Is it possible to re-install Vista?

oko

New Member
#1
Sorry if this is a stupid question - I'm not very technically gifted.
I have just bought an HP dc7800, which of course comes with Vista pre-installed, but no installation disks. I want to de-install Vista, and install XP, with which I am familiar. However, seeing that I paid for Vista, I would like to retain the possibility of re-installing it at some stage in the future. Is this possible without a PhD?
I've made a Vista Recovery Disk (thanks neosmart), and verified that it boots, and I've also made a full backup to 2 DVDs. Now what?
 
#2
The only way to see XP go on there without losing the original preinstall of Vista would be through the use of a 3rd party drive partitioning tool(recommend for this) in order to shrink the Vista primary somewhat and create a new second primary for XP to install onto. Once installed to the new primary that would make XP the default OS until you wanted to restore the Vista mbr.

You can even setup a working dual boot of both with the EasyBCD tool available here. The important thing to remember however is not to remove the recovery partition from the drive in order to prevent voiding the warranty and still be able to restore the factory install later. A dual boot would be recommended over replacing Vista while the warranty is still in effect.
 

oko

New Member
#3
Thanks a lot, PC Eye. Dual booting sounds like a good idea. Can you recommend a partitioning tool? I believe Partition Magic doesn't work on Vista.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#4
If you want to or get rid of Vista accidently all together our vista disc cannot be used to re-install it as it is only meant for repairs. I would boot from your recovery partition as if you were going to do a factory re-set first even if you are keeping Vistas partition to see if there's an option to burn recovery discs in the event something does happen that makes it impossible later on to recover the orginal install of Vista.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#5
You don't need a 3rd party tool. Go into Vista disk management and it will shrink its own partition if you ask it to.
Do as Justin says and use the OEM recovery partition (I think F11 at power-up gets you there on an HP - check the HP website if not) which should contain a "burn to DVD/CD" option. Once you've got your recovery partition backed-up to optical you should be fireproof to play around safely.
 
#6
The tool I use regularly here for both Windows and LInux as well as is the free drive partitioning tool used for any OS called GParted. The full name is the Gnome Partition Editor. While live for cd distro or live install cds will see that included the separate 35mb iso image you burn to disk is a full featured release from the open source OS people and works quite well for seeing partitions resized.

Since you have already gone the length to burn recovery dvds the one other thing you may to do before going ahead would be backing up anything you want off of the current primary just in case of ???! That will protect any important files you have there.

The release you want to download from the link here would be the 0.3.3.0 release with the Platform Independent designation seen in the architecture catagory while other releases can still shrink the primary down. That allows you to create MS type primaries as well as Fat and by right clicking the new primary you can also see it formatted as well. http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=115843&package_id=173828

The documentation is easy to follow seen at http://gparted.sourceforge.net/larry/generalities/gparted.htm with some additional screenshots seen at http://gparted.sourceforge.net/screenshots.php
 

oko

New Member
#7
Thanks to kairozamorro, Terry60 and PC eye for this sound advice. I'm rolling up my sleeves, and getting started!

Addendum:

PC Eye: I've already run into problems - my HP didn't like Gparted, and whilst it was booting up the "kernel panicked" :S and that was it. I was using the 0.3.3.0 release, but I see that this is quite old - from 2006. Was Vista around then?

Addendum:

And Terry - I haven't been able to locate the partition resizing tool in the HP Backup & Recovery Manager
 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#8
No it's not an HP tool. It's straight-up Vista.
Administrative Tools / Computer Management / Disk Management
 
#9
Thanks to kairozamorro, Terry60 and PC eye for this sound advice. I'm rolling up my sleeves, and getting started!


Addendum:


PC Eye: I've already run into problems - my HP didn't like Gparted, and whilst it was booting up the "kernel panicked" :S and that was it. I was using the 0.3.3.0 release, but I see that this is quite old - from 2006. Was Vista around then?
HP likely has a block of some type being a branded preinstall since the 0.3.3.0 release has worked well here for any partitions while this is still on a custom build.
 
M

Maria_David

Guest
#10
hi everyone...

Nice to find the great place with lots of useful information...

Thanks to all the members for posting info, ideas and links...


cheers

:smile:
 
#12
PC Eye: I've already run into problems - my HP didn't like Gparted, and whilst it was booting up the "kernel panicked" :S and that was it. I was using the 0.3.3.0 release, but I see that this is quite old - from 2006. Was Vista around then?
I just thought I would update you here with the news that there have two newer platform independent versions released in the last few months. One being the 0.3.9-12 and the latest stable release the 0.4.1-2 now available at http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=115843&package_id=271779

The latest automatically detect the monitor and set the native screen resolution for that as well as a better hardware detection. You may have only seen a bad burn to disk with the older release since that has already worked well.