Chris Pirillo Video: Can a Vista PC Run XP Instead?

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Chris Pirillo is the founder of the tech blogging network, Lockergnome and previously served as host of TechTV’s Call for Help show. Chris’s insightful and entertaining how to videos will now be featured in the PC Pitstop newsletters and highlighted at and

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42 thoughts on “Chris Pirillo Video: Can a Vista PC Run XP Instead?”

  1. I’ve bought several hundred dollars worth of software for doing the things I need do to for my business. Most of it works very well, and better than some of it’s updated versions.

    So why would I want to run another OS, just so I can spend even more on newer software, or need to run a Virtual OS?

    No thanks! It’s about overhead and my bottom linek and cost effectivness.

  2. I’ve never installed Vista in any of its versions; XP Pro SP3 has worked well for me and runs all the apps I want and runs them well. Ubuntu 64 Gnome Linux is very attractive, but I run into the problem of apps; despite the seemingly endless supply in the Linux repositories there are none that duplicate the apps I use in XP.
    I’m bypassing Vista and going on to W7 Pro. The OS looks very good to me and all the apps I currently run in XP will run nicely on a virtual machine in Windows XP Mode running on a W7 Pro 64bit platform.

  3. Vista works for me, except I wish Microsoft would at least acknowledge that explorer.exe, the main core of Vista crashes on a regular basis. I believe it is also the main part of IE7 or IE8, but could be wrong. It also crashes on a regular basis.
    If explorer.exe is loading something and the address bar is either green or yellow, it is crashed, and all these years later nothing has been repaired.

    I never run into this with either XPee or Windows 7 operating systems, so you don’t actually suppose that Microsoft actually fixed it – nah who am I kidding.

    Windows since 3.0 through 7.0 has always been an adventure, but then again, even Linux throws the odd curve at me too. I’ve just always considered it an interesting challenge. Things in life should never be easy, life becomes boring and so would Windows operating system.

  4. I have a dell running early vista and it is junk.
    It has crashed so many times I could never count them all.
    I am not a super techy so perhaps there are tricks I am missing but that computer was a pile of ^*^*!!!
    The screen has now gone blank white when ever it is turned on and it is now a large $2000.00 paper weight.
    That said I have an HP machine also running vista without all the extra junk delll likes to load into thier machines and my HP has been flawless. My only complaint is I did qualify for windows 7 and my experience with early XP and more so early vista stopped me from even wanting to try the “new” windows 7.
    Now that I have learned it is not really new it is vista that works I wish I had ordered it.
    I need to learn alot more about the workings of a laptop so I can fix my dell POS one of these days as I really could use another laptop for work. I have changed power supplies and drives in my wife’s XP desktop and it has always been very simple but I have never worked on a laptop.

  5. Hi Dave maybe the hardware configuration is different on your Toshiba model

    I had mine back to the shop they said it would only be possible to run WV

    I even let a friend who is an ex government Tech advisor to check it out he also said that it wouldn’t accept Windows XP 🙁

    Good luck with your machine



  6. Reply to Rod Hoerle

    Hotmail will run just fine.. I have a HP Pavilion with vista home premium (64 bit), dual core E5200 processor, with 6 gigs of ram (8 max)500gig hard drive.
    I am very happy with this system. It’s a “HP a6642p” refurbished. I got it in Feb. 2009 at “Fry’s” for $399.99. Item # 5810433. Don’t know if you can still get this or not. Check it out. If I remember right, I believe the system you are thinking of buying is about $700 to $1000 bucks. Compare the two on the HP web site and decide if yours is worth the extra $600bucks.

