I recently bought a Toshiba Laptop (a Satellite A305-S6916
), and with it, came Vista Home Premium.
I, of course, immediately wiped the hard drive clean, took a shower for having touched a computer with Vista pre-installed on it, then proceeded to partition it, and install gentoo Linux on it.
The compatibility with Linux of the peripherals on this machine is - well - amazing. So far, I've been able to get 100% of them working in Linux with relative ease. Even the webcam works with the uvc driver!
So, after buying my iPhone and realizing that itunes is NOT
compatible with Linux, wine, or anything else as of this writing, I got to thinking about my predicament.
"Hmmm... Vista came with my laptop, didn't it." I shuddered at the thought... Yet the logic persisted. "My options are the following: 1) - Spend money on Windows XP and install that. 2) - Spend money to buy some sort of portable mac-compatible computer with OS-X on it. 3) - *gulp* - Use the version of Vista that came with your computer and install that on one of the partitions.
Obviously, option 3 won. Holy - freaking - cow. I'm going to have a computer with Vista on it. For shame.
So, I started doing some research because, of course, the Toshiba laptop didn't come with any Vista install disks, so I downloaded an ISO of the OEM version of Vista (evidently, all versions of vista come on all Vista disks. The key used simply unlocks the version you buy.). It is important to use the OEM version, and not the retail version if you are using a laptop with Vista pre-installed. The retail version won't work.
So, I burned the DVD ISO, and plugged in the disk. It came up with the usual Microsoft licensing crap, which I scoffed at (yet clicked), and I was off to the "please select the disk" screen.
At this point, I selected my disk, gave in the "next" click-a-roonie, and it came up with the following vomit:
"Windows is unable to find a system volume that meets its criteria for installation
After a bit of googling, I found that Vista requires that the partition be "active". I used a utility called "Diskpart.exe" which comes with the install-disk (read here
for more info on this utility) to select and "activate" the partition, and then continued on with the installation.
As soon as the partition was activated, it went on to install Vista, and that's where I am right now. So far, so good.
The next step will be to recover the now-destroyed MBR section of the hard drive which Vista overwrote, by putting GRUB back on.
I assume everything will be peachy from there on.
I'll update if anything else is needed.
Oh yeah - I also assume that you can "activate" the partition using fdisk by using the "a" command. Not sure if it's the same thing, though.