Vista Experience and Handy Tips

Windows Vista RTM has now been loaded onto both of my partitions on the laptop, x86 and x64 to compare, although the x86 version was an upgrade to XP and my normal boot partition.

Some things I changed and modified that may come in handy:

  1. The boot menu had both OS’s, however you could not tell which version was x86 or x64. In the past you would modify boot.ini and away you go, however things have changed in this area now with Vista, you need to run the bcdedit utility. One gotcha was it needed to be run by the local Administrator account, any other account would result in a “Access Denied”. After logging in as the local admin (normally I use a custom account or domain account NON-ADMIN of course) I issued the following commands from the command prompt:
    – BCDEDIT /timeout 10 – this reduced the selction time to 10 seconds.
    – BCDEDIT /set {current} description “Vista x86” – to provide the current boot up OS with a description
    – BCDEDIT /set {default} description “Vista x64” – to provide the default boot up OS with a description
    Some other options that are handy:
    – BCDEDIT /enum or /enum all to display your current settings
    – BCDEDIT /displayorder – to display the order of bootup.
    For further details see these sites:
    Microsoft Technet Boot Configuration Data Editor Frequently Asked Questions
    Pronetworks How To: Edit the Windows Vista Boot Menu Options – BCDEDIT
  2. Disable Shortcut Icon Arrow Overlay in Windows Vista – this was really bothering me as with my other XP installs I had XP Power toys, however there is no sign of Vista power toys. So this reg hack did the trick, see the “Howtogeek” website for full details.