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.
"Most of us, when all is said and done, like what we like and make up reasons for it afterwards." -- Soren F. Petersen