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June 17, 2009

70-620 MCTS Exam Prep: How to Install and Upgrade Vista


A while back I posted an article about the MCTS Windows Vista, Configuration Certification (exam 70-620). I outlined the details of the exam and the profile of skills needed, both theory and practical.

Today we are going to review the Installing and Upgrading Windows Vista section of the 70-620 exam. More specifically, I’m going to focus on how to identify the hardware requirements needed for Vista.


Installing and Upgrading Vista

The 70-620 Configuring Microsoft Windows Vista Client exam measures a number of different skills and the first section of topics for the exam encompasses the following:

  • Identify hardware requirements
  • Perform a clean installation
  • Upgrade to Windows Vista from previous versions of Windows
  • Upgrade from one edition of Windows Vista to another edition
  • Troubleshoot Windows Vista installation issues
  • Install and configure Windows Vista drivers

How to Identify Hardware Requirements

As part of the Identify hardware requirements section you will need to make sure you have the ability to assess the hardware requirements for a successful (and supported) installation of Vista.

This includes the details as provided on the system requirements page at Microsoft’s website.

Notice the differences between the minimum and recommended system requirements. While the minimum requirements are probably enough, you want to be as close to the recommended system requirements as possible.

Here are some more things to take into consideration when pairing up your hardware with the appropriate Vista edition:

  • All of the editions of Vista provide support for multiple core processors.
  • Vista Business, Ultimate, and Enterprise can support dual processors (2 physical units which may or may not have multiple cores). Home Basic and Home Premium do not support more than one physical processor.
  • The Home Premium and Ultimate editions support TV watching capabilities when a TV tuner card is present natively within the installed version of OS.
  • Home Premium, Business, and Ultimate Editions offer Windows Tablet and Touch capabilities on Tablet PCs or when installed on systems that have a touch screen.
  • The Ultimate and Enterprise editions offer Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption on systems equipped with a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 1.2 chip.

Part of the 70-620 exam is understanding the different available Vista editions. Here are some resources to get you started with this:

Another thing you’ll need to know for the exam is which systems are Vista Capable and which are Vista Premium Ready.

And don’t forget about the Vista Upgrade Advisor — a tool that is available for download from Microsoft that will allow you to determine whether a system that is currently running XP meets all of the requirements for an upgrade to Vista.

The tool is nice but it only runs on the 32-bit version of XP and Vista and it will not run on Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, or Windows 2000 systems. Additionally it cannot run against the 64-bit edition of Windows XP.

[NOTES FROM THE FIELD] – There’s definitely some memorization that is required for the 70-620 exam, especially when it comes to this section of the exam. You will need to know what the different versions are and the requirements for each.

You’ll also need to understand the differences between minimum supported system requirements and the recommended system requirements.

Installing & Upgrading Vista

As far as the rest of the topics in the Installing and Upgrading Vista section are concerned here are some resources to get you started:

How to install Windows Vista covers:

  • How to perform a clean installation
  • How to upgrade to Vista from an earlier version of Windows
  • How to troubleshoot Vista installation issues

Information on upgrading from one edition of Vista to another can be found in here and basically what you need to understand here is when you need to perform a clean install and when you can upgrade. For example, if you currently have the Vista Business edition you can upgrade to Vista Ultimate, however you will have to perform a clean install if you want to move to the other editions. There is also information on upgrading from a 32-bit version to a 64-bit version and upgrading a 64-bit version to another 64-bit version.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and I am looking forward to any feedback you have on it — feel free to leave me a comment below.

Best of luck in your studies.


Continue Learning about Vista Exam 70-620:

Certification Series: Exam 70-620 Configuring Vista Client

70-620 MCTS Exam Prep: Mastering Vista OS Installation

About the Author

is a Senior Technical Account Manager at Microsoft Corporation. He has worked as a technical trainer and consultant for a variety of corporate clients in Connecticut over the past ten years. He also has written a number of CompTIA and Microsoft prep tests for Boson Software as well as a number of published articles for,, and Certification Magazine. His professional CompTIA certifications include: A+ Certified Technician, I-Net+ Certified Technician, Server+ Certified Technician, Network+ Certified Technician, and Security+ Certified Professional. His professional Microsoft certifications include: MCT, MCP, MCP+I, MCSA, MCSA: Security, and MCSE.