Vista Build 5342 Today!

As lame as this may sound, we knew about it first. To days ago to be exact.. But our host had given us the boot, and we couldn’t tell you that we would be getting a midnight build come Friday….  But that is OK, because NeoSmart Technologies has more than a mere build number and date. We have what’s coming in this build, what’s new, what’s fixed, what’s removed, and what’s buggy.

Not everything below will be in 5342, but most will. Items marked with a "*" will in all likelihood be released later on down the line.

NeoSmart Technologies also brings you an exclusive with some of the more annoying bugs that have been fixed in this build, as well as some bugs that have made a comeback.. It will be updated as new info comes in up until the release of 5342

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What’s New
We had a sneaky suspicion all along that Build 5308 (aka the half-done-code-complete-feb-ctp) was not code complete, and a couple of features missing. However, MS said it was code complete, so like everyone else, we figured what wasn’t there would never be there.. But, good news, with the delay till 2007 come some new features and utilities to enjoy!

  • The real Aero Glass. Till now what we have seen is Aero Express and Aero Express w/ Transparency. But That’s not Aero, not at all. Expect to see fully scalable vector based transparencies that take advantage of pixel shading…. and actually show us what DX10 can do!*
  • Aero Express will have a new transparent PNG layer instead of that nasty grey… which means that all you VMware and VPC users can experience what we’ve had all along.. and its no longer uglier than XP’s Luna.*
  • Home Basic users will not have advantage of the sleek transparent 32-bit PNGs, instead they get the opaque "glass" that was Aero Express till now…
  • The "Vista Flare" effect. At the moment not many details are available, but we suspect it is a form of Aurora in the preview bar.. more on that below.
  • A real Gadgets gallery.
  • Support for Pocket PC 2000, 2002, and 2003 synchronization.
  • A complete firewall shell that will replace any need for third party applications.. A good thing too seeing as Symantec razed Sygate to the ground, and the Sygate 5.6 doesn’t run on Vista..
  • Some real tight wallpapers
  • More cool 3d (DX10?) screensavers.*
  • Some XP screensavers running on Vista.
  • Movable toolbars in IE7.
  • Green shaded address bar in IE when visiting SSL secured sites.

What’s Fixed
There are thousands of bugs that have been fixed, but here are those that matter most:

  • All desktop icons will be there. This includes the previously MIA Network and Documents folders.
  • The infamous "taskbar hover" glitch wherein a tooltip hides behind the taskbar at times, and in 5308, always.
  • Icons. Enough said, it includes SVGs, malformed (maldrawn??) and incorrect icons.
  • Outlook Express (aka Windows Mail) synchronization with NNTP servers: faster and more reliable.
  • Networking (especially in workgroups) has been debugged, works faster and more reliably, and is sees/is seen by XP and 2k perfectly..
  • Timezones.. All the various issues should be now fixed.
  • Aurora should be less processor intensive and a bit brighter.
  • Switching/setting keyboard layouts. So far it has been vastly improved in 5308, this build should see some of the finer bugs/kinks worked out.
  • Taskbar auto-hide.
  • Taskbar does not reappear.
  • Networking center, its icons, links, settings, and more.
  • Explorer.exe memory drain….

What’s Back
Nothing is perfect in life: there are a couple of bugs that have unfortunately returned, mostly in IE7

  • IE7 auto-complete glitches where auto-complete "forgets" entries.
  • IE7 encoding auto-selector may be once more broken.
  • IE7 memory usage may be on the higher end once more…

and that’s 5342 in brief…. Remember, it has not been released yet, this info is what we have permission to post, not necessarily all we have been informed of, and definitely not guaranteed to be true. All information on this page was legally obtained, Microsoft Corporation ears no responsibility for the contents of this page, nor does NeoSmart Technologies guarantee its accuracy. As soon as 5342 is publicly available we will dissect it and let you have the dirty details. Till then, pass this link on!

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  • 30 thoughts on “Vista Build 5342 Today!

    1. Good info to read, any screenshots? You also might like to know that you’ve called this build 5234 twice in this article, although you got the title correct.

    2. "But, good news, with the delay till 2007 come some new features and utilities to enjoy! "  Huh? Vista was feature-complete by January. MS isn’t adding features.  With every feature there is more testing.  The delay was because of quality issues concerning security and usability.  Adding more features would require more time because these additions would produce more bugs and could possibly break existing code. I don’t really believe much of what’s on that list of "What’s new", other than the wallpapers and the screensavers which are obvious down the line. What’s not real about AERO Glass now? It’s transparent and serves its purpose.  If there’s this so called more powerful AERO Glass…why have we only been testing "AERO Express" and "AERO Express w/transparency"?  Why wait until now to test this ultra powerful AERO Glass?  Doesn’t make sense.  However, I do believe that MS will do something to AERO Express (or classic, whatever it’s called).  That grey theme is UGLY.  XP’s themes are way better looking, and given the amount of feedback on the ugliness of that theme, I’d say MS is looking for a better alternatives.

