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Windows Vista experience (installing, uninstalling)

Before I start I just want to make an announcement:

"I don’t hate Microsoft, I just envy Bill Gates".

I’ve been hearing bad and good things about Windows Vista for some time now, so I decided to give it a try since I don’t trust the judgement of other people. So I got the Ultimate edition.

Upgrading XP to Vista

I thought I could upgrade from Windows XP SP2 to Windows Vista in no time. Well I was wrong, Windows Vista setup stopped half way of the "Expanding Files" stage to announce that there is a corrupt file in the DVD, I didn’t buy it (since I’ve already tried installing a fresh version on a virtual machine and it worked) so I was down for a couple of days. My good friends were trying to cheer me up by telling me the worse of Vista.

Fresh Vista installation

Today I decided to give it another try, so I started Windows XP in safe mode this time (thinking this might be anti-virus related issue) but I was wrong again, same error same place. Oh and the good part is that Microsoft forgot the Rollback action in the setup so all the files copied on the disk are left there but they’re safe to delete, no harm.

Again I tried installing it, fresh installation this time, and it worked as expected. I tried it for a couple of hours, even installed the service pack 1. Getting back to work I kept wondering if there is a way to run my XP installed programs on Vista, and that was an easy question.. As long as it doesn’t use the registry it works.

I thought for a couple of minutes of a way to import the registry from Windows XP to Windows Vista. Then I decided to let it go and uninstall vista.

Uninstalling Vista

I looked up a couple of articles on how to uninstall Vista and reverting to Windows XP, many web sites said that it’s impossible to do. Except for one web site for Vista fans that recommended using a BCD editor whatever a BCD is. And a couple of instructions on how important it is to reformat the partition where I installed Windows Vista.

Reformatting was out of the equation since I had so many huge files on that partition that I cannot afford to lose or back up – since I don’t like wasting my whole day – again I decided I don’t trust others so I started Windows XP and installed the application recommended "VistaBootPRO". It wasn’t hard to use, just erased Windows Vista from the "Manage OS Entries" tab. The next instruction was the reformat step. So I decided that maybe I can just delete Windows Vista folders, I tried and I found that I don’t have permission to do that.. BS, my computer I’ll get the permission no matter what.

Gaining back XP Control

So from "My Computer" I navigated to the properties window for the partition, directly to the Security tab and from there clicked the "Advanced" button, so another window popped out, in this window went to "Owner" tab and selected my account name (Since I’m an administrator) and checked the "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects" then clicked OK, back in the properties window I clicked apply, after dear Windows XP was done processing my request. I removed all security rules and added full control permission to the Administrators group and the System account and "Read & Execute", "List Folder Contents", "Read" permissions to the "Users" group. Then clicked the apply again and waited for Windows to process my request once again, then I went back to the advanced window same permissions in the properties window were in the "Permissions" tab of this window. I checked the "Replace permission entries…." and okayed this and the properties windows, again waited for a couple of minutes for windows to process my request.

Erasing Vista files

When I was done I tried deleting the Windows folder (Where windows Vista resides) and it worked then I noticed that a folder named "Windows.OLD" was created and that made me wonder because it wasn’t the drive I have Windows XP installed on, I looked in there and a couple of programs I had installed in the "Program Files" folder on Windows XP were moved there. Since I was already in Windows XP I tried launching one of those programs and it failed, so I deleted everything in the "Program Files" folder and moved my old applications there, I tried again and they all worked, so back to deleting Vista files I deleted the "Users" folder and the hidden "Documents and Settings" folder. Then I noticed I had to system folders  XP’s "Recycler" and another folder similar, so I removed the unknown folder – unknown to me – and went on deleting any folder I was not aware of.

After all it was a nice 1 day Vista experience which didn’t cost me anything.

Again I don’t hate Microsoft and I will get back to vista once I find a solution to my "Upgrade" problem.