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Vista - Installing Windows Vista
Thursday, Aug. 2, 2007

(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.

Installing Vista

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).

Fig. 1 - Vista Install start

Figure 1 - Starting Vista Install

Clicking on "Next" brought up the next window (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2 - Vista Install...

Figure 2 - Vista Install - Screen 2

I clicked on "Install Now" to bring up the License screen (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3 - Vista Install...

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).

Fig. 4 - Vista Install...

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).

Fig. 5 - Vista Install...

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).

Fig. 6 - Vista Install...

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.

Fig. 7 - Vista Install...

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.

Fig. 8 - Vista Install...

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).

Fig. 9 - Vista Install...

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)

Fig. 10 - Vista Install...

Figure 10 - Computer Name.

and when it offered to install updates, I chose "Ask me later" (Fig. 11).

Fig. 11 - Vista Install...

Figure 11 - Automatic Updates - ask later.

Next, the date, time and time zone (Fig. 12)

Fig. 12 - Vista Install...

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).

Fig. 13 - Vista Install...

Figure 13 - Vista installl complete.

Space Used

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).

Post Install

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.

Fig. 14 - Vista Control Panel

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).

Fig. 15 - Vista Control Panel

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).

Fig. 16 - Network Control Panel

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.

Fig. 17 - Local Area Connection

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).

Fig. 18 - Local Area Connection Properties

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).

Fig. 19 - Setting IP address

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).

Fig. 20 - Available Updates

Figure 20 - Vista - Available Updates.

Clicking on "View available updates" showed more details about the updates (Fig. 21 below).

Fig. 21 - Available Updates

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).

Fig. 22 - Updates installed

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).

Click to enlarge

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 upper-right.

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.


  1. Windows Vista Product Page:
  2. IPv6 Information Page:
  3. Wikipedia IPv6 Page:

(in order from older to newest)


Aug. 13, 2007, 6:26 PM by Saad

"The installation took only 20 min. on my laptop and there was no need to work around the partition for my system. It was 1 big unpartitioned ATA/IDE disk 0 drive."

Oct. 14, 2007, 12:19 PM by SPV

"Thanks for the article. I have successfully installed vista following your article. I'm facing a problem now. In the past when I had xp installed in my small office we could share file as each pcs could access each other. After installing Vista my pc is not accessible to other pcs. Any idea/guide how can I share file with other pcs?"

Jan. 1, 2008, 12:20 PM by WMR

"Dear People, please note that if you ask me a question then be sure to include your email address. Otherwise I can't reply directly in any timely manner.

The topic of file sharing in Vista is one that I can't address in a short note, but here are some links you may find useful:

File and Print Sharing in Windows Vista, by Brien Posey
File and Print Sharing in Windows Vista (MS Technet article)
Vista File Sharing Essentials (MS Help article)"

Jan. 3, 2008, 1:30 PM by rk

"Mine isn't really about installing, i bought my laptop and everything was fine for most of 2007, and today it wouldn't connect to the internet and it said i have to connect the local area connection but its wireless, and it sometimes says wireless adapter isn't installed and configured but i'm sure it is cause it used to work, then i tried updating everything but that didn't work so i'm not sure of what to do."

Jan. 19, 2008, 6:13 PM by Neil

"In XP you had the choice of full format, or quick format. A quick format takes seconds to minutes. Vista just does a quick format without asking."

Apr. 6, 2008, 10:06 PM by DL

"Thanq sir, I am ex army normal cadre but dont know how to install xps 1330 dell.

I understand install after seeing the above instruction.

One doubt how to drivers cd install."

Jan. 26, 2009, 6:20 AM by mohanreddy

"i may have deleted the wrong partion. how would i get the unallocated drive back(if posible). when i choose the partion that is left it comes up with a prompt asking for the device driver needed to access your hard drive, insert the installation media containing the driver files."

Dec. 2, 2009, 10:08 PM by anonymous

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