Yesterday I received a link from a client of mine asking if it was really this easy to downgrade from Vista down to XP. The link took me to a InformationWeek article, they had a slide show presentation [see below] of just 5 slides showing the ease in which to complete the task. I must admit it did appear at first glance that what was being presented would work. Or would it?

Though the process was easy, insert your XP CD, boot, a format, and a call to Microsoft to get a activation number, it made me wonder just how many people have actually done this? Not only have done this, but actually were successful in completing the task by follow these simple directions?

I guess I’m just being overly caustious since I like to be prepared just in case something happens. It is hard to believe that anything would happen because installing Windows is 100% fool proof. Right, and the earth is flat. But I think I personally would want to do the following BEFORE trying a downgrade.

First, I’d call Microsoft and confirm that they will really give me a activation key when I downgrade. I don’t want to be sitting with a system in which I can’t active XP because of some type of legal licensing quirk that is specific to me or my machine, while the entire universe moves on in a different direction.

Second I would make sure that whether I had Vista disks or Vista installed on another partition that these were going to work as well. You’ve never had bad disks? Have you ever tried calling a OEM or Microsoft and getting replacements disks sent to you? Good luck on this one. How about if the partition in which Vista is installed is corrupt? What than? It would be nice if we lived in paradise where in everything worked just peachy keen, but I have experienced to many bad happenings to trust Windows.

Third, and this is a big must, I’d check on the manufacturers site and see if in fact all of my hardware is supported by the correct XP drivers. I don’t want to be sitting with XP on my box without sound, because of a lack of drivers. Just another thought.

But what do you think? Am I being way to cautious and should we throw caution to the wind? Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead! 🙂

Comments welcome.

InfomationWeek slides are here.

[tags]vista, windows, xp, downgrade, disks, partition, drivers, oem, format, install,  [/tags]