Published Date: Thursday, May 28, 2006
Last Updated: Thursday, May 28, 2006

Thanks to Dena Centenero for proofreading this guide for me, and making sure all my grammar is correct.

Introduction and Overview

It has been a long time coming, but Windows Vista Beta 2 is finally here.  This build brings much needed stability to Vista in my experience.  Now, some people you talk to will sit and cry about there not being some "promised" features such as vector glass etc...  While these features are not in Beta 2 it is quite possible that they could be introduced in a future build, the only way to find out will be to wait and see.  For now let's just enjoy what we have and tweak it as needed!

Windows Vista™ System Requirements

Along with Windows Vista Beta 2 Microsoft have FINALLY made official system requirements for Vista public.  Here they are:

A Windows Vista Capable PC includes at least:

  • A modern processor (at least 800MHz).
  • 512 MB of system memory.
  • A graphics processor that is DirectX 9 capable

A Windows Vista Premium Ready PC includes at least:

  • 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor.
  • 1 GB of system memory.
  • A graphics processor that runs Windows Aero.
  • 128 MB of graphics memory.
  • 40 GB of hard drive capacity with 15 GB free space.
  • DVD-ROM Drive.
  • Audio output capability.
  • Internet access capability.

Explorer Performance Tweaks

Click Start, right click on Computer, and click Properties.
Click Advanced System Settings.
Click on the Advanced tab. Under Performance, click Settings.
Uncheck these options:

  • Fade or slide menus into view
  • Fade or slide tooltips into view
  • Fade out menu items after clicking
  • Show shadows under menus
  • Slide open combo boxes
  • Slide taskbar buttons
  • Use a background image for each folder type

Close the Performance Options & System Properties dialogs.

Disable Unneeded Services

Disabling services is not necessary in this build.  The windows search issue from 5365 has been fixed and the overall performance of the OS is good with everything turned on so for this build I will not be disabling any services.

Get Rid of The Nagging Windows Security Center Icon

The Windows Security Center has been one of the biggest annoyances since the inception of the idea with Windows XP Service Pack 2. Now with Windows Vista™ it is new, improved, and even more annoying than ever before! Untill now, you could not get rid of the icon from your tray.

Here's how to nuke Security Center off your system. This has been tested and there are no adverse effects from doing this.

  1. Go to Start --> Run and type "cmd" without the quotes.
  2. Type "cd\" followed by "cd windows\system32".
  3. Now run the following commands:
    • takeown /f wscapi.dll
    • takeown /f wscsvc.dll
    • takeown /f wscui.cpl
  4. Now you have ownership of the files. Go into the system32 directory in explorer and right click each file, go to the security tab and add an entry for everyone and give them full access permissions.
  5. Disable the Security Center Service via services.msc if you have not already done so.
  6. In the system32 folder rename the three mentioned dll's (change their file extension to .bak).
  7. To get rid of the Security Center service from services.msc drop to a command prompt and type the following:
  8. Enjoy no more nagging or icon in your system tray!

Disable UAC (Formerly UAP)

UAC, otherwise known as UAP (User Account Control/User Account Protection) in previous builds is another one of those features that just seems to get in the way of doing your work. This feature is designed with the average user in mind who needs this kind of protection to keep themselves out of trouble. If you are reading this then chances are you know how to manage your own system. Here is how to disable UAP:

  1. Press the Windows Key + R (winkey + R).
  2. At the run prompt, type "msconfig" without the quotes.
  3. Go to the Tools tab, scroll down and select "Disable UAP" and click the run button.
  4. You should see a command prompt open and it will say "Command completed successfully".
  5. Reboot and enjoy the freedom to control your system as you wish.

Disable DEP / NoExecute Protection

DEP, otherwise known as NoExecute, is a piece of technology in Windows that prevents processes from being altered in live memory. This lowers the frequency of certain attacks, but it can also have some adverse effects and cause certain things not to run.

Due to the way Windows Vista™’s boot editor has been created, it is now harder to disable DEP / No Execute Protection. After a little looking around, I figured it out. Here's how to do it:

  1. Click Start, All Programs, Accessories, right click on “Command Prompt”, and click “Run as administrator”.
  2. If asked for permission to run Windows Command Processor, click on Allow.
  3. At the command prompt, type in “bcdedit.exe /set {current} nx AlwaysOff” (without the quotes).
  4. You should receive a message saying “Operation Completed Successfully”.
  5. Restart the computer, DEP / No Execute should now be disabled.

Fixes for Various 5384 Issues

Direct3d Games Flickering Textures

Some Direct3D games have a problem with flickering textures in game, namely CS: Source and Call of Duty 2.  To fix this you need to turn off DWM before you go into the game.  After exiting the game you can turn DWM back on.  Click the link below to get two batch files that will turn dwm off and on when you want to make this process a little easier.

Vista Beta 2 DWM Toggle Batch Files

Adding Directories to the Search Index

In Vista Beta 2, if you click "Add to Index" at the top of an explorer window, it does not actually add the directory to the search index.  Instead it puts the directory in a weird mode so that it cannot be indexed.  To work around this issue add all directories you want to index through Indexing Options in the control panel.

Login as Admin/Skip OOBE

After the aurora shows up on first boot after setup, hit Shift-F10 and a command prompt will show up. If not hit ALT+TAB to select it from the pop up. Type "taskmgr" and hit Enter. In the task manager, close "msoobe.exe" (End Process). Windows will either log off or reboot. You will then login as Administrator.

Re-Enable Administrator Account

If you are like me and use the "None" user trick or the method mentioned above to skip the creation of a user account, then you have seen that the Administrator account is disabled by default in 5381 and it would appear that there is no way to get into the OS.  Here's how to re-enable the account:

  1. Boot into safemode by pressing F8 on bootup.
  2. Log into the Administrator account (this will work since it is safemode).
  3. Go to start --> run and type "control userpasswords2" without the quotes.
  4. Click on the Advanced tab.
  5. Under "Advanced User Management" click the Advanced button.
  6. Click on Users.
  7. Right click the Administrator account and select Properties.
  8. Uncheck "Account is disabled".
  9. Close everything, reboot and enjoy!


All Content Copyright 2006 Chris123NT, All Rights Reserved.