Recently, heaps of people have been going crazy over the new Vista RC1 release. I decided to dowload Vista, and try it myself. Unfortunately, I didn't have any blank DVD's at hand. Nevertheless, I discovered that you can install Vista without burning it onto DVD. Here's how you do it:

  • Partition your hard drive. Resize your Windows partition to leave at least 15-20GB available for Vista. You can do this through utilities like PartitionMagic, or through a boot CD such as the free Ultimate Boot CD. If you don't know how to partition a drive, you're probably not the kind of person who should be installing Vista.
  • Install the free DAEMON Tools if you don't have it already.
  • Download the DVD ISO from the Microsoft site
  • Once the download is done, mount the ISO file with DAEMON Tools (using the DAEMON Tools icon in the system tray. Right-click it, and go Virtual CD/DVD ROM --> Device 0 --> Mount Image
  • If Autorun is enabled, the Windows Vista setup will appear. If not, go to 'My Computer', double-click on the virtual DVD drive, and then double-click 'SETUP.EXE'.

If you've done everything correctly, this should start the Vista installation wizard. When prompted to choose a partition, choose the one created earlier. The setup program will then copy over all the files, and reboot your computer (to continue the setup).
One notable thing is that the DVD is only required for the initial step (copying the files), and that's why you can do it this way. Previous version of Windows required the CD throughout the whole setup (and don't even remind me of the 20 or so Windows 95 floppy disks :P)

Anyways, after looking at Vista for a while, it's definately overrated. The graphical effects in Compiz are much better than anything that Vista could ever achieve. Vista is bloatware, that's all there is to it. After Vista's release, more and more people will start realising the benefits of Linux over Windows (especially the price, and overall performance), and make the switch. At least, that's what I'm hoping.