Speed Up Windows Vista Reinstallation
The installation of Windows Vista is painfully slow and takes up to 30 minutes. If you reinstall Windows Vista regularly you may like the following method to speed up the installation of Windows Vista to improve the overall process and user experience.
The USB drive will not only provide you with a quicker way of installing Windows Vista but also with access to a Rescue System. The process itself is pretty straightforward, you need to do the following:
Boot into Windows Vista as usual and connect the USB drive to the computer. Make sure that you connect it to a high speed USB 2.0 port (or USB 3.0 port if available).
Open the command line in Windows Vista and use the command diskpart.exe to start the disk partitioner. It takes a while until it is fully loaded. Once you see the Diskpart > prompt you can continue with the following commands:
- list disks - this lists all the disks on your system including the USB drive. The important value for this operation is the disk number of the Usb device. Make sure you got the right one, compare the sizes of the disks if you are unsure with those in My Computer.
- select disk a - a is the disk id of your USB stick that you figured out with the list disks command. Again, make sure you select the right disk.
- Enter the following commands one after the other and hit enter after each command.
- create partition primary
- select partition 1
- format fs=fat32
Now copy the contents of the Vista DVD to the USB device. Use the command line again with the following command:
- xcopy e:\*.* /s/e/f f:\
Please note that e:\ has to be replaced with the DVD drive that contains the Vista DVD and f:\ has to be replaced with the drive letter of the USB device.
After the files have been copied you can boot from the USB device and either install Windows Vista remarkably faster or open the Repair System to rescue a system that does not boot anymore.
The reason why it is faster is that fast data can be read faster from speedy USB devices than it can be read from DVD drives.
Update: The instructions are still valid for Windows Vista but the same principle applies to newer versions of Windows as well. The process itself has been optimized however as Microsoft published a tool that you can run to copy all Windows installation files to USB devices so that you don't need to run commands anymore on the command line.