General Question

Jack79's avatar

How do I uninstall Vista?

Asked by Jack79 (10906 points ) January 10th, 2010

My dad’s laptop has a virus called “Vista”. It looks just like an OS, something like XP, except that it’s crap. So I want to uninstall it and replace it with a real operating system instead (DOS, Linux, Windows 95… anything but this crap).

The problem is that the computer sees the installation CD as a potential threat and won’t let me either downgrade (via Vista) or install (in the boot-up sequence) or in any way touch the hard drive. I cannot even reformat or partition it, as would normally happen with a WinXP installation disk, because the system freezes when it loads the drivers. I think it’s doing that on purpose, there’s nothing wrong with the WinXP CD (it’s an original copy).

The best advice I could find so far is this http://www.tech-faq.com/how-to-uninstall-vista.shtml
which is exactly what I’ve been doing all along anyway. It doesn’t say how else you can get rid of this “vista” thing if it won’t go away. All I need is some way to at least go into DOS and format C:, but even when I found a command prompt (using a Win98 CD) it could not find a “C:” drive, or any other letter for that matter (except the virtual drive A: and the floppy B:).

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15 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

Use a partition manager to delete the partition, make a new partition, format it appropriately and install the apposite OS.

Jack79's avatar

It doesn’t see the partition :(

reactor5's avatar

Hammer. Or a Linux live cd.

dpworkin's avatar

Download Easus. I think it’s free.

poisonedantidote's avatar

it should be as simple as putting the windows XP cd in the machine and rebooting, sadly it is not. chances are you will be told you are trying to install a version of windows that is older than the one you have.

if it works though, you should just be able to delete and create new partitions, format and install XP.

but, your best bet, is to download linux ubuntu, install that, then use the xp cd to format and install.

Jack79's avatar

trying to make a DOS boot CD, let’s see if that works and then I’ll try linux or something. Problem remains that since it can’t see the drive, it can’t format it. In every other case the installation CD always reaches a point where I can choose to either repair, install, or format. This one always stops earlier, seeing the XP CD as a “potential threat”.

hmmm…both the DOS boot CD and Win98 (same thing basically) can’t see the drives. It actually says “no drives found, aborting installation” in the boot-up sequence. I think Microsoft has done something on purpose so that people can’t get rid of this Vista virus. Feels like a damn worm.

I wonder if banging the laptop against the wall might help…

the100thmonkey's avatar

The system may freeze when you put in the XP CD because the basic drivers aren’t included – an old XP disc (Pre SP1, for example) won’t have SATA drivers, for example.

When you boot the computer, you’ll need to tell the BIOS that you want to boot from CD. You can’t just put the CD in the drive and expect it to boot from it, nor can you put the CD in the drive when Vista is running and expect it to let you format.

The best thing to do in your situation would be to download Ubuntu 9.10, burn it to a CD and boot from that. The key you press to force the BIOS to present you with a boot device menu varies depending on the machine and the BIOS it’s running. However, it’s often Del, F11 or, sometimes, F2. You can also use the Ubuntu LiveCD to test-drive the OS before install. I strongly recommend you give it a whirl before you decide to install – Linux is not Windows, and behaves quite differently in several very important aspects.

Another alternative would be to upgrade to Win7 – it’s a lot better than Vista, and is better optimised for lower spec machines.

Gadgetmo's avatar

Throw it away and get a Mac.

Jack79's avatar

@the100thmonkey no, I know all that. The laptop actually has F2 to enter setup but you can simply press F12 and only pick the boot sequence (since that’s what most people want to do in setup). It’s good that way.

Whichever CD I try to use, it starts loading normally, and then stops because it can’t see the hard drive. At first I thought this was some safety feature by Microsoft because they didn’t want people to uninstall their programmes. But it’s probably what you say: because the laptop is very new, it has SATA cables, whereas the CD has drivers for IDE. So it can’t see the drive at all unless I load the drivers (which are loaded during the Vista startup-sequence).

If it was a desktop PC I could simply chuck the disk onto my other computer and format it there, but I’m not going to open up a laptop. Tried it once and failed horribly.

Anyway, thanks for all the answers, I’ll try Ubuntu and if not, go for Win7 (though I personally prefer XP).

Jack79's avatar

Ubuntu worked. So at least I got rid of Vista, which was the tough part. Now I think I’m going to try Ubuntu for a while (never seen it before but it looks ok) and, if not, switch to XP.

Thanks again :)

the100thmonkey's avatar

Don’t forget to change the theme and activate Compiz (if you have a reasonable graphics card) – it makes Windows (even 7) look like a frump.

LeotCol's avatar

You could download a program called G-Parted. Its a free partition manager. Download it here

Anyways its great it will let you delete partitions or resize them or join the together or move them around. Theres some tutorial videos on youtube also if you need them.

So you can boot from the Gparted disk that you burn and format it completely and join it all into one hard drive from there.

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