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Windows Vista Installation Guide

Windows Vista Installation Guide

Postby NT50 » Tue Jan 30, 2007 2:41 am

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[html]<center>Windows Vista </center>[/html]
[html]<center>Installation Guide

[html]<center>The PROnetworks Betas Team & Support and Community Team is pleased to present our Official Installation Guide for Windows Vista. </center>[/html]


Recommended and Minimum System Requirements
Windows Vista Installation Methods
Windows Vista Installation
Removal of Windows Vista


[html]<center>Recommended and Minimum System Requirements</center>[/html]

[html]<center>*CPU 1.5 GHz*</center>[/html]
[html]<center>*RAM 512 MB* </center>[/html]
[html]<center>*GPU with DirectX 9 Capabilities*</center>[/html]
[html]<center>*HDD 20-40 GB NTFS Formatted*

These are the PROnetworks recommended minimum system requirements for the installation of Windows Vista. Note that the requirements do vary depending on the edition of Windows Vista one intends using.

Additional information on Vista hardware requirements can be found by viewing Microsoft's Windows Vista recommended system requirements



Dual booting refers to side by side installations of Windows Vista and an earlier versions of a Windows operating system. The important consideration in dual/multi booting is that Windows Vista must be the LAST operating system installed, as Windows Vista takes over the boot manager duties that the boot.ini file used to fulfill in earlier versions of Windows. If Vista is installed on a system and it becomes necessary to install an earlier version of Windows (XP, 2000, 9X/ME), the Windows Vista bootloader will be overwritten and Windows Vista will no longer be accessible. See Reinstalling Windows XP when dual booting with Windows Vista and follow that guide should you find it necessary to reinstall Windows XP.

If you have a new Computer which came with Windows Vista pre-installed on it and you wish to install Windows XP in a dual boot with Windows Vista, then please refer to this guide: Install Windows XP in a Dual Boot with Pre-installed Windows Vista

Another issue to be aware of when dual or multi booting between Windows Vista and Windows XP/MCE is that when doing so, you will lose all Windows Vista restore points when you boot to Windows XP/MCE and then boot back into Windows Vista. This is by design to protect the integrity of the Windows Vista restore points.

PROnetworks recommends using VistaBootPRO to manage the boot entries for the Vista boot manager.


IMPORTANT WARNING FOR ALL USERS: Windows Vista uses a new version of the NTFS file system, and third-party partitioning software can therefore, cause serious errors when combined with Windows Vista. We strongly recommend that the third-party such as Partition Magic or Acronis is only used to create free space and that Windows Disk Management is used to create and format the actual partition.

New version releases of these programs have been or shortly will be released which have Vista support.

While Windows Vista does have enhanced abilities to partition and format your HDD during setup, it has been pointed out that UNALLOCATED HDD SPACE ON AN EXTENDED DRIVE will NOT be recognized by Vista and users should create a Logical drive and format this drive from within XP using the Disk Management console before continuing setup.


Note that drivers can be installed from floppies, USB Flash memory sticks, CD or DVD. It is suggested that one restrict drivers loading at this stage to necessary SATA/RAID controllers. Other essential device drivers can simply be installed post-setup.

A protocol has been implemented in Windows Vista X64 (only) requiring that ONLY digitally signed drivers are used with the X64 Windows Vista Operating System, and we strongly recommend that you do NOT attempt to load any unsigned drivers during the initial setup of Windows Vista X64. Older pre-RTM builds of Vista included workarounds to this restriction, but these have no effect in the final release.


[html]<center>Windows Vista Installation Methods</center>[/html]

