okay, that solves one issue. Can anyone else confirm that the process is the same for vista?
Save for the disabling driver signing part yes.
Not meaning any offense to the folks who put up guides in this thread as it was how I figured it out, but it's missing a step by step guide for vista specifically and it's a bit confusing to pick out the details among all the other info...so this is how I flashed my phone after a clean install of windows on my computer so it should be the same for any first time flash.
**Flashing Guide For Vista 32 bit**
-Upgrade to DC23 firmware from samsung for best compatibility with current roms
-Turn off phone
-Open Device Manager
-Plug in phone, the device manager screen will flash as it updates
-Expand the mobile devices category and right click Samsung MIT entry, will disappear again after a few seconds if you miss just unplug and plug phone back in
-Select Update Driver Software
-Select Browse my computer...
-Select Let me pick from a list...
-Click Have Disc
-Locate and select downloaded WceRndis.inf file
-Disconnect phone, click next and quickly reconnect phone
-Once finished installing disconnect device
-Right click the Octans .exe and open properties, switch to compatibility tab and check run in compatibility mode(with windows xp) and run as administrators
-Open Octans, check "Skip over wait for boot completely" "start download immediately" boxes, these options save time but are not necessary
-Click PDA and select .nbo file
-Click detect and plug phone in
-If battery icon appears on phone screen try connecting the phone again until the download dialogue appears in octans and screen on phone.
-If after several attempts it will still not work try switching to another USB port, removing and replacing the battery, or restarting the PC.