My new build POSTS, but when trying to install Windows Vista from the optical drive, it stops during the installation. It says that it can't recognize my hard disks, even though they are recognized in BIOS. It says "Windows is unable to find a system volume that meets its criteria for installation." I've tried switching it to AHCI, to no avail. What the heck is going on??? I can't install Windows so I can install all the drivers, and I can't install the drivers without installing Windows. HUH???
Beta users have noted that you have to change your BIOS to have the hard disk drive as the _first_ boot device. Use the boot menu to boot from optical disc, or, it should just fail right over to optical if the drive is blank (no partitions marked active). This behavior was noted to carry to the "final" release.
If that doesn't work, create a bootable partition, format it, mark it active, kill the installer (reset), and it should be okay from there.
The below is a matter of my opinion, do with it what you want. I won't argue about it.
If you want to play games, do yourself a favor and use Windows XP until Vista approaches production quality. This will probably take a couple of years, as it normally does for Mister Softee products. I haven't used Vista at all, so I can't verify these claims myself, but a few people at work have tried it and claim that it puts substantial load on the machine even with only the desktop running (try using the simplest window manager instead?). There are notes throughout the web that games on Vista perform worse than with Windows XP. If you do want to use Vista, try setting the performance knob from "let Windows decide" to "Optimize for best performance." That is if MSFT has kept the control panels the same (properties on "my computer").
If you want to continue with Vista, good luck, and I hope you have a good experience. I think a lot of folks everywhere agree that keeping DX10 from XP (pure marketing strategy of course) was a bad move. Much like the creation of the universe