  • Boot from DVD Installation Method – This is the most popular method of installing Vista. For the benefit of members downloading their copy Windows Vista, we provide some additional information. See Burning the Windows Vista ISO to DVD and note that most failed installations are caused by a bad burn. To reduce this risk PROnetworks recommends that you set your burn program to burn the data to the DVD at a slow speed such as 2X or as slow as your burner can go.
  • Run Setup from within Windows – Similar to DVD Method. Setup is run from within Windows XP by inserting the Installation disc during a normal Windows session.
  • Hard drive installation method – (Combined with the above method for the purposes of this guide). Again, this information is provided for members downloading their copies of Windows Vista. Extract the .ISO file (using a program such as WinRAR) to C:\Vista Installation and run setup.exe from there.
  • ISO mounting Method – Using a program such as Daemon Tools, Alcohol or Nero ImageDrive, "mount" the .iso file to a virtual DVD drive running setup within Windows.
  • Upgrade Install – Upgrade your current Windows XP SP2 or Windows Vista Beta 2 (Build 5384) or later installation to Windows Vista.
  • Upgrade note: Upgrading to Windows Vista MUST BE INITIATED from the operating system that is to be upgraded (Windows Vista Beta 2 or Windows XP SP2) as described above in Running Setup from within Windows. The Upgrade option IS NOT AVAILABLE when booting the Windows Vista DVD/CD media and will be grayed out and not selectable.

NOTE: Whilst the user is not required to enter a Key code to continue the installation, if no Key code is entered, the Vista install will only be operational for 30 days. A valid Key must be entered and activated sometime during the 30 days.

If no Key code is entered during initial setup, the user will be able to select which edition of Vista they wish to install from a list of available editions. It is recommended that only the edition one has a valid Key for, is selected if one intends activating the Windows Vista installation.


[html]<center>Windows Vista Installation</center>[/html]

[html]<font color="#FF0000">NOTE: To avoid repetition, only the procedure followed for Windows Vista X86 (32-Bit) is described here, and any differences between the X64 method are noted. It is assumed users know how to set their DVD drive as the first boot device. </font>[/html]

[html]<font color="#000080">BOOT FROM DVD INSTALLATION</font>[/html]

Upon booting the Vista DVD, users will see:

1. A gray progress strip at bottom of screen with the text "Windows is loading files..."

2. A mostly blank splash screen with green running progress bars, which will "blank" the screen momentarily, and the Aurora background with a dialog box titled "Install Windows" and three settings choices to make:
    a) Installation Language
    b) Time and Currency Format
    c) Keyboard Language
3. After making the above selections, users have the choice to:
    a) Install Now, which is the largest button and selection text

The option to "Check compatibility online" is not available when running setup by booting from the DVD.

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4. After selecting "Install Now", users will be prompted to "Insert Product Key".

5. Users will then have to Accept License Agreement or not accept the agreement and exit the installation.

6. ONLY the Custom (Advanced) selection is available when booting from DVD, and the "Upgrade" will be grayed out and not selectable.

7. After selecting the Custom installation, users will be able to select the drive/partition to install Vista to (preformatted recommended but the drive can be formatted by going to the "Drive Options (Advanced)" tab. <a href="#notes">SEE NOTE ON DISKS AND PARTITIONING</a> From this screen users will also be able to use the Load Driver function to load RAID and SATA controller drivers and to load system and other device drivers if they are on the "ROOT" (not in any folder) of the Vista Partition/USB flash drive/CD/DVD or other removable media.

8. The Windows Vista installation process now starts with a dialog box titled Install Windows, which will proceed as follows:
    a) Copying files
    b) Expanding files (NO RESTART on Boot from DVD procedure)
    c) Install Features and Updates then 1st restart
    NOTE: On installation restarts-DO NOT TOUCH ANY KEYS or otherwise interrupt the installation
    d) After this restart, a grey DOS like screen appears and tells the user
    "Please wait while Windows prepares to start..." then will launch
    into "Completing Installation" plus 2 black screens and the final installation restart.
    e) The final installation restart will boot to the first of several final setup screens where users will select their individual settings based on area, time, and their system specifics.

9. Final Setup Screens before the Windows Vista Start screen appears:
    a) Country or Region, and Keyboard Layout
    b) Choose a Username and Picture (Password is optional)
    c) Type a computer name and choose a Desktop background
    d) Help protect Windows automatically (Auto Update settings)
    e) Review Time/Date settings; includes Time Zone, Date, Time
    f) You're Ready to Start! button
    g) Computer & Graphics performance test

[html]<font color="#000080">RUN VISTA SETUP FROM WINDOWS (Hard Drive or DVD) </font>[/html]

NOTE: This installation section assumes the user is running Windows XP X64 or another 64-bit operating system when attempting to install Windows Vista X64 and vice-versa for installing the X86 (32-Bit) version of Vista. This method will only work with the hardware for the specific operating system (X86 or X64). Users cannot install Windows Vista X64 from Windows XP X86.

