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Installing Vista Ultimate RC1, what fun it was. Comparison Chart for Vista Versions

  • Vista Page 1
  • Vista Page 2
  • Vista Page 3

Over the weekend I decided to install Vista Ultimate RC1 to one of my hard drives. But it is not going well, lol. I downloaded the ISO file and then tried to figure out some way of burning it to CDs, because I did not have a DVD burner. Well that went well, NOT, I downloaded this program and that program, free ones, to see if I could span the 2 1/2 gig ISO file. I downloaded a splitter program and split the files to 700 megs, I could burn them but they were not spanned disks so I figured that would not work. So I went and bought a combo drive, CD/DVD, to discover, DUH, I could not burn to the DVD only read from it, errrrr. So back to the store and bought a DVD burner, I burned the ISO to a DVD put it in the drive, set the BIOS to boot to the CD-ROM, booted into the Vista install cd and then I got to the drive page. Hmmm. lets see, extend, format, delete and refresh drives, Hmmmmmmm.
I needed to partition one of the drives for Vista to install on, could not do it with Vista. I have no partitioning software, well Partition Magic that is 7 years old, that would not work with XP. Again tried different free partitioning programs, none worked, not going to buy any. So I went into Linux Mandrake and partitioned part of it's free space on the slave drive of my Gaming machine. That worked, by that I mean I was able to install the files for Vista onto the hard drive, but I get an error just as it goes to boot into the Desktop.
Second day, tried everything same error. I next disconnected the XP master drive and hooked the Vista drive to the Master IDE cable, and set it to master, then reformatted the drive and reinstalled Vista RC1, this time it Booted to the Vista Desktop, booting as I'm typing, hmm Ultimate, I did not partition the drive for the BitLocker program, no need unless you have a special chip on your mobo or a USB mini drive for it to store the Keys. Looks really nice, got the Internet Connection working and updated Vista. Playing music with the media player right now, was able to put a mini player on the Taskbar cool : ). Really nice backgrounds, copied and sent some to my XP computer, lol, now all three monitors have the same background, a lighted dock going out onto the ocean.
Vista is setup a lot different then XP, it is like Internet Explore 7 when it comes to Program Menus, they expand down and not out like XP, you also have a shortcut menu bar to the right for stuff like the control panel, computer, network, etc. The Control Panel is the same only more stuff, it has Backup and Restore that is nice, need to set a restore point right now, brb. When you go to do an Administrative Function, it ask you for your permission, a box pops up and you have to click continue to go to the Utility. OK restore point set, that was easy, had Backup files and folders there also or you can backup the entire computer, sweet!! Has a Windows Defender, it is like Adaware, scanning right now lol, 1:31 elapsed time and no unwanted or harmful software detected. To get an idea of what Vista is like try IE 7 has the same look and feel and security as Vista. Lets see we have bitlocker, ISCSI Initiator, People near me, Personalize ( for your Desktop, you can choose what system icon to have on the desktop, lol, I mistakenly deleted the Recycle Bin was able to choose it and walla back on the desktop), Sync Center, Tablet PC Settings, Windows CardSpace, Windows Defender, Windows Sidebar this is cool, you can setup different things to display, like clocks, weather, even rotate small pictures. All the buttons are transparent light blue, really elegant looking actually.
Vista games hmm, nice icons lol, sweet Chess Titans a 3d chess set really really cool, you click on your piece and it shows you were you can move the piece, then the computer moves, will need to come back to this lol, sweet I can even save my game. Solitaire looks the same, nicer cards though, lol Purple Place for the kids, lol, this is cool to, making a cake, lol, on a conveyer belt, the kids will like this, very nice MS. I like Vista, it is like having Windows 98 and going to XP, lol, you will not want to go back to XP.
Follow up: I thought I would elaborate a little on the BitLocker Drive. It only allows you to work on your files that are on the BitLocker Drive, they are encrypted. Unauthorized people can not read or use them. BitLocker encrypts the whole drive, not just individual files. You log on and work on your files, when you are done, you log off. BitLocker helps to block hackers from the System files they use to recover your passwords or access the hard drive. If BitLocker detects a system security risk, such as disk errors, BIOS change or changes to any Startup files, it locks the drive. You then need a special recovery password to unlock it. So, it is a special volume or partition on your hard drive that is encrypted, you need to login to the partition to use or alter files and it can detect intrusions so to speak. Your motherboard needs a chip called TPM "Trusted Platform Module" and a compatible BIOS or a USB flash drive to store the passwords in. I would imagine most brand new computers on the market have these requirements or you can have them added to a computer you order, like from Dell. The TPM chip is already used on some computers, what is new is that MS is encrypting the whole volume, not just the files. You can use EFS "Encrypting File System" on individual files on hard drives not protected by BitLocker, not all versions of Vista support this. On the unsupported Vista versions, you can obtain a Key or certificate and use Cipher.exe at the command prompt to encrypt and unencrypted files.

