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Birchy65
1 Copper

Downgrading from Vista

Hi there,

I'm new here. My neighbour recently purchased a Dell Studio 1535 and is very happy with it. I like it too and I'm looking to replace my ageing Toshiba (3 years old and showing it too!).

The only thing that puts me off is the lack of a recovery disc. I don't like Vista at all and I don't want to use it unless I really have to. What I'd like to do (as I have a legal XP disc) is replace Vista with that, BUT as the recovery to Vista is on the hard-drive that takes up space that I'd like to have available!! So, can anyone advise me if a recovery disc can be created or even purchased so that should I want to go back to Vista then I can easily do it?

I know the official line is "if you change the operating system then you lose your tech support" but to be honest I've used XP for so long that I'm unlikely to be surprised by anything it does! In fact I even help friends out over the phone with XP problems I'm that used to it.

Please let me know if this is possible so I can order my new laptop ASAP. My toshiba could go to the laptop heaven at any moment!!!!

Thanks (in advance)

Ian

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8 Replies
Davet50
5 Iridium

Re: Downgrading from Vista

Your best bet would be to get a new harddrive to install XP on or Do a complete image of your current drive which again would probably require another drive to put it on.

A second drive is the best way to go. That way if you ever have to contact Dell with hardware issues you can then pop in the Vista drive and then your system will be as shipped

Once you change your OS from the shipped OS you will loose all Dell software support and a lot of times they will not even work with you untill your return the system to as shipped condition.

You also need to research to make sure all the necessary XP drivers and notebook/desktop system software it available on the Dell site or are you going to have to hunt it down. Just for your reference if you go HERE you will find links to XP drivers for your proposed system

I personall think you should stick with Vista and wait untill later this year when MS releases Window 7. To me this new os is like Vista and XP merged into one Os and will put the death nail into the coffin of XP. But thats just MHO

 Home Built Sandy Bridge P8P67 i7 2600k @ 4.5 GHz 8gigs GSkill Ripjaws. Corsair 800D Case and AX1200 Ps X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty pro PCIe Sound Card
Dell Studio XPS 1645  Window 10 Pro

Forum member since 2003

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DELL-Larry R
4 Germanium

Re: Downgrading from Vista

I agree with Dave that a second hard drive is a very good way to go if you want to be able to swap OSs easily.  While its a little more cumbersom than dualbooting, it is much easier to set up (just swap drives and install the second OS as normal) other than having to duplicate data needed in both operating systems.

Installing XP will not void your warranty even if the system shipped with Vista.  Tech support can only help you with basic operating systme problems for the OS the computer shipped with, and if Dell doesn't ship the system with the operating system you install then you might have problems with drivers, but you can still get warranty support for the computer. 

Also, you should receive the reinstallation CD (or DVD) for the operating system Dell installs at the factory with the computer.  If you don't get that disk you can request it from tech support.

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Birchy65
1 Copper

Re: Downgrading from Vista

Hi Larry,

Thanks for the reply. I know a 2nd hard-drive would be a solution but to buy a NEW hard drive to install in a NEW laptop does seem a bit on the excessive side. As for getting recovery discs - my neighbour got her dell new at christmas and the only discs that came with it were applications software - not the original OS. It appears to be on a partition on the hard drive which is something I don't like. I was wanting to get myself a new laptop and I do like the dell one but not keen on the recovery process and definately not keen on vista.

I am now looking at Acer too although need to find out about recovery disc situation on that too.

Thanks for your help - it is very much appreciated.

Ian

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DELL-Larry R
4 Germanium

Re: Downgrading from Vista

 The recovery partition (basically, an image installed through an application like Norton Ghost) makes getting the computer back to the factory defaults easier, but she should have received the Dell reinstallation disks as well.  Those disks are needed if the Image Restore partition is not usable for some reason (e.g., hard drive failure, the partition being removed or damaged, etc).  Also, if the owner wants to do a "clean" install of Windows they would want to use the Dell reinstallation CD.

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Birchy65
1 Copper

Re: Downgrading from Vista

Hi Larry,

I double checked with my neighbour today and she definately didn't receive recovery discs. I must stress that this isn't a problem for her but I was hoping to buy a new laptop for myself and liked my neighbour's dell. Having worked for an electrical retailer I know it's not unusual to only get partition-based recovery (HP/COMPAQ spring to mind on their laptops) so it looks like I will have to put off my purchase until I can find a decent laptop that does come with recovery discs as standard! Thanks for your help....

Ian

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DELL-Larry R
4 Germanium

Re: Downgrading from Vista

As I said before, the disks should have been shipped with the computer.  If they didn't then she should contact tech support to request they be sent out (or use the link in my sig below).

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Birchy65
1 Copper

Re: Downgrading from Vista

Just confirm for me Larry before I get her to email Dell - does this apply to UK purchased laptops too?? I ask because your link was for Dell US and I know we do some weird things over here and don't always give the same offers and support that US customers get.

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DELL-Larry R
4 Germanium

Re: Downgrading from Vista

Unless there has been a policy change I'm not aware of then UK systems should get the reinstallation CDs with the system just as they do here in the US.

The link in my signature is for US systems only, so she would have to call (or email/chat) support to request the disks.  She should just call tech support, let them know what system she has (they'll need the service tag) and let them know she did not get the reinstallation disks and they should just send them out at no charge.  If she had previously had the disks sent out then I believe there is a fee, but from what you describe that should not apply in this case.

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