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A Period of Transition

#1
Van Morrison for sure can't help me. So ... I'm probably the last person in this neck of the woods still using Vista x86. I can't afford (and I don't want) to upgrade to any M$ Windows product. At all. So I want to install Linux Mint ... but I want to keep Vista for some software I use. I'd be very grateful for any advice on how to set that up as a dual boot. Thanks. Paul x
 

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    Windows Vista Home Premium (32 Bit)
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Studio XPS 1640
    CPU
    Intel Core 2 Duo (T6400 @ 2.00 GHz)
    Memory
    4 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3670
    Internet Speed
    40 Mb/s down / 10 Mb/s up
    Other Info
    Browsers: Opera 36.0 / Firefox ESR 52.9.0 (32-bit)
    AV: Avast Free Antivirus

townsbg

~~тσωηsвg~~
Vista Guru
Gold Member
US of A

Posts
2,301
#3
If you have enough resources you can run a windows guest virtual machine using a variety of platforms such as virtual box, KVM, or (if you are willing to pay for it) Vmware. Those are the ones that I know about. You can't use a license key that came from your computer though. In terms of resources I would be concerned about memory (4 gb or more) and hard drive space. You need to plan on at least 40 gb allotted to the virtual machine.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows 7 Pro x64
    Manufacturer/Model
    Mid 2010 iMac
    CPU
    Quad core 3.2 Ghz Intel I3
    Memory
    8 gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Radeon HD 5670 512 mb ram
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080 and 1440x900
    Hard Drives
    1 TB
  • Operating System
    Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise
    Manufacturer/Model
    Compaq Presario SR5350F
    CPU
    Pentium 2.0 gHZ Dual core E2160
    Memory
    2 gb
    Screen Resolution
    1440 x 900
    Hard Drives
    300 GB
#4
Thanks. I spent some time reading up about dual booting and I'm thinking I probably would prefer not to mess with the Windows boot sector and maybe use EasyBCD? I'm only worried that at some point (worst case scenario) I may not be able to boot into Vista for some reason, and I would have to do a clean Vista install. Which I really wouldn't want to have to do. Is this something I should be worried about?
 

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    Windows Vista Home Premium (32 Bit)
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Studio XPS 1640
    CPU
    Intel Core 2 Duo (T6400 @ 2.00 GHz)
    Memory
    4 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3670
    Internet Speed
    40 Mb/s down / 10 Mb/s up
    Other Info
    Browsers: Opera 36.0 / Firefox ESR 52.9.0 (32-bit)
    AV: Avast Free Antivirus
#5
If you have enough resources you can run a windows guest virtual machine using a variety of platforms such as virtual box, KVM, or (if you are willing to pay for it) Vmware. Those are the ones that I know about. You can't use a license key that came from your computer though. In terms of resources I would be concerned about memory (4 gb or more) and hard drive space. You need to plan on at least 40 gb allotted to the virtual machine.
I couldn't get Virtual Box to run on my laptop. Apparently something to do with the BIOS (not UEFI) which will not let me run a virtual machine? I have a 10 year old Dell Studio XPS 1640 with the latest BIOS update (System BIOS, A15), which was last updated in 2011. Dell haven't released any updates since then it seems. I haven't tried KVM. I have 4GB RAM and 160 GB of free space in a separate partition on the HDD.
 

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    Windows Vista Home Premium (32 Bit)
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Studio XPS 1640
    CPU
    Intel Core 2 Duo (T6400 @ 2.00 GHz)
    Memory
    4 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3670
    Internet Speed
    40 Mb/s down / 10 Mb/s up
    Other Info
    Browsers: Opera 36.0 / Firefox ESR 52.9.0 (32-bit)
    AV: Avast Free Antivirus

wither 3

Vista Guru
Gold Member
Posts
2,280
#6
I don't know anything about Virtual Box but there's a forum for it- virtualbox.org • Index page

I think that, if you couldn't boot into Vista for some reason, it would be a Vista problem unrelated to the Linux installation. Just my uneducated opinion.

