benchmark of if the WinXP upgrade was the same or what), but it definitely took shorter than some of the experiences at the installfest.  i don't think my machine is anything to write home about either when you look at the specs.  regardless of the time, all programs worked and all settings remained in tact, including the remote desktop settings (which i use for this machine because it doesn't have a monitor).

i can't say that i'll be doing a ton of upgrades still, but at least it makes me feel a little bit better about the upgrade process.  i know that others at the installfest had less-than-positive experiences, but again, i'm not really sure what the benchmark for time is (note: the installfest participants also were asked to run an analysis tool that took some time on their machines -- but not part of the normal consumer upgrade process).  i consider my home machine pretty mainstream (dell, etc.) and i *may* consider upgrading my mother-in-law's computer if i'm brave.  my brother-in-law has already agreed to take the plunge.

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