Appendix: Installing Windows Vista

Appendix: Installing Windows Vista

Microsoft provides several versions of Windows Vista. Windows Vista can be installed using either interactive or automated setup. This appendix provides an overview of the interactive installation process. For more information about automated setup, see Chapter 15, “Deploying Windows Vista.”


This book was written using the Windows Vista Beta to provide an early introduction to the operating system. More so than any other area of Windows Vista, the security features discussed in this book are subject to change. Some of the features might not be included in the final product, and some of the features might be changed substantially.

You can start an interactive installation of Windows Vista using either of the following techniques:

  • For a new installation, power on the computer, and insert the Windows Vista distribution media into the computer’s CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive. When prompted, press a key to start the program from the CD or DVD.

  • For an upgrade, start the computer and log on using account administrator privileges.

Insert the Windows Vista distribution media into the computer’s CD-ROM or DVDROM drive. The autoloader should start the Windows Vista Setup program automatically. If Setup doesn’t start automatically, access the distribution media using Windows Explorer, and then double-click Setup.exe.

Once you’ve started the Setup program, follow these steps to complete the installation:

  1. Click Install Now. Setup starts the installation.

  2. If you are connected to a network or the Internet, choose whether to get updates for the installation. If you decide not to get updates, you can update the computer later by using the Windows Update feature.

  3. If you aren’t using a volume licensed product, enter the product key, and then click Next.


    The Automatically Activate Windows When I’m Online check box is selected by default. This option activates Windows when you access the Internet, so you don’t have to manually activate the operating system. You can activate the installation manually using the System utility in Control Panel, as discussed later in this section.

  4. Read the license terms. If you agree, click I Accept The License Terms (Required To Use Windows), and then click Next.

  5. If you are upgrading, you can specify the installation type as either Upgrade or Custom (Advanced). Select Upgrade if you want to upgrade the previously installed operating system to Windows Vista. Otherwise, select Custom (Advanced) to install a clean copy of Windows Vista.


    If you install a clean copy of Windows Vista on a computer running an earlier version of Windows, folders and files for the previous installation are moved to a folder named Windows.old and the previous installation will no longer run.

  6. Setup asks where you want to install Windows. Select the installation disk from the list, and then click Next. Windows Vista will complete the installation automatically. This process will require several automatic restarts.

  7. After Setup finishes, the operating system will be loaded. You can then complete the installation. When prompted, select your country or region and your keyboard layout, and then click Next.

  8. On the Choose A User Name And Picture page, you must next create a local machine account. Enter a user name. Type and then confirm a password. Enter an optional password hint, and then choose a picture for the user account. Click Next.


    The user account is created as a computer administrator account. Additional local machine accounts can be created later if necessary.

  9. On the Type A Computer Name And Choose A Desktop Background page, type a computer name and select a desktop background. Click Next.

  10. On the Help Protect Windows Automatically page, select update options. In most cases, you’ll want to use the recommended settings to install all available updates and security tools. You can also choose to install updates only or request that Windows ask you later. Click Next.


    The Ask Me Later option disables the update and security features. Typically, this is not the recommended configuration.

  11. On the Review Your Time And Date Settings page, make changes as necessary. Click Next.

  12. On the You’re Ready To Start page, click Start.

When the operating system starts, you can log on using the user account and password you provided previously. The operating system displays the Welcome Center window by default at startup. This tool provides quick access to set up devices, transfer files and settings, add or remove user accounts, and view computer details. If you don’t want the Welcome Center window to be displayed the next time you start the computer, clear the Run At Startup check box.