  7. I am like most, a basic user, I have 2 laptops, one with XP, and the other with Vista.
    I am able to run XP programs and software on Vista, as well as Palm TX, Tungstun E, Garmin GPS Mapsource, and many others. Biggest thing I have done is not use MS or DELL as TECH Support. Both Laptops are Dell, one is 6 years old, the other is 1 year old. When I first got the new laptop, I was transfering software to operate my external devices and used the above as tech support, total waste of time and energy, theey had me wipe my hard drive and start over, after this experiment, I went into Vista and set it up to work with XP compatibility, after doing this,it has worked fine, other than haing to go throught he allow panel to open up the programs. They work faster, better with Vista. As for those saying XP opens faster than Vista, you need to turn off all of Vista security features and use an after market security software package, I suggest a free one called AVAST, very good, and does all that the others charge for. Use it on all my platforms in my home.
    But if I am forced to change IE to IE 8 I will change to Firefox, is alot faster system, and you don’t get as many virus warnings, spam etc.
    My best advise is to check it out before you buy it, MAC is nce, but too expensive, and you will have issues with MS docs if you don’t spend the money on software to convert the docs.
    All of the OS providers are in it for the MONEY, that is how they stay in business, and they have to make changes to make us purchase and upgrade, just like car manufactures make cars that last 5 years if you are lucky so you have to buy a new one, computer manufactures do the same, just that it is outdated by the time you get the new one home…..

  8. I am rfeady to purchase a new HP Pavilion w/ Vista Home Premium (64 bit), Pentium Dual Core Processor E6300 w/8GB Ram, 750 GB SATA Hard drive. I have heard that Vista will not allow the use of Hotmail. Is this true? I realy would appreciate an answere, is possible as the sale price on the system I am considering buyuing ends Sunday, August 30th.

  9. For all of you that detest Vista and wish for XP. I found this wonderful little program that when downloaded will put an extra Tab on all your MS programs that run Vista. The extra tab is named “Menu” and if for instance you are working in MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint, clicking on it will give you XP version. It’s great! That way you have a choice of finding something with either XP or Vista. It eliminates the need to get rid of Vista.

  10. I,too, went from CPM on an Altos through DOS and all the way up. I’ve built several machines, tried the various office suites, PIM’s, browsers and tons of other hardware and software, and have definitely formed some opinions over the last 20+ years. Considering the comments I’ve read from others, I’m probably going to catch it and be a real idiot to some. But we have given honest real-world trials to most if not all of these products.

    1. WordPerfect X3 beats any other suite in usability. We’ve seen other firms switch to MS Office and their cost in money and downtime is huge. Most of our staff, who know both, are totally AGAINST any such change.

    2. Win2000 is the most stable MS OS they’ve made. XP is #2. All of our users from 25 to 61 years old HATE Vista because it slows down productivity. If my bankruptcy software wold run under Linux, we would.

    3. How relevant is it that MS “supports” an OS? Their real user “support isn’t much. On Win2K we do SP4 and update rollup 1 and turn updates OFF. We’ve had LOTS more stability. We don’t seem to have any real security issues since we’re.behind a hardware firewall AND a hardware router

    4. Users should be able to use whatever program does what they want. I shouln’t be told that I can’t use Win2k, or XP or whatever, as long as it works. We upgrade when our needs show that an upgrade is valuablE PERIOD.

  11. This message is for RAY.


    You have obviously never used either Vista or Windows 7. If you would have then you would realize that all current software and games now are designed for Vista (Windows 7 has not been released yet, so there will most likely be some compatibility issues for a little while). There was a problem early on with Vista compatibility issues, but those were mostly driver problems. I have used, and loved Vista for the last year and a half. I did not upgrade right away because I knew that there were hardware compatibility issues. The fact of the matter is that computers that are current will run Vista and Windows 7 just fine. They are more secure (by far) than XP ever was or could ever be, they are faster, and they are more stable.

    It really bothers me when people make uneducated comments about something that they have either never used or just have no technical knowledge whatsoever. The fact of the matter is people need need to really have the software installed and use it for a while in order to make a sound decision about a product.

