In Windows Vista, Boot.ini is gone. So how do you control options for a multi-boot system? You can use Microsoft's command-line tool, Bcdedit.exe. But a free third-party tool, VistaBoot Pro, is a much better choice.
The Ed Bott Report
Get outspoken insights and expert advice on the products and companies that define today's tech landscape, from a source who knows these technologies inside and out.
Ed Bott is an award-winning technology writer with more than two decades' experience writing for mainstream media outlets and online publications.
You probably heard or read about the "Vista upgrade loophole." Most of the reports I've seen have the basic facts wrong. The Setup feature they're describing isn't a loophole at all. It's a perfectly legal workaround for an amazingly stupid technical restriction that Microsoft imposes on upgraders. In this installment of my Vista Hands On series, I explain exactly what's going on and how you can legally perform a clean install using an upgrade key.
If you're getting ready to perform a Vista upgrade, be on the lookout for two gotchas, both of which are related to your system drive. You'll need sufficient disk space and the right disk format. If your old PC is still using FAT32, this installment in my 30 Days of Vista Hand On series will explain how to convert it to NTFS.
Who says you need to format your hard disk to do a clean install of Windows Vista? In this edition of my 30 days of Vista Hands On, I explain how to use an upgrade copy of Windows Vista to install a completely clean copy without wiping out your old data. The technique involves a Setup procedure that was guaranteed to cause problems in Windows XP but works just fine in Vista.
It's Patch Tuesday, and Microsoft doled out a dozen Critical and Important updates for Windows and Office via Automatic Updates. But if you're running Windows Vista, you can hit the snooze button for another month. None of those patches - not a single one - apply to Windows Vista or Office 2007. But there is a new Ultimate Extra
When you buy a copy of Windows Vista, the most important part of the purchase is the 25-character product key, which you use to activate your installation. In the first installment of my Vista Hands-On series, I explain how to use two tools - an obscure VBScript file included with all Vista editions and a free third-party utility - to find out important details about your product key.
Last year, I published two collections of tips for beta testers of Windows Vista. Now that Vista is officially released, I've gone back and selected the five best tips from those two posts and expanded them to cover the version you can buy today. (And don't miss my 30 days of brand-new Vista tips and tweaks, beginning next week.)
Should you upgrade to Windows Vista? Sorry, there's no one-size-fits-all answer to that question. But I can put to rest some myths about how well Vista runs on older hardware, and I've found three killer features that haven't received nearly the attention they deserve.
A story making the rounds this morning says that Microsoft is about to annoy Vista upgraders with a new form of media that can't be used to do a clean install. The story is based on a single, incomplete Knowledge Base article. Maybe it's worth waiting a day or two to actually test the upgrade process before jumping to conclusions.
Planning to stick with Windows XP for a while? Microsoft just gave home users a gift of three additional years of support. For XP Home and Media Center editions, the "extended support" clock continues ticking till 2014, the same as it does for business users.