[Legacy] Download Windows Vista SP1Retail/OEM (Dell OEM and HP OEM) .iso


Windows Vista End of Support

Windows Vista reached End of Support in February 2015 when Microsoft removed the Windows Vista Downloads from their Digital River servers. I do not recommend Reinstallation of this legacy Operating System.

vista2

There was an unofficial upgrade path to get Windows 10 for free via the Windows 10130 Insider preview which officially expired on the 2nd of October 2015. This upgrade path was extended unofficially until the 26th of August 2016 when Microsoft patched their activation server.

At current you are best to directly clean install Windows 10 Home without a Product Key to initiate a 30 day trial. If you like it and your system performs well you can pay for a license from Microsoft. See Download a Windows 10 Retail .iso. Before paying for a license you may also want to consider buying a new system as most systems shipped with Windows Vista are 7 -10 years old and computer hardware has significantly improved in that time.

The rest of the guide below is obsolete and no longer works…

Legacy Contents

This guide has a complimentary video tutorial.

RETAIL VS. OEM

This guide explained how to download media for the Retail Full License (which is the only license most other guides address) and it also explains how to download media for the Retail Upgrade Only License. Particular attention is paid towards the Dell OEM License and HP OEM License (which other guides poorly address).

If you are unsure what license applies to you see:

RETAIL FULL

The Windows Vista Setup Files could be downloaded directly from Digital River which could then be converted to a .iso and used to make installation media. The same procedure below may be carried out for the files of the different languages.

Unfortunately Service Pack 2 wasn’t integrated into these images. Its advised to download the Service Pack alongside all Windows Updates and patch your Windows Vista installation immediately offline after the reinstall. To do this see my other guide on using the WSUS Offline Update.

Note if you have lost your retail product key and your old installation could boot you can use Berlarc Advisor to find your product key.

RETAIL “UPGRADE" ONLY

Many Windows Vista licenses were “Upgrade” only. The original installation media for these licenses may require the user to run them in a previous version of Windows… In short the installation media that came with such a license was terrible and should have immediately been discarded.

The Windows Vista Setup Files could be downloaded directly from Digital River which could then be converted to a .iso and used to make installation media. The same procedure below may be carried out for the files of the different languages.

Unfortunately Service Pack 2 wasn’t integrated into these images. Its advised to download the Service Pack alongside all Windows Updates and patch your Windows Vista installation immediately offline after the reinstall. To do this see my other guide on using the WSUS Offline Update.

The newer .isos did allow for a direct clean installation however for an upgrade license one would have had to skip entry of their product key during installation otherwise they would have got an error message stating their key was an upgrade only key. Skipping the product key on the other hand allowed them to circumvent this and proceed with direct clean installation with a 30 day trial. If one tried to input the upgrade key normally within system properties they would get the same error message. As a consequence the recommended method was inputting the product key and activating is via the command prompt:

This allowed direct clean installation of an upgrade license and is a perfectly valid workaround when used on a computer which came with another version of Windows such as Windows XP (without installation media for the old Windows or to save the time required for a double install).

Note if you had lost your retail product key and your old installation could boot you can use Berlarc Advisor to find your product key.

It was advised to download all Windows Updates and to patch your Windows Vista installation offline immediately after the reinstall. To do this see my guide on the WSUS Offline Update.

OEM

Although the download links from Digital River were generic retail .isos only intended for retail installs only these could be converted into a Dell/HP OEM install by use of a few tricks and utilities.

The Windows Vista Setup Files could be downloaded directly from Digital River which could then be converted to a .iso and used to make installation media. The same procedure below may be carried out for the files of the different languages.

Unfortunately Service Pack 2 wasn’t integrated into these images. Its advised to download the Service Pack alongside all Windows Updates and patch your Windows Vista installation immediately offline after the reinstall. To do this see my other guide on using the WSUS Offline Update.

Special notes for the Major OEM license. The OEM System Locked Preinstallation activation was generic for a Edition of Windows Vista for a particular OEM for instance every single Dell shipped with Windows Vista Home Premium had the same product key and this product activated if and only if an eligible Dell BIOS certified to run Windows Vista Home Premium was detected. The activation from a single Dell OEM Windows Vista Home Premium license could be backed up using the Unofficial Activation Backup and Recovery program as a cert file. Windows Vista Home Premium could then be clean installed on any Dell shipped with Windows Vista Home Premium by skipping the product key to initiate a 30 day trial. The Unofficial Activation Backup and Recovery Program could apply the Cert file to the “Retail Windows Vista Home Premium Trial” converting it into an activated Dell Windows Vista OEM License. I had personally obtained the certs for all Dell and HP OEM Editions however if you weren’t using a Dell or HP you had to manually do this yourself before Clean Installation. For more details see:

This would create a clean install identical to the Dell/HP OEM install which you would of got from a Reinstallation DVD with the exception of superficial touches (Dell/HP branding).