Funny, I was searching the Vista help on virtual machines and accidently found help for using the "onscreen keyboard." Either don't remember or didn't know Vista has this feature but it's pretty slick . Of course, this is unrelated to the subject of this thread
 

My Computer

#7
Hi w3. Thanks for the link to the VB forum ... will have a gander later. I think my problem with setting up a VM is there is no option in the BIOS to "virtualize" the CPU(s). So, I'm not too worried about that. Probably not the route I want to take anyway. I don't want to break anything ... this laptop is on it's last legs as it is !

I did find the OEM Vista CD's so repairing the Vista boot start up hopefully shouldn't be a problem if I need to. And, as I understand, if I need to I could do a "start up repair" from a "live" Linux Ubuntu USB (?). Fingers crossed, I'm hoping this will be a breeze ... just need some time to set it up.

I agree with the "onscreen keyboard" being useful ... I had a panic attack a while ago when my keyboard stopped working for some reason and I had to use it to log in. Managed to get in and do a "system restore" to get everything back as it was.
 

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    Windows Vista Home Premium (32 Bit)
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Studio XPS 1640
    CPU
    Intel Core 2 Duo (T6400 @ 2.00 GHz)
    Memory
    4 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3670
    Internet Speed
    40 Mb/s down / 10 Mb/s up
    Other Info
    Browsers: Opera 36.0 / Firefox ESR 52.9.0 (32-bit)
    AV: Avast Free Antivirus

wither 3

Vista Guru
Gold Member
Posts
2,280
#8
I have a Phoenix BIOS on this nearly 11 year old Vista system. When I open it, there is an option called Advanced Chipset Features. In there is a CPU Configuration Option. In that, there is the option for Virtualization Technology and it was enabled. It says it allows a VMM to do something (I didnt write it down) using VanderPool Technology. Maybe you need to look around a little more.
 

My Computer

#9

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    Windows Vista Home Premium (32 Bit)
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Studio XPS 1640
    CPU
    Intel Core 2 Duo (T6400 @ 2.00 GHz)
    Memory
    4 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3670
    Internet Speed
    40 Mb/s down / 10 Mb/s up
    Other Info
    Browsers: Opera 36.0 / Firefox ESR 52.9.0 (32-bit)
    AV: Avast Free Antivirus

wither 3

Vista Guru
Gold Member
Posts
2,280
#10
Ok. Looks like you're out of luck, in regards to the virtual machine option. Still seems you can still set up a dual boot per the link I gave you (or any other instructions you might find).
 

My Computer

#11
Yep, I'm stuffed as regards running a VM, but that's not a problem.

The CPU is 64 bit capable and I don't know why this laptop was shipped with 32 bit Vista. Maybe the 64 bit version hadn't yet been released when I bought it (sometime in 2009 I think). Have to say it's served me very well, never had any major problems with it at all, still running fine. Apart from the backlight on the keyboard which no longer works.

So, I'm hoping to install Mint Cinnamon 19 (64 bit) as a dual boot. I found a very comprehensible guide on dual booting (using EasyBCD) which leaves the Vista boot loader in control and unaltered.

THPC: Dual-Boot Windows Vista and Linux Mint 12 (Lisa) leaving Windows Vista in control on a Windows Vista computer

I have been trialling a few 64 bit versions of Linux, running them "live" from a 8GB USB stick and they all seem to work very well, and very fast, with no problems. I'm not in any rush though, going to take my time with it. I'll keep you updated :)
 

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    Windows Vista Home Premium (32 Bit)
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Studio XPS 1640
    CPU
    Intel Core 2 Duo (T6400 @ 2.00 GHz)
    Memory
    4 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3670
    Internet Speed
    40 Mb/s down / 10 Mb/s up
    Other Info
    Browsers: Opera 36.0 / Firefox ESR 52.9.0 (32-bit)
    AV: Avast Free Antivirus

townsbg

~~тσωηsвg~~
Vista Guru
Gold Member
US of A

Posts
2,301
#12
That is a Socket P578 CPU.
Wikipedia: Socket P - Wikipedia
CPUs (Wikipedia): List of Intel Core 2 microprocessors - Wikipedia

