Windows Vista setup DVD stops during the animated splash screen phase and you are unable to begin the setup process

System Requirements:

  • Windows Vista

The Problem:

When you boot from the Vista DVD the boot process begins, however stalls at the animated splash screen which continues to animate indefinitely without any system activity. At this point you are forced to power down the system using the ACAPI switch.

This issue was observed as occurring on a P4 2.5 GHz running on an Asus P4S333 running the latest P4S533 Beta BIOS.

If you attempt to reproduce the boot using Safe Mode, the system loads disk.sys and then fails attempting to load the next driver (believed to be crcdisk.sys), this is constant no matter how you boot the system.

More Info:

Attempts to change the DVD ROM drive and Hard drive due to common troubleshooting material highlighting that this issue is down to a malfunctioning device on the IDE/SATA bus were of no use in this particular case, however may be applicable in your situation. Test your system with all hard drives disconnected to eliminate Hard disk errors. Attempt to replace the DVD drive or use an alternative DVD drive (cycling SATA/IDE channels) to eliminate your optical drives from the issue.

If you are certain that your drives and the IDE/SATA bus’s present in your system are not faulty follow the next steps:

Check your DVD Installation Disc
Try and get a replacement for the Disc if you can. All Vista Disc’s are standardised (finally) apart from the Enterprise edition. The retail and generic OEM disc’s are also the same so you can therefore download a new ISO image of the disc and burn it. I don’t see any issue with doing this, so long as you have your own legal Windows Vista key to use with the disc, and I think Microsoft should be firstly credited with unifying the disc, and secondly should enable all legal key holders to download an integrated ISO version with SP1 anyway!

 

Unload your PSU
I have been made aware of a fix to this issue which was resulting from an overloaded power supply. This wasn’t related to the fix on the system above, however was in the instance reported to me. Unload the PSU of any unecessary devices and case ‘accessories’ – including all but the required fans (run the case open if necessary for testing).

 

Disconnect any redundant internal drives from the Bus
If you have any drives on the system bus that you do not want the Vista installer to see, and have simply disconnected the molex (power) connector from the drive, be aware that this may still be causing the Vista load sequence some grief. Remove both the power and ATA/SATA ribbon/lead from the disk completely and retry the installation.

 

Disconnect any external drives that are surplus to requirements
In the instance above it was necessary to remove an external firewire drive in addition to the step below before the boot sequence would progress correctly into VGA mode.

 

Use VGA Mode to begin the installation process
This was the second required fix on the P4S333 from the documented instance above. The following allowed setup to continue:

  1. Inset the Vista bootable DVD
  2. Power down the system
  3. Boot the system onto the DVD drive
  4. Immediately begin pressing the F8 key – it must have registered before the first loading screen (with the white status bar indicating file extraction) is displayed on the screen
  5. The screen will return to the animated splash screen
  6. After a few moments a boot menu will appear, from the list, select “Enable low-resolution video (640×480)” from the list and hit enter

 

If the above method and troubleshooting steps still fail to enable the system to boot, repeat the last step, but use Safe Mode and allow the system to boot instead of VGA mode.

The meaning of SLCC1 / SLCC in the Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 browser User Agent String

System Requirements:

  • Windows NT 6.x

The Problem:

I am seeing numerous people asking what ‘SLCC’ statements contained in the Microsoft User Agent strings for Vista and Server 2008 mean. For example:

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.0; SLCC1; .NET CLR 2.0.50727

This appears as part of the base OS install, and is not an add-in.

More Info:

Nice and easy. SLCC1 stands for Secure Licensing Commerce Client version 1.0. SLCC is the service responsible for the Windows Anytime upgrade process present in Vista and Server 2008 which allows you to upgrade Vista Home Basic to Vista Ultimate Edition, or Server 2008 Standard to Server 2008 Enterprise ad-hoc.

