Windows Vista Tips And Tricks

Given that many of us have been using Windows XP for the past few decades years, the move to Windows Vista will not come easy. Far too many details have changed in the new operating system – and I’m discovering many of them first-hand, as I started to migrate my primary system to Vista late last night. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

  1. Install XP first. If you have a legacy (read: pre-Vista launch) system, you might have a more difficult time with Vista than those who purchase machines with Vista pre-installed. My suggestion is that you install Windows XP first, and then Windows Vista on a different drive and/or partition.
  2. Resize partitions during Vista setup. It’s nice to see that there’s a slightly more advanced disk management tool in Vista’s installation routine. You can resize and create new partitions, making my first tip a bit more easier to manage. No need to rush out and by a partition manager anymore!
  3. Your software won’t work. Consider that a huge tip. Assume that if something works in Windows XP, there’s a good chance it will NOT work the same way in Windows Vista. I can’t tell you how many things they’ve changed, but most of them have been due to past security flaws. A more secure OS is definitely welcomed, but that security level comes at a compatibility cost. I’ve had to scrap Outlook 2000 after seven years of PIM bliss (largely). Moreover, Miranda IM doesn’t work either. If you love your software more than Windows, stick with XP for at least another year.
  4. Fix font mayhem. I’m glad I found a way to knock out legacy fonts in Vista a few months ago. Sure came in handy today, when I only wanted to see Segoe UI as my shell font. More details about the font fix here. WARNING: this one is difficult to undo, so make sure you backup and/or create a system restore point before applying my hack.
  5. Get an ISO mounting tool. I’m still not sure why Windows doesn’t ship with the ability to read / write / mount ISO files. Robert McLaws clued me in to MagicDisc (which is freeware). Not the best user interface in the world, but it certainly gets the job done. I needed to use it to install my version of Office. Dealing with ISO files is much easier and quicker than fiddling with a darn stack of CDs.

I’ve gotta get back to the migration. Wish me luck. More tips to come!

[tags]vista, windows vista, vista ultimate, vista tips, vista tricks[/tags]