PDC Vista Installation troubles

::: {.Section1} [First, I tried in a VPC. That didn't work because it wouldn't accept the activation code. ]{style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"}

[Second, I used PartitionMagic to add a new 20GB partitition on my boot drive. Still wouldn't accept the activation code. [Solved]{style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold"}: Realized that I was trying to install PDC disk 1[ ]{style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold"}instead of PDC disk 5. Disk 1 is the public beta of Vista , but at least my copy of "The Details" gives the same activation key for both ? in other words, the activation key only works for the Disk 5 PDC build, not the Disk 1 public beta build.]{style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"}

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[So, began to install PDC build on my new partition, but the "Choose where to install" dialog refused to recognize my boot drive as a valid place; only my data drive. Rebooted into XP, and BootMagic wouldn't recognize my data drive as a valid place to install a new OS, only my boot drive. So I put a new partition on my data drive and figured I'd figure it out later. ]{style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"}

[Installed the PDC Vista build on the new partition in my data drive (which apparently is seen by Vista as the valid boot drive). Install went okay. When the system boots, I see the Microsoft boot manager, giving me a choice between Vista and XP. Choosing Vista gives me a classic DOS prompt saying that HAL.DLL is corrupt or missing. Booting into XP brings me back into my normal system and in fact I can see that my Vista install (on drive E: or somesuch) doesn't have a HAL.DLL at all. Copying the XP HAL.DLL to my Vista \Windows\System32 doesn't help. ]{style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"}

[I actually suspect that the Vista boot is not going to the Vista drive at all, that some weird combination of cables and boot managers has screwed things up. Now my debate is whether I should:]{style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"}

  1. [Swap cables and see if I boot off my data drive, or]{style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"}
  2. [Try to install under VPC, or]{style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"}
  3. [Delete the partitions and wait 'til next year]{style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"} :::