  12. Going from 98 to XP was enough trouble because Gates and Co can’t do anything simple and useable, no we have this crowd of smugly inferior, haughty technogeeks who think that the entire computer world wraps around them because the rest of us are so much dumber (yeah, my iq is a low, low 165). Security issues are the reasons? HAH! It’s about bucks, microcrud has consistantly changed, upgraded and modifed their o/s’s for one reason only: those programs that compete with their inferior programs, viz Wordperfect v. Wurd. Gates can’t steal anymore, which is how he started microcrud back when you geeks were in diapers, or even before.
    Now my emachine motherboard is taking a dump and there are no replacements (thanks microcrud), so I have to buy a new one. It will use Linux, which not only works better but has NO security issues. Goodbye, Mr. Gates!

  13. So Vista is great huh? Why then is Microsoft ditching it? Maybe because people like the Professional Photographers of America did a special deal with Dell to give members access to new computers equiped with XP. There are hundreds of propritary imaging programs that Vista simply will not run.

    Personally, I gave Vista a serious go for 4 months. It was so screwy I gave up, and even though the computer manufacturer said my warranty would be void if I changed to XP, I really had no choice. Now it works flawlessly.

    I sinserely hope W7 is not Vista in a new dress.

  14. Sticking to xp is like beating a dead horse. For the love of it you xp lovers are hanging onto a OS that needs 3 servicepacks and about 80 updates to fuunction properly. xp doesn’t recognise more then 3.25 Gb of memory, it doesn’t support Direct X10 nativly it is just outdated.
    Explorer has been the motor of xp whereas in Vista and windows 7 it is confined to a sandbox enviroment for security reasons.
    For those of you that hate the UAC feature in Vista that tries to protect you from killing your system, it can easly be turned off in user account settings.

    Don’t blame a OS if your hardware is the one to blame.

  15. Vista or windows 7 may be ok but I’m stuck on windows XP because of other equipment. I operate two dsp’s in a sound system that will only work with windows XP. To replace the dsp’s would cost me over $3000.Untill they come up with something that will work with old XP products I have to stay where I’m at.

  16. My biggest problem with my new laptop with Vista is that I cannot get it to load a Java file. It even has a “Java for Vista” checkbox but it still won’t load. Any suggestions.


  17. The biggest problem with Vista for me is the fact that Microsoft dropped support for thousands of owners/users of Microsoft Office Keyboards. This keyboard is absolutely essential for the intensive graphic work I am involved with. In fact, it is impossible working without it using Vista. I have two desktops running XP that work perfectly with the keyboard, and a $2000.00 laptop running Vista that is absolutely worthless.

  18. Come on now PCPITSTOP, why did you all even publish this video. You all are so advanced in the computer techy world. You just took a huge step back in my opinion of you all by posting this video on your site.

  19. My biggest issue with vista is the incompatibility with a lot of software programs. I cannot put my Palm TX software on it. I get errors when I try to use my HP Smart Photo printer. I get errors when I try to use my Dell wireless product as well. It just seems that there are too many incompatible products with Vista. I have the eternity version. Other than that, I do not like the folder structure either. XP has and will always be my favorite. It runs every hardware program I can give it. We will see what W7 is like in the future.

  20. Im a xp user Ive tried vista on a number of occasions and always find it lacking and using a shocking amount of memory.
    I am not stuck in the past and am looking forward to windows 7 but Microsoft must accept users do NOT want a operating system that trys to tell the operator what the can or cannot do such as windows 98 did and vista.
    But we what a system that will blindly do as it is told such as windows nt 2000 xp server2003 etc.
    surprisingly all the good ones are server based o/s

  21. I have been a PC user since the days of Sinclaire through tto Comodore Plus/4 the Einsteins etc using DOS then windows 3 up over the best platfom of all windows was a joint tie between Windows 95 and 98for speed and stability
    Windows ME and SE were not too bad either
    the trouble with XP is the bundled rubbish that is installed why the heck they don’t just give us the raw operating system with video and sound options I don’t know many people I know in PC land don’t want this junk

