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Thread: Clean Vista installation and solutions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    ThumbsUp Clean Vista installation and solutions

    Here are a few things I discovered that may be helpful to others (mods, please feel free to move to how-to's if you prefer). This applies to clean installations of Vista on computers with more than 3 Gb RAM (32-bit) or multiple hard drives.

    I found two glitches that may occur while installing Vista. These errors appear to be hardware-related at first glance, but are actually installation glitches that are pretty easily solved.

    Because this thread is aimed at clean installations, I'm assuming that you're relatively handy with computers and probably don't need step-by-step instructions. Please reply to the thread if you need more detail.

    1. More than 3 Gb RAM
    Note: I am not using 64-bit and haven't worked with it; this is for Vista 32-bit.
    If you have more than 3 Gb RAM present during installation, you may get blue screen (BSOD) errors. Simply remove enough RAM to bring the total under 3 Gb before installing. You can put it back in after installation.

    2. Multiple hard drives
    I believe this applies only to SATA drives...
    Because the installer can't distinguish between the drives, it's necessary to create partitions, then reboot before installing. You may see
    "This computer's hardware may not support booting to this disk"
    "Windows cannot find a system volume that meets requirements for installation."

    Most users won't need to do any exotic partitioning, just create 1 partition to occupy all the space on each drive. Dual-boot or other configurations may require more complex partitioning. You need to do a full reboot (Ctrl-alt-del), not just click back to restart the installer.

    Best wishes - I hope that helps!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    WOW ... what a blessing to get this info. I have not run into the problems heretofore as I did not have my 4 gig of ram during the earlier installs, only 2 gig. Even with 4 gig installed it only uses (recognizes?) 3.12 gig. Most of the 4th bank is wasted so 3 should be plenty anyway under the 32 bit OS.

    I also use SATA drives but only recently coupled several together ... since I mess with oodles of BETA software I don't cry when I occassionly have to reinstall my test machine with a clean install but your advice will prevent a lot of headaches. Thanks

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Glad to be of help. The nasty part is that it looks like faulty hardware when it's actually an installation issue.

    Vista SP1 recognizes 4 Gb RAM properly, although the amount available to software may be less (there seem to be several theories about how much is actually used).
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