Today I am taking one for the TechRepublic editorial team and I am installing Vista Premium on my laptop PC. It is a modest machine with a 1.3 Celeron CPU, 512Mb RAM and your basic wireless 802.11b/g connection. I ran the compatibility software Microsoft provided and I was assured there were only minor driver and application issues to overcome.

However, I was concerned that the software identified SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005 as potential troublesome software in my installed applications. Shouldn’t those applications be updated by the company that made them? My confidence was further shaken when the installation splash screen informed me that the upgrade of Windows XP SP2 could take several hours. Good thing I have some blogs to write.

The initial part of the install went fairly smoothly. New files were loaded and then expanded. The machine went through a reboot and then more files were gathered and expanded. If you do this on your own machine, note that the install hangs on 21 percent for a long time — don’t panic. Eventually it will keep going and get to the installing features and updates section.

Of course after that section, the laptop was once again rebooted. We are now over two hours into this little experiment and I would like to go home, but I’m afraid to stop the process. No telling what sort of Frankenstein monster I would be left with. I just remembered all my music is on this laptop — must control panic. It says completing upgrade and my fingers are crossed.

But eventually I had to uncross my fingers. It has been over three hours since I started this process and just now the completing upgrade percentage clicked to 18 percent. It is almost 6:00 pm and I think I’ll just walk away and let it do its thing overnight. I’m sure everything will be fine. I mean what could go wrong.

I’ll report back tomorrow to let you know if I have a useable laptop anymore.