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Old 07-30-2008, 03:33 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a Vista Laptop

While you are waiting, why don't go to Best Buy and talk to them about what they have to offer?
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Old 07-30-2008, 03:46 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Buying a Vista Laptop

Ok, here's the facts. I have a Vista laptop from HP (HP Pavilion dv9700t). I got mine direct, but any way you get it should be the same. You will NOT get any Vista backup media. HP only gives you a lame recovery partition on your hard drive. So, instead, you create your own DVD's. HP includes a program on the hard drive that will burn ready-to-use recovery DVD's. Just open the program, insert a blank DVD, repeat for 3 DVD's, and label them as recovery DVD's and store them in a safe location.

Now, if you want to DUAL-BOOT (keep Vista but also get XP, my preferred method), you should use a partition editor (I used Linux GParted) and resize your Vista partition (The free space left after resizing will be used for your XP partition). You can also delete your recovery partition now, as it is no longer needed if you burn DVD's.

Now, regardless of whether you're dual-booting or just flat out erasing Vista, you'll need to customize an XP install CD. The reason is that the normal XP CD DOES NOT HAVE SATA (hard drive) DRIVERS FOR HP'S NEW LAPTOPS. This is the tough part, and I was trying to load stuff from a floppy drive all last night but it just kept on failing. The easiest way is to use nLite to customize a Windows XP install CD with the right drivers. Depending on your model, you'll have to look around to find these SATA/RAID drivers. Burn your new installation disc, stick it in, format your partition (if you're just erasing, you can erase your Vista partition here and also delete your recovery partition, otherwise, if you're dual booting, pick the unpartitioned free space and format that as NTFS).

Now you should have it installed. It should boot into XP, finish installing, and then you'll have your Desktop. Now, you'll want to install drivers. However, you'll need another PC for this, because neither the WiFi card nor the Ethernet card are supported by XP directly, so you'll need to download drivers. I found that looking for "dv9700t CTO" instead of "dv9700t" found me more Windows XP drivers on HP's page. A quick Google search turned up plenty of driver lists for mine, some being on HP's site and others from manufacturers' (ie Intel, Realtek, nVidia, etc) sites. Install the drivers and restart as necessary. Now your PC is running XP.

If you're dual-booting, you'll want to get a copy of the Vista Recovery CD (it's a reduced version of the Vista Install CD that has the Recovery Console in it). You can use this to fix Vista's bootloader. After the bootloader is working, you can boot back into Vista (not XP, it's not bootable at this point). Here, go to your C: (Vista) drive and enable showing hidden and protected OS files. You'll see "boot.ini", "ntldr", and "ntdetect.com", these are XP's boot loader files. Select all three and copy them, then paste them in your D: drive (or whatever drive is your XP drive, mine was F: because it had D: as the CD drive). Now XP is again bootable from its own partition.

Now, you can use EasyBCD to configure Vista's bootloader to have an option for XP. It's pretty simple and there are guides out there. If you want, you can also use Linux's GRUB bootloader and triple boot (what I'm doing) Vista, XP, and a version of Linux (Ubuntu 8.04 in my case). Either way, the bootloader (GRUB or Vista's BCD) will give you a menu with Vista, XP, and possibly Linux entries, you pick which one you want to boot and it loads that OS. All OS'es are independent from each other, but you can access files stored on any of the partitions (access your music that you have in Vista from XP for example).

-----------------------------------------

OK, having said that, I do think you should give Vista a try. That's why I recommend dual-booting. I for one will tell you that people saying games run better in XP is a total and complete lie. I just did my own little test. I set up Gmod in both XP and Vista, with same settings, on the same map. Without even turning the FPS counter on, I notice a significant performance boost in Vista, it just runs smoother. Not sure why, but it does run smoother and I'd much rather keep playing in Vista than switch to XP. XP is great for compatibility, that's why I'm keeping it, but for performance, I personally think Vista does a better job (plus I have the 64 bit Vista and the 32 bit XP, so Vista supports my hardware better).
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Old 07-30-2008, 03:53 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a Vista Laptop

Guide like Calc just said (but with pictures): http://apcmag.com/how_to_dual_boot_v...step_guide.htm
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Old 07-30-2008, 04:04 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a Vista Laptop

Before you go to all of the hastle of uninstalling everything Vista and buying XP, you should give Vista a try.

Vista got a bad rap from businesses that were trying to run software that wasn't compatible with Vista. However, for most personal users it runs just fine. It's also got some pretty cool stuff that XP hasn't got.
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Old 07-30-2008, 04:08 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default

I also wanted to mention that just because you have an XP Pro disk does not mean that you will be able to use that OS on your new laptop. If that XP Pro software is running on another machine (i.e., it has already been installed somewhere), Microsoft will prevent you from installing it on another machine since the software has only been licensed for one machine.

By the way, I have a couple of laptops running Vista. One only has .5G of RAM and it is pretty slow, so I may upgrade the RAM. The other has 2G of RAM and works well. I have had no problems with Vista in terms of bugs or anything like that.
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Old 07-30-2008, 06:01 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a Vista Laptop

Quote:
Originally Posted by coloradorunner View Post
Before you go to all of the hastle of uninstalling everything Vista and buying XP, you should give Vista a try.

Vista got a bad rap from businesses that were trying to run software that wasn't compatible with Vista. However, for most personal users it runs just fine. It's also got some pretty cool stuff that XP hasn't got.
At least somebody else in the thread agrees with my previous post .

Quote:
Originally Posted by NetCablesPlus View Post
By the way, I have a couple of laptops running Vista. One only has .5G of RAM and it is pretty slow, so I may upgrade the RAM. The other has 2G of RAM and works well. I have had no problems with Vista in terms of bugs or anything like that.
2GB is recommended for Vista to run smoothly. We have a machine here at where I work that has Vista on it (nothing really gets ran on it except for a web browser to display an online catalog for people to look at), and it only has 512MB RAM, and a low-end single core CPU...man, that thing is sluggish.
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:54 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a Vista Laptop

I agree you should give vista a try. I have been running Vista Ultimate for several months and you couldn't make me go back to xp.
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:10 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a Vista Laptop

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Originally Posted by cyclones View Post
Wow. Thank you for all the quick responses. My mom and I already agreed that I would be getting a laptop for christmas, so within the 4 months I will have one. Do you think that will still be enough time to still have Windows Xp? So is what I will have to do is purchase a laptop and then have to uninstall vista and then install win xp pro and then download the drivers for it, correct? Also, will Best Buy actually give me a Vista disc or what? I heard some people say that they will give you a reinstall disc, but not the actual disc? Do I have to ask them before purchasing the laptop if I can get the vista disc, or will they make me buy a retail copy of it?

Let me know please.

Thanks!
Cyclones,

As i said in post 3 XP is no logner for sale by manufacturers. That stopped July 1, 2008. So you will only be able to get Vista and if you really want XP you should buy it now. Cause Retail sales of that might stop before XMas as well.

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Old 07-31-2008, 02:57 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a Vista Laptop

Quote:
Originally Posted by carnageX View Post
At least somebody else in the thread agrees with my previous post .

2GB is recommended for Vista to run smoothly. We have a machine here at where I work that has Vista on it (nothing really gets ran on it except for a web browser to display an online catalog for people to look at), and it only has 512MB RAM, and a low-end single core CPU...man, that thing is sluggish.
I would like to upgrade my .5G laptop running Vista (it's an Acer.) Any idea on what a ballpark cost would be to do this?
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Old 07-31-2008, 07:15 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Buying a Vista Laptop

What kind of RAM do you have? What model is the laptop, I can look it up that way if you don't know.
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