Dual-booting ensures system stability for field audio recording.
Dual-boot or not, you'll have to optimize your laptop for recording. Once optimized, you want to preserve the optimized environment and minimize/prevent changes. But why minimize/prevent any changes to your known good configuration?
Once you have a known-good configuration, any hardware/software changes may result in:
 DLL hell
 IRQ sharing conflicts
 activating or installing unnecessary background services
 replacing/updating device drivers
 memory leaks (you'd be surprised (or maybe not) how much crappy software there is out there)
All of these things - and others - have the potential to destabilize your recording environment, causing you to pull a flubbed recording for your favorite concert of the year! So if you have the hard drive space, dual-booting is a good idea.
Setting up the laptop
(hats off to Simp-Dawg for this!):
0. flash bios to latest level...yours is probably fine since it's a new machine but for older laptops, it's a good idea. make sure if there is a setting for turning off the laptop by shutting the screen, it is disabled.
1. format drive (fat32 is fine, i use it, you can go ntfs if you want, the jury is still out on that i think) into 3 partitions. i would go 6gb xp, 4gb 2k, and remaining for audio storage
- i let xp sit on the 1st partition since my recovery disks seemed to want to put it there. doesn't matter which one you put it on though, as long as you set it up to allow you to choose one when booting
2. load OS's - Win2K first (for recording), WinXP next (for everything else)
3. don't even bother with xp yet. you can do whatever you want with that later. just make sure it works in win2k, install service packs, necessary updates (none of that IE6.0 or outlook express crap, just stuff that seems necessary like system fixes etc) from windows updates.
4. install all necessary drivers for your computer, chances are the standard win2k drivers may not work with your fujitsu's cd-rw and special video drivers, etc...you'll have to do a little research on whether these are available on the fujitsu website for download, or if the xp drivers will work for win2k...they might. you probably won't need that wireless card though, and i would also disable the onboard audio, unnecessary devices, etc. make sure the system still works ok after this!!! reboot a few times and make sure you've uninstalled everything properly so they don't keep asking to be reinstalled at every boot up.
5. disable the services as detailed in http://www.blkviper.com/WIN2K/servicecfg.htm
. if you are going to be connecting this laptop to a network, you can create two hardware profiles, one for networked and one for recording, before doing this. then you can specify which services necessary for networking should be enabled or disabled in each profile. disable everything possible for the recording profile. Edit:
also see Tascam's info for optimizing Win2K/XP for audio
6. reboot again! set your power management options to always on...never have anything turn off except maybe your screen, disable hibernation.
7. download tweakui so you can really manipulate all the little settings in windows. disable all kinds of fancy graphical nonsense like fading menus, animated icons, etc. this is a really helpful tool and quite self explanatory. turn off what you won't need.
8. install audio hardware and software, and test thoroughly. recording, playback, w/ the screen closed, with it open, close the screen in the middle. you don't want any actions like this causing glitches in recording or turns off the laptop.
9. test it running in your case, see if it overheats. i had this problem running mine, i doubt you will with the small form factor of the lifebook and the relatively cool running transmeta processor, but better to be safe than really sorry you lost the show.