Tuesday 8 January 2008

Acer & IBM-Lenovo seem to include the XP Downgrade now

We have been working with a number of Windows Vista based Acer TravelMate 6592G and Lenovo T61 laptops.

Out of the box, we fire them up and run through the Windows Vista initialization which can take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes depending on the speed of the system.

We do that for each new laptop we receive on behalf of our clients. Once the initialization is finished, we create the Windows Vista recovery media for our archives.

Initially, laptop manufacturers were not necessarily providing the ability for us to easily downgrade the Windows Vista installation to Windows XP Professional. We had to install an OEM copy of Windows XP Pro, then download and install every component driver which could be a hit and miss affair.

Fortunately, that has changed lately. Both Acer and IBM are now supplying a set of recovery disks to downgrade the laptop to Windows XP Pro.

That is no simple feat either. The manufacturer essentially has to double up on image creating for each Windows Vista model.

Now we can essentially babysit the system to change disks as the Windows XP Pro recovery media runs.

While the cost of providing the downgrade disks can be distributed across hundreds of thousands of units for the manufacturer the same cannot be said for our clients.

So, this is definitely a step in the right direction for all concerned.

Oh, and remember to make a copy of those disks for your archives. ;)

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.

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