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Microsoft Windows Vista
Category: Abandoned Windows systems- client releases

Windows Vista is Microsoft's 32- and 64-bit operating system, the successor to Windows XP. The main novelties of the system were: a built-in anti-virus program Windows Defender based on the GIANT AntiSpyware Software license, a three-stage account limitation system (User Account Control), a new look of the system based on the Aero engine, multimedia programs, such as DVD Maker or Photo Galerry, as well as the built-in BitLocker for partition encryption. Windows Vista has not gained much popularity despite the introduction of numerous features, significant improvements and justifications compared to XP. As a proprietary system based on the XP kernel, it was supposed to be something sensational and ambitious, but due to the company's management problems, long time of work and many problems associated with Windows XP at the time, Microsoft repeatedly postponed its release date until it decided to abandon the project completely. As a result of the reset of work on Longhorn, the system was rebuilding, this time based on the kernel of Windows Server 2003. The new Longhorn was created under the pressure of time, so the developers created the system not entirely after their thoughts and initial concepts. This also affected the quality of the system itself. The system became poorly received due to a lot of criticism (a lot of bugs, incompatible drivers, poor system stability and too much system requirements - for those times). Some critics also believed that the system was over-secure and, in their opinion, the main reason why the system was used by a small group of users was, above all, Microsoft's poor marketing and management. After the release of Windows 7, Vista became a shadow of its "little brother," and today is little known to everyone.


Windows Vista was released in six editions:


  • Starter - a trimmed version for beginners and slower computers

  • Home Basic - basic version for home users.

  • Home Premium - extended version for home users (including visual additions and media programs).

  • Business- version directed to advanced and corporate users.

  • Ultimate- combines all the editions into one and is available for users and corporate clients. The highest version you could buy in the store.

  • Enterprise- a special edition of the system directed to enterprises (contains virtualization and data encryption functions).





Quick Review:
Type of product:

OS (Operating system)

Developed by:


Release date:


End of life support date:


Minimal system requirements:

Free space on disk: from 16 GB to 20 GB

CPU: 1 GHz

RAM: from 512 MB to 2 GB

Type of interface:

GUI (graphical)

⦁ Additional informations about files:
BETA versions (developmental, unstable) are marked in gray,
Blue - official system editions,
Green for modifications and additions (if any)

If you have trouble choosing the right version of the system to download, please refer to the markings below:

⦁ OEM- version compatible with previously purchased devices / pre-installed system on a new computer, assigned to a PC motherboard. After damage or replacement of computer parts, your license is lost

⦁ SP- System image contains a package of fixes and updates. The higher the number, the more patches and updates contained in the system. The patches are called "Service Packs".

⦁ RTM- System version released on the day of release, straight from the production line. It does not contribute anything to the operation of the license.

⦁ Retail- sales version of the program.

⦁ [Polski]- Polish language version; [English]- English language version

⦁ x86 or 32-bit - system compatible with 32-bit processor architecture. They do not support 64-bit architecture. They can use up to 4 GB of RAM.

⦁ x64 or 64-bit - System compatible with 64-bit processor architecture. Some systems (older than Vista/7) do not support 32-bit systems

⦁ x86-64- Multi-architecture edition of the program. You can choose it if you do not know what CPU architecture your computer has.

⦁ VL/VolumeLicense- A system preinstalled on company computers, this license allows you to install the same system on multiple computers and use it simultaneously.

⦁ E- System version without Internet Explorer browser.

⦁ N- System version without media programs (Windows Media Center, Media Player)

⦁ Images called: "Home/Ultimate" are actually images that contain all editions: Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Enterprise, Ultimate

⦁ Multi-SKU: system image with multiple edits to choose from during installation. Multi-Format system

⦁ (chk): system image checked for errors during compilation (debug)

⦁ (alt): alternative system image to be downloaded, not different from the original, it is a copy/reupload

⦁ DMF: system image saved in a floppy disk format

⦁ CD/DVD: system image saved in a format designed for compact discs and DVDs.

⦁ ESD: file from digital or commercial distribution. To use it, it must be converted to an ISO file.

⦁ File preview icon:
                      IMG- floppy disk image. You can use it in a virtual machine, or use a special program to extract files.

                  ISO/MDF- ready to burn to disk, create bootable media or use in a virtual machine. It can also be used in a program to emulate virtual drives and discs.

      7Z, ZIP, RAR- compressed archive. To access the file, use a program to compress the files, e.g: WinRAR, 7-ZIP- please use file archiver program to open it.

To quickly find the image, press [Ctrl+F] on your keyboard and enter the keyword in the search field. This will highlight the images that contain the entered keyword.

Installation of these images is intended for advanced users. The following systems are published in the BETA (test) version. The installation may be problematic, the system may not work properly. Moreover, BETA versions may be unstable with drivers, programs and operation. They may have unfinished system functions. It is recommended to test the BETA version on a VM. If you have problems with the installation I recommend to consult the Beta Archive forum.

If you are looking for activation keys for Windows [Beta] installation images, click here, or use this address.

Images modified by the community will be taken from the website, which brings together advanced users and moderators (authors of system modifications). Modifications created by them can be lighter, cut out of some elements of the system, cleared of unnecessary services and optimized for operation on slower computers. Some images modified by the community can be password protected: to protect against misuse. It should be used to unzip some archives.