This installation method is easily started by, either inserting the Windows Vista DVD disk into the DVD drive and waiting for the Autorun sequence to begin, or for the Hard Disk method, by locating the drive where the Windows Vista installation files were copied and executing the setup.exe program.

From this point, the installation procedure is almost identical to the "Boot from DVD" installation method, with a few noted differences:

    a) After "Copying Files" and going into "Extracting Files", the installation will reboot the computer when the Extracting Files stage reaches approximately 27%, and will continue to extract files and finish the Windows Vista installation upon restarting, as noted in the Boot from DVD method.

NOTE: Regardless of the installation method you choose, when the Windows Vista installation procedure restarts the computer, DO NOT TOUCH ANY KEYS or otherwise interrupt the installation.

[html]<font color="#000080">ISO Mounting Method: Daemon Tools (Advanced Users ONLY)</font>[/html]

This method is similar to running setup within Windows from a DVD. To use this method you must download and install Daemon Tools (NOTE: When installing Daemon Tools, be sure to uncheck installation of any auxiliary software bundled in the package).

To install Windows Vista, open the Daemon Tools program. The red Daemon Tools icon will appear in the system tray. Right click the icon and select Virtual CD/DVD-ROM>Device 0: [X:] No media (where X: is the drive letter assigned to your virtual drive), and click Mount image.


After you have mounted your Vista ISO image file, the Windows Vista Setup dialog box should appear.

Before selecting "Install Now" close all open programs and close any antivirus or anti-spyware blocking software, including security programs, as these are known to interfere with the installation of Windows Vista.

From this point, the setup procedure is identical to the other installation methods. The firewall will only interfere with installation if you have chosen the option to Download Updates as part of the installation.

[html]<font color="#000080">Upgrading from Windows XP to Windows Vista with an "In-place Upgrade" Install</font> [/html]

NOTE: Further information in respect of Upgrading and the use of the Upgrade versions of Windows Vista will be provided once they are forthcoming from Microsoft or our PROnetworks community members and staff. For the time being we will therefore confine this section of our Windows Vista Installation Guide to covering an "In-place upgrade".

As the majority of Windows users are now running Windows XP, our focus in this guide, is on the upgrade from that to Windows Vista.

The advantage of an "In-place upgrade" is that you can install Windows Vista and retain your applications, files, and settings as they were in your previous edition of Windows.

PROnetworks recommends that as with any other upgrade, users perform a full backup in the event the upgrade fails. Documents, data and other items you do not want to risk losing, should be backed up to external media or another partition or hard drive.

The upgrade procedure from Windows XP SP2 to Windows Vista takes much longer than a clean install of Windows Vista. The number of programs installed on the system to be upgraded, as well as the relative performance of the system are all factors in the amount of time it takes to complete the upgrade. Expect from 1 to 3 hours to complete the upgrade from Windows XP to Windows Vista. Not all systems are the same, nor does everyone run the same programs, so the exact amount of time cannot be accurately predicted.

The next very important step prior to upgrading Windows XP to Windows Vista is to download and run the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor to determine the upgrade potential of the system to be upgraded.

Once users scan their systems with the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor, any incompatible programs reported can and should be uninstalled prior to starting the upgrade sequence. All device drivers reported as incompatible (except for RAID and SATA drivers where applicable), should also be uninstalled. The system should then be rebooted back to Windows XP in order to begin the upgrade process.

For just how different the "In-place Upgrade" experience can be, see Windows Vista In-Place Upgrade: XP Pro to Vista Ultimate: Two Independent Experiences

The link below, although in respect of "In-place Upgrades" of an earlier version of Windows Vista, also provides two valuable insights to help make a decision about which method of "upgrading" to Windows Vista one should use: Windows Vista: "Upgrade" Install over Windows XP


[html]<font color="#000080">Manual Device Driver Installation</font> [/html]

Due to User Account Control (UAC) policies inherent in Windows Vista, it may be necessary to change the UAC settings on your computer or you may need to logon as the Administrator. Advice about how to tweak your UAC settings or to run software As Administrator can be found in the PROnetworks Tweaking Guide for Windows Vista.

