Selene's machine fared much worse. The installer got to about the same point and then it just stopped. The system was running but no updating was evident. When I tried to cancel the install, I got another damnable and downright rude "cannot cancel the install at this point. The system may not start up" messages. After letting it 'run' for another 12 $(#)(# hours, it was clear the install was going nowhere. I powered off the machine. After restarting it, the system attempted a rollback. It failed. I then spent several more hours picking up the pieces. Selene hadn't backed up all her files, and thank the bright stars the firewire drive was accessible. I ran the recovery console and manually copied the important files off. At this point the only two choices left were to perform either a clean installation of XP or a clean installation of Vista. Since everything was now safely stashed onto the firewire drive, we opted for the clean Vista installation. That took another 2 hours and it eventually did boot albeit slowly.
The system is pretty but the translucent glass effect would not work with the 64MB dedicated RAM video chipset. Frak! that used to be the requirement but now Vista needs 128MB of dedicated RAM (or a video chipset with shared memory). Ah well, I set up Selene's account and we started to play around with it. Vista takes up a lot more memory than XP and it is slower, not that different in scale than OS X's slowness as compared to OS 9. Still, it was quite usable - much better than the beta releases. Unfortunately, Norton antivirus is not supported and Norton seems to be behind on a Vista ready version. Much worse was the lack of a WACOM graphire driver for Vista. Selene absolutely needs it so that ended that attempt. Massively worse was the crash when switching users and the complete hang when waking up from sleep. This makes Vista nonviable on laptops. I have many bugs to write up when I return to the office Tuesday.
Sigh! I mind-wiped the machine and reinstalled Windows XP. The mind-wipe is necessary because of the differing directory structures, so I had to install every app again. We moved all her data back from the firewire drive and her system is working again, two days later.