Troubleshoot Windows XP with Free Upgrade Advisor
By Stephen Bucaro
If your computer freezes up or crashes randomly, the cause might be a hardware
device or piece of software that is incompatible with Windows XP. This is
especially possible if you installed new hardware or software recently.
As Microsoft has advanced the Windows operating system from versions 3 and
lower, which were DOS based, to Windows XP, which is based on the NT (New
Technology) operating system, more and more legacy hardware devices and software
applications where allowed to become incompatible because they didn't meet the
new systems security standards.
For this reason Microsoft created the Upgrade Advisor tool, which checks your
system hardware and software to make sure they’re compatible with Windows XP.
• Although the Upgrade Advisor was created to check your to see if it's
compatible with an upgrade to Windows XP, it can also be used to determine if
incompatible hardware or software has found its way onto an installed Windows XP operating.
So don't be worried by some of the language used by the tool implying that you are
actually installing Windows XP.
You'll need a high-speed Internet connection to download the approximately 50MB
file UpgAdv.exe. When you run Upgrade Advisor, it will check your system’s
hardware and software, and generate a compatibility report. If you run Upgrade
Advisor while your system is connected to the Internet, it will retrieve updated
system files from the Microsoft Web site, and install them for you.
If the generated compatibility report indicates that a hardware device and/or
driver is incompatible and no update is available on the Microsoft Web site, you
can check the device manufacturers Web site. Many times an update is not
available on the Microsoft's Web site because the manufacturer doesn't want to
submit to Microsoft's "signed driver" testing program.
If you find an unsigned driver that is compatible with Windows XP, depending
upon your environment (home vs business) you may choose to give the driver a
try. If you can't find a compatible driver that eliminates your system problems,
you might consider uninstalling and removing the incompatible device from your system.
Microsoft's Upgrade Advisor was developed to check your system to see if it's
compatible with an upgrade to the Windows XP operating system. But it can also
be used to determine if incompatible hardware or software has found its way onto
an installed Windows XP system.
More Windows Troubleshooting Articles:
• Video - Dell Laptop Motherboard Replacement Tutorial
• Video - Dell Laptop Optical Drive Replacement Tutorial
• Understanding the boot.ini File
• The Blue Screen of Death (BSOD)
• Video - Exploring with Process Explorer
• Diagnosing and Troubleshooting Computer Hardware
• The Windows Recovery Console
• How to Troubleshoot the Video Driver
• Don't Have Permission to Write to Drive
• Tips for Preventing Your Laptop From Overheating