Upgrading from Windows 2000 to Windows Vista

This article discusses the installation choices available to you for upgrading from Windows 2000 to Windows Vista.

Here are some things you should know:

  • Upgrade. Performing an upgrade preserves your personal files, settings, and programs. You cannot perform an upgrade from Windows 2000 to Windows Vista.

  • Clean installation. Performing a clean installation does not preserve your personal files, settings, and programs. For information about how to restore your files after a clean installation, go to How to restore your personal files after you perform a custom installation online.

  • Upgrade copy. With an upgrade copy, you can install Windows Vista if you already own a compliant, licensed version of Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Windows Vista.

  • Full copy. With a full copy of Windows Vista, you can upgrade, where possible, or perform a clean installation, even if no operating system is running on the computer.

Whether you have an upgrade copy or a full copy is described on the front of the Windows Vista retail box or on an online sales receipt.

You might need to decide whether to install a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows Vista. For more information, see 32-bit and 64-bit Windows: frequently asked questions.

What installation choices are available to you?

The following table shows the installation choices when you upgrade from Windows 2000 to Windows Vista.

To upgrade from Windows 2000 to Do this
To upgrade from Windows 2000 to

Windows Vista Home Basic (32-bit)

Do this

Clean installation

To upgrade from Windows 2000 to

Windows Vista Home Premium (32-bit)

Do this

Clean installation

To upgrade from Windows 2000 to

Windows Vista Business (32-bit)

Do this

Clean installation

To upgrade from Windows 2000 to

Windows Vista Ultimate (32-bit)

Do this

Clean installation

To upgrade from Windows 2000 to

Windows Vista (64-bit versions)

Do this

Clean installation

For instructions on performing an upgrade or a clean installation, see Installing and reinstalling Windows.

For more information about installing and upgrading 32-bit versions of Windows, go to Installation choices for Windows Vista (32-bit) online.

For more information about installing and upgrading 64-bit versions of Windows, go to Installation choices for Windows Vista (64-bit) online.

Upgrading to a 32-bit version of Windows Vista

You cannot perform an upgrade from Windows 2000 to Windows Vista. However, you can use an upgrade copy (or a full copy) of Windows Vista to perform a clean installation of the following editions of Windows Vista: Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, or Ultimate.

Warning

  • If you have an upgrade copy of a 32-bit version of Windows Vista, you must start the installation while running your existing version of Windows.

Upgrading to a 64-bit version of Windows Vista

You cannot perform an upgrade from Windows 2000 to a 64-bit edition of Windows Vista. However, you can use an upgrade copy (or a full copy) of a 64-bit edition of Windows Vista to perform a clean installation of 64-bit versions of Windows Vista Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, or Ultimate.

Warning

  • Begin the installation by inserting the 64-bit Windows Vista installation disc into your computer, and then restart your computer. You must start the 64-bit installation from the Windows Vista 64-bit disc because Windows installation will not run on a 32-bit version of Windows.