    I say to Microsoft stop trying to make out decissions for us we are probably more capable than you at setting our machines up than you are get off the tech track and back to common senc you lot coudn’t even qualify for idiot status

  22. I purchased a Toshiba Laptop earlier this year with vista as it operating system And NO you can not run XP on these machines as the hardware is VISTA orientated
    What annoyed me with Vista was the name changes in the Control Panel and the devious or oblique way they have altered things which were so obvious in XP such as Sounds and Audio settings that section alone is a total mess on its own

    Many other options were either eliminated or hidden under different headings Had Vistas Control Panel ben set up the same way as XP I think it would have faired better

    Reports are saying that the business worl are bypassing windows 7 because of the total hash up that microsoft made with Vista

    Dell Computers lead the way again giving people the option to roll back to XP this is telling us that NO XP can not be installed on all Vista machines


  23. I am a new Vista user and believe me it is hard to get away from XP..But I am not given up on Vista.. I would just like to learn “what to turn off” to make it better as I have trouble getting e-mail when I travel Internationally through windows mail.. Can someone advise if they have the same issues and again, what and how to turn off these so called “blings”.. Thanks


  25. Chris, Ocala Fl.

    I find Vista to be a very stable system except once in a while it tells me I need administrators permission when I am the administrator. If you want you can run both XP & Vista on the same machine, just choose which one to open with when the screen comes up during start up.

  26. I have tried all of the versions of Vista and have told my customers to stick with XP at least until the full version of Win7 comes out, I have been running 7 since the first Beta, now have the RC on my machines as well as a few of my more astute customers, it is a very stable power house, nothing like Vista, for high powered gaming, heavy design and photo editing work, it is a stable and fast platform even outpacing, outworking and eclipsing XP.

  27. My business is building custom Gaming PCs I have used XP,VISTA, and W7. I will have XP around on at least 1 PC till it will not work any more and I try not to install Vista and will not guarantee it on my builds as there is to many XP based PCs that where built with vista installed that are just not compatible with the OS now Iv helped with the test and love W7 and have it back ordered as a gamer I like how it work’s faster and stable most old and new hardware work on the OS I believe it is a much needed updated OS but until XP just quits working it will still be in use in my home,some future builds, and my business. as it is still a stable and easy to use OS by the way as most knowledgeable PC users know if you switch to vista you probably will have to upgrade most of your hardware

  28. i wish peaple would stop bad mouthing vista it leves xp standing i have vista on my laptop and xp pro on my desck top xp is very dated and not so safe now so all xp users grow up xp is past its life time so just let xp die roll on windows 7

  29. Uh, I hate to call someone a liar…. but pb, you are a liar! The fact is that Vista starts up FASTER, tens of seconds faster, than XP. If it isn’t on your system…. let me be blunt: you either have an extremely outdated, underpowered system with not enough memory, or you have a virus on your machine!
    As to your other cracks? They didn’t include a desktop e-mail program with Windows 7 because the EU was getting ready to make a big stink about that next, after they got done with their stink about IE!

    The only reason that they pushed Vista was also NOT the dollars… it was because XP was BY DESIGN INSECURE, and there was flipping nothing they could do to fix that, bottom line. The OS simply needed a total redesign, and that is what they did in Windows Vista.

    All of your WHINING, pb, sounds like someone who is just whining TO whine. None of your beefs are really legitimate, and if you cannot find stuff in Vista…… you ain’t looking very freaking hard, because most stuff is in the SAME or EVEN MORE APPARENT spot as in XP.

  30. In my perfect world, OS’s wouldn’t go “end of life.” I still use a DOS bookkeeping program on a 486 sx25 with a 40 mb (that’s megabyte) hard drive. When it breaks, I’ll have to find something that works on XP?

