Maybe like me you receive the Vista "Upgrade" CD with your Microsoft software subscription (ActionPack in my case) and are wondering how that will help you get going with your Vista customers since you have to muck about with doing an upgrade to a previous OS - vlite gets around this and does much, much more ...
vLite is a utility that you point to a Vista DVD and then it walks through all the components you would like install and builds a distribution location that automates many of your choices. You can think of it as a wizard that gets the distribution location ready for action. You can output to a bootable DVD image at the end of the process if you wish - very handy for building virtual machines. One of it's main value adds is the ability to strip any unneeded files from the distribution location - in the case of Vista this can strip down the size of the distribution area significantly.
There are a couple very cool things that happened in the process of using this tool against the upgrade CD. First, the resultant ISO that was built has no checking for upgrade - so there is no need to install another OS first or the popular work around of installing from the upgrade DVD twice to get around the need to have a previous product installed.
But there's more! Vista DVDs contain the files to build ANY version of Vista and the upgrade version is no different. After copying my media and analyzing the files, vLite showed all versions of Vista available for customization. For my first pass I stuck to Vista Business just to check if vLite would work with the upgrade media. It appears to work fine (I built with no license code). I went back and built with Vista Home Basic and it worked fine as well. For builds other than what I am licensed for, I simple leave out the license code and turn off activation to get a 30 day trial of that build.
This makes helping customers with their build processes much easier as I had thought I would need to pony up quite a chunk of cash to have the exact same media they had.
Topic: Engineers Toolbox, Virtual Machines, Windows Vista