Re: New HP with Vista.... Switch to XP?
Any distro installed goes on a completely different VFat type of root partition with a second reserved for a swap(virtual memory) seen with the larger ones. You have to configure the Grub or Lilo boot loader's own cofiguration adding in Vista into that. Plus one entry into the Vista mbr. There are different ways for configuring a Windows/Linux dual boot.
With Vista once you remove a dsitro and even the one or two partitions for that you simply boot from the Vista installation disk and go into the options seen in a second screen after clicking the button at the bottom of the install now splash screen first seen.
Instead of a recovery console Vista now replaces that with an automatic startup repair tool that will rewrite the boot information if there's any problems seen after Linux is removed. With XP you boot with the cd to the recovery console and enter the Fixboot and Fixmbr commands to see that done.