Checking the Size of Downloaded Files – “A Required CD/DVD Drive Device Driver is Missing"

You should verify that the download sizes are correct. There has been much issues with the Digital River server recently and downloads may terminate prematurely. In some cases the download links won’t work at all:

  • For Windows Vista 64 Bit English the file sizes should be Boot.wim 147,856 KB, Install.wim 3,503,069 KB and MicrosoftInstaller.exe 89,847 KB
  • For Windows Vista 32 Bit English the file sizes should be Boot.wim 130,010 KB, Install.wim 2,717,937 KB and MicrosoftInstaller.exe 83,182 KB

Vx64 Vx86

If one makes the installation media with the incompletely downloaded .iso the following error message will be displayed during attempted installation.

A required CD/DVD drive device driver is missing. If you have a driver floppy disk, CD, DVD, or USB flash driver, please insert it now.

Note : If the Windows installation media is in the CD/DVD drive, you can safely remove it for this step.

Hint: I tend to test the .iso by installation of a Virtual Machine using the free version of VMWare Player before utilising it for a proper installation. If the VM installs okay the .iso is fine.

Incomplete

Building the Windows Vista .iso

You will need ImgBurn to create the .iso. Unfortunately the installer for ImgBurn is bundled with Malware/Spyware which are installed by default. Its possible to install ImgBurn without the junk therefore follow the instructions here carefully to install ImgBurn:

Once you have downloaded the 3 setup files boot.wim, install.wim and MicrosoftInstaller.exe (previously X14-xxxxx.exe) of your desired architecture to the same folder run the MicrosoftInstaller.exe (x14-xxxxx.exe) to extract the Vista installation files.

vista1 vista2

Once extracted the Vista setup Windows will open, these can be used to install Windows Vista directly but don’t allow for a complete clean install or for installation on a new hard drive or unbootable Windows installation. Therefore its recommended to use these setup files to instead create a Windows Vista .iso and a bootable USB for clean installation. Close the setup.

vista3

You should now note that there is a Vista folder which contains the extracted setup files.

Vista3.5Launch ImgBurn and select create image file from files/folders

imgburn1

Select the folder icon and then select the Windows Vista folder.

imgburn2

Next select the destination folder you wish to save the .iso

imgburn3a

Select save.

Next go to the Advanced tab and select Bootable Disc. Under options tick Make Image Bootable. Click the folder icon and select the etfsboot file within the extracted Vista/Boot folder.

Vista6

Select open and change the rest of the options as specified:

Platform ID 80×86
Developer ID: Microsoft Corporation
Load Segment: 07C0
Sectors to Load: 4

Vista7

Check all the settings match and when ready select this button

imgburn7

Select ok at the next few prompts

Vista8 Vista9

Imgburn will inform you that the operation completed successfully and now you will have your Windows vista .iso.

Vista10

Creating a Bootable USB

You may use Rufus to create a bootable USB:

Rufus does not need to be installed and can be run directly by double clicking on the application

1

Use the drop down arrow to select your device.
2

Press the disc button and browse for the Windows Vista .iso and select open
3The partition scheme and target system type should be set as MBR partition Scheme for BIOS or UEFI Computers by default and this should be used.

Select Start.
4

Select Ok
5

It will begin creating the bootable USB.
6

The status will say done and the progress bar will be full when complete, you can now close down the program.

7

Evaluation

If you want to install Windows Vista for a 30 day evaluation period you may skip entry of a product key.

Detailed Installation Instructions

See here for detailed installation instructions:

Make a Donation Button

83 thoughts on “[Legacy] Download Windows Vista SP1Retail/OEM (Dell OEM and HP OEM) .iso

  1. Hello

    I followed all of the steps to create a USB bootable disk. After starting the computer with the USB disk, I get the error: “Windows cannot open the required file f:\sources\install.wim. The file may be corrupt or missing. Make sure all files required for installation are available, and restart the installation. Error code: 0x80070570”.

    I have downloaded the install.wim file at least half a dozen times and went through this whole process the same # of times with the same result. The WIM file is in the Sources folder and the size is 2,097,153 every time I download it. How can I tell if the file is corrupt?