An easy way to turn on or off the UAC is through the Security Center which is located in the Control Panel.

[html]<font color="#FF0000">WARNING: Disabling UAC may put your computer at risk from malware such as viruses or Trojans, and it should therefore only be disabled ONLY as needed.</font>[/html]

Driver support for motherboard chipsets, graphics cards, and other devices has been vastly improved in Windows Vista. However, not all devices are automatically installed during setup, and may sometimes require manual installation.

Windows Update also provides many device drivers automatically or as Options Updates.

Note that when manually installing some third party supplied driver packages, you may get a popup warning that the drivers are unsigned. You may attempt to continue installing the drivers anyway, although you should be aware that not all drivers can be successfully installed in Windows Vista.

It may be necessary to manually install motherboard chipset drivers AFTER the Vista installation completes, and to do so in Windows XP or Server 2003 compatibility mode. To use compatibility mode, copy the chipset drivers to a folder on your Windows Vista drive or partition and right-click the setup file>select Properties to get to the Compatibility tab>check "Run this program in compatibility mode for">Select Windows XP (Service Pack 2) or Windows Server 2003 (Service Pack 1), as appropriate, from the drop down menu. You may wish to select "Run as Administrator" if available>click Apply>click OK, and double click the setup executable to begin installation. Reboot your system if/when prompted to.

Default graphics drivers are installed during setup. The most popular graphics card chip manufacturers like ATI and NVIDIA now have newer drivers available from their websites. It is recommended that you continue to use the default drivers during installation of Windows Vista or those provided by Windows Update, unless you have performance or other problems with your display adapter.

Audio drivers are also installed during setup. If not compatible with your audio card, it may be necessary to install these drivers in Windows XP or Server 2003 compatibility mode (As described earlier).

LAN drivers, if not installed by Windows setup or in the process of installing motherboard chipset drivers, may also need to be installed in XP or Server 2003 compatibility mode, unless drivers specifically written for or compatible with Windows Vista are available.

After driver installation go to Device Manager (Start menu>right click on Computer>select Properties>Hardware> Device Manager) and check that all devices are fully installed. If not, follow the Manual Driver Installation instructions above.


[html]<center><font color="#000080">REMOVING WINDOWS VISTA FROM YOUR SYSTEM</font></center>[/html]

The instructions below can be applied to installations of all "Earlier versions of Windows" including Windows 2000, Windows XP Professional X64 Edition and Windows Server 2003.

1. If you installed Windows Vista as a STANDALONE operating system on its own PC, then simply reformat the hard drive it is on, or do a reformat and clean install of another Windows version to your computer, by booting from the installation CD or DVD.

2. In instances where users have a DUAL BOOT or MULIT-BOOT scenario with another OR other Windows operating systems, for example Windows XP, follow these steps to remove Windows Vista:

2 (a): With Windows Vista still fully installed, boot into Windows XP and download and install VistaBootPRO in Windows XP. Ignore the prompt to backup the BCD and go to the Bootloader tab. Select "Uninstall the Vista bootloader" and click Apply.

2 (b): Now go to and open My Computer. Right click your Windows Vista installation drive/partition and select Format. A "Quick format" is fine.

2 (c): Still in My Computer, select Tools>"Folder Options…" and ensure that you set your folder options to "Show hidden files and folders" and that you clear the check box for "Hide protected operating system files".

Delete the following files:


Vista will now be removed from your system, but there will still be some files that it has left on your system drive/partition.

If you want to get rid of all traces of Vista, then follow the steps below to delete:

Boot (folder and contents)

NOTE: You will be unable to delete the folder Boot or the file bootmgr WITHOUT following the process described below, as they are protected files. Leaving them on your system drive will however do no harm to your Windows XP installation. Any subsequent installation of Windows Vista will overwrite them.

2 (d): To delete the folder Boot and the file bootmgr, switch user in Windows XP or earlier, to Administrator or if the user account Administrator is not active, restart and boot into Safe Mode and select the Administrator account to log in with. Once logged into Safe Mode, open My Computer, go to Tools>Folder Options and make sure that your view settings are set to "Show hidden files and folders" and that you clear the check box for "Hide protected operating system files".