SLCC is present in the browser identifier tag, the User Agent, in order to allow Microsoft update servers to offer you the tantalising and irresistible promise of an even more resource heavy version of Vista!

Joy!

Windows Vista Hardware Ratings (that I have come across)

System Requirements:

  • Windows Vista

Editorial:

The following is just a list of Vista ratings that I have come across and may or may not have any real world accuracy, however we all like to compare, and it looks like I am no different in that particular regard.

If you are curious as to why some entries appear multiple times with different ratings, it is because Microsoft in their infinate wisdom decided to re-define the benchmark ratings mid-way through 2007. This caused many of the values to change upon reasessment.

Where there are duplicates between Service Pack (SP) levels, I have intentionally waited for SP1 to arrive before re-evaluating them against a clean integrated DVD install so that you can compare both ratings. There may also be duplicates because of changes between driver releases.

Please Note: For Vista RTM ratings, there is a lack of consistency in values due to Microsoft’s reasessment of the ratings system in mid 2007. Where there are two sets of values, or out of place high values, please assume that they are rated before the benchmark reasessment update was posted to Windows Update.

Graphics/VGA

OEM Device RAM Edition SP Notes Bus Driver Aero Gaming
AOpen Aeolus MX4000-V64

64 MB

HP SP1 1360x768x32@60 AGP 4x

??

1.9

1.0

Asus Geforce N6200/TD

128 MB

B RTM 1280x1024x32@100 AGP 8x

158.24

4.1

2.4

Asus Geforce N6200/TD

128 MB

B RTM 1280x1024x32@100 AGP 8x

162.22

4.1

2.5

Asus Geforce N6200/TD

128 MB

HP SP1 1360x768x32@60 AGP 4x

175.19

2.4

2.5

Asus Extreme N6200TC/TD

256 MB

HB RTM 1440x900x32@60 PCI-E

97.46

3.4

2.8

Asus EN7600GT Silent/HTDI/512

512 MB

U SP2 1820x1200x32@60 PCI-E

185.85

5.9

5.9

Asus N7600GS Silent

256 MB

B RTM 1280x1024x32@100 AGP 8x

162.22

4.5

4.3

Asus N7600GS Silent

256 MB

B RTM 1280x1024x32@100 AGP 8x

163.69

4.5

4.4

Asus N7600GS Silent

256 MB

U RTM 1280x1024x32@100 AGP 8x

169.25

4.7

4.8

Asus N7600GS Silent

256 MB

U SP1 1920x1200x32@60 AGP 8x

175.19

4.6

4.8

Innovision 3D 8500GT I-8500GT-G4F3

256 MB

U RTM 1280x1024x32@60 PCI-E

169.25

5.0

5.2

Innovision 3D 8500GT I-8500GT-H4F4

512 MB

U RTM 1280x1024x32@60 PCI-E

169.25

4.7

4.9

Innovision 3D 8500GT I-8500GT-I4F3D

1024 MB

U SP1 1280x1024x32@60 PCI-E

169.25

4.6

5.2

Hercules Kryo II 3D Prophet 4500

64 MB

B RTM 1024x768x32@60 AGP 4x

16.055

1.0

1.0

MSI NX8600GT-T2D256EZ

256 MB

HP RTM 1024x768x32@60 PCI-E

169.25

5.5

5.9

PNY N6200A G606200A8D24L-SB

256 MB

HP SP2 1024x768x32@60 AGP 4x

185.93

2.4

2.6

Point Of View R-VGA150851 8400GS

256 MB

B RTM 1280x1024x32@60 PCI-E

169.25

3.5

3.6

XFX GeForce 6200-A LE

128 MB

HP SP1 1360x768x32@60 AGP 4x

175.19

2.5

3.0

XFX 8600GT PV-T84J-YAJG

512 MB

HP SP1 1024x768x32@60 PCI-E

169.25

5.3

5.6

Zotac ZT-62AA250-HSS N6200A

256 MB

B SP1 1024x768x32@60 AGP 4x

169.25

2.7

3.0

S = Vista Starter, HB = Home Basic, HP = Home Premium, B = Business, E = Enterprise, U = Ultimate

* Please be aware that graphics ratings are impacted by CPU Speed, CPU FSB Speed and RAM Speed as well as the AGP/PCI-E bus speed (4x/8x/16x) and driver.

