Windows Vista end of support April 11th, 2017 February 28th, 2017
All support for Vista such as Windows Updates ends on April 11th, 2017. I so happens that April 11th is “Patch Tuesday” so this will be the last batch of updates released for Vista.
What happens if Microsoft releases a security update the same day a product reaches the end of support? In the event Microsoft releases a security update on the same day that a product is scheduled to end its support lifecycle, support of the security update will continue for a minimum of 30 days.
What about if I need to re-install Vista and activate after April 11th? If Windows XP is any guide of things to come you should still be able to activate Vista (as long as you have the installation / recovery media and a valid product if prompted to enter).
A lack of security updates after this “End of extended support date” could leave your Vista operating system vulnerable to viruses and hackers even if you have a good anti-virus software utility installed.
But I love my Vista and want to keep it: You can do one of 2 things: 1) Continue to use Vista but don’t connect to the Internet. Games and application that don’t require access to the Internet will still be functional.
2) Create a “Dual Boot” computer with either Vista and Windows 7 or Vista and Windows 10.
a) If you are considering Windows 7 (as close to the look and feel of Vista) the first thing you must do is check your computer manufactures support web site to see if Windows 7 “Device Drivers” are available. No device drivers means you need to look at Windows 10.
The best chance of your computer having both Vista and Windows 7 device drivers available is if you purchased your computer shortly (about 6 months) before Windows 7 was released to the public late in October of 2009. These are what I call “Vista Crossover Models” as the manufacture already had access to Windows 7 back in August of 2009, just couldn’t sell them yet. So the quickest way to have models ready for the October release date was to take some of the existing Vista models, write Windows 7 device drivers, install Windows 7 and have them boxed and stored in the warehouse ready to ship to Stores and Internet vendors.
b) If you are considering Windows 10 purchase a “Retail” version as it can be moved and activated on another computer should your Vista PC suffer a catastrophic failed and repair cost are too expensive. Windows 10 may already include built in device drivers and Dual Booting will confirm this.
Note: Stay away from OEM/System Builder versions, cheaper yes but tied to the 1st computer it is installed on and at the time of this article there is a problem when removing / scratching the overlay that hides the product key, unfortunately parts of the product key are destroyed and unreadable. Try to return the defective product has been largely unsuccessful as Microsoft will not take responsibility and points you back to the vendor who you purchased from and they quite often will not refund your money.
You can install a trial (un-activated) version of Windows 10: After the install completes open Device Manager and check to see if all the necessary drivers are installed. When prompted just skip entering a product key.
Give Windows 10 a good workout to see if it meets your needs and then purchase Windows 10(retail version) and activate using the product key inside the box.
Gigabyte Motherboards: http://www.gigabyte.com/microsite/381/w10.html I have both an X38 chipset motherboard released in September of 2007 and a P55A chipset motherboard released in September of 2009 that run Windows 10 just fine, including the upcoming Creators Update).
In closing, I’ve installed the Windows 10 Anniversary Edition on a 2005 vintage PC that had XP installed. A Vista Desktop and two Vista laptops for friends, all are running fine. Only one of the two laptops (an HP) had a minor problem in that there was no SD card driver, but since they never use this it was not an issue.