    Regards,
    Rod

    1. The file is being truncated at exactly 2 GB (2147483648 bytes, or 2,097,153 KB). This could be related to your file system. FAT32 should work with 4 GB but FAT is limited to 2 GB. Check if your system is partitioned using FAT, in this case you need another partition or disk to be able to write a file larger than 2 GB.

      1. Daniel, I am having the same issue listed above (“Windows cannot open the required file f:\sources\install.wim. The file may be corrupt or missing. Make sure all files required for installation are available, and restart the installation. Error code: 0x80070570″.) I tried to convert my USB drive to NTFS and was told it is already formatted that way. Any idea what I am missing?

        Thanks in advance,

        Sean

      2. If the file size is not the same as the file sizes I’ve listed above then you have an incomplete download and won’t be able to proceed with the install. Try to use a different browser.

  2. There is a message that pops up that says “You Have Not Selected a File to Act as Boot Image” where is the file that is needed or how do I make the file

    1. I forgot to add that part in when copying this wiki from a later revision.

      Select the browse folder button and then navigate to your Vista folder and then select the boot folder and finally select the file called etfsboot.

  3. When i want to extract it, there is the message: Cannot extract Windows Vista Setup to your hard drive: Please ensure you can create files and folders in the same folder where VistaSetupPrep.exe was downloaded.
    What is wrong?

    1. I had the same error message popup. According to Microsoft’s site, this message comes up when you are extracting the 64-bit version on a 32-bit system. I found a friend’s system that was a 64-bit system by which it extracted without issues or messages and then I was able to proceed with the following steps.

    1. If you have your old version of Windows Vista installed, you should run the activation backup and recovery program to backup the OEM system locked preinstallation files. When installing you can skip the input of a product key and select Vista Home Basic. For product activation run the activation backup program to restore the product activation and restart the computer. If the system is Dell and you have not backed up the product activation you may use the files I have provided which are valid only for eligible Dell systems with a Vista COA or later COA (via downgrade rights). The procedure of using the activation backup and recovery program is explained in detail in Windows Reinstallation Guide/A Clean Install of Windows Vista Step 2 and 11b. A demonstration of what happens in an ineligible system of product activation failure is demonstrated in Step 11f. If the system is not Dell and you haven’t backed up the product activation then you may follow Step 11e and input your OEM product key, you will then need to activate using phone activation usually to an automated Microsoft Activation centre. Step 11e was previously the most recommended mechanism for the OEM install in my guides but is more hassle and can be problematic if the COA is faded.

  4. The third of the three files for the 32 bit install (ending install.wim) is not downloading.
    All others have downloaded in seconds. Is there a problem with the hosting?

  5. The instructions you give never refer to the two WIM files. You use the extracted Vista folder as the source of the ISO, but never copy in or do anything with the WIMs. It’s going to take me a couple of hours to download the install.wim and I’ll try this when it’s done, but right now I don’t see how this can possibly work.

  6. Hi !
    I was happy for your good explication, i did all good. and now when i put the istallation i have problem 0x80070570 windows cannot open the required file E:\Sources\install.wim
    What to do ? Where can be my error:/
    Thank you for your answer

    1. What files did you download? 32 Bit or 64 Bit? English of another language?
      What size were each of the files, its possible you got an incomplete download for one of them.

      1. 32bit english. have: boot.wim 130mb install.wim 2,097 gb and x14-63452 83mb

      2. i did the same stuf. i build windows vista in ImgBurn i rip new cd. and the same problem ! in imgburn say me that i have 742 files 140 folders Size 2,484Gb
        on the cd total size 2,372gb 1214624secteurs! pls hellp this make me crazy :@

      3. Install.wim for the 32 Bit version should be ~2.6 GB therefore you have an incomplete download.

        X14-63452 81.2 MB
        Install.wim 2.6 GB
        boot.wim 127 MB

        I’ll download all the English files properly and check their exact sizes when I am next on a fast internet connection.

      4. but my pc is 32bit, its ok if i download for 64bits? i download again install.wim for 32bits and show me that is 2,6Gb i will try the new download.. i hope will work

      5. Ivana sorry I made a typing error that is for the 32 Bit, the 32 Bit Install.wim is 2.6 GB, if you have only downloaded a file of 2.097 GB then the error message you are receiving makes sense because the file hasn’t completely extracted. The 64 Bit install.wim is 3.3 GB.

  7. you had right, i dowloaded again install.wim and was 500mb plus.. the instalation begin ! Big thank you for your answers !

    1. Just realised the screenshot had the size of all the 32 Bit files in KB. 130,010 KB for boot.wim, 2,717,937 KB for install.wim and 83,182 KB for X14-63452

      1. I came back !🙂 All the installation is finish good, i did all windows update but the service pack 2 shout down my pc ! is lest just that in windows update. is iportant for do that installing or not ? Thank you again

    1. Vista is not “free” you need a license to use it.
      This may be an OEM license which came with the computer or a purchased retail license.

      If you do not have a Vista license its not worth buying as 7 is superior in all ways.

      The above instructs you in how to download Windows Vista which you can use if you have the Vista license.

  8. I love you man…Just re-trying my install of vista after failing. Your instructions are pretty detailed but I have a question, when it says on imgburn platform ID 80×86, should I check it?

    Thanks so much for your time and help!!!!

    1. You are using a newer version of ImgBurn then I did when I wrote this tutorial however it should be the correct setting to use.

      From here the 80×86 was the default in the older version so should work fine with this setting: http://forum.imgburn.com/index.php?/topic/21695-new-2580-update-question/
      http://forum.imgburn.com/index.php?/topic/22106-help-with-platform-id-setting-imgburn-version-2580/
      A Vista PC won’t have a Dell UEFI BIOS.

      If you have any issues let me know.

      At some point I’ll redownload the 3 files and make the .iso with the newer version of ImgBurn and test the .iso on a Virtual Machine and update the tutorial.

  9. Hi. I can’t seem to get the exe file (X14-63453.exe ) from anywhere. in digitalriver it says file not found. in all other places I am getting dead links. Does anyone have a copy of this? I have already downloaded the other 2 WIM files. Thanks!

    1. I had the same problems, there have been issues with Digital River.
      Fortunately all X14-63453.exe does is extract the setup files from the boot.wim and install.wim.

      X14-63452 for Windows Vista 32 Bit can be used in the place of X14-63453 to extract the 64 bit wim files and I have tested it the other day.

  10. Thanks for the prompt response. Unfortunately, I can’t find a working link to X14-63452.exe either. Any suggestions? If you can forward me to a working link were I can find the exe files that would be super great! I’ve been at this for hours with no luck. Thanks.

      1. Thanks for the working link to X14-63452.exe. I’ve been looking for half an hour.
        Do you know where to find the 64 bit version too?

      2. Peter I don’t have X14-63453 however X14-63452 will extract the install.wim and boot.wim for the 64 Bit install.

      3. hi Philip. can u tell me what file it is onedrive plz? by the way watched ur youtube vid are u from bonnie Scotland by any chance? thanks mate.

      4. Hi Jason

        I’m from Scotland yeah, did you detect my accent in the video?

        The backed up cert file and pid.txt file for each Dell and HP version of Vista/7 are on my OneDrive. Its essentially a couple of text files.

        The download links are here and the ABR program are here:
        http://dellwindowsreinstallationguide.com/a-clean-install-of-windows/microsoft-product-activation/the-activation-backup-and-recovery-program-windows-vista-7-version/#slpkeys

        You need the ABR program to use them.

  11. The boot.wim & install.wim files I’ve downloaded show up as ”wim archive”. Could you let me know how I can turn them into ”wim file”? thx!

    1. It shouldn’t matter. Likely you just have a program installed that recognises the .wim extension. They should still work following the instructions above.

  12. Hello, I’m having problem downloading install.wim. The file size is too big for me downloading in the Philippines, usually, if i download big files like Windows 8, stream videos, my internet speed is reduced to between 132kb/s~240kb/s. Can anyone give me a compressed install.wim

  13. And also, my files is been downloaded at this links:
    [http://msft-dnl.digitalrivercontent.net/msvista/pub/msshus/vista32/boot.wim (That’s the small file)]
    [http://web.archive.org/web/20130308184940/http://msft-dnl.digitalrivercontent.net/msoffice/pub/X14-63452/X14-63452.exe (and the other one)]
    and
    [http://msft-dnl.digitalrivercontent.net/msvista/pub/msshus/vista32/install.wim (The large file. This is the file where i can’t download.)]

    1. The install.wim is already compressed. You are best to attempt the download late at night when your isp has less traffic alternatively at a friends or at a library.

      I can’t upload the .iso installation files as this site will likely be taken down if I do. If I could I would of had direct links to all the .isos and the .isos split into 100 MB chunks with 7zip. As mentioned several times on this site, Microsoft seriously lack in their distribution and deployment of Windows making life severely difficult for its end users.

      For Vista there are the 3 setup files and some work has to be done to make the .iso, for Windows 7 deployment was great a direct download to a .iso and for Windows 8 and 8.1 its absolutely ridiculous the lack of a direct download link and the lack of a standalone service pack update.

  14. Wait a minute, the file is not compressed. Im sorry, i don’t have any idea that how to download that big file.