Installing Windows Vista: The installation paths converge

Mark Minasi provides the information you need to install Windows Vista on your system. This chapter is an excerpt from Minasi's book, "Mastering Windows Vista for Business Professionals."

SP1 and R2

Mastering Windows Vista for Business Professionals
By Mark Minasi and John Paul Mueller

The following excerpt is from chapter two of Mastering Windows Vista for Business Professionals, entitled "Installing Vista."


Check out the rest of this chapter, Installing Vista.

The Installation Paths Converge

The installation paths converge when your system reboots and prepares to work with Vista for the first time. No matter how you begin the Vista installation, eventually you'll see a "Please wait a moment while Windows prepares to start for the first time" message. This message appears after the first reboot. Next you'll see an Install Windows dialog box appear that contains a list of tasks that Setup is performing on your behalf. The first few items go fast and then you'll wait for a while at the Completing Installation task. Your system will reboot at least once during this process.

Performing the Initial Setup

Vista performs a lot of work that you used to perform manually in the background, so it may seem like it's taking a long time to complete its work. At some point, you'll see a Set Up Windows dialog box asking you to enter a name and password. The following steps take you through the installation process starting from this point.

  1. Type a name and password for your account. Make sure you include a password hint to use to recover your password later should you need to do so. You can optionally choose a different icon from the ones shown. Click Next. The next dialog box asks you to choose a computer name and a background.

  2. Type a computer name and optionally choose a background. Click Next. Setup asks you about automatic updates. There's a lot of controversy over setting Windows to use automatic updates after Microsoft made certain optional updates, such as Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA), part of the automatic update. My recommendation is to have Windows ask you about the setting later and then ensure you set Automatic Updates to inform you about required downloads so that you can make the choice.

  3. Choose an automatic update option. Setup automatically advances to the next dialog box where you choose the time and date settings for your computer.

  4. Select a time zone. Choose the current date (this feature should be set automatically) and change the time as needed. Click Next. You see a final dialog box.

  5. Click Start. Windows checks your system performance at this point. Eventually, you'll see a logon screen.

  6. Type your password and press Enter.
At this point, you've completed a major part of the setup. Windows will start up for the first time, display the Welcome Center, show Windows Sidebar (with the default gadgets), and perform background tasks such as performing preliminary network configuration.

Configuring the Network

One of the first tasks you'll probably want to perform after you complete the installation is getting your network setup. Fortunately, Vista makes this task very easy. The following steps tell you how to perform this task.

  1. Choose Start → Network. You'll see the Network window. Below the menu is a note saying that network sharing and discovery aren't enabled.

  2. Choose to enable network sharing and discovery. In most cases, you'll want to choose the private sharing and discovery option. Vista normally discovers the domain or network automatically at this point. However, you might not see the new entries immediately.

  3. Right click anywhere in the Network windows and choose Refresh to display the network resources you can access.

Check out the rest of this chapter, Installing Vista.

Mark Minasi is a best-selling author, commentator and all-around alpha geek. Mark is best known for his books in the Mastering Windows series. What separates him from others is that he knows how to explain technical things to normal humans, and make them laugh while doing it. Mark's firm, MR&D, is based in Pungo, a town in Virginia's Tidewater area that is distinguished by having one -- and only one -- traffic light.
Copyright 2005 TechTarget
This was first published in March 2007

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