Starting Up Windows Vista covers hardware startup, BIOS, POST, then bootstrap load via MBR, and takes you all the way through the boot-up process until the initial log-in prompt appears, after which the login process, services start-up, and the overal startup process completes. I learned a fair amount from this course, although the material was already 90% familiar to me, thanks to over a year’s daily experience in working with Windows Vista.
Here’s how the course lays out
- Starting up Windows Vista
- Windows Vista startup process
- BIOS and MBR (Master Boot Record
- Windows Boot Manager in Windows Vista
- Windows Vista OS loader
- Interoperation with earlier Windows versions
- Logging On to Windows Vista
- Overview of User Logon Process
- Process for computer logon
- User and Kernel modes of operation
- Process for initializing drivers in Windows Vista
- Process for starting services in Windows Vista
- Process for User Logons in Windows Vista
- Using Other Start Mechanisms and Startup States
- Windows Vista Preinstallation Environment (WinPE)
- Pre-boot execution environment and Windows Deployment Services
- How Windows Vista Starts Up from the Network
- Additional Startup States in Windows Vista
- How Windows Resumes from the Sleep State
- How Windows Resumes from the Hibernate Stare
- Using Windows Advanced Boot Menu Options
- Windows Vista Advanced Boot Menu Options
- What is Safe Mode in Windows Vista?
- What is the LKGC Option in Windows Vista?
- What is Boot Logging?
- The Low Resolution Video Opotion
- Guidelines for selecting Boot Menu Options
- Lab: Managing the Vista Startup Process
- Scenario & Exercise Information
- Troubleshooting Missing Startup Files
- Troubleshooting Missing OS Files
- Launch Labs/Lab Review/Module Summary
Microsoft told me it would take about two hours to work my way through the class, and they were right. By and large, most of the material was well-presented and made a reasonable amount of sense. I found myself visiting TechNet a few times throughout the class when the level of detail didn’t quite go low enough to help me understand what was going on (more information about BCDedit, and a demo on running various boot-time utilities would have worked better for me than their simulated labs, wherein the interface didn’t work properly, or perhaps just not as it said it should).
This is definitely a class for those interested in learning more about Windows Vista’s inner workings. Was it worth $40. Maybe: I knew enough of this material already that I found myself wanting more, but then I have already worked with all/most of the facilities covered in the modules for the class. Somebody just digging into Vista would undoubtedly find it useful and informative, particularly if their prior experience had all been with XP and previous Windows versions (the Vista boot environment includes some significant additions to and changes from previous versions).
All in all it was a pretty interesting experience.