I am Downgrading Vista to Windows XP

vista downgrade to windows xp sp2I’m very disappointed with Microsoft Windows Vista and am on the verge of downgrading to Windows XP. I started as an advocate for Vista when I rebuilt my machine in February. However, eight months later it is clear that making the leap was a mistake.

Vista presented an enhanced interface where everything looked nicer. This had a big impact at first because it also seemed to operate at the same efficacy of XP. Over time, I have seen a substantial performance degredation. The shell, Explorer, crashes frequently and the entire OS becomes unresponsive.

Some small but staying problems I encountered:

  1. Vista does not allow access to wave out as XP does. For whatever reason the drivers for my sound card do not allow it to be captured even using this tutorial as a workaround.
  2. Vista does not maintain folder view information. Common sortable column headings such as date modified, type, and size won’t stick. If Vista sees mp3’s in a folder it tries to display totally irrelevant meta information such as “author.” I am tired of adding the correct column information such as Date Modified and having it disappear again and again.
  3. Speed. I liked Aero, but I put a pretty decent processor in there. The Intel Core Duo E6600 coupled with high-speed RAM should have applications flying open. This just isn’t the case, it feels slow.

I made the right decision having Windows XP SP2 put on my new Dell D630 laptop, which exhibits stability and great speed running a T7600. The E6600 in my desktop is actually slightly stronger than the mobile chip, so I have great expectations for the downgrade.
I’m expecting some pains in the downgrade. One is finding a legit copy of XP to install, then having to call Microsoft after the installation for an activation key. It almost seems easier to use one of the leaked enterprise copies out on a torrent network, but since I am legally entitled to a copy I might as well stick with going legit.

If you are also dissatisfied with Vista, I suggest this Vista to XP Downgrade FAQ which covers important points of the process.

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