** Stated Bus specifications are reflective of the test system and not necessarily the cards maximum specification.

CPU/Processor

OEM Device sSpec # Edition SP FSB/QPI Processor
Intel Celeron 1.3 GHz SL5VR B RTM 100 MHz

1.2

Intel Celeron 2.8 GHz SL77T HP SP1 400 MHz

3.4

Intel Pentium 4 1.70 GHz SL5TK U SP1 400 MHz
Intel Xeon III 1.8 GHz HT SL5Z8 U RTM 400 MHz

3.2

Intel Pentium 4 2.50 GHz SL6EB B RTM 400 MHz

4.2

Intel Pentium 4 2.50 GHz SL6EB B SP1 400 MHz

3.6

Intel Pentium 4 3.06 GHz SL726 B RTM 533 MHz
Intel Pentium 4 2.80 GHz SL6PF B SP1 533 MHz

3.9

Intel Pentium 4 2.80 GHz HT SL6WJ B RTM 800 MHz

4.5

Intel Pentium 4 2.80 GHz HT SL6WJ U SP1 800 MHz

4.2

Intel Pentium 4 3.0 GHz HT SL6WK U SP1 800 MHz

4.3

Intel Pentium 4 531 3.0 GHz HT SL8HZ HP SP1 800 MHz

4.0

Intel Core i7 950 SLBEN U SP2 4.8 GT/s

5.9

S = Vista Starter, HB = Home Basic, HP = Home Premium, B = Business, E = Enterprise, U = Ultimate

Using a Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live! Platinum (CT4760) under Windows Vista

System Requirements:

  • Sound Blaster Live! Platinum
  • Windows Vista

The Problem:

This is Windows Vista we’re talking about… you had to ask?

More Information:

Put simply there are no native drivers for the original versions of the SB Live series with the Live! Drive 1.0 or 2.0. Microsoft stopped generating them with Windows Server 2003’s release, and in all but name so did Creative.

I can help you get sound, I cannot help you to get Surround Sound, the Game Port or to make use of your Live! Drive as the people at Creative once intended.

  1. Go to http://www.creative.com/ and then to Support
  2. Open the main downloads page
  3. In the Search by File Name or Model Number search for CT4760
  4. Download the 23.32 MB, 10 Mar 03 “Sound Blaster Live! – LiveDrvUni-Pack English”
  5. Double click the installer program, work through until it tells you it cannot find any qualifying products
  6. Hit Vista’s Device Manager
  7. Find the uninstalled Multimedia Audio Device, right click it and select Update Driver
  8. Specify your own file path for a driver
  9. Type or browse to the following, substituting %username% for the SAM name of your user account:
    C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Temp\CRF000\Audio\Drivers\WIN2K_XP\
  10. Vista will install the driver and you will now have sound & sound control through the audio mixer

What does not work

Yes, they did release XP drivers for it in 2001, 2002 and 2003, and the 2003 release is what we are using – but if you actually need to use the Live Drive or want any SPDIF/Optical output e.g. have a 5.1 surround sound system, forget it. The best you will ever do with these driver is Stereo.

  • Many of the Live Drive’s ports (Exactly the same as using these drivers with XP)
  • SPDIF/Optical decoding to AC3 (Stereo is fine [Exactly the same as using these drivers with XP])
  • Create Joystick/MIDI port on the back plate of the card (Vista will not accept the driver)
  • Speaker profiling other than Mono/Stereo (Exactly the same as using these drivers with XP)

So much for the 1999 promise of lifetime support through the “LiveWare” program. That lasted all of 2 years.