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General Windows Vista Frequently Asked Questions


Below, you will find answers to General frequently asked questions regarding the Windows Vista operating system. If you are unable to find the answer to your question here, you can find additional computer support via our Free Technical Support
Form or our Free Computer Help Forums.

What are the chances that my printer will function in Vista? When will SP1 for Vista be released?
Is it possible to boot Vista from a USB drive? What is Microsoft Update Catalog?
Can I run Office 2003 on Vista? Can I change the language in Vista Premium?
How can I contact Microsoft if I have some feedback regarding the Vista operating system? Sharing One Monitor with Two PC's
Tablet PC drop down menus open to the left Does using Sleep Mode drain my Laptops battery?
 

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What are the chances that my printer will function in Vista?

Q: I've got an older Canon printer. The Canon folks say that they will not create a special Vista driver for this printer. So, what are my chances that this printer will work in Vista?

A: The best thing to do is run the Upgrade Advisor to be sure that it will run in Vista. Click the link below:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/buyorupgrade/upgradeadvisor.mspx 

For additional help finding and how to download drivers, check out this article "Finding Drivers For Windows Vista":

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When will SP1 for Vista be released?

Rumor has it (don't hold me to it) that it will be released at the end of the year after Windows Server 2008 is released.

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Is it possible to boot Vista from a USB drive?

Q: I would like to know if it is possible to load Vista on to a removable drive and boot from there?

A: No. This is not a supported function. If you were able to do that, you might be able to boot to a different system. Microsoft only allows Vista to be installed on one machine per license.

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What is Microsoft Update Catalog?

The Microsoft Update Catalog was developed for corporate networks where finding software updates, updated drivers and hotfixes can be found in one convenient location. For non-corporate scenarios it is recommended that users update their computers via Automatic Update or by using the Microsoft Update website.

The Update Catalog can be located here:

Microsoft Update Catalog beta

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Can I run Office 2003 on Vista?

Yes, Office 2003 will work fine with Vista. In fact, here is a list of Office products that are supported under Vista:

  • Office 2000

  • Office XP

  • Office 2003

  • Office 2007

Microsoft no longer offer fixes for Office 2000 and Office XP issues that occur under Windows Vista. Office 2007 is the most current Office product and was designed to run under the Vista platform.

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Can I change the language in Vista Premium?

Q: I currently am running Vista Home Premium in the Spanish version. I would like to change the language to English. Can this be done?

A: No. Sorry. Care must be taken when purchasing Vista in any certain language when purchasing any Vista version other than Ultimate or Enterprise. In these two versions you are allowed to download the language packs for free. In your case, you will need to either live with the Spanish language version of Premium or you will be faced with purchasing the full version of Premium in the English language and then performing a Clean Installation.

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How can I contact Microsoft if I have some feedback regarding the Vista operating system?

Here is a link just for this purpose:

Windows Vista Feedback

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Sharing One Monitor with Two PC's

Q: I just recently purchased a computer with Vista Ultimate installed on it. I use older programs on a Windows 2000 system that I cannot get to work on the Vista machine so I thought it would be best to see if I can share the monitor, keyboard and mouse between the Windows 2000 and Vista machines. Can you tell me how to go about doing this?

A: Sure, all you need is a KVM (keyboard, video and mouse) switch. You can pick one up at your local Circuit City or Best Buy. Be sure that you get a switch with the proper inputs for your keyboard and mouse connection (USB or PS2). Also, make sure that you get a switch with enough bandwidth for your monitor. A cheap switch probably won't be able to handle the kind of data stream that a high resolution monitor would require.

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Tablet PC drop down menus open to the left

Q: I have Vista Ultimate installed on my tablet PC. I am used to my drop down menus opening on the right side and I think once I applied the last update to my PC they started opening to the left. This makes it more difficult to navigate as I have to move my cursor much farther. Is there a way that I can get my drop down menus to open normally on the right?

A: Yes, here's how:

  1. Open your Control Panel

  2. Select Tablet PC Settings

  3. Under the "Handedness" category, select the appropriate entry by clicking inside the radio button.

  4. Once you've made your selection, click OK.

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Does using Sleep Mode drain my Laptops battery?

When in Sleep Mode, Vista only uses approximately one to two percent of the laptops battery power per hour. If the laptop sleeps for an extended period (which is determined by your sleep and hibernate settings), Vista saves any open documents to include any program information that was in use to your hard disk and will shut the system down.

By default, once the lid is closed on a laptop, the computer goes in to Sleep Mode. This setting can be changed from sleep mode to hibernate mode, completely shut down or do nothing at all.

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