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Unfortunately, I couldn’t take any shots of the screens of the installation process, but I can describe how it went. After I built the new computer (see Part 1 and Part 2 for details), I installed Windows 2000 Professional on it and did all of the updates.

As it turns out, the upgrade edition of Windows Vista (Home Basic or Home Premium edition) supposedly does not let you do an clean install of Vista (since that news came out, there has been a confirmed workaround, go to this site to get a description of the workaround). So, I put the DVD in and the installation process started.

It asks far fewer questions than XP does. After some relatively pleasing looking screens, it begins the install by copying the files. This version of the installation works differently than previous versions in that it is decompressing an image file from the DVD as opposed to copying discrete files like older versions did.

After it is completed with this process, the machine will reboot several times as it is expanding the files. Now, there were several points during this process where the screen appeared to either go black, or have some kind of graphical artifacts on the screen. Whatever you do, DO NOT TURN YOUR MACHINE OFF during this process! In fact, it may be a good idea to put the machine on a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) if you have one. Turning the machine off because you’re thinking it has crashed could result in a corrupted installation at best and a damaged hard drive at worst (this is according to the Best Buy “Geek Squad”, who, since they’re selling computer services, would benefit from people being scared to install the OS).

In either case though, be patient and give it time to finish or, if it truly can’t continue, to give you an error message. It will then configure the files for your particular machine and reboot a final time. Again, you may see some graphical artifacts on the screen. Don’t panic. You’ll eventually come to a screen where it will ask you the usual things like time zone and keyboard layout, as well as picking a picture for your user name (and of course the password). This used to be optional in XP, it is not optional (at least from what I could see) in Vista. Finally, you’ll get to the login screen where you can enter your password and you’ll be at what’s called the Welcome Center
As you can see, the desktop is quite a bit different from the XP desktop. There’s no more “Start” button, it’s been replaced by the Windows Icon in the lower left hand corner.

I’m running the Aero interface in this shot, and you can clearly see the transparency of the window. The square on the right side:  that’s a slideshow that’s running off of pictures from the “My Pictures” folder. As we’ll see as we explore the interface in more detail in coming days, the “folders” are sometimes not what you were used to in Windows XP. There’s my clock on the left side, a sort of neon-ish analog clock that looks very nice. The taskbars and icon in  notification areas at the bottom of the shot are pretty much as they were in XP, although when I place my mouse cursor over one of the minimized programs, a small picture of it shows up above the minimized program. Very nice, if a bit behind the times (Macintosh was doing this a long time ago).

When you press the Windows Icon, the following menu appears:

As you can see, the “Start” menu has changed significantly for Vista. In the next installment, I’ll go into what the changes are, and where to look for things in Vista that you’re used to looking for in particular places in XP.


See also
Part 1:  Laying The Foundation For The Aero Interface
Part 2:  Selecting The Right Hardware
Part 4:  The Start Menu

Disclaimer:  SnortyHow is intended for entertainment purposes only and has NOT been reviewed by professionals for accuracy, reliability, legality, or safety. Whatever you read in SnortyHow, you must try at your own risk, preferably after seeking advice from licensed professionals.