Thanks for the suggestion, Ztruker! I saw another post of yours in which you mentioned doing this, but what you were referring to didn't register in my head until now. I've been thinking of installing VMware on my Windows 7 PC (instead of Microsoft's XP Mode software) so that I could run XP as a VM, but it never occurred to me that I could do the same thing with Vista because I don't have any use for Vista on my PC. But doing this as a test procedure would be an ideal way to make sure that my mother won't have any issues with the Vista installation DVD when I send it to her. How much free space should I have on my C drive to do this? I currently have 38 GB free out of 86 GB total, but I could expand my C drive by an additional 10-15 GB if need be. In fact, I was thinking of doing this as well to make sure I have enough breathing room.
The MD5 (not MDS) is the check-sum value of the ISO. If you run a program against the ISO that generates check-sum values, including MD5 then you can compare the results. If the same then you know the ISO file is identical to the one on the web site, no corruption.
All you need to do is burn the ISO to a DVD using a program like Imgburn, or better yet, create a flash drive to install from. I use a program called Rufus to create bootable flash drives, but all you really need to do is format the flash drive as FAT32 then copy the contents of the ISO to the flash drive.