Vista RC1 & RC2 Lessons learned so far. (May help the newbies)



Here are just a few lessons learned and some ideas and advice for those who
may be getting ready to play with Vista the first time.

1. System requirements and meeting the grade:

Before installation of Vista, read all the information, and make
sure your system can handle it before you even start installation. This will
save you a lot of time and issues during and after install.
If you are wanting to take full advantage of Vista, you have to be
running a stong computer, with the minimum of 32 bit or 64 Bit (P4 class or
better). You are going to need at least one Gig ram, and if you are going to
be using Aero, make sure you have a strong video card. (Note: A lesser video
card can be used if you aren't worried about Aero graphics or DVD Maker).
Read the System requirements on the "Get Ready" page, and make sure
you got what it takes before you beat your head against the wall, trying to
load Vista on your outdated system.
Anohther good idea is to pick up a small external, or secondary hard
drive. This will be a place to back up your system and a good storage space,
which I will talk about more later in this message.

2. Post Load Installation:

After you Load Vista, and get your drivers updated, you are not
done. Like XP, some things like Multimedia codecs and such do not come with
Vista. If you are a huge DIVX and XVID movie fan, you are going to have to
get a codec pack. If you don't have it, when you go to your folder where your
Videos are, you will get the infamous "Com Surrogate" failure. This will also
happen if you have a sub-standard Codec pack. Many MVPs have suggested
FFDShow. It is what I use, and have rarely found anything I can't run. Not to
mention, no Com Surrogate failures.
At post load, immediate needs should be taken care of, load
anti-virus, Codec packs, and other important, needed software. Save the fluff
for later, you will see why.

3. Complete Comupter restore:

After you have all the NEEDED programs installed, check out the
system, look around, make sure the OS and add on programs are working well.
Do the Activation, then back the complete system up.
Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Computer back-up and restore
(Note the terms may not be exact, I am at work, and not at my Vista desktop)
Choose Complete PC Back-up. This will Image your Vista drive, and store a
back-up so that as you add new programs that Vista still doesn't like, and
completely screw up your system, you have a way to get it back to where
everything was working correctly. This will also keep you from having to
re-activate your system.

4. Things to take into account.

Vista has some extra security features that can be a great help, as
well as a great pain in the ass. Most options you can disable, but remember
that when you disable a security program, even as it may be annoying, you
open yourself to issues.
UAC: Will blink on your screen any time you try to load a program. Your
screen will dark out and a yellow box will ask you if you are sure you want
to load a program. Yes, it is annoying, but it has saved me a couple times,
when I have clicked on the wrong thing, or have been spoofed in the internet
into clicking something that may add a virus or spyware. This program will
also allow you to lock out other users from loading programs, a dandy if your
kids are also using the computer. But it can be disabled.
Start > Control Panel > User Accounts and Family Safety > User Accounts >
Turn User Account Control on or off
Just remember that if you do disable this, you have no one to blame but
yourself if you get "infected" So use caution.
IE 7 comes with Phishing Filter. It may slow interent performance when
loading a new site. It is a great tool, because it, from what I understand,
will get updates from Microsoft on reported phishing sites. Again, it may
slow interenet performance, but it can be turned off, by going to the
security tab of your interenet options. Use caution id you do a lot of online
business. There are a lot of threats out there.

4. WGA

Software Piracy, depending on which school of thought you follow,
you amy either apporve of it, or disapprove of it. Microsoft, now, does not
tolerate it. Take that into account before even buying Vista. And BUY Vista,
don't try to install a "cracked" version. It will cause you more problems
than what it is worth. Timebombs and all will just make your life hell.
Microsoft isn't playing around, if you update, they are checking you, if you
have an always on connection, from what I understand they occasionally ping
you to check. The old days of a downloaded version of XP and activation
spoofer are gone. Be ready for it and pay the price, or don't, and pay the
price. The choice is yours.

