Clean install off non-bootable (upgrade) Vista DVD

Some weeks ago I may have mentioned that the upgrade Vista Business DVD supplied to NZ schools is non-bootable. When I made enquiries, I found we could not get a bootable DVD from Microsoft on this program.

However, a bit of experimentation has led me to discover that I can do a clean install of Vista by booting the PC off a USB key drive running Windows PE, and then running the Setup program on the Vista DVD. Just don’t try to activate it automatically at the first screen during setup configuration because if it can’t get online, the setup will terminate.

This step has saved me several hours of unnecessary Windows XP installation with this PC that would have been necessary, apart from leaving files on the disk to be deleted later. The clean install was very fast and easy to set up. I removed the single drive partition and created a 30 GB boot partition for Vista on this brand new system. Everything so far is going very smoothly and I expect no major issues.