Starting next week I will be using Vista full time once my new laptop arrives. I have made the decision to give Vista a 30 day trial period, and if I don’t like it, I’ll wipe the drive and install Windows XP Pro. But in the interim, I have been searching for some ways to improve how Vista performs so that I can give the operating system a fair evaluation. Here are some of the things I am addressing while waiting for my new laptop.

1. Memory. This is so obvious I am almost embarrassed to mention it. The laptop I purchased comes with 3G of RAM. Since I’ll be using 32 bit Vista this is the max I will need.

2. CPU. The system has a dual core which should be ample to run Vista and my applications.

3. OS Upgrade. I have a brand new copy of Vista Ultimate still in its sealed box. Once I make backups of the drivers and applications that come with the unit, I’ll be wiping the drive of Vista Home Premium and installing Vista Ultimate. This will allow me to downgrade [legally] to Windows XP Pro if I choose to do so.

4. Vista SP1. I have downloaded and copied to a CD the full version of Vista SP1 which will be installed prior to installing any additional software.

5. Driver updates. I have downloaded driver updates for the hardware that comes with the unit and burned them to CD as well.

6. Office 2003. I will still be using a copy of Microsoft Office 2003. I found several articles on the Internet which stated that SP1 should be installed prior to the install of Office 2003. Another article recommended installing Office 2003 and not opening any applications. It was recommended that Office 2003 SP3 should be installed prior to using the program with Vista.

7. I have made back up copies of all of my important documents, address books, .pst files for Office to be manually transferred over to the new system. These filesĀ  have also been burnt to DVD as well. Though I have a Belkin transfer cable and software I could use, I prefer to do it the old fashion way. I have read to many stories in which Vista has messed up during the file transfer process.

8. I have a copy of Unblue’s SpeedUpMyPC 2009 that has been sent to me for testing with Vista.

9. I also have downloaded other programs that I will be using such as AVG 8, which I still trust.

10. Wait 30 days, decide what I am going to do, and do a follow up report on my experience.:-)

If you have any additional suggestions, please pass then on.

Comments welcome.