Fully documenting all of the problems that could occur during the installation of Windows Vista would require a book 10 times the size of this one. Here, though, are some of the most common problems you're likely to encounter, and how to solve them:
An out-of-date BIOS may cause a failed installation. Your motherboard will have a software-upgradeable flash BIOS. Contact the manufacturer of your system or motherboard for any BIOS updates it has available, but don't bother unless a BIOS upgrade is absolutely necessary. (A failed BIOS upgrade will make your motherboard unusable.)
Another common stumbling block to Windows Vista setup is your video card (display adapter). If setup stops with an unintelligible error message, hangs at a blank screen, or reboots unexpectedly during setup, your video card may be at fault. If replacing the video card permits Windows Vista to install, you should discard your video card.
If installation stops because files cannot be copied from the DVD, the disc may be scratched or dirty, or there may be a problem with your drive. Remove the disc, clean it with a soft cloth, and try again. Try another DVD with your drive to see if there is a problem with the drive.
Incompatible hardware may cause your PC to stop responding. If that is the case, exit the installation and then disable any unnecessary hardware. Remove Universal Serial Bus (USB) devices, and remove or disable your network adapters, sound cards, and any other cards, then restart the installation.
Another cause of your system not responding may be a conflict with your antivirus program. Disable the antivirus program and try installing again, but remember to turn it on after the installation is complete (you may need to upgrade to a Vista-compatible version after the upgrade; Vista will warn you about any incompatible software you have installed if you are upgrading from Windows XP).