Microsoft Windows Vista Official .iso Downloads (Digital River)
Microsoft Windows Vista
If you can afford it I would recommend upgrading to Windows 7. Any system that can run Windows Vista can run Windows 7.
Note: The Windows Vista setup files are very large (~2 GB each) and require the use of high speed internet to download.
• If you have a Windows Vista DVD, instead download the correct Service 1 and Service Pack 2 file (below) and install these immediately after installing Windows Vista. Note it takes longer to install Service Pack 1 than it does Vista!
• You will however need to download the three setup files if planning on switching from 32 bit Windows Vista to 64 bit Windows Vista.
We will use these setup files to create disc images. These are the same discs Digital River would send out to customers purchasing Windows Vista and have nothing else added.
Note as Service Pack 2 is not included in these, I recommend downloading the standalone Service Pack 2 and installing this immediately after installing Windows Vista.
Before deciding on 32 or 64 bit check how much memory your system has. Download the 64 bit file if you have a computer with 4 GB of RAM or more or if you plan to upgrade your RAM to 4 GB or superior. If you have 2 GB of RAM or less then take the 32 bit file.
Before proceeding ensure that Dell provides 32 bit Vista drivers for use with installing 32 bit Windows Vista and likewise that Dell provides 64 bit Vista drivers for use with installing 64 bit Windows Vista. These may be found on the Dell Drivers and Downloads page. Drivers for non-Dell systems must be found elsewhere.
Windows Vista Official Setup Files (Digital River)
Note these .iso files may be used with a Dell/non-Dell OEM product Key but phone activation is required (see note at end). This key is typically found on the COA attached to the base of the system.
Retail/upgrade product keys can be used with these .iso files and activated over the internet or phone. See note at the end for phone activation.
You must download the .exe, the boot.wim and the install.wim in the same place. Run the .exe file and it will extract all the files into a folder called Vista. Windows installer will now start (cancel the installer).
To create a bootable .iso extract the files to the Vista folder and download Imgburn. Launch imgburn and select "Create Image file from files/folders"
Select the browse folder button and select your Vista folder. Next select Advanced.
To the left will be your Vista folder, to the right make sure, you have checked Make Image Bootable, changed the Developer ID: Microsoft Corporation, load segment: 07C0 and Sectors to load: 4.
Select the browse folder button and then navigate to your Vista folder and then select the boot folder and finally select the file called etfsboot.
Select the build button.
Save your .iso
Select yes when the prompt for the Volume Label comes up and then select ok. Finally wait for it to make the .iso file.
Once one has the .iso file they may wish to use the Microsoft .iso to USB/DVD tool to create a bootable DVD or USB (requires a blank DVD or USB flash stick of at least 4 GB).
Note: You may use the HP Format Tool to format your USB stick (run it as an administrator) after the windows install so you may use it as a USB stick again.
Press the [Windows] and [Pause|Break] button activation (or right click Computer and select properties).
At the bottom there will be some message about activation, click this link. When an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) i.e. The Product Key printed on the label stuck on the base/side of the laptop/desktop is used you may get a screen like this:
In which case you will need to use the phone activation. It is a quick automated called, follow the onscreen instructions.
Dr Philip Yip Tech Enthusiast and Author of the Unofficial Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide