Hi there. I hope whoever is reading this has serious patience because this is gonna take some explaining. First off let me say I know enough about Windows after having used it since the beginning of 95, I even dabbled a bit in DOX 4.x when I was younger, so I'm no laymen. I also have ample experience recently with Linux, the command line and other assorted technology.
I got my new Dell XPS 710 a few days ago and ever since I have been trying to get my dual boot and partitions in. The hardware is as follows if important :
Core 2 Duo E6600
nForce 590 SLI Intel
1 X SATA 320 Western Digital HDD
4 X 1 GB DDR2
nVidia 8800 GTX
VP930b Series monitor w/ DVI connector
Now, it came with Ultimate 32 bit preinstalled, and a bunch of other crap I didn't want. In addition the fact they made one giant partition, as well as of course the dell service partitions. I made a drive image of the partitions as they came and then promptly wiped them off my drive as I've no need for them. I got a hold of my SATA driver for an XP install and put it on a Floppy.
So I reinstalled XP onto it with no trouble at all after installing the SATA drivers. I put it on a small 20 GB partition, with intention to install any additional apps I need that don't work with Vista onto a shared NTFS partition (40 GB to be made later). Once I had XP updated and configured, I imaged that as well (I use a drive/partition imaging suite called Acronis True Image, by far the best I've seen). So with XP imaged in case of any failures I moved on to Vista.
I have a friend who lent me his Vista installation media, he also had gotten Vista Ultimate but purchased his copies with access to 32 and 64 bit versions of Vista. So I of course dropped in the disk and booted into it, made a 40 GB partition and then installed 64 bit version in it to see if I could get that working. It copied all the files, then expanded and followed the installer along... when it came to restart the machine it did so and when it reloaded into the Vista install it BSoDed me. The top of the message read quickly:
or something similar to that.
I have since tried numerous things to get it working properly, I tried to repair it via the DVD medium. I tried installing 32 bit Vista. I tried reformatting the entire drive and removing XP from the equation. Everything I do results in the same... either I get a BSoD after the DVD copies the windows install files to RAM (the Grey bar screen when you first boot) or I get a BSoD when it gets to the restart phase. Of note, a few times instead of a BSoD I got a blank black screen with a flashing grey underscore, like it was waiting for text. Those times seemed to be random anomalies.
So now I'm here. I'm quite upset, I wasn't particularly liking Vista before I got my new machine but chose it for future game support and because I already owned a full copy of XP, this trouble getting a simple clean install has made me rather less enthusiastic to have it.
Can someone tell me whats wrong? I don't believe theres any problems with the hardware, the RAM checked out fine when I tested it, I played a few games with the card in XP and it ran smooth, and everything else seems to be perfect.
Thats my story, I hope someone can help if not I'm tempted to return the XPS and stick to my linux box... which I'm on right now btw cuz I'm restoring XP after another failed install attempt of Vista.
Oh and I would phone Dell, but its not a dell problem, its Vista, and they'd probably tell me to restore the service partition and use that which I am not interested in.
Thats it, thank you for whoever read that and had the patience to write an answer.