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Troubleshoot Windows XP with Free Upgrade Advisor

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.

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