Installing Vista RC2 - Improvement!
Several days ago Microsoft started hosting Vista RC2 on their Vista website but for some reason it was suddenly pulled without any explanation. If you want to try RC2 for yourself, you can download it via a torrent file at Torrent Spy. It comes with a serial key but since it is just to try and for beta testers, you'll only be able to use the OS for a maximum of 30 days without actually buying Vista and obtaining your own serial key.
After we finished downloading the 2.5GB torrent and burning it to DVD (yes, the installation comes on a DVD, so you will need to buy a DVD drive if you don't already have one) we rebooted the system, place the DVD in the drive and booted from it like normal. At first, it seemed as if the installation files were corrupt - it took at least 10 minutes each to load the first couple of setup screens. After noticing there was network activity, I unplugged the network cable and tried again and everything loaded much quicker. Also if you do try RC2, don't be alarmed when the installation says you're installing RC1 - it's obviously just a small bug, it is actually RC2.
One of the most annoying and frustrating parts of the Windows XP install was the fact that if you wanted to install onto a RAID array drive connected to your RAID controller, you needed a floppy drive installed in your systems and a floppy disk (what are those again?) to install the driver so the Windows install could detect the drive - it drives me mad! Thank god Bill, those times are now gone. The Vista install allows you to add those drives by any storage device (USB, CDROM or whatever) through an interface which looks just like My Computer - you can even use your mouse to select, the install GUI feels more like Windows itself rather than a more DOS like XP install. It's definitely a good first impression of Vista and feels like you about to install something different from XP.
Besides that, there is nothing else overly exciting about the installation phase of Vista but that's a good thing because we have nothing negative to report for the latest build from Microsoft. Apparently in previous builds of Vista released to the pubic, it took a long time to install but it seems with each release Microsoft has cleaned up unnecessary files and what now and now it only takes marginally longer than XP to install.
After a few reboots and all the files were copies, Vista is ready for use and installed without any dramas at all. Good start so far but let's get into the OS now and take a closer look!