When you have a single computer that you wish to assess for the readiness to run Windows Vista, then Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor is the obvious solution. But what if you have a whole network of machines that need to be evaluated? Running from one machine to the other is simply not an option. Fortunately, Microsoft has prepared for such a scenario with the Windows Vista Hardware Assessment tool.
The inventory, assessment, and reporting tool will crawl the network, inspect all the computers and then generate detailed readiness reports of the hardware and device compatibility with Windows Vista. Hardware Inventory, Compatibility Analysis and Readiness Reporting are the three core components of Windows Vista Hardware Assessment 1.0 that will ensure the best evaluation of the desktop resources available on the network.
In order to find the computers, the tool includes two options accessible via the wizard, the Active Directory Domain Services and the Computer Browser service. The first is obviously reserved for users that have active Directory, while the second addresses the need to find computers through the Windows networking protocols. Is there a limit to how many computers can be identified? Well there is. Version 1.0 only supports network detection of no more than 5,000 PCs. In case you work in an organization with more than 5,000 PCs, you will have to plan stages for your assessment.
Via WMI, AD and other Windows Networking Protocols the Windows Vista Hardware Assessment will identify both domain and workgroup computers and perform a complete inventory, storing the results in a SQL Server 2005 Express database.
The Windows Vista Hardware Assessment tool will utilize the resources made available through the Windows Team database, to assess each PC’s readiness. It will evaluate both hardware and device compatibility for Windows Vista, but also driver information. Computers will then receive a level of experience, either Windows Vista Capable or Windows Vista Premium Ready.
“The last step of the readiness assessment is the auto-generation of a set of readiness reports. Summary Report in the form of Microsoft Word document provides a concise summary for business decision makers in an organization to understand the existing PCs’ readiness for Windows Vista and what it takes to upgrade them to the new operating system,