User:ATeamInc/WinNotes

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Windows Activation

  • All LH (pre-reset builds up to 5048) builds can be activated & cracks are widely available.
  • Windows Vista build 5259 & 5270 cannot be activated easily (might need to look that up), as a result launching explorer from IE disables the Themes service and limits you from running more than 3 programs (much like starter mode). It is possible to bypass activation, however that explodes the timebomb and you won't be able to logon.
  • Windows Vista builds 5381 and later may be possible to activate (haven't checked yet).
  • Windows 7 builds 6801 and later can be activated (including 6956) using a batch script which deletes activation files from the system (SLUI).
  • Windows 7 builds after the RC (7100) can be activated by a crack which works on RTM (7600) (including the E version of 7264).

Aero

At the level of VMware Workstation 14.x & 15.x

  • In LH (pre-reset) builds 4039, 4042, & 4074, Aero can be enabled, however it can be a bit buggy.
  • Windows Vista build 5048 can have Aero without problems, however it relies on CPU processing so it makes the system extremely slow on lower-end hardware.
  • Windows Vista build 5112 can have Aero in VMware, although no one knows how to enable it (I did get somewhere after fixing the corrupted registry and a lot of tweaking, however the rundll32 command always crashes when attempting to enable Aero. Even replacing all DWM related files with modded ones does nothing.)
  • Windows 7 builds all can have Aero, although it may be buggy on lower-end hardware.

At the level of VMware Workstation 7.1.2

At the level of VMware Workstation 6.5.x

  • Windows Longhorn build 3706 and later work, however it depends on the hardware tested on. (On my ancient Core2 laptop from '06, the sidebar crashes.)

Build Rating

Note: Higher is better and the builds at the bottom of the list are usually the worst.

Windows Vista

  1. RTM
  2. 5259.3 (Very Stable)
  3. 4074 (Awesome Aero)
  4. 4029 (Good sidebar)
  5. 3718 (Plex)
  6. 5048
  7. 4042
  8. 5840
  9. 5112 (Aero is a pain to enable)
  10. 4093 (A bit interesting)
  11. 4084 (Worst build ever)

Windows 7

  1. 6956 (interesting UI)
  2. RTM
  3. 7264 E (E is good)
  4. 7000 (Stable)
  5. 6801 (Vista-ish)

Windows XP Family

  1. SP3
  2. 2462 (Localized in many languages)
  3. FLP
  4. 2419 (Watercolor theme)
  5. 2223 (Business theme)
  6. Starter (Terrible)
  7. 2202

Build Notes

Windows Build Stability Activation VMware Compatibility VMware Tools? Rating Notes
Windows 7
Windows 7 build 6956 Stable Yes (script) Yes; Supports Aero Requires XP version; breaks Aero Excellent Has interesting UI features absent in later builds, 1st to include the "betta" fish wallpaper.

Activation can somehow break Windows Defender and invalidate its signature.

Windows 7 build 7264 Near-RTM Stability Yes (RTM methods) Yes; Supports Aero No Excellent The only build to feature the E SKU.

Windows Update works to an extent providing Windows Defender security updates.

Windows Vista
Windows Vista build 5048 Very Stable Yes Yes (needs at least 2 CPU cores to have a fluid Aero experience) No (Installer breaks) Excellent Very nice build, small in size and lightweight on hardware (excluding Aero), has some bugs.
Windows Vista build 5112 Depends on hardware Yes Aero is unsupported No Okay Introduces some major changes to the OS and doesn't support Aero except on LDDM-compatible drivers.
Windows Vista build 5259.3 Depends on hardware No 7.1.x range required to enable Aero No Very Good Aero is very interesting in this build + Cool-looking start menu.
Windows XP Family
Windows FLP Lightweight and Stable Not Needed Yes, to an extent Yes Very Good Light and fast, although it lacks most XP accessories.
Windows XP Starter Stable Untested Yes, at the level of XP Home Yes Terrible Worst OS ever, limits everything you do and doesn't even respond to

NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM requests.

Installing VMware Tools on Longhorn

  • You can either use this package (Tools v14), or manually install it yourself.
  • To install (skip steps 2-3 & 7-8 if you are using the above package):
  1. Be sure to de-timebomb and remove the activation, or else the timebomb will explode after the installation.
  2. Insert the Windows XP tools iso and start the setup.
  3. Ignore any error messages that may appear, and instead do not click OK and go to %TEMP%.
  4. Find the VMware Tools temporary install folder and copy it to somewhere else, and click Ok for the setup itself after this.
  5. Set the Windows XP Compatibility to vcredist_x86.exe and install it.
  6. If your Windows Installer version is >=3.1 then skip this step, else set again the Windows XP Compatibility to instmsiw.exe and install it.
  7. Download and install Application Verifier.
  8. Open up the verifier, add the file C:\Windows\system32\msiexec.exe, and enable the Compatibility --> HighVersionLie using the values of Major Version = 5; Minor Version = 1; Build Number = 2600; Service Pack Major = 2; Service Pack Minor = 2
  9. Install the msi package of VMware tools (VMwareTools.msi), and follow along the installation.
Note: It is recommended to install all the drivers manually to prevent any BSoD by manually extracting the entire package using msiexec.exe /a on the package. Be sure to only install the toolbox after this step.
Some features may not work as intended. Tested on 3718, 4042, and 4074.