Wrap up: Here is a break down of a Vista install.

  • You need to burn the ISO to a DVD, use 1x or 2x speed, I used 2x and it burned perfectly.
  • The hard drive needs to be formatted to NTFS and partitioned properly if you use BitLocker.
  • The hard drive needs to be the Master drive and Vista needs to be the C: partition.
  • My setup is as follows:
  • A7N8X Deluxe Motherboard.
  • Nvidia GeForce 6600 graphics card.
  • 1 gig of memory.
  • Realtec 97 onboard sound.
  • 120 gig Seagate Hard drive.
  • Intellimouse optical, microsoft keyboard.
  • LCD 19" Balance Monitor.
  • LiteOn Combo CD-DVD drive.
  • Nvidia Network onboard.
  • When Vista was on a Slaved drive it would not boot to the Desktop.
  • So far I give Vista a 5 star rating, nice MS, hope I can afford it when it is released, lol.
Will post updates as I get familiar with Vista and if I encounter problems with Vista "crosses fingers hoping I do not". Below is my Vista Desktop Screen shot.
background vista rc1

Vista RC1 build number, I moved the Recycle Bin and used the Snipping Tool in Vista to get this picture.

screen shot vista rc! build

These are some more screen shots from Vista. This one is a neat feature, when you hover your mouse over the icon in the Taskbar, such as a web page, it pops up a view of what the page is. Handy if you have a lot of pages minimized on the Taskbar.
Vista Screen shot

This is a screen shot of the Resource Monitor, I noticed vista was using 38% of my RAM, good thing I have 1 gig of RAM. You are going to need a lot of memory or RAM for Vista.
Vista Screen shot

The next screen shot is the Task Manager, you do the same as XP, right click on the Taskbar-Properties. Looked at the Services or Processes, 47 running and using 405 MB of RAM or Memory, think I will turn off the unneeded services lol. 16% of my CPU is being used and all I have running is the Task Manager, going to need some real horse power for this baby!
Vista Screen shot

Well that is a little more info, just kind of snooping around to see what is different then XP. Some neat features and new programs, haven't tap into it all yet, going to install my Sound Blast Live card and some games to see how it runs, have not bought a new game lately, hmm have to see what I have.
I ran PC Pitstops full tests with Vista, you have to click a lot of boxes to allow it to start and finish all the tests. Came through with everything OK except the receiving buffer size, Vista apparently has a default setting. So I did the Registry Edit and I'm rerunning the tests. You still get to the registry using regedit but there are now DWORD and QWORD keys. Well everything passed with a checked flag that time, it lists Vista as Windows Vista Pro. I see I am using generic drivers for the graphics card, do I dare try the Vista drivers, yep Nvidia has vista drivers for my GeForce 6600 card, here goes a the first driver update. Hmm no Add/Remove utility, it is now called Programs and Features, no Nvidia installed. Did not need to create a downloads folder was already setup in My Documents folder, a Saved Games folder, Favorites, Searches, Links, Contacts and my brcpl text file, log file of what I'm doing on the computer. Vista is really nice looking, a lot of transparent stuff going on, menu bars, mouseovers. Right now my card is running on WDDM, say Nvidia driver version downloading 96.33, 36.6 MB, has a new Control Panel for Vista, 2 MB to go. Download froze, dang gotta cancel and retry it, using a different link, slow connection speed 47.1KB/Sec.
13 min later download complete, here goes my first Vista driver install, lol. Had to give permission to install, not verified so had to give permission for that, installed and rebooting "crosses fingers" lol. Booted back into Vista, right click on desktop and you now choose Personalize, you now get a page of links for the desktop settings, let see, Display Settings, yep same Window, Advanced Settings, hmm same settings, shows new driver version, OK where is the Nvidia Control Panel, in the Control Panel. Has 3D Settings and Display, 3D allows for performance and Quality, I will leave it at the default, let application decide for now. You have a Standard view and an Advanced view for the Nvidia Control Panel. Everything looks good and running great, it is actually using less RAM now, from 39% to 35% and 2% CPU from 1%. Well looks like I will need a page 3 lol, so I guess I will do that next.

