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Windows Vista forum

General discussion

Uninstalling Vista, installing XP?

by PrincessFish / September 1, 2008 3:39 AM PDT

I'm to the point where I need to look into getting a new laptop for school. Problem is that I'm not sure I want Windows Vista. I'm on a tight budget and if I were to get Vista, I would also need to buy Microsoft Office and Photoshop Elements again because my versions (from my research) will not work with Vista. I haven't even started to look into my other programs that probably won't work either (Quickbooks, Quicken, etc).

Anyway, if I do buy a new laptop with Vista, is it possible just to uninstall Vista and install XP if I can get my hands on a CD? I do have an XP recovery CD that came with my current laptop, though I'm not sure that would work.

Is this an easy process? Or am I better off going to TigerDirect and buying an XP machine?

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You have Office 95 or older?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 1, 2008 3:51 AM PDT

Office 97 while not supported does run fine. Surely you could upgrade to at least Open Office for free since you must be upset with having to work with others that send you files you can't open in Office 95?

"s it possible just to uninstall Vista and install XP if I can get my hands on a CD? I do have an XP recovery CD that came with my current laptop, though I'm not sure that would work.

Is this an easy process?"

This is no harder than it was in the past. You just read HOW TO INSTALL XP TO A SATA DRIVE on google then collect all your drivers before you start. Nothing has changed as to hard or easy. It's the same as it was 6 years ago.

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Office 2000
by PrincessFish / September 1, 2008 4:04 AM PDT

No, I have Office 2000. When I did a Google search, I read that it's not compatible with Vista, did I hear wrong?

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It runs.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 1, 2008 4:12 AM PDT
In reply to: Office 2000

But "unsupported." There's a small difference.

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Tried alternatives
by Jimmy Greystone / September 1, 2008 4:22 AM PDT

Have you tried alternatives? OpenOffice, for example, is a good alternative to Office and it's free. The latest version shouldn't have any problems running on Vista.

Photshop Elements I can't claim to have used, so I don't know the full extent of its capabilities, but there are programs like Google's Picasa and IrFanview that have quite an impressive array of manipulation options.

Can't say about Quickbooks/Quicken, but there are probably alternatives out there if you can live without being able to necessarily import old data.

Also, I would say to avoid TigerDirect like a diseased leper. I really am not sure how it is that company stays in business, but I've never seen anyone have a good thing to say about them.

If you do buy a laptop, tight budget or no, I would STRONGLY recommend avoiding all HP, Compaq, Acer, Gateway, and eMachines brand laptops. All of those are made by two companies: HP and Acer, and both of them have reputations (deserved) for producing horrible quality systems. I would only buy from one of the following companies: Apple, Lenovo, Dell, Toshiba. They cost a little more, but their build quality is considerably better, so it will last you quite a bit longer. If that means limping along with your current laptop a little longer, it's probably worth it in the end. Suffer a little now to avoid a lot of suffering later.

And just kind of a general bit of advice... You might want to avoid getting yourself locked into proprietary programs like Quicken/Quickbooks. Depending on how complicated your finances are, you could probably bash out a quick spreadsheet that does everything you need, in very short order. You then can save that spreadsheet into some format that is widely understood by other programs, so you have options should situations change later on.

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I'm a bit stubborn about alternatives
by PrincessFish / September 1, 2008 4:47 AM PDT
In reply to: Tried alternatives

I haven't tried alternatives, but I did spend money on Photoshop Elements and I'd like to be able to use it. As for Quickbooks, my husband and I use it for the restaurant we own. It's nice to have a uniform accounting program that our accountant can access easily, rather than having some off-the-wall program. Using Excel would be way to complicated for the amount of support that we require. With OpenOffice, can I send files to people who have Microsoft Office that they will be able to open?

I have heard good things about TigerDirect (also have heard bad things), and I will NEVER buy another Dell. I have a Dell right now and it's probably the most poorly constructed system I've ever owned. I take good care of it (i.e. it very rarely moves, never been dropped or handled roughly), but the disc drive failed right after the warranty ran out (good thing I never really needed it), there is a mysterious crack in an area near the touch pad, I'm looking at replacing the hinge for a SECOND time, and the wear marks on the palm rest and keys irritate my meticulous sense to keep things in like-new condition.

Right now, I'm looking into a Lenovo...we'll see. I can't limp much farther with my Dell. I'm not replacing the hinge again and the hard drive is nearly full. Yes, I could just buy a new hard drive, but I can't justify spending money on that when I could just put it toward a new computer. I'm also hearing that laptops older than about 4 years have problems running the huge software package I'm going to need for nursing school. My Dell is about 4 and a half years old.

Wow, that was long-winded. I guess I'm just a bit overwhelmed by what option to choose.

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by Jimmy Greystone / September 1, 2008 5:34 AM PDT

Yes, OpenOffice has excellent compatibility with MS Office. It can read/write Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files without any difficulty. Access is another story. There's no support for the new Office 2007 format in OpenOffice yet, AFAIK at least, but you can use the slightly older Office 97-2003 format just fine. OpenOffice also has a handy PDF export feature for any document.

And like I said, I didn't know how complicated your finances were, so something like Excel might not work so well.

I do understand and appreciate the desire to want to use something you paid for, but sometimes pragmatic realities don't work out that way. You can always install Photoshop Elements and see if it works. Half the time you see someone complaining about a program not working, they're a complete idiot who makes for an excellent case study against natural selection, and they mistook one thing for another.

I'm assuming Lenovo hasn't changed much in the manufacturing process since they took over IBM's computer business, mostly because if they had made some changes for the worse, you would expect to see quite a bit of uproar about it. So that should be a pretty solid choice for you. Of course if you buy low end models, they're always going to be lower quality. It's just the nature of the game. Quality costs money, and companies like Lenovo are in business to make a profit. If you aren't willing to pay for quality, neither are they.

And while I don't know the specifics of things, but if you have a laptop now that is largely stationary, why not go with a desktop? Usually cheaper than laptops, even after adding a display, and they come with "beefier" hardware. Also, a cheap 5-10USD monitor and keyboard cover would keep dust and bits of food away from it with no real problem. At least so long as nothing you're using is corrosive to plastic and/or nylon.

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