You should have just run the Vista install that came with the machine. Vista gets much more flack than it deserves, a large portion of it from people trying to run it on excessively old hardware. It runs just fine on every system I've installed it on that is less than 5-6 years old.
...when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor. - Fred Brooks, Jr.