5. EULA:

I know most don't read the EULA on most programs, lets be honest,
for the most of us, it is usually a "click past" item. READ IT! The rules
have changed. To name a couple, and the cause of most anger among users it
the transfer once item and the upgrade vs new computer item.
Now that we have gotten here, I will tell you now, I am not going to
debate over these items, if you want to hear the pro's and con's please look
at the dedicated posts "Ends to Piracy," "It's a Violation of Civil Rights,"
And any post that has WGA, WGA-N, SPP, or EULA in the subject. You will have
all the debate you need there. A lot of good opinions from both sides. I am
not saying whether it is right or wrong in this post, just telling what it
The EULA states that Vista will only be able to transfer the
original liscense for the product to one computer, one time. This means, if
you want to move it from this computer to your next computer, you can do
that, but you can only do this once. If you buy another computer later and
want to transfer the liscense, no dice, got to spend the money again. This
also applies to major upgrades. From an understanding I have, hard drives may
be a slip by, you will still have to re-activate, but you may get some room
on that, but that is only rumor. Microsoft, in a nutshell says that if you
make major upgrades that change the computer, it can be seen as a new
computer. Take that into account.
Best advice, if you are going to make majore system changes, or major
updates, do it before you load Vista. But that is up to you. Lack of
foresight could cost you quite a bit, especially if you are going to run
Ultimate. $399 is a lot of money to spend because you didn't read the rules.

6. Read these groups:

There is a lot of information that can be used in these groups. You
can learn a lot from these posts. God knows I have. Many seemingly difficult
problems are found to have surprisingly simple answers. If you experience a
problem, most likely you are not alone. And most likely, someone has already
found a solution. All you have to do is look, even use the search option at
the top of the page.

7. Have fun:

Look, this system now, isn't perfect. But remember that it is new. Learn it,
and you may find you love it. Don't be afraid to report a problem. If
something asks you if you want to send the error reports to Microsoft, I say
let it. It may halp Microsoft find the error and patch it. You have already
nade a Complete back-up, so push buttons, check this, check that, there is
nothing that can't be fixed, if you restore it from your good working
back-up. Get acquainted. Soon it will be released, and whether you spend the
money for the Market release, or just get a Vista Loaded computer. This will
be a good experience for you. I know it has been for me so far.

Hope this helps :)


Great post. They should make it a sticky but they don't have stickies in
here for some reason. It should be made a "first item to read" before you
can even post.


All good information Gene. I agree with you about UAC. After a few days I
turned it off, but then decided that having it on gave me a greater feeling
of security. I wouldn't say it was a 'warm-fuzzy', but maybe I just got
used to the extra level of protection, even if it is a little annoying at
times. I'm sure in the future it will save my hide!


Rob Burnett

I think this is my number one disappointment with Vista. RC-2 pretty much
turned my Windows Media Center 2005 box into a doorstop.

The XP functionality is still there as are the security improvements and a
new IE. But I really didn't get a Media Center PC just to see relentless UAC
warnings on a 40" LCD at 720p.


Thank you for so much very good advice! I am using RC1 and have had no major
problems whatsoever other than the fact that Netgear had no driver out for my
wireless card, and, for some as yet unknown reason I couldn't upgrade my XP
Pro to Vista RC1. I dual-booted with XP Pro, hooked up a LAN cable, and
everything went seamlessly.

I know GUI is "frosting", but it is GOOD frosting. I am using Vista
Ultimate, and that is what I will buy when it is released.

I have read lots of complaints about no RC2 for everyone... I am just
thrilled to have RC1 to use. This is a privilege not a right, and RC1 works
beautifully for me! I also left UAC on and have no problem using my
sysinternals tools and other security programs. I am thankful to have had
this chance to use and help test Vista.


gene, i need help....i have windows vista, and i have window live one care
loaded....for some reason my firewall keeps turning it's self off.......i
came home at noon and logged on and it was off, i reset it, came home after
work and it was off

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