I was lucky enough to search around and found a 'backdoor' to download Windows Vista RC1 direct from Microsoft site. Here's the link. I'll try to install it on my shoebox PC, but first I have to reformat my current harddisk. I can't believe it: what are the odds that 2 of your 3 partitions are corrupted? What causes the corruption: is it data or hardware?
I also finally bought another 19" LCD monitor and fulfilled my long wish of a dual-display workstation. To support dual outputs, I also bought a new AGP card. After a quick swop of cards and plugging all the cables together, the monitors are up and working within 5 minutes.
Then comes the agonising part of calibrating the monitors. I can never seem to match the colours. The new monitor has a yellow cast but white-white, while the old one produces accurate grey but greyish-white. So what appears black-and-white on my old monitor appears off-sepia on my new monitor, and while the new monitors produce white really white, the old monitor looks kindda discoloured off-white. So frustrating!!! I also hate the way our eyes play tricks. As I fine-tune, Monitor A will appear white-colour-correct, then when I retune Monitor B, Monitor A's white will seem to be off, even without touching Monitor A!
Back to the Vista, I tried installing it on the shoebox PC but got an error halfway through. It seems that my harddisk is really corrupted, a goner. Guess it's another trip to Sim Lim to get a new harddisk.