Upgrading Windows Vista to XP

I mentioned some months ago that I had to purchase Microsoft Vista, preinstalled on a laptop, against my better judgement. You can read about that experience here.

Recently, I had to give a presentation to about 50 climate scientists at UCAR in Boulder on my findings related to weather station placement, their measurements, and how it can impact climate change by creating an impression of a signal when it may be simply encroachment and bias. It was the most important presentation I was ever to give, so I left nothing to chance. That included leaving my Windows Vista based laptop at home, because I needed a backup in case their presentation system was also Vista based or Mac based. The presentation software I use is the same I used for live TV weather, and blows Powerpoint out of the water, but like many programs, it won’t run under Vista. So I took my older XP based laptop with me just in case I needed it.

Even though my older laptop has less features, less CPU speed, only one CPU core, 512MB RAM, slower IDE hard disk, it still ran circles around my Vista based laptop with dual core CPU, 2GB RAM, SATA drive, and better graphics. I had forgotten how I had begrudgingly slowed my own perceptions to match that of Vista.

For example, here are couple of benchmarks:

Creating new blank email in Outlook Express- Vista:20-30 seconds XP: less than 1 second

Fully booting up from power off- Vista 4-5 minutes XP: 1-1:30 minutes

Running Microsoft Office 2007- Vista won’t do spell check XP: with office 2003 ll works fine

Microsoft Frontpage 2003 crashes under Vista – Microsoft aware but offers no fix. Works on XP fine

Running programs- Vista: maybe, not likely if program more than 1 year old XP for certain

Background Processes – Vista: hundreds XP: dozens

and the list goes on and on…bear in mind the XP machine used to get those numbers above is older, slower, with less memory, and slower hard drive.

Yesterday, after quietly tolerating Vista’s slowness and incompatibility, I learned that Microsoft had pushed back the first Vista service pack release until the first quarter of 2008. Originally I’d heard of releases before Christmas, so that millions of people wouldn’t be disappointed in Vista’s lackluster performance. Learning that was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me.

So yesterday evening, I purchased a new SATA laptop drive for my new Vista laptop. I pulled out the old Vista drive after backing up a few files, and installed the new one. I installed a fresh copy of XP and then proceeded to try locating drivers. Not so easy, because Microsoft pushes hardware vendors to push Vista. For example, XP drivers for the nVidia Go 6150 graphics chip are mysteriously missing from key places. Fortunately tech blogs tracks and archive these things so with a little hunting I had all my drivers burned to a CD ready for install.

I have my once Vista enabled laptop now fully upgraded to a stable and functional operating system, Windows XP Professional. The Vista loaded drive will stay on the shelf until Microsoft pulls their head out of the sand and starts making an OS that isn’t crippled.

Take my advice: dump Vista, “upgrade” to XP…and do it soon, as Microsoft says (in yet another brilliant marketing move) that Windows XP will no longer be available after January. I predict there will be a last minute rush and hoarding of Win XP because Vista, to put it simply, just plain sucks.

And it’s not just my opinion. here’s another blog that was so frustrated by Vista that he posted a video telling why he dumped Vista and upgraded back to XP

Now if I can just get the ER to dump “Moveable Type” used to create this blog, we’ll really have something.

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18 thoughts on “Upgrading Windows Vista to XP

  1. Anthony:
    I have a Senior college professor (EE) friend who will not use a Microsoft product until after at least 2 service packs are issued. He is presently considering XP, and may not ever adopt Vista, as he has skipped lousy generations before. So, you are not alone in suffering the slings and arrows of a marketing firm which purports to sell a line of computer software, but often fails to deliver.

  2. I am seriously thinking about getting a Mac. I have to deal with the scads of Adobe software I have though (not cheap).

  3. In anticipation of buying a new laptop, I bought a laptop hard drive, replaced the extisting XP HD, and did a clean install of Ubuntu.
    I haven’t worked to get any Windows programs to run under Linux, but am finding that most things I need to do can be done without my old programs.
    I don’t plan to use Vista for quite a while.
    Any new laptop I buy will have 64 bit hardware and I plan to install a 64-bit version of Linux.
    Rumor has it that real time video works better when using 64 bit machines and software.

