Asus doesn’t Like Vista

By | March 10, 2007

I tried to install Windows Vista yesterday. Was about time, since I’m a developer and we now need to test on this OS as well! No biggy you’d think. Wrong!!!!!

Apperantly Asus choose to not support Vista just yet. Well all notebooks have the label ‘Vista capable’, but most aren’t. More accurately spoken the hardware is just the BIOS aint. Let me tell you what happens if you try and install Vista on a new laptop. You insert the Vista CD. Laptop starts up. It sees the CD and decides lets boot again. And it keeps on doing so!

Now I haven’t a clue on what is actually going on with it, but according to this guy it’s got something to do with the BitLocker technology. As it turns out windows is making a call to the BIOS to check if BitLocker is supported or not. And as genius as the people are at Asus they decided that if this call is made the laptop shall reboot. Smart aint it!

There is a way around it though, you could wait for a BIOS update of Asus. Which in my case wasn’t needed as Asus released version 306 in january this year, fixing this. But I’ve heard there are still models out there without a fix. (Guess that’s the advantage of having a high end bussiness model :)). So what do you need to do (again I didn’t figure this out, but have translated it to english:

  1. Before continuing make a bootable disk with BartPE and put the following files on there:
    1. Bootloader image
    2. WinImage, for overwriting the MBR (master boot record)
  2. Since you can’t install Vista from the CD you’ll first need to install another version of windows. After this is done you can install Vista from that version of windows.
  3. At some point during the installation Vista will reboot your computer. At this point you’re screwed :), not really but you’ll need to do the following:
    1. Put your bootable disk in to boot from BartPE
    2. Start WinImage and select ‘Disk’ selecting the ‘Edit Master boot record properties’
    3. Select the checkbox ‘Include non-removable hard disks’, otherwise your HDD might not be visible
    4. Press ‘Import’ and select the bootloader image you’ve downloaded
  4. Reboot and the installation will continue
  5. After some time Vista will again reboot and you’ll be screwed again in the loop. At this point repeat the steps described in point 3.
  6. Complete the installation and voila a working copy of Windows Vista.

Please note that if you experience any problems you’ll need to perform some additional steps One problem is no longer being able to boot Windows XP, at least I couldn’t. Until an official BIOS update is available you won’t be able to fix that. I’ll explain how to fix that problem in a later post.

Edit: added some links to more information on BitLocker

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