Installing Windows Vista – CompTIA A+ 220-902 – 1.2

The installation of Vista is a relatively straightforward process. In this video, you’ll learn what to do before, during, and after an installation of Windows Vista.

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Before you install Windows Vista, make sure you go through your checklist. The first thing is that you should always have a backup. We may be making a change to an existing configuration, and there may be data on that drive we want to be sure we don’t lose. Always check your minimum hardware and software requirements for the operating system. Make sure you have enough memory and enough available disk space. You may also want to run the Upgrade Advisor. That hardware compatibility check is something that you can find right in the Windows setup screen. So it’s worth spending the time to check to make sure the hardware that you have can support the operating system that you’re installing.

And, of course, know the questions that will be asked during the installation, and have the answers ready. Know what file system you want to install. Know where your license keys are for the installation, and make sure you understand what regional settings will be configured in the operating system. Here’s a reminder of the hardware requirements for Windows Vista.

We know that we have to have at least an 800-megahertz processor for Windows Vista Home Basic and a one-gigahertz processor for the other editions. For Home Basic, we’ll need 512 megabytes of RAM and a gig of RAM for the other editions, and hard drive size, we need to have at least a 20-gig hard drive with 15 gig free for Windows Vista Home Basic, a 40-gig drive with 15 gig free for the other editions.

I’m going to install Windows Vista as a virtual machine on my existing desktop. I’m using VirtualBox to be able to do this, so you could also download VirtualBox yourself from, and use your own configurations for Windows or Mac OS or Linux to install your operating system as well. You’re also going to need installation media for Windows Vista to be able to do this installation.

This initial installation of VirtualBox doesn’t have any virtual machines configured, so let’s create a computer. I’m going to click the New option at the top, and it’s going to ask me for the name and the operating system that I’d like to use. I’m going to call this Windows Vista, since that’s what I’m installing. It is Microsoft Windows, and the version of Vista that I’m installing is Windows Vista 32-bit.

I can now also choose the memory size that I’ll need. I’m installing Windows Vista Business, and we know with that version of Windows, we need at least one gigabyte of memory. Let’s click Continue, and now it will ask me the size of the hard disk that I would like. I would like to create this virtual hard disk right now. This is effectively allocating some space on my existing storage drive. It’s not going to change anything with my existing operating system.

Let’s create that drive. I’m going to create it as the default VirtualBox disk image, and I’m going to choose Dynamically Allocated, so it’s not going to allocate the entire size of the disk initially. I also know that I need at least a 40-gig disk if I’m following Microsoft’s minimum requirements. So I’ll choose 40 gig and click Create. And now I have a virtual system. Now you can see Microsoft Vista is here, and all of the configuration settings for this as well.

Now I would normally take my optical drive, install it into my optical drive reader, and boot this particular system. But in my case, I don’t have an optical drive on this computer. I’m instead going to modify my settings for my storage, and instead of having a physical CD or DVD ROM, I’m going to point to an ISO image for Windows Vista so that I can start up from that ISO file. When you’re ready to start the computer, you can simply click the Start button, and the operating system will begin to install.

It will first check that particular CD-ROM or DVD-ROM that I have. It’s going to show that it’s loading files, and then it’s going to start the Windows Vista setup process. The first screen during the setup will show the Windows Vista splash screen. I would like to install English. The time and currency format is English in the United States, and my keyboard method is US. I’m going to click Next. And now I have the option to install now. I can choose what to know before installing Windows, or I can choose a repair installation. In this case, this is a brand new install, so I’ll click Install Now.

For Windows Vista, the first option that appears is the one for the license key. The installation won’t continue until you have the proper license key, so make sure you type in the license key and click Next to continue the install. Since I don’t have an existing operating system in this virtual machine, you can see that the upgrade option is grayed out. The only option I have is to install a clean copy of Windows.

The next option is where I would like to install Windows. In this virtual machine, I only created a single disk, and you can see it’s one disk that’s 40 gig in size of unallocated space. I’m going to choose Next to continue with the installation. At this point, Windows will begin copying files and expanding files, and as it states here, it may restart several times during this installation. We don’t want to touch anything or change any settings. We’re going to have it continue through until it prompts us to enter more information into the install.

With the main part of the installation complete, we’re now prompted for a username and a picture, so let’s add a user name to this installation of Windows. We use username Professor, and we’ll type of password in for this configuration, and retype a password, and put a password secret information here. There’s a hint available. And we’ll add a different picture and click Next.

Now we want to name this computer. By default, it uses your username-PC. That works for this system. We’ll click Next. I’ll choose for Windows to use the recommended settings for security on this. Now I need to set my time zones. I’m in the Eastern time, and it looks like the time and the date look correct, so I’ll click Next, and I’m using this computer at work. And now the setup says, thank you. We can click Start, and we’re running our Windows Vista workstation.

Let’s try logging in with our password. We get the Welcome prompt. And here’s our Windows Vista desktop. On our particular system, we booted up with no problem, but if you’re having problems after the install, you may want to check your manufacturer’s documentation or do more testing with the hardware in your lab.

But you’re not done yet. We now have to make sure we have all the service packs installed, and we’ve got all the latest security patches for Windows. There may be some special applications you need to install for your operating system. There might also be some driver updates for the hardware on your computer, and make sure you have all the latest updates for the applications that you plan to use.