I installed the final release of Windows Vistaon my notebook last week. To share my discoveries in this process I added an extra section to my weblog. In this issue: A clean install with the Upgrade Version.
3 Days before the official release the postman delivered my very own copy of Windows Vista Home Premium Upgrade. My plan was to install it next to my Windows XP on a seperate partition so I could dual boot for the time being. You never now what programs won't work in Vist.
I inserted the DVD and switched on my notebook. Booting from the DVD worked and after some loading the product key insertion dialog appeared. I entered my key, hit continue and was presented with a nasty message. The key would only work when installing from within an existing Windows installation.
Back to Windows XP it was. Now my key was accepted and I could resume installation. When running the setup from within Windows you can still perform a clean install. You either choose to install over your existing installation, wiping out all settings and finding you windows directory renamed to windows.old, or install on a different partitions. I choose the latter.
From here the installation is identical to the boot-from-DVD version, it just takes a little longer. When I installed RC1 on the same notebook months earlier it took about half an hour before I could log-in for the first time. Now the log-in screen was presented after an hour from starting the setup process.
The hardware in my VAIO VGN-FE21H (European model number differs from American) notebook was neatly recognized and installed after an automatic windows update. The only component that needed manual attention was the Memorystick reader. The Windows XP drivers worked like a charm.
I noticed a small difference with my previous RC1 installation. Windows now no longer swaps drive letters depending on the partition you boot from. When installed from boot-from-DVD the partition you boot from will always be called the C-Drive. In my case the Windows Vista partition stays D: in XP and Vista.
I also tried to validate my Windows XP in WGA after the installation and I can tell you that it still works.
A few days after this, Paul Thurrot found a way to clean install Vista from DVD-boot.