That second link lists the the different compatible CPUs for that socket. Only look at the entries that say Socket P. At least one of the models on that table the T7800 (Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor T7800 (4M Cache, 2.60 GHz, 800 MHz FSB) Product Specifications) is compatible with virtualization technology. Also it is faster than yours. That model is the last one in the table. Look through the others and see which ones are compatible, make a list, and then go shopping. Surely there are some used on eBay and maybe even amazon.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows 7 Pro x64
    Manufacturer/Model
    Mid 2010 iMac
    CPU
    Quad core 3.2 Ghz Intel I3
    Memory
    8 gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Radeon HD 5670 512 mb ram
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080 and 1440x900
    Hard Drives
    1 TB
  • Operating System
    Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise
    Manufacturer/Model
    Compaq Presario SR5350F
    CPU
    Pentium 2.0 gHZ Dual core E2160
    Memory
    2 gb
    Screen Resolution
    1440 x 900
    Hard Drives
    300 GB

ilikefree

Vista Guru
Gold Member
New Zealand

Posts
2,891
#13
I would start by making an image of your computer with something like Macrium Reflect then if it goes wrong you won't lose anything but about an hour of your time restoring your computer.
Also no you are not the only one using 32bit Vista, I do too as I still like it most out of all Windows versions.
I also have Mint on a usb stick
 

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo Thinkpad T400
    CPU
    Intel Mobile Core 2 Duo P8700 @ 2.53GHz
    Motherboard
    LENOVO 64734VM
    Memory
    2.00GB Single-Channel DDR3 @ 531MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel Mobile Intel 4 Series Express Chipset Family
    Sound Card
    Conexant 20561 SmartAudio HD
    Monitor(s) Displays
    15 inch
    Screen Resolution
    1280 x 800
    Hard Drives
    1x 180GB Intel 530 series SSD
    1 x 120GB Hitachi 5400rmp
    1 x 650GB Western Digital Elements 5400rpm
    1x 1Tb Western Digital Elements 5400rpm
    Internet Speed
    Medium for New Zealand
    Other Info
    Weakest part of my computer is the graphics chipset.
    Only ever used a laptop.
    Also use USB Freeview TV Card
    Lenovo Docking Station
    External Speakers
    Other bits a pieces as needed
#14
That is a Socket P578 CPU.
Wikipedia: Socket P - Wikipedia
CPUs (Wikipedia): List of Intel Core 2 microprocessors - Wikipedia

That second link lists the the different compatible CPUs for that socket. Only look at the entries that say Socket P. At least one of the models on that table the T7800 (Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor T7800 (4M Cache, 2.60 GHz, 800 MHz FSB) Product Specifications) is compatible with virtualization technology. Also it is faster than yours. That model is the last one in the table. Look through the others and see which ones are compatible, make a list, and then go shopping. Surely there are some used on eBay and maybe even amazon.
Thanks for the links. I did consider upgrading the CPU a while ago but decided against it. It seemed like a bit of a task for me. I'm not that tech savvy and I don't feel confident enough to have a go. As it's the only working machine I have at the moment I don't fancy messing about with the hardware.

But even with a VT compatible CPU how would I enable it when there is no option in the BIOS to do that? Or would it be already enabled on install?
 

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    Windows Vista Home Premium (32 Bit)
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Studio XPS 1640
    CPU
    Intel Core 2 Duo (T6400 @ 2.00 GHz)
    Memory
    4 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3670
    Internet Speed
    40 Mb/s down / 10 Mb/s up
    Other Info
    Browsers: Opera 36.0 / Firefox ESR 52.9.0 (32-bit)
    AV: Avast Free Antivirus
#15
I would start by making an image of your computer with something like Macrium Reflect then if it goes wrong you won't lose anything but about an hour of your time restoring your computer.
Also no you are not the only one using 32bit Vista, I do too as I still like it most out of all Windows versions.
I also have Mint on a usb stick
Thanks for the tip! I have the free version of Macrium Reflect.
 

