Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hasta La Vista, Baby

I put up with Vista as long as I could. Or rather, I put up with my wife's complaining as long as I could.

I got her a ThinkPad T61 for her birthday. (A bit of advice. Don't get birthday presents with power cords.)

As I mentioned previously, it came with Vista Business and relatively little crapware. I put Office 2007 on it.

It seemed like it was going to do fine.

Then it started hanging up. Sometimes it was the whole thing and it took a hard power down to fix. Other times, it was just Internet Explorer that froze. Printers seemed to come and go randomly. Wireless was never certain.

I must admit, she was way more tolerant than I expected.

The last straw was when I picked it up last week to put the latest patches on it. It took me hours. It hung up, crashed, complained about processes that weren't visible, you name it.

A call to Lenovo to inquire about XP downgrade disks turned up that they wanted to charge $45 plus shipping! Then the confusion started about how to activate using the downgrade rights. I'll explain that in a minute.

I went to the Lenovo site and downloaded all the drivers and software for XP.

I Ghosted off the Vista partition. To do this I had to go into the T61's BIOS and set the SATA drive from ACHI to Compatible. Without this, Ghost 8 couldn't see the SATA drive.

I installed Windows XP Pro from a SP3 slipstreamed consumer CD that I had. With SP3 you can defer entering the key so I did. Then after it came up, I clicked on the Activate Windows link and chose telephone activation. To shorten the story, I had to enter the key (that was previously activated on another machine) and give the Microsoft representative the loooooooooooong installation ID. I told him I was downgrading Vista Business to XP Pro and he gave me a new key. I never had to give him the Vista key. Very odd.

The coup de grĂ¢ce was installing Office 2003.

It's so nice to get back to the familiar and stable Windows XP. Call me a Luddite if you must.

1 comment:

Alex said...

Sounds like a real pain. Did you attemopt to work through the Vista issue with Lenovo?

I'm running Vista Ultimate 64bit and loving it, so I suppose it could have been hardware issues with Lenovo. I'm on a Dell M4400 Core2 Extreme and this unit is about as stable as I have had i the past 3 years.

-Alex