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Windows Vista Security: Praxisorientierte Sicherheit für Profis by Marcus Nasarek

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Chapter 1: Getting Started with Windows Vista
Unlike with Windows XP, you can easily change your computer’s product key with
Windows Vista. You may need to change your product key to comply with your
license agreement. For example, you may already have a computer running on your
network with the current single-computer product key. In the System console, click
“Change product key” under Windows Activation. In the Windows Activation win-
dow, shown in Figure 1-4, enter the product key. You do not need to enter the
dashes in the product key. When you click Next, the product key will be validated.
You’ll then need to reactivate Windows Vista over the Internet.
Working with Windows Vista
From startup to shutdown, Windows Vista is different from its predecessors—and
these differences go far beyond the gadgets and other gizmos in Windows Vista’s
highly designed interface that I discuss in Chapter 2. If you want to truly know how
Windows Vista works and what makes it tick, you need to dig under the hood.
Windows Vista is the first truly hardware-independent version of Windows. Unlike
earlier releases of Windows, Windows Vista doesn’t boot from an initialization file.
Instead, the operating system uses the Windows Boot Manager to initialize and start
the operating system. The Boot Manager is a key component of Windows Vista’s
Figure 1-3. Viewing the computer’s basic information
Working with Windows Vista
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extensive boot environment. You’ll learn all about the Boot Manager and the boot
environment in Chapter 23; here’s what you need to know right now:
The boot environment dramatically changes the way the operating system starts.
Microsoft created the boot environment to resolve several prickly problems
related to boot integrity, operating system integrity, and firmware abstraction.
The boot environment is loaded prior to the operating system, making it a pre-
operating system environment. As such, you can use the boot environment to
validate the integrity of the startup process and the operating system itself before
actually starting the operating system.
The boot environment is created as an extensible abstraction layer that allows
the operating system to work with multiple types of firmware interfaces without
requiring the operating system to be specifically written to work with these firm-
ware interfaces. Rather than updating the operating system each time a new
firmware interface is developed, the firmware interface developers can use the
standard programming interfaces of the boot environment to allow the operat-
ing system to communicate as necessary through the firmware interfaces.
Currently, Basic Input Output System (BIOS) and Extensible Firmware Interface
(EFI) are the two prevalent firmware interfaces for computers. Firmware interface
abstraction makes it possible for Windows Vista to work with BIOS-based and EFI-
based computers in exactly the same way, and this is one of the primary reasons why
Windows Vista achieves hardware independence.
Figure 1-4. Changing your product key

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