GrannyGeek: Why not try LILO with a floppy? Up until recently I was doing it that way as my MBR was on a defunked drive that I couldn't yank until I recovered some data off of it. Floppy worked very well with only a slight delay.
Your Vista wouldn't even have to know about it.
Have you bought a computer in the past few years? Floppy drives have become a rarity, first on laptops and now on desktops. I have four computers now, two desktops and two laptops. Only one computer has a floppy drive. My newer desktop does not offer booting from a USB floppy drive as an option and my older laptop wants only a certain Toshiba USB floppy drive for booting. My new Gateway laptop (the one that is picky about kernels) would probably boot from a USB floppy drive, but I wouldn't spend $20 or more just for booting when I have other options (i.e., the VL installation CD).
My older desktop does have a floppy drive and I boot VL betas and release candidates from it. Once a Gold version comes out, I modify my XP boot.ini file and use the XP boot loader, which works splendidly. Vista, alas, has done away with the boot.ini file and uses some sort of boot table that is obscure and that I can't figure out. I did download a program called EasyBCD that's a front end to the new Vista boot thing but I haven't looked into it yet.