Windows Vista build 5098

Build of Windows Vista
OS family
Timebomb2006-09-30 (+459 days)
Works in
TCB.png TCBGallery.png

Windows Vista build 5098 is a build of Windows Vista, and is one of the last builds compiled before the Beta 1 stage. By this point, Microsoft implemented a substantial amount of features originally planned for Windows "Longhorn", thus ending the Omega-13 milestone. This build is also one of the last builds that fully identifies itself as "Longhorn".

Before it was shared, Paul Thurrott used screenshots of this build in his review of Windows Vista Beta 1,[1] and UX.Unleaked also has a few images of it available.[2] On 23 January 2020, this build was listed on a thread by UX.Unleaked founder Grabberslasher to be released to the BetaArchive FTP, and was later released in the fourth set of his 33 Longhorn/Vista builds on 27 January 2020, along with build 4081.[3]

Setup[edit | edit source]

Setup has received many major uplifts. A new "Windows is loading files" screen now appears upon booting into setup, and the overall theme has been changed drastically to a more bluish-like style. Upon reaching the beginning of setup, an autorun prompt will appear with the options of either installing Windows, repairing a Windows installation, or reading the release notes. Upon installing Windows, the user is greeted with a familiar but slightly altered layout, alongside the new theme. A new upgrade page has also been added if booted off of the disc, however it isn't functional since it isn't possible to upgrade without being inside Windows at this current stage. The review and adjust page has been cut down massively, and is now referred to as the "your installation settings" page. The second stage is identical to the pre-reset hardware setup screen, with the wallpaper replaced and text strings cut down.

New features and changes[edit | edit source]

  • A shutdown timer, similar to that found in Windows Longhorn build 4093, has been added.
  • Windows XP screensaver is replaced with Windows® screensaver and now shows the Windows Longhorn flag instead of the former.
  • Although Outlook Express reports itself as version 6, it contains a few new features that aren't found in the RTM of Outlook Express 6, such as a new search bar.
  • Image Mastering API 2.0 has been implemented.
  • Castle service has been implemented.
  • This build updates the copyright date in winver.exe from 1985-2003 to just 2005 and in the Command Prompt to 1985-2005. This persists up to Windows Vista builds 5284 and 5310 in winver and Windows Vista build 5456 in Command Prompt.
  • This build changes from "Version 2003" to "Version 2005" in the System Properties Control Panel applet.
  • "TPM WMI Provider" (Win32_Tpm.dll) has been added, suggesting that this could be the first build of Windows Vista to support TPM.
  • 3D Pinball Space Cadet has been removed in this build.
  • This is the earliest known build in which a user's documents and settings are now stored in a Users folder as opposed to Documents and Settings
  • A Disk Failure Resolver has been added alerting the user if a problem with their hard disk has been detected.

Internet Explorer[edit | edit source]

This is the earliest available build of Windows Vista to contain a beta build of Internet Explorer 7. Although the icon used in certain builds of IE 7 was found as early as Windows Server 2008 build 4066, IE itself was still a build of IE 6.

This build of IE 7 already contains many new features and changes, including:

  • Tabs
  • The new icon replacing most areas with the old IE 6 icon (though not all areas) and many more new icons
  • New loading animation
  • Updated search engine and menu bar content.

Games Explorer[edit | edit source]

This is the first post-reset build of Windows Vista to introduce Games Explorer (first known as Games Center in pre-reset builds of Longhorn).

User Interface[edit | edit source]

Title bar comparison, 5048 - left, 5098 - right

In comparison with build 5048, this build was a much more significant advancement with regards to introducing new user interface features:

  • This build updated the Windows Aero theme, making it look very similar to the RTM version. DWM would only initiate with LDDM drivers, requiring the use of physical hardware with a DirectX 9 capable graphics card that has LDDM driver support.
  • The Aero Basic theme has been updated, now showing more distinctive buttons, slightly different shading colors and slightly different font colors. The theme still has numerous differences when compared to the RTM version.
  • Icons are now larger and the Recycle Bin icon resembles that of the RTM.
  • The Luna theme has been removed in this build.
  • The login screen has been updated to use a similar style as setup. GINA has been replaced with Credential Providers.
  • Start menu shows the user picture again.

Activation of Aero[edit | edit source]

With a patched uxss.exe made by LucasB, it is possible to use DWM in hypervisors such as VMware. To activate Aero, you must replace the original uxss.exe with the patched one. Then navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft, create a new key called DWM, then create the following 4 DWORDs inside the key:

Key Values
EnableMachineCheck 1 - enabling machine check, which disallows the possibility of using XPDM drivers

0 - disables machine check

ForceSoftwareD3D 1 - forces software rendering

0 - use hardware rendering

Glass 1 - transparent titlebars

0 - disables glass effects

Blur 1 - enables blur effect

0 - disables blur effect, useful if ForceSoftwareD3D is enabled



1 - squished Vista-like buttons

0 - normal buttons


(optional, use at your own risk!)

0 or 100 (decimal) - normal scaling

any decimal value in range of 1 to 99 - downscaling percentage of windows

any decimal value more than 100 - upscaling percentage of windows

After making these changes, log out then log back on to initialize DWM. If DWM still doesn't start automatically, kill uxss.exe process.

Add Printer Wizard[edit | edit source]

  • Wizard no longer shows the "Welcome to Add Printer Wizard" page after launching it.
  • You can now enter location and comment properties for the printer to share.

New Control Panel Applets[edit | edit source]

  • Auxiliary Display (later known as Windows SideShow)
  • Windows Parental Controls (re-added from pre-reset Longhorn builds)
  • Solutions to Problems

Windows Help and Support[edit | edit source]

  • A homepage button and an ask button have been added to the toolbar.
  • Guided help has been added.

SafeDocs[edit | edit source]

This build is the first to include SafeDocs, which will later be known as Windows Backup (it's also mentioned as Windows Backup (BETA) in various places such as Start Menu).

32-bit EFI support[edit | edit source]

  • winldfw.efi and winnvram.efi were added for EFI booting. To use it, partition the hard drive as MBR, with a FAT32 C: partition for EFI boot, and a NTFS D: partition for Windows, both primary partitions, and install the build in BIOS mode to D: as normal. After that, switch to EFI mode, and execute fs0:\boot\winnvram.efi fs0:\boot\winldfw.efi blk2:\WINDOWS\ "Windows Longhorn" "/NOEXECUTE=OPTIN" in an EFI shell to create a boot entry in the EFI boot manager, then try to boot into it.[4] If it fails, you may need to change the blk2: identifier to point to your Windows install.

Bugs and quirks[edit | edit source]

Installation[edit | edit source]

The build is not installable on a partition formatted using setup without restarting due to the hard drive "unavailable" bug.

Windows Media Player[edit | edit source]

Windows Media Player will crash upon exiting during its first startup.

File Explorer[edit | edit source]

Computer folder in File Explorer may sometimes not display the list of drives. Refreshing the folder usually fixes the problem.

Taskbar tab position bug[edit | edit source]

Taskbar tabs appear squished and aligned right-to-left (instead of the opposite) when Aero with glass effect is enabled.

DWM rendering[edit | edit source]

On some configurations with patched uxss.exe, when ForceSoftwareD3D value is set to 0, the screen freezes (except for the cursor), until DWM is disabled, even if hardware acceleration is set to full. Along with that, if glass effects are enabled, there would be artifacts on non-Explorer window borders.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Control Panel[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]