My buddy purchased a Zune a couple days ago and learned it didn’t work with his Windows Vista. He did figure out how to run the Zune on Windows Vista. A little digging around he came up with the following article, thought to pass it along.
Before you start be sure you have the Zune CD, WinRAR (if you don’t have it, grab a trial version) and a this Zune.msi install patch (here *requires log-in on forum).
There are 10 steps to this process and please don’t plug in your Zune until prompted to by the Zune software.
Instructions: 1) Create a directory on your desktop called “Zune.” You can delete this at the end, it’s a temporary storage area.
2) Copy the “zunevista.exe” file you downloaded from above to this new directory.
3) Put your Zune CD in the CD drive. In the “Packages\ZUNE” directory on the CD, you’ll find a file called “Zune-x86-ENU.exe. Copy that to the folder you just created.”
4) This bit is why you need WinRAR. Right click the file you’ve just copied, and select “Extract Here.”
5) You now have “Zune.msi” You can now delete “Zune-x86-ENU.exe.”
6) Now we’re going to patch the .msi to install on Vista using the patch. Double click “zunevista.exe.” You’ll get prompted by Windows to allow the application to run. Allow it to run.
7) Once completed you now have a Vista friendly zune.msi. You can delete zunevista.exe now.
8) Click the “start orb” or press the windows key, and type “cmd” You’ll see the cmd application is selected, but don’t hit enter. Hit CTRL-SHIFT-ENTER instead. You’ll be instantly prompted for permission to run the application, indicating that it will be running with elevated permissions.
9) We need to run the .msi now. Type the following “C:\Users\Paul\Desktop\Zune\Zune.msi” obviously replacing the path as appropriate for your configuration.
You’ll now be led through the Zune setup. Just install as normal, and when the install is finished – reboot your machine. This is not an optional step, you MUST do this!
There is only one step left now, and that is to set the Zune software itself to run in XP Compatability mode. This is because MS have implemented an OS check in the software.
10) Click the “start orb” or press the windows key, and type “Zune” You’ll see the Zune application itself on the list – right click it, and select ‘Properties’. Select the “Compatability” tab and check “Run this program in compatability mode for” Click OK.
That’s it. If everything went right you can now see the Zune from your desktop and you can begin loading her up.So if you hesitant on buying a Zune or buying Windows Vista because the two didn’t play nice together, now you can!Source: Many thanks to my buddy Mike, who found this tutorial at MaDaCo