Ed Bott

Ed Bott is an award-winning technology writer with more than two decades' experience writing for mainstream media outlets and online publications.

Latest Posts

Vista Hands On #4: Clean install with an upgrade key

You probably heard or read about the "Vista upgrade loophole." Most of the reports I've seen have the basic facts wrong. The Setup feature they're describing isn't a loophole at all. It's a perfectly legal workaround for an amazingly stupid technical restriction that Microsoft imposes on upgraders. In this installment of my Vista Hands On series, I explain exactly what's going on and how you can legally perform a clean install using an upgrade key.

February 15, 2007 by

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Vista Hands On #3: Check your disk before upgrading

If you're getting ready to perform a Vista upgrade, be on the lookout for two gotchas, both of which are related to your system drive. You'll need sufficient disk space and the right disk format. If your old PC is still using FAT32, this installment in my 30 Days of Vista Hand On series will explain how to convert it to NTFS.

February 14, 2007 by

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Vista Hands On #2: A no-fuss, nondestructive clean install

Who says you need to format your hard disk to do a clean install of Windows Vista? In this edition of my 30 days of Vista Hands On, I explain how to use an upgrade copy of Windows Vista to install a completely clean copy without wiping out your old data. The technique involves a Setup procedure that was guaranteed to cause problems in Windows XP but works just fine in Vista.

February 13, 2007 by

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Vista passes its first Patch Tuesday test

It's Patch Tuesday, and Microsoft doled out a dozen Critical and Important updates for Windows and Office via Automatic Updates. But if you're running Windows Vista, you can hit the snooze button for another month. None of those patches - not a single one - apply to Windows Vista or Office 2007. But there is a new Ultimate Extra

February 13, 2007 by

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Vista Hands On #1: What you need to know about product keys

When you buy a copy of Windows Vista, the most important part of the purchase is the 25-character product key, which you use to activate your installation. In the first installment of my Vista Hands-On series, I explain how to use two tools - an obscure VBScript file included with all Vista editions and a free third-party utility - to find out important details about your product key.

February 11, 2007 by

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Five Vista tips, revisited and expanded

Last year, I published two collections of tips for beta testers of Windows Vista. Now that Vista is officially released, I've gone back and selected the five best tips from those two posts and expanded them to cover the version you can buy today. (And don't miss my 30 days of brand-new Vista tips and tweaks, beginning next week.)

February 8, 2007 by

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Windows Vista's three killer features

Should you upgrade to Windows Vista? Sorry, there's no one-size-fits-all answer to that question. But I can put to rest some myths about how well Vista runs on older hardware, and I've found three killer features that haven't received nearly the attention they deserve.

January 29, 2007 by

226 Comments

What's the real story with Vista upgrades?

A story making the rounds this morning says that Microsoft is about to annoy Vista upgraders with a new form of media that can't be used to do a clean install. The story is based on a single, incomplete Knowledge Base article. Maybe it's worth waiting a day or two to actually test the upgrade process before jumping to conclusions.

January 29, 2007 by

23 Comments

XP gets a new lease on life

Planning to stick with Windows XP for a while? Microsoft just gave home users a gift of three additional years of support. For XP Home and Media Center editions, the "extended support" clock continues ticking till 2014, the same as it does for business users.

January 24, 2007 by

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Vista OEM prices finally appear

The official Vista launch event is still a week away, but online retailers have already begun selling single OEM copies of Windows Vista. The surprising news is that consumer editions are selling for roughly the same as their XP counterparts, although business buyers may see a slight price increase. The real question is whether PC buyers will pay up for the pricier Ultimate edition.

January 22, 2007 by

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