CompUSA To Evaluate Old PCs For Potential Vista Users

Some 10,000 CompUSA technicians already have experience in evaluating the first wave of Vista users through a joint program with Microsoft that evaluated small businesses moving to Vista.

A spokeswoman for CompUSA said Thursday that the hardware of many business users required upgrades in hard drives, and graphics and memory cards. Some older computers even require faster and more robust processors.

"The free check ups are designed to assess a computer system and determine the requirements and hardware additions needed to run Windows Vista," the spokeswoman said.

CompUSA said its experience with the earlier Vista evaluation program indicated that machines using Vista Home Basic will need hard drives with at least 20 Gbytes of memory with 15 Gbytes of that to be free space, as well as a 32-Mbyte video card. Processors for the Vista version should be at least 800 MHz.

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Windows Vista Home Premium will require more elaborate upgrades starting with a 1 GHz processor and 1 Gbyte of system memory. CompUSA said its technicians also have been recommending that DVD drives be installed on all PCs that currently don't have them. The Premium version should also have a hard disk with 40 Gbytes of capacity of which 20 Gbytes should be free space.

CompUSA said the evaluations are free and typically take five minutes to complete.

The retailer learned from its partnership with Microsoft's Small Business Value Program that the upgrades help users operate their computers with optimum efficiency.

The CompUSA spokeswoman said its technicians who evaluated the first round of Vista users found that many had PCs with system configurations that were obsolete for the new Vista operating systems.