Microsoft Windows Vista Pre-RC1

Microsoft has changed a few things since the days of Windows 2000/XP beta testing. RCs or Release Candidates usually came within days of RTM (Release to Manufacturing). From various articles, it seems Vista RC1 will come to us on September 7 and the final version will be released in November! There are some really nice features in Windows Vista. Running as standard user is MUCH easier in Windows Vista. With UAC turned on, even administrators run under standard mode. If you need to do an action that requires administrative privileges, a login box comes up for you automatically. Previously, things such as changing file permissions or changing network properties under standard user mode were impossible, even with RunAs. Not so with Windows Vista.

The WIM format is very cool…I made my first custom image a few days ago. My articles on making hardware independent images will become a thing of the past. Windows Vista also comes with really nice driver support in the box. I was able to make a WinPE image capture disk and did not have to provide network drivers for it at all.

However, there a few things things I don’t like. Windows Defender seems to prevent anything that is not “classified” from running from the Run key in the registry. Even logged in as administrator does not allow me to override this. Speaking of the administrator account, Windows Vista disables that by default! I guess this is some security wizard’s dream, but in reality anyone with two brain cells can figure out what the administrator account is by looking at the account SIDs (the administrator account always ends in SID -500).

The boot loader also looks daunting, with replacement of NTLDR and boot.ini. The only way to edit the boot configuration is with a command line program called bcdedit. If you want to backrev to XP/2000, you have to use bootsect from the Vista DVD with specific command line switches.

– Soli Deo Gloria

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