Vista installer... Argh...

Spectre

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I have the unfortunate task of installing Vista on someones laptop. I've already experienced this tribulation installing it on mine but I kept images and have never installed Vista on anything else, thankfully.

The Acer Aspire had two partitions and a hidden recovery partition, which was full of bloatware and didn't seem to want to work anyway.

I wanted to delete the recovery partition and make my own using Acronis. I deleted all partitions using Hiren's CD and Disk Director then I created two partions, one for the OS and one for Acronis images. Apparently, Vista didn't like very much that and wouldn't install. Maybe it doesn't like Acronis-made partitions?

I thought "Ah! I'll delete the partitions and create a new one with the Vista installer..." I deleted the partitions and then Vista informed me that there was no HDD present. I remembered this debacle from my laptop installation. The Aspire reports the HDD as IDE so it doesn't seem to be a SATA driver issue.

I then booted Hiren's again to meddle with the partitions again, for the third or forth time. Acronis hangs on the splash screen... Another couple of partion tools tell me about an MBR error... So, Vista has mangled the MBR, that's helpful of it.

I take it that I need to use a MBR tool to fix it now.

Can someone make this less painful for me and give me a hint on how to partition the drive so Vista can a) Actually see the partition; b) Attempt to install on said partition. Ideally I'd like two partitions but I suspect that may be a little ambitious and beyond the sphere of competence of the Vista installer, therefore it might be easier to resize it once I finally manage to trick Vista into installing.

How many times have I installed XP without this fiasco? Is Windows 7 less of a pantomime to install?
 

edogg

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windows 7 is a better operating system than vista end of
but is there anyway you can format the hdd to do full install and then partition the drive the way you want but first you need a working OS have you got a bootable cd or thumb drive

edogg
 

Spectre

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Once I fix the MBR I was going to try putting one big partition on and formatting it with the Vista installer. Once I figure out what partition it can see and wants to install to.

I think I had to format my laptop using the XP installer.
 

ManofScience

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low level format the hard disk with 1 of the tools on Hiren's. it'll take a while but atleast you know it'll be fully wiped and ready for partitioning
 

Spectre

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low level format the hard disk with 1 of the tools on Hiren's. it'll take a while but atleast you know it'll be fully wiped and ready for partitioning

I thought about low-level formatting but it's someone elses machine and I wanted to do it quick :(.
 

oneman

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I was going to suggest the low level format but I would try W7 install disk first to see if you can delete any existing partitions.
 

Spectre

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Installed eventually using the XP installer to format.

Went to activate it and it said key is invalid for activation. Sticker is on the laptop. Don't say I need a proper Acer copy?
 

janobi

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Installed eventually using the XP installer to format.

Went to activate it and it said key is invalid for activation. Sticker is on the laptop. Don't say I need a proper Acer copy?

Not sure mate, but I used vista ultimate, and advanced install, wiped the HDDs whilst installing, and done. Let me know if you want a copy spectre mate.
 

FocuS

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hey, i have 3 iso recovery files to create 3 disks to recover your acer they came from the recovery disk of a 5920 which installs vista i believe, i went through the same one your having m8 but in my case the hdd was knackered replaced it used the recovery dvds and it did indeed install vista, partitioned the drive just as the old one , didnt seem to work very well with vista on the laptop, so ended up putting windows 7 on it cough cough copy but work a treat :) anyway if you would like me to send it let me know :)



FocuS
 

Spectre

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Thanks Janobi and FocuS :).

This is why I dodge reinstalls like the plague :(.

I think it's because it is not an Acer DVD but an Acer key.

I'll sort it tomorrow, contrary to popular belief, I like to sleep ;).
 

little_pob

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The disc used to install shouldn't matter, I installed a Sony OEM key to a self-build using the anytime update disc.

(Working from memory) The method I used was to complete the install without a key. Then go to the System Properties screen, at the bottom of the screen there is the activation status. From here you should be able launch the activation process where you will be asked to enter your key.
 

Spectre

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The disc used to install shouldn't matter, I installed a Sony OEM key to a self-build using the anytime update disc.

(Working from memory) The method I used was to complete the install without a key. Then go to the System Properties screen, at the bottom of the screen there is the activation status. From here you should be able launch the activation process where you will be asked to enter your key.

I wonder if it is because I used an integrated SP1 DVD?

Taken from: http://mintywhite.com/more/news/vista-rtm-activation-error-fiesta-ahead-of-sp1/

This is what happens:

8. Error message

The Windows Vista (product version) product key you typed is invalid for activation.

If you receive this error message, there may be an issue with the installed version of Windows and with the product key that you used.


I envisage a cracked copy being installed later. It will actually be easier then using their official key from the sticker.

Well done MS for subjecting me to the fourth most frustrating piece of software I've ever had the misfortune to use.
 

little_pob

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I wonder if it is because I used an integrated SP1 DVD?...
Indeed, that may be the case.

XP was similar. Pre-SP1 keys won't activate installs from post-SP1 discs (though some post-SP1 keys can activate pre-SP1 installs, VLKs for example). I've read anecdotal evidence for SP2 and SP3 behaving in the same manor to predecessors' keys.
 

Spectre

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Could be that the key is for OEM media either :(.

Why couldn't the installer tell me this?

Vista Ultimate it is then, I'm wasting no more time trying to go legitimate.
 

techquest

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I wonder if it is because I used an integrated SP1 DVD?

That's exactly why m8 the MS registration data base knows that the product code on the lappy does not go with your SP1 DVD, hence the MS message. You will need to put the correct version of the OS that was shipped with the lappy for that serial number to be accepted. Alternatively install a fresh version with a serial number that matches that fresh version.
 

Spectre

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That's exactly why m8 the MS registration data base knows that the product code on the lappy does not go with your SP1 DVD, hence the MS message. You will need to put the correct version of the OS that was shipped with the lappy for that serial number to be accepted. Alternatively install a fresh version with a serial number that matches that fresh version.

Thanks :).

I think I might have na older version lurking somewhere.
 

Spectre

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Hey up mate :)

Give me a shout if you need any vista serials and ill send you some legit ones.Ive saved a few on my travels Pmsl

Cheers m8 :).

I've never had a carry on like this :(.
 
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