I first tried to partition my hard drive to allow another new partition for Vista. The partition created ok, but something got whacked in my XP partition and it would not boot. No problem, I have a backup. I had used Norton Ghost to take an image of my laptop drive the night before and saved it to an external 200G USB drive I have. However, about half way through the restore, Ghost exited with an error.
What I finally ended up doing was to delete all partitions on my laptop using the Vista DVD and installing Vista on the entire laptop. I'm using it now. It's a but sluggish with only 512M memory. I have ordered memory to take my laptop to 1G and I'll be interested to see how that improves Vista. The video on my laptop is pretty good, a Mobility Radeon 9600/9700, but it does not have enough video memory to use all the neat features of Vista and this is probably slowing it down a bit too.
This beta 2 still has some rough edges, but I like what I am seeing. MS has fixed and improved some of the bothersome features in XP, such as the start menu that disappears as soon as your mouse slips off of it!