  31. I’m with you Mal…just what things can we turn off in Vista?? I have Vista on my laptop and XP on the desktop. I don’t like Vista AT ALL, takes forever to come on and shutdown, I can’t find simple things, they’ve added steps to even the simple tasks…and yes, maybe my dislike is because I’ve used XP for 6 years. I honestly can’t find one thing I like about it. I just think that XP is a good solid system and the only reason that I can see they pushed Vista was for the dollars, and Vista flopped! I don’t plan to get Win7 and when I can no longer get updates for XP I’m switching browers altogether! I’m floored with the fact that MS didn’t include a desktop email program with 7 thinking we’ll feel there’s no alternative but LIVE mail!!! I think NOT!
    Thanks MS, but no thanks…time to move on!

  32. I am a person who strongly believes that XP is the pinnacle in windows operating systems, and yet realizes that fairly soon, I’m going have to make a change. I have Vista on my laptop and XP on my desktops, so I do have more than a little familiarity with Vista. I’ve upgraded my laptop memory and hard drive which has helped somewhat. Disconnecting (I haven’t deleted it all yet) access to all the “bonus” software that came from the manufacturer has greatly improved my performance and my experience with using Vista. I’m almost starting to like it. Which brings me to my pet peeve – software that does not know how to behave as a guest (which is what it really is) on MY computer. Maybe Vista’s biggest faults include Microsoft trying too hard to prevent software theft and in doing so treating us all as thieves, and manufacturers trying to sell us more stuff at any expense instead of selling us a positive experience, and thus maybe garnering a loyal following. After building my own systems for my desktops (and not getting anything “bonus” that I don’t want) I will NEVER purchase another from any manufacturer. Too bad laptops aren’t as flexible.

  33. I have to agree with Dave. Why do so many people hate Vista? I am not be any means a computer whiz. Call me a novice but I’m not a newbie. I have published a few websites and so I’ve been using my laptop quite a bit. I absolutely love Vista AFTER having used Windows XP for several years. I even upgraded one of my desktops to Vista and it’s never run better and my children even like it. I don’t know why so many people want to knock Vista.

    If you turn off a lot of the “bling” in Vista, you get a really great operating system with a lot of protections and correctibility. Great for those folks who like to just point and click without really looking at what they are doing (think kids, spouse, etc) I even get a chuckle when I hear and read about how bad & useless and terrible Vista is but then I go online and watch the blind use ads where people just love the operating system….oh, that’s Vista? I think it was somebody’s unilateral wet dream to start badmouthing Vista and it just caught on. So now people hate Vista and they really don’t even know what it is or haven’t even tried it.
    That’s just my opinion….

    “Using and Loving Windows Vista Everday”

  34. @Rick, sorry but XP is NOT here forever and eventually you will have to update and now probably is a good time for XP users as XP really is comming to the end of it’s lifespan and really is getting dated, also seing as you tried vista 2 years ago it is not really a fair comment as it has changed a lot since first release

    everything that is new and different will be complained about by a small but vocal minority that don’t like it just because it is not what they are used to.

    I did not bother updating to vista when it was released but have already pre-ordered W7, you cannot stay on the old technology forever and while I did not bother with vista after having Win7 for several months it is painful having to switch back to XP in much the same way that I would never have gone back to Windows 98 once I had used XP for a while.

    it is time that some of the comentators on PC pitstop dropped their old idea’s and actually tried w7 or even vista with an open mind

  35. Why even address such a stupid question? Of course you can put XP on a Vista machine and if it is several years old drivers should not be a problem. What I don’t understand is why everyone hates Vista? If you turned off all the “garbage” it worked just fine and made several improvements on XP. Seven is not much more than Vista with a few tweeks and a new name to avoid calling it Vista service pack X.

  36. my current dell computer was shipped with vista home premium and i used vista for about 3 months and hated it. i then removed it and went back to xp. that was 2 years ago. xp is here for me…forever. i tried windows 7 but it is vista with a new face.

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