I thought I'd share two random tips for those who are either trying to install Vista or install .NET Framework 3.5. 1) If you're trying to install Vista, if you have more than 3GB of RAM installed--32-bit and 64-bit alike--your installation will fail with a BSOD. Microsoft has patched this with KB929777: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929777 Obviously, though, one cannot install a patch without having Windows installed first, so the workaround is to remove your RAM sticks so that it can be installed. I want to point out that the "workaround" states that you should be able to reinstall the RAM after the installation process is complete, implying that the patch is unnecessary. That was not true for me. The patch is very much necessary, even after installation. It will still BSOD if you have more than 3GB of RAM installed after installation is complete. The other quirk is that Microsoft has decided to have some updates that don't show up in Windows Update. KB929777 is one of those updates, so make sure to download it separately and install it. 2) That leads me to the second necessary update--and another one that Microsoft has decided to omit from Windows Update. For those trying to install .NET Framework 3.5--which is required for Visual Studio 2008 Express--a quick search will reveal a plethora of people who are complaining about failed installation routines. I tried several of the suggested workarounds, which all failed completely. However, I have discovered that it is related to a bug in WUSA.exe, which is patched in KB929761: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929761 In other words, the installer package itself for .NET Framework 3.5 fails, because of this otherwise unpatched bug--which, again, does not show up in Windows Update. After installing this patch, .NET Framework 3.5 not only installed perfectly, but did so in record time. Note that this does not eliminate the other major known installer bug, which is that the installer triggers a Windows Update "reboot" prompt during the installation that, if clicked, can really mess up your system, as it reboots while .NET Framework 3.5 is still trying to install itself. The solution is to ignore the prompt completely or click "Postpone." Hope someone finds these tips to be useful. The .NET Framework tip, I think, might be very handy for a lot of people.