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Microsoft Windows Vista Frequently Asked Questions

Information Technology provides support for Microsoft Windows Vista on University owned computers. Due to software and licensing constraints, IT can only provide support for Windows Vista Business and Ultimate Editions purchased and installed by the manufacturer. IT plans to expand this support to allow Vista Enterprise upgrades on qualified machines via the Campus Agreement in the first quarter of 2008.

What version of Windows Vista should I get for my University owned computer?

Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate are the only versions of Vista that will connect to the UW network, and therefore, the only versions of Windows Vista that are supported by IT.  Other versions of Vista are not suitable for use on University owned computers.

Should I upgrade my computer to Windows Vista?

At this time, there are no significant advantages to using Windows Vista over Windows XP Professional.

Do PeopleSoft or other administrative applications run on Windows Vista?

PeopleSoft applications are not compatible or supported in Windows Vista at this time. See the UW Vista Support page ( for current software compatibility lists.

How do I install my software if I receive an error message when I click on a file to install it?

In Windows Vista, it is necessary to right-click the application or executable file you want to run, and click Run as Administrator

What is UAC, and how does it work?

User Account Control (UAC) is a security technology built into Windows Vista.  It aims to improve the security of the operating system by limiting applications to standard user privileges until an administrator authorizes an increase in privilege level.  This allows only applications that the user trusts to receive higher privileges, and malware is kept from receiving the privileges necessary to compromise the operating system.  In other words, with UAC a user may have administrator privileges, but an application that the user runs does not, unless it is approved beforehand or the user explicitly authorizes it to have higher privileges.

Should I use BitLocker drive encryption that is available with my version of Windows Vista?

BitLocker is included in some versions of Windows Vista and is used to encrypt your entire hard drive requiring a password and key to access it.  Currently, Information Technology recommends against using BitLocker due to the fact that the hard drive is completely unreadable if the key is lost, and there is no way to recover it. 

IT is working to implement system utilities that will provide a backup for lost keys.

Reviewed: 1107 By: CD, JM

Additional help with the installation and configuration of
UW-supported software is available:
Contact the IT Help Desk at 766-HELP (4357), option 1
Contact the IT Help Desk at 766-HELP (4357), option 1
Come to the student computer lab in the lobby of the
Information Technology Center.

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