    3. I have no idea why they would release a different version of Glass now… Nor do I necessarily agree with their strategy.

      I’m not a fanboy. For the last week I have been using Linux only.. Once 5342 downloads, I’ll install it and go from there….

      I can only assume that MS’ Windws development division is seeing a shuffling of managers and product team leaders with every build, and it seems that till now they are all as lost and missing *something* from the general picture… Let’s hope that changes ASAP or Vista won’t see daylight till the next olympics! 

    4. so how did they achieve the blurring effect when we, as you said in your post, only have seen the transparent version of aero glass until now?!

    5. Hi GRiNSER..

      Yeah, I guess the better word for it is translucent. I cut and paste from the email my source gave me. At the same time though, what we have seen thus far is a blur effect via usage of 8-bit PNG’s with a thin masking layer.
      The switch to hardware pixel shading means faster results, random seeds for the pattern, better simulation sf what lies beneath, compatibility with OpenGL and DX applications (no more "invisble text effect" in MSN Messenger for example), and a reduced need to disable DWM as often in order to play a game or enjoy a movie..


    6. Well Im no tester but i know quite a bit, i torrented this build and got it working very good actually, with a bit of stress, registry changes and some crashes i managed to get it up and running good enought o be my permanent OS (not that i was really going to keep it though) then all of a sudden without warning, folders stopped opening, icons stopped working completely, and programs wouldnt start anymore, thing took 10 minutes just to turn off, after some further headache of trying to fix it with no luck whatsoever, i formatted the drive and will wait fo the next build

    7. Hey, same here!
      It worked great until yesterday, and it felt like a real OS, then all of a sudden and without warning it lost all network access….. What’s a PC without the Internet?

    8. ***UPDATE*** I couldn’t help myself …i tried it again, and got through an entire week of playing with vista as a permanent OS… I even played with all the features and watched a movie on media center with my wife one night.. tonight i got home from work …plugged in the lappy…bootted up…and everything seemed normal..I waited for all the drivers to load (ATI drivers are causing a slow startup)..Then………Folders wouldnt open, programs wouldnt start, or in some cases, "finish",  Everything started to lag… restarted…hold on a minute…its still happening. I wish they would hurry with that next CTP, i dont wanna reinstall xp again then get the ctp and erase it So i got a good week out of it, then like a virus had taken over it just stopped functioning… I wish i was a real beta tester with knowledge on a possible way to address this issue. Ohh well 

    9. Sorry vanzz, it’s worth more than I can afford to tell you that.. πŸ™

      @Mr Burns: That sounds more than a bit familiar πŸ™‚

      OK. Check the task manager details, is crss.exe taking up a hell of a lot of resources?

      Or is it explorer.exe? 

    10. I have tried a fresh install of this version and an upgrade to XP SP2 and in both cases, after the OS install finishes and it tries to reboot, It gets thru bios then goes to blank black screen.  Monitor doesn’t shutdown, it stays active like there is something there to see but everything is blank.

    11. sorry for leaving this post down here at the bottom where it seems out of context, but for what those guys were saying about aero glass, we have been seeing a version based on the same kind of drwing structure that xp uses which sends bitmaps to the graphics card, the new or "real" version is the kind that sends vectors to the graphics card, the result is quicker refreshes, text smoothing to the extreem, smooth antialiased circles, and other cool benefits, this is what makes mac os look so much cleaner than xp in terms of small images and window borders and gradients and such,mac os it is called quartz, in vista it is called aero "glass" but in an unrealted topic,microsoft got rid of aero glass, and shortened the name to aero, it has not been called aero glass since it was still longhorn

    12. I couldn’t have said it better myself, thanks Stalker.
      On a side note, I never knew that the "Glass" part of the name was officially dropped, thanks for clearing that up, I thought it was just to bulky a mouthful Tongue out

    13. I installed it, it keeps crashing with the famous blue screen when i play a video on media player, really desappointed

    14. im from jamaica i have the windows vista 5342 x86 build installed its iight but i need a product key to activate it ive installed it three time now an im gettin annoyed well a mean a just need your help please i cant call microsoft even if i wnted to get the key please post to my email address

    15. I did a fix, if you need can get it here:
      “ fix.exe”

      To run it you also need the VB6 runtime,
      can be found on

      There could be some odd behavior with windows that was already opened while running the fix, so reopening them will help.

      p.s.: The fix applies HWND_TOPMOST to all windows where “ToolTip” found in it’s classname.

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