  4. Anthony:
    I can feel your pain. Last february I went to buy a new computer for my dad. Most desktop came with Vista so I got one. After a few days I wanted to throw it through the window (literaly).
    I finally gave up and return the computer to the store. At first they offered me to buy a windows XP version for about 700$ (more than what the computer cost me). Of course I said no question. Then I asked them if they still had computer that came with XP, which they did.
    So affraid have I been from Vista that I upgraded everyone in the familly so no one would have to put with Vista for the next five years.

  5. Vista is the absolute pinnacle of Microsoft bloatware philosophy gone insane. It is awful. XP is the last product I will ever purchase from Microsoft unless they completely reverse their approach to OS design.
    From now on I will be concentrating on OpenBSD.

  6. Anthony, your trouble could be Vista… or it could be the new laptop. My newest laptop is not even running Vista, and came with around a hundred installed services and doodads. It was awful.
    Supposedly it is all for ease of use and safety. What ever happened to KISS? 😉

  7. John – Mac is a good option (runs Windows too these days). As for Adobe – look into cross-grade options as many software vendors allow this.

  8. No Vista users here!
    I’m a gamer (FPS mostly) and Vista cuts the frame rates in half on almost all of them. And that’s on machine with a Striker Extreme, E6700, 2 Gb of Crucial Ballistix, and an 8800 GTS.
    If I wanted to run Vista, I’d have to go to at least an E6850, double the memory, and add another 8800.
    By the way, Anthony, where did you find the driver for the Go6150? I think the Go ForceWare 97.35 will work for you, unless you found a later, better, one.

  9. My Lenovo laptop came with Vista. I am putting up with it….but just barely. I especially hate the Vista defragger -the stupid tool provides little in the way of progress information or controls. Now I have Diskeeper pro 2k7 for the defrag operation, and it runs circles around Vista’s tool. Gives me all the options I need to run automatic defrags or manual defrags, with an excellent GUI and progress display.
    I think my Vista days are coming to an end. Plan to upgrade to XP next week. Even with a C2D 2.0GHz CPU and 1 GB RAM, Vista runs like a snail on this machine, but provides NO benefit over a good XP install.

  10. Anthony, one more thing:
    If you want to see some outstanding weather effects, play “S.T.A.L.K.E.R.” on a good machine

  11. Steven Mosher, it seems to me that an assumption that the instruments are measuring the same physical property under the same conditions is implicitly made in order for the analysis to be correct. They do not verify that assumption. The results of the analysis could very likely not be correct.

  12. Dan.
    We are in 100% agreement
    At some point we are going to have to test the “good” sites against the non complaint sites.
    I’m boning up on the various homogeneity tests.
    Oke has one based on Hurst Rescaling that is kinda cool,the columbia stuff is probably blessed by hansen.
    so, this is more of a data dump for Anthony than an endorsement.
    I’ve done some sample testing with a couple sites
    using the RUNS TEST just to see how it worked ( did it by hand first) It was interesting that Hansens adjustments decreased the homogeneineity of the data.
    In short, he inports a warming signal.
    On a side note what would you think of an OpenClimate
    site, with code to do this kind of stuff posted?.
    PS. ModelE gave me hives. Are you still plowing through it?

  13. until Microsoft pulls their head out of the sand and starts making an OS that isn’t crippled

    Out of the sand? I would have thought a more, um, local site would be more apropos. Also, I think the preferred term of art is “mobility impaired”.

  14. Steven
    I was working on Steve McIntyre’s adjustment problem and ended up looking at the second Prague station, Praha Ruzyne. If you want a perfect and significant example of adding a warming trend take a look. By my calculation they have added 2.7 degrees in about 100 years!! For more details try #91 on CA’s Sunday Crossword thread

  15. Anthony, buy another SATA drive and install Ubuntu (or make some room on your new one).
    You will be surprised that you don’t have to hunt down anything, stuff simply works.

  16. Pingback: I just bought a PC with Vista, I love my XP Pro, so im switching back, my question, how do i delete this old ? | Go 4 Vista.net

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