Friday, 16 February 2007

System Builder Tips: Windows Vista Feature: During install ... USB drive live!

I am sure that there are a lot of people who have been caught in "floppy hell" when it comes to installing operating systems with some sort of special controller card or on board controller.

I am installing Vista Ultimate onto one of our small form factor Pentium D machines along with Office 2007 to take with me to client's locations for demonstrations.

This particular box has a 2 port SATA RAID controller in it.

Vista could not find any drivers and requested some. The demo box has no built in optical or floppy drive. There is an optical drive connected via USB for the install only.

I connected a USB floppy with the driver in it, and Vista scanned it, pulled the driver, and the installation now continues. No reboot for a drive to be connected!

To me, that is a pretty neat feature. I don't know how many times I have been caught by an OS that requested a driver from a floppy only!

It gives me the impression that I can now keep a USB flash drive with the requisite drivers that can be used with future Vista and hopefully Longhorn installs!

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

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