We show you how to move back from Windows Vista to Windows XP - without glossing over the tricky bits. We show you how to transfer your Vista email, contacts and user data back to the old standby operating system.
Time for your XP install
After all of that prep, installing XP over Vista is, in itself, not too difficult: Boot with your XP installation disc and install XP, overwriting Vista. And just make sure to select the partition that Vista is on and follow the prompts.
As I've said, there's not a lot you can do about migrating your applications back. If you were using two separate PCs, you could use Windows Easy Transfer or a similarly capable commercial product. I didn't consider that option, because I wanted a lean, clean OS with an uncluttered Registry.
The solution is to reinstall your apps - which is a pain, but it's the best way to go.
Am I happy I moved back to XP? Very much so. The time I save by using Outlook Express instead of Vista's Windows Mail is worth the switch by itself. Personally, I think Microsoft spent too much time, when it was developing Vista, in fixing stuff that wasn't broken and breaking stuff that worked. I'll take another look at Vista after SP1 ships, but I don't think I'll be switching again for a while.
If you'd like to try Vista before removing XP, or if you're using Vista and would like to take a stroll down memory lane to see just how efficient the older OS is, download VMware Server or Virtual PC 2007 for free and try them in a virtual machine.