liking Vista with a safety net (XP)

My primary desktop computer, a 4+ year-old VAIO, had been flaky for months. I’d replaced the power supply, re-glued the north bridge heat sink to the chip, re-installed XP, and so forth. So I happily replaced it with a Vostro 200. It was time to try Vista (Home Premium) seriously. But not without a safety net, the ability to multi-boot to XP if/when necessary.

Before placing the order, I wanted to be sure that dual booting would be feasible. I found instructions: How to dual boot Vista and XP (with Vista installed first) that made sense. When I got the machine, I followed those instructions, and they seemed to work. However, I kept fiddling around and breaking either Vista or XP or both, and ended up installing Vista again, as well as XP.

Once beyond those basics, everything went smoothly. I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that everything I want to do with the machine, so far, works at least as well with Vista as with XP. In a few cases I’ve had to download Vista-specific device drivers, but that much bother was the minimum to be expected.

Running Vista locally, instead of remotely with VNC, has alleviated my minor grumblings about my earlier Vista experience. I have much of Aero turned off. User Account Control is still a little clumsier than it should be, but so be it.

I’ve been using the machine seriously for about 10 days. Overall, I’m delighted with it, but that is probably more due to the hardware than Vista. But, counter to my expectations, I’m not using XP at all on the new machine, except to test things.

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