This is a screen shot of the Start Menu, All Programs, different then XP, the folders expand down, I like the way MS set it up, takes up less room and should be faster. The links on the right open like in XP if there is an arrow, they scroll out. The icon at the top right changes, when you run your mouse over the link. Vista comes with Windows Mail, it now comes with a Junk email filter, Spell Checker WOOT and a Phishing filter, way to go MS, very nice. The Mail also comes with a Improved Search feature and it says you can upgrade your Outlook Express, hmmm, will do a search on Google for that download. Notice the new Start Button and the transparency in the bottom of the button, there is a lot of that in Vista, looks really cool, when you run your mouse over a button it lights up. When you click the icon on the top right it takes you to your User Account. I am running as Admin so on the left pane are Tasks, I can well heck another screen shot is in order.

The Vista User Account utility, look at the Tasks on the left side. You have a lot of features, one that is nice for Parents is on the bottom, Parental Controls. You will be able to control the Content children view on the web, you can set time limits on their accounts, control what games they can play and allow or block specific programs that they can use. You have the option to choose a game rating system for your children Acct and you have a Family Safety Option which informs you to read the child's Activity Report, weekly, everyday and never, it logs what the child does on the computer. You would need to turn on the Activity Reporting feature in their user acct, screen shot is in order, the Parental Control is a really, really, important feature Microsoft, Thank You !!

This is the screen shot of the options you will have as a Parent in charge of your child's User Account on Vista. Thank You again Microsoft, I wish this had been available in earlier versions of Windows, I'm happy to know my Daughter will have these features when my granddaughter starts using a computer.

Well that was fun finding these and installing my first driver in Vista, lol. I still need to see if my Sound Blaster Live card will work, I think I will explore some more, let ya know what I find. A couple things I'm going to find more about is the Windows Market Place and Vista has a new search page called Live Search, very similar to Google's search page and you choose what search engine to use for your searching. The Windows Market place is an online store to buy software, hardware and you will not need the cd or the license key for your downloaded software. You get a Digital Locker to store all your purchase information and you can access it from any computer, check out the future of shopping.
Just an update on how Vista is running, smooth as silk, I really like it and I'm running Ultimate. I think I read some where online that it will cost $449.00 for Ultimate, gonna a be a little to much for this boy. I believe the Home version will be around $233.00. Upgrading will be Ultimate $269.00 and Home $116.00 I never upgrade, tends to lead to problems and if you need to reformat, it will ask you for the earlier version cd, which means you cannot install it on a different hard drive. So I buy the full install so I can still have the older version on a different computer.
When I tried to install Vista on a slave drive, it installed a Bootloader on my XP Pro drive. I was not able to install Vista on the slave drive, I had to unhook the XP drive and hookup the other drive as the primary and then I installed Vista. Ok I am going to try and hook the Vista drive up as the slave drive and see if I can boot to my XP Pro and Vista, first I am going to set a restore point. Hmm my Welcome Screen for System Restore is disabled, trying to figure out why. I installed a bunch of windows updates, including IE 7, which was buggy, so I removed it and am trying to reinstall it, which is just sitting there doing nothing. Ok for some odd reason all screens I open are behind the main screen that is opened, errr, now I need to figure out what the heck is doing that. Reinstalling IE 7 now, that was the problem, System Restore works again, now to set a restore point. I cannot hookup the Vista drive as a slave drive, it shuts down the computer at boot. So now I am going to try and remove the boot loader screen using VistaBootPro, cool, deleted Vista and restored the XP boot files, it is now back to normal. They have an updated version of VistaBootPro 3.10, it is a free program and it works with XP Home, PRO, x64 and MCE 2005.

Well Vista has been out for awhile now and I still have not upgraded or installed it on any of my computers. I have been reading that Vista is not to good for gaming and still has problems with drivers, not supported as well as XP. You also need a lot more memory when running Vista and it can be kind of a pain with all the security features, it is also very expensive. The prices are coming down on some versions of Vista, but I still like XP better and Vista still cost's to much. XP has been rock solid for me so I really do not feel that Vista offers any real reasons to stop using XP. I have read that some people that buy new computers with Vista installed are buying the retail version of XP to replace Vista on their new computers. The retail version of XP is much cheaper then Vista and does perform well, so why buy Vista. I do like the features for the User Accounts, if your family uses the computer and you have User Acct's setup for each of them, I would say go with Vista, but if your family does a lot of gaming, then stay with XP for now. I am looking around for a Laptop and will probably get one with Vista as the OS, I would rather have XP, but I would like to see for myself how the released version is compared to the Beta I had, I will be getting Vista Home Basic or Premium not Ultimate.


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