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    Windows Vista Home Premium (32 Bit)
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Studio XPS 1640
    CPU
    Intel Core 2 Duo (T6400 @ 2.00 GHz)
    Memory
    4 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3670
    Internet Speed
    40 Mb/s down / 10 Mb/s up
    Other Info
    Browsers: Opera 36.0 / Firefox ESR 52.9.0 (32-bit)
    AV: Avast Free Antivirus

wither 3

Vista Guru
Gold Member
Posts
2,280
#16
I image my C: partition using the free version of Macrium Reflect. If you do that, make sure you create a boot disc and then give it a trial run to make sure it's going to go all the way through with the installation. After I lost a hard drive and reinstalled Vista (from discs), I had to reinstall the motherboard drivers. However, I missed one and the corresponding device showed up as an unknown device in Device Manager but I never bothered finding the device. I imaged the partition and created the boot disc. However, the boot using the boot disc stopped cold without any options except to cancel because of that unknown device. I've subsequently found out which device it was (never used it) and installed its driver.
 

My Computer

#17
Thanks for the advice regarding creating a boot disc as well as the image. Presumably (?) the boot disc needs to be on a bootable USB flash drive or DVD/CD and I can keep the image file on my external HDD. Or do they both need to be in the same location?
 

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    Windows Vista Home Premium (32 Bit)
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Studio XPS 1640
    CPU
    Intel Core 2 Duo (T6400 @ 2.00 GHz)
    Memory
    4 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3670
    Internet Speed
    40 Mb/s down / 10 Mb/s up
    Other Info
    Browsers: Opera 36.0 / Firefox ESR 52.9.0 (32-bit)
    AV: Avast Free Antivirus

townsbg

~~тσωηsвg~~
Vista Guru
Gold Member
US of A

Posts
2,301
#18
Thanks for the tip! I have the free version of Macrium Reflect.
On the dell website there is a fairly comprehensive service manual however laptops aren't as easy to work with as desktops.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows 7 Pro x64
    Manufacturer/Model
    Mid 2010 iMac
    CPU
    Quad core 3.2 Ghz Intel I3
    Memory
    8 gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Radeon HD 5670 512 mb ram
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080 and 1440x900
    Hard Drives
    1 TB
  • Operating System
    Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise
    Manufacturer/Model
    Compaq Presario SR5350F
    CPU
    Pentium 2.0 gHZ Dual core E2160
    Memory
    2 gb
    Screen Resolution
    1440 x 900
    Hard Drives
    300 GB

wither 3

Vista Guru
Gold Member
Posts
2,280
#19
Thanks for the advice regarding creating a boot disc as well as the image. Presumably (?) the boot disc needs to be on a bootable USB flash drive or DVD/CD and I can keep the image file on my external HDD. Or do they both need to be in the same location?
I used a CD for a bootable disc and I think a DVD would work as well. I didn't look into using a thumb drive. Maybe it's discussed in the link provided by Townsburg.

I think you can keep the image on the external HDD. I keep mine on a secondary hard drive on this system. You wouldn't want it on the same hard drive as your currently installed Windows since it wouldn't be available if the hard drive went kaput.
 

My Computer

#20
On the dell website there is a fairly comprehensive service manual however laptops aren't as easy to work with as desktops.
Thanks mate. I have the service manual and I have watched a few youtube vids and I can't say that any of that made me feel more confident about upgrading my CPU. It's not something I want to do right now. I need a newer / better laptop. Then I can mess about with this one. Running virtual machines on this physical machine is not a priority for me right now.
 

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    Windows Vista Home Premium (32 Bit)
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Studio XPS 1640
    CPU
    Intel Core 2 Duo (T6400 @ 2.00 GHz)
    Memory
    4 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3670
    Internet Speed
    40 Mb/s down / 10 Mb/s up
    Other Info
    Browsers: Opera 36.0 / Firefox ESR 52.9.0 (32-bit)
    AV: Avast Free Antivirus