(The following applies to Vista Enterprise Edition. Details may be different for other versions)
I have been been meaning to install Windows Vista someday, and that day came a couple of days ago
when the C: drive on my XP system developed numerous "read errors".
It was time to replace the drive, and I had a choice between reinstalling XP or Vista on the new drive.
After a few hours of doubt and some worry I decided to take the plunge and go with Vista.
This is my primary work computer, and the worry has mainly to do with the fact that some applications
that work fine in XP may not work in Vista any more.
On the other hand, we'll all be using Vista in a couple of years, and this could be a useful
learning experience, plus I have another older XP machine on which I could run those applications
that refuse to work in Vista.
And so about 2 days ago I went ahead and installed Vista from scratch on a new hard drive.
This is a description of my very early experience.
In future entries I will try to describe my ongoing adventures in Vista land.
Luckily my system is only three years old, and met all or most of the important requirements for Vista.
Specifically, it is a 3.2 GHz Pentium-4 cpu, 1 GB ram, and a reasonably modern video card.
The Vista install disk is a DVD, so I had to replace my CD drive with a DVD drive before starting.
My new system disk is a 250 GB sata drive.
I started by inserting the Vista Enterprise Edition DVD into the drive, and rebooting the system to
start from the install DVD.
This started the system in a low-res mode with minimum colors, and presented the first screen (Fig. 1).
Figure 1 - Starting Vista Install
Clicking on "Next" brought up the next window (Fig. 2).
Figure 2 - Vista Install - Screen 2
I clicked on "Install Now" to bring up the License screen (Fig. 3).
Figure 3 - Vista Install - License
After reading the license (Not!) I checked the "Accept" box, and clicked on "Next".
This brought up the next window (Fig. 4).
Figure 4 - Vista Install - Disk selection
The drive I wanted to install Vista on (disk 0) was partitioned into two sections.
I wanted to convert it to one large partition occupying the entire drive, so I clicked on
"Drive Options (Advaned)".
The brought up the next window (Fig 5).
Figure 5 - Delete old partition first
I selected the existing partition on Disk 0, and clicked on "Delete".
This left disk 0 as one big unpartitioned space, so I highlighted that and clicked "Next" (Fig. 6).
Figure 6 - Disk 0 is one unpartitioned space now.
Somewhat to my surprise, the Vista install proceeded at this point (Fig. 7).
Those of you who have installed XP may recall that it is at this stage that the XP install process
formats the hard drive, something that takes about an hour for large drives.
Apparently Vista does not need to format the drive before installing.
Figure 7 - Install in progress.
In general, this stage proceeded about twice as fast as for a typical XP install, and after about
10 minutes the system rebooted by itself (Fig. 8), and the install resumed automatically after the restart.
Figure 8 - Reboot during the install process.
After another 5 minutes of "Completing Installation", the install was done, and I could
enter a Username and Password for myself (Fig. 9).
Figure 9 - Create a new Username and Password.
The entire process had taken a bit under 30 mins. since starting - quite impressive.
After that I created a Computer Name (Fig. 10)
Figure 10 - Computer Name.
and when it offered to install updates, I chose "Ask me later" (Fig. 11).
Figure 11 - Automatic Updates - ask later.
Next, the date, time and time zone (Fig. 12)
Figure 12 - Date and Time
Another question or two about location (I chose "Work") and the Vista was up with the Welcone Center (Fig. 13).
Figure 13 - Vista installl complete.
I noted that right after I was done installing, Vista had occupied just over 7 GB of space on the hard drive,
After installing the 42 required or so recommended updates, just over 9 GB was used.
After installing MS Office Enterprise, disk space used was 11.6 GB.
After a clean boot with not much running, Vista seems to use about 400 MB of ram (out of 1 GB available).
A few essential steps were needed immediately after the install completed.
First, I assigned a static IP address to my desktop. You can skip this step if your desktop uses a dynamic
(i.e. automatically assigned) IP address.
I opened Control Panel (Start -> Control panel).
"Start" is now a colorful round "Windows button" at the lower-left edge of the screen.
The default Control Panel looks like Fig. 14 below.
Figure 14 - Vista Control Panel.
I clicked on the "Classic View" link along the left side to bring up a more complete and sensible view (Fig. 15).
Figure 15 - Vista Control Panel.
The old "Network Connections" of XP has been replaced by "Network and Sharing Center", so I opened that (Fig. 16).
Figure 16 - Vista Network and Sharing Center.
To make changes, I discovered I had to click on the "Manage network connections" link at the left.
This brought up a new window, where I could right-click on the "Local Area Connection" icon to view the options.
See Fig. 17 below.
Figure 17 - Vista Local Area Connection.
This brings up the familiar dialog for editing LAN properties.
Note the addition of TCP/IPv6 to the list of items (Fig 18).
Figure 18 - Vista Local Area Connection Properties.
Since our network does not support IPv6 as yet, I clicked on "Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)" and
then on the Properties button.
(For more information about IP v6, see Refs. 2 and 3 below).
This brought up the dialog where I could set my static IP address and other information such as
Gateway, Router and DNS addresses (Fig 19).
Figure 19 - Vista - Setting IP address.
Finally, I wanted to install any available updates for Vista, so I clicked on Control Panel -> Windows Update ->
Check for Updates.
This brought up a list of 23 important updates (Fig. 20).
Figure 20 - Vista - Available Updates.
Clicking on "View available updates" showed more details about the updates (Fig. 21 below).
Figure 21 - Vista - Available Updates - details.
I decided to install updates, and clicked on "Install", and after about 10 minutes all the updates had
been installed successfully (Fig. 22 below).
Figure 22 - Vista - Updates installed.
When all was said and done, it had taken about 60 mins. and the Vista desktop looked as follows (Fig. 23).
Figure 23 - Vista Desktop.
You can click on Fig. 23 to enlarge it.
Note the replacement of the "Start" button at lower-left with the new "Windows Button", and the "Gadget Bar" at the
One thing I noted in passing is that when I first installed Vista it detected all devices except for the audio
device (SoundMAX integrated digital audio), but later, after I installed the recommened updates, the
audio device was now also correctly identified and working.
There are many other changes as well, both in the User Interface and behind the scenes,
and I will try to describe some of them in future blog entries.
- Windows Vista Product Page:
- IPv6 Information Page:
- Wikipedia IPv6 Page: