Trying to run Windows Vista / Server 2008 on a modern Skylake system

Hello y’all! I think I’ve heard of you guys before but I just wanna detail my experience on trying to run Windows Vista on post-Haswell hardware, like my Skylake laptop here.

My specs are:

Dell Inspiron 5559
Intel Core i5 (Skylake)
OSes currently installed: macOS Catalina, Windows Embedded POSReady 7 (SP1) and Windows Server 2008 (original, SP2). (1TB HDD, with separate 250GB partitions: one for macOS and one for Server 2008, and remaining space for Windows Embedded)
RAM: 16 GB
GPU: HD Graphics 520 (works fine on Catalina and POSReady, but Server 2008/Vista not and I’ll get to that)

and that’s all I know for now. But, the story is, I have heard from MSFN that installing Vista on post-Haswell hardware carries troubles, such as semi-usable OS, services failing to start and driver troubles. That happens on the x64 version of the OS since I’ve heard you won’t get those issues installing the x86 version (though I prefer x64 version since I can keep my GPT tables).

Starting the Windows Vista installer on the DELL was straight forward, but upon hitting “Install now”, I got a message saying to “Load Drivers” for my hard disks, even though the Windows Preinstallation Environment recognized my HDD and my Windows partitions. (Yes, I was installing Vista / Server 2008 from a USB). But, if I install Windows from WITHIN Windows Embedded, it would work and copy the files to my Vista/2k8 partition. Upon completing installation of Vista and/or Server 2008, here’s what started to happen:

- Sometimes successful boot attempts, sometimes not, and some services would fail to start (I would start some myself, like Audio, some did start correctly but some won’t)
- I installed modified drivers, like USB 3 and sometimes it won’t work. (I got my modified USB 3 drivers from MSFN,…s-vista-x86x64/) and I modified the iGPU Skylake Driver for Windows 7 to NT 6.0 to allow it to install in the Vista/2008 Device Manager, it would still installed although it would say “it’s not digitally signed” but upon restarting, the drivers would not work and wouldn’t start at all.
- Since I have to swap my WiFi card with Dell DW1560 (which is a Broadcom chip) for macOS, it worked on Vista/2008 as well. But the “Windows Wireless Service” wouldn’t start on some boots so I have to start the services myself.

If you’re welcome to help me with modified drivers, you’re welcome to do so. That’s just my experience running Vista/2008 on a DELL Skylake laptop. If you have any questions or solutions you can submit them here. Thank you!