Vista Discussion on running Windows Vista on the Dell Mini
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Complete Guide to using vLite and Vista on the Mini 9 - 12-01-2008, 03:22 PM
NOTE: This tutorial is a work in progress. I will be adding to it over the next few days, so please feel free to add comments(and correct spelling and grammar as needed), but withhold your questions until it is finished! In the meantime, if you are having Mini 9 specific issues with installing Vista, check out this thread: http://www.mydellmini.com/forum/vist...tup--t787.html There you will find a pretty active discussion on the topic. For general vLite issues, check out the vLite forum found here: http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showforum=153
There are already several guides that exist for using vLite, but the intent of this specific guide is to give Mini 9 users the tools to create a custom configuration that will maximize their Vista experience, free up the onboard storage, and be ready to run with minimal post installation tinkering. Hopefully once this guide is completed, customizing Vista with vLite and installing it on the Mini 9 should be a simple task for the average user.
The Complete Guide to using vLite and Vista on the Mini 9
DISCLAIMER: This tutorial is intended solely for informational purposes. Modifying the contents of Microsoft's Windows Vista may be illegal in some areas, and is against the EULA. The author and host of this guide are in no way responsible for the actions of the individuals who use this guide. Further, this process may violate the warranty of your Mini 9. There is always some risk in using experimental software such as vLite and the resulting version of Windows Vista. The author and host of this guide are in no way responsible for any damages or data loss that may occur as a result of using this guide. Continue at your own risk!
Step 1. Is Vista right for you?
Before you decide to install a vLite version of Vista on your Mini 9, there are several things you must consider. First, what do you plan to use your Mini 9 for? What level of performance are you hoping to attain? Is your particular Mini 9 configuration ready for Vista?
Vista has a reputation for being a resource intensive OS, particularly due the early controversies over it's system requirements, and partly due to the massive size of a full installation, and the amount of RAM the background processes utilize. The mini 9 has a 2GB limit on RAM, generally features a 8GB or smaller SSD, with a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor at its core and an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 video chipset with shared memory.
If your Mini 9 configuration does not include at least 1GB of RAM and an 8GB SSD, you may wish to upgrade your hardware before attempting to install Vista. For best results, 2GB of RAM and a 16GB SSD or larger is recommended.
Despite the limited hardware, Vista runs quite well on the Mini 9. vLite helps by reducing the amount of storage needed to house the OS, by removing unneeded background processes, and features some tweaks that may increase performance. All of this comes at some cost however.
a vLite installation of Vista will be missing many features that you would find in a complete install, so you must not expect it to do anything and everything. This guide will help you decide what you are willing to give up, and what you must keep in order to maintain basic functionality.
If at this point, you still have doubts, or do not meet the recommended hardware, you might want to consider sticking with, or installing, Windows XP. XP can also be modified with nLite, the predecessor to vLite, and can be made even smaller, and has more advanced and stable performance tweaks.
Are you ready to take the plunge and get to work on your very own custom built version of Vista for your favorite netbook? Then continue on to Step 2!
Step 2. Assembling the necessary tools
If you feel that building your own version of Vista sounds like a daunting task, you are not alone! This process requires a decent level of technical knowledge, but if you follow the steps and pay close attention to your work, anyone should be able to succeed.
There are however several pieces of hardware and software that are required to complete the task. You must also decide whether you will be using a DVD to install Vista, or a thumbdrive. The DVD method is recommended, as this is the simplest method, and is likely more familiar to most users than the thumbdrive method. This guide will outline your options so that you an decide which will be best for you, and whether or not you have the hardware needed. Below you will find a list of the required hardware and software, as well the primary alternatives if you are unable to obtain the recommended hardware or software. Each item will also include a short description of its function in case you are unfamiliar with it, and in the case of software, a link will be provided as well. All of the software used in this tutorial is free, or includes a free trial sufficient for your immediate needs.
Both methods require the following:
A Windows based desktop, or laptop - This machine will be used to prepare your installation image
A Windows Vista disk and product key - Must be an OEM or full version, not an upgrade
The most recent release of vLite - vLite is the software that will create your installation image, and can be found here: http://www.vlite.net/download.html
Mini 9 XP drivers - We will be adding these drivers directly to our Vista image via a process known as slipstreaming. The isolated drivers can be found here: http://rapidshare.com/files/15570753...eta_1.rar.html
RAR decompression software - This is needed to extract the isolated XP drivers, WinRAR is a popular option with a free trial that does not expire, found here: http://www.rarlab.com/download.htm
Mini 9 XP Video driver - This driver does not seem to slipstream properly, so it must be downloaded seperately from Dell here: http://support.dell.com/support/down...&catid=&impid=
Mini 12 Vista Synaptic driver - This driver does not seem to slipstream properly, and the XP driver will not install under Vista, so we must use the driver for the Mini 12 from Dell here: http://support.dell.com/support/down...&os=WLH&osl=EN
External USB DVD drive - The recommended method of installation requires an external DVD drive be plugged into the Mini 9 as it has no internal drive. This drive can also be used to burn the installation image from your desktop or laptop.
USB Thumbdrive - If you do not have an external DVD burner available, you may also choose to use a thumbdrive to install Vista. A 1GB, or larger thumbdrive is required.
ISO extraction software, or Virtual DVD drive - These can be used to verify the contents of your finished disk image, and add other files to your image, such as drivers and software installations. I recommend Virtual CloneDrive from SlySoft, found here: http://www.slysoft.com/en/virtual-clonedrive.html for your virtual drive. This software is free to use, and will also be useful on your Mini 9! For ISO extraction, I recomend MagicISO, found here: http://www.magiciso.com/download.htm MagicISO is not free, but comes with a trial period that will be sufficient for setting up your installation image.
USB thumbdrive - A seperate thumbdrive, used for transfering files to and from your Mini 9
*Special thanks* (This section will grow as more content is added, and more people need to be recognized for their work)
Nunim - for the isolated XP drivers
jej.54 - for the work he has already done, for spurring many users to try Vista, and for providing me with feedback and cross references during my own research process.
That is all for today, I'll have more up tommorow! If anyone has used the thumbdrive installation method, I would love it if you could confirm that this method works, and any steps you took to make it work. I cannot test this method myself as I do not have a thumbdrive that is large enough. Also, any good and completely free alternatives to MagicISO and WinRAR are welcome. Any other tips, comments? Lemme know!
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: Complete Guide to using vLite and Vista on the Mini 9 - 12-01-2008, 05:28 PM
Thanks for doing this, I'm looking forward to using it soon hopefully!
Another good RAR extractor/decompressor is 7zip which is open source (free), with no time limit.
Also (sorry for the quick question) could Nero 7 Ultra be used for ISO compilation/extraction?
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