Windows Vista Update

Tech, Windows

Finally I was able to download the beta 2 release of Windows Vista. The ISO was a massive 3.125 GB file and it was quite an adventure downloading such a big file in a bandwidth constrained India. I initiated the download on Friday (June 9) 11 PM and my download manager (Free Download Manager) cribbed that it could not download a file more than 2GB !!

windows vista (I could not use the default AKAMAI download manager since I was getting the message saying the servers are experiencing high level of demand.)

So I downloaded another “download manager” called Internet download manager. The download started at about 11:30 PM and it displayed the estimated time of download as 27 hours !!! .(The maximum download speed I get in my Bharti connection is about 30-35KB/sec)

So I kept my notebook on for the next 27 hours and the download finally finished at 2 AM (June 11). I was crazy enough to be awake till then: Wrote the ISO to a DVD and started the Vista installation.

I wanted to install vista for a dual boot configuration (i.e. boot either XP or vista), but that again had many complications according to this forum. I had no patience to repartition my hard drive.

Two requirement for Vista installation are:

  1. It should be installed on a primary partition
  2. The partition should be a NTFS partition.

Unfortunately my primary partition was a FAT32 , and “again” I had no patience to convert it to NTFS. I just asked Vista Installation to format the drive and install the OS. (Be sure to backup your files before this, especially the files in your Profile. I happened to lose the local copy of my web site )

After initial steps of entering the product key, vista informed that there was no user intervention required and it would reboot the computer many times in the process. So happily I crashed to my bed. Morning when I woke up, I was greeted with a screen to input the time and date. I configured my user account and the installation was done: I booted successfully into Vista.

(In the process, Vista corrupted/removed the GRUB loader which was used to boot into SuSe Linux. Now I need to check how to reconfigure that )

So here is the summary of steps that you should do before installing windows vista:

  1. Check if your hardware is ready to run Vista. Download/Run the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor to ease this task. The Advisor also checks if vista has drivers for your hardware.
  2. Download Windows Vista Beta 2/Order DVD (This is really a pain, but it’s worth it )
  3. If you really want to install Vista for dual boot, do check this forum.
  4. Note down the product key properly (I happened to note a ‘2’ as ‘T’)
  5. Backup your files to a DVD/iPOD/Logical Partition
  6. Run Vista Installation
  7. Activate Vista (Before doing this, do check your system date and time and see its set properly)

Alternative Download

According to this blog, Windows Vista Beta 2 has become the biggest software download event in the history and might also enter the Guinness book of World Records 2006 !! Currently the demand is very huge and MS is suggesting users to order it via DVD.

It seems MS did consider BitTorrent as a distribution method, but because of “some” legal and privacy issues they could not go ahead with BitTorrent.

To help them MS with their dilemma, Windows enthusiasts Chris and Jake have downloaded the official beta release and created a torrent. You can find more information about this at http://www.vistatorrent.com

According to the site:

“The only official tracker for this torrent is found here at VistaTorrent.com. We’re providing an MD5 hash to verify the file after download to make sure you’re getting the real thing. If the torrent URL is anything other than the one from Vistatorrent.com, don’t download or install the file! We’re staking our reputations on providing a clean ISO torrent here. There is no registration required to download this torrent.

This is not a crack, this is not a hack, this is not software piracy – it’s unofficial mirroring with official validation. You can get a Windows Vista Beta 2 product key for free through Microsoft, as the OS won’t install without one. “

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