Follow these directions to delete the file bootmgr:

* Double click your Windows XP installation drive and select the file bootmgr. Follow the path, right click>Properties>Security>Add and type Administrator, then Check Names>OK>Full Control>Apply>OK.

* Again select bootmgr, right click and go to Properties>Security, and select Administrator in the Group or user names pane>Advanced>Owner>OK>OK

* For a third time select bootmgr, right click and go to Properties>Security select Administrator in the Group or username pane, Advanced>Permissions>Select and type Administrator>Check Names>OK>OK>OK.

* Right click bootmgr and delete it.

Follow these directions to delete the folder Boot

* Select the folder Boot, right click>Properties>Security>Advanced>Owner tab and select Administrator and check the check box for "Replace owner on sub containers and objects>OK>OK

* For a second time, select the folder boot, right click>Properties>Security>Advanced>>Permissions tab>Add and type Administrator>Check Names>OK>Full Control>OK and select "Replace permissions on all child objects..." and click OK

* Right click the folder Boot and delete it.

3. Should your primary operating system NOT be Windows XP, or an earlier Windows version, or where you have more than one instance of Windows Vista installed, it is strongly recommended that you do NOT use the Dual-Boot or Multi-Boot Removal Method. In these circumstances, you are advised to post for assistance in our Windows Vista Chat & Support Forum where the Betas Team & Support Centre Team are available to give you the necessary advice and support.


This Guide has been compiled and tested by the PRONetworks Betas Team & the PRONetworks Community & Support Team.

To explore the exciting new features of Windows Vista, check out these exclusive PROnetworks Windows Vista PROviews.

[html]<a target="_blank" href="http://www.pro-networks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=76576">Windows Vista PROview: Vista Firewall</a> <br><a target="_blank" href="http://www.pro-networks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=77073">Windows Vista PROview: Snipping Tool</a> <br><a target="_blank" href="http://www.pro-networks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=78082">Windows Vista PROview: Complete PC Backup</a> <br><a target="_blank" href="http://www.pro-networks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=79403">Windows Vista PROview: MSCONFIG</a> <br><a target="_blank" href="http://www.pro-networks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=75118">Windows Vista PROview: User Accounts/Parental Controls</a> <br><a target="_blank" href="http://www.pro-networks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=75117">Windows Vista PROview: Speech Recognition</a> <br><a target="_blank" href="http://www.pro-networks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=76021">Windows Vista PROview: Windows Calendar</a> <br><a target="_blank" href="http://www.pro-networks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=75513">Windows Vista PROview: Winsat, D3D & Aurora </a><br><a target="_blank" href="http://www.pro-networks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=75029">Windows Vista PROview: Windows Vista for the Low Budget PC</a> <br><a target="_blank" href="http://www.pro-networks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=75334">Windows Vista PROview: Automatic Backup</a> <br><a target="_blank" href="http://www.pro-networks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=75000">Windows Vista PROview: System Monitor</a> <br><a target="_blank" href="http://www.pro-networks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=74998">Windows Vista PROview: Sparkle</a> <br><br><img src="http://www.pro-networks.org/forum/images/smiles/moreat.jpg" border="0"> <a target="_blank" href="http://www.pro-networks.org/forums/viewforum.php?f=200">PROviews (Windows Vista Reviews)</a>[/html]
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Postby Grav!ty » Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:26 pm

The PROnetworks Windows Vista Installation Guide is now published. As with our other guides, it is a work-in-progress and new information which comes to light as well as any necessary corrections, will be made to it on an ongoing basis.

Suggestions for improvements to our guides are always welcomed and may be posted in this forum.

"The great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances, as though they were realities, and are often more influenced by the things that seem than by those that are." - Niccolo Machiavelli
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Postby Grav!ty » Tue Mar 27, 2007 3:43 am

Folks please make more use of the info contained in this Installation Guide. The procedures followed in it are tried and tested and verified countless times by both our Betas Team and Windows Support Team.

"The great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances, as though they were realities, and are often more influenced by the things that seem than by those that are." - Niccolo Machiavelli
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