Windows 7 forum

General discussion

How do I downgrade from windows 7 to XP?

by gwin_7 / January 28, 2010 3:24 PM PST

I just bought a new computer yesterday. (Dell Studio XPS) It came with windows 7 but I would like to wipe it clean and put XP on it. I tried to put the XP install disc in and boot from disc. It goes to a blue screen where i loads files for a while then a blue screen pops up that says error windows is shutting down for your safety or something like that. I tried doing it 3 times and the same thing happened every time. This is a brand new computer with nothing on it. Is there another way to about installing XP?


Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: How do I downgrade from windows 7 to XP?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: How do I downgrade from windows 7 to XP?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Prone with difficulties
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / January 28, 2010 8:18 PM PST

You need to visit he Dell web site, enter the tag number for this machine and see if Dell offer any help and/or drivers for installing XP on this system.

If not, then you will have problems finding the drivers necessary to install XP. For example, if this system has a SATA hard drive, you will need to find a way to install SATA drivers during the install, as XP never came with those.

You may fail. Many of the newer systems are not compatible with the older XP OS.


Collapse -
The kernel structure of the OS is different after XP
by Dango517 / January 28, 2010 8:34 PM PST

in both Vista and Window 7. You can't load XP over Window 7 because of it. You will need a clean install, from scratch. This roll back might not work. See your manufacturer for assistance.

XP is no longer sold. Where will you get the disc? XP is also possibly approaching it's end of service, keep this in mind, it has a year maybe two, tops.

Collapse -
XP is sold at
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 28, 2010 10:20 PM PST, and other places.

Maybe you live a country where it is not, but here, today it is still available.

Please stop posting this inaccurate reply.

Collapse -
About the kernel
by Dango517 / January 29, 2010 11:03 AM PST

Windows XP is no longer being made available. Copies available are one still available that exceeded the last day of manufacture by Microsoft or pirated versions. The general Pc user may not be able to find these last remnants of the Os without assistance.

Seems most XP versions have approximately three years left before there end of support. For the informed shopper that might be as little as 6 months, because, no one wants an obsolete OS and falling XP prices are beginning to reflect this.

Your entitle to your opinion and to see it any way you like.
Collapse -
Explain this one too!
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 29, 2010 1:07 PM PST
In reply to: About the kernel
Collapse -
It's not the kernel
by Jimmy Greystone / January 29, 2010 1:09 PM PST

It's not the kernel structure, that has nothing to do with it. XP, Vista, Win7, they're all evolutions of the NT kernel, which really hasn't changed fundamentally since NT 3.1.

What HAS changed, is the installation method. With Vista, MS switched to an image based install rather than copying individual files. This makes it a bit tricky to do an upgrade really, and of course they're trying to encourage people to buy new systems to generate secondary sales of software like Office or Works which may be bundled with a new computer, but wouldn't be purchased separately. It's more to do with money than any technical considerations. Since they made it so Vista could upgrade XP, and 7 upgrade Vista, there's no technical reason 7 couldn't have upgraded XP. They CHOSE to remove that option.

So there's really nothing at all true about your entire post, since Bob has already shot down the idea that XP isn't being sold anymore. Next time, you might want to know a little bit about what you're talking about before speaking. But at least you got kernel right, and didn't use kernal.

Collapse -
MS states 2014 as new end of support for XP
by btljooz / February 1, 2010 7:50 AM PST
Collapse -
This was SUPPOSED to be a reply and addition to
by btljooz / February 1, 2010 7:57 AM PST
Collapse -
Not going to happen
by Jimmy Greystone / January 29, 2010 12:51 AM PST

Not going to happen, sorry. There are no XP drivers for the Studio XPS 8000. You MIGHT be able to track some down if you go running around to the different websites of the individual component manufacturers, but there's no guarantees with that.

It's for the best anyway. XP is already on life support, getting critical security updates only. And even within that framework, support is going to slowly taper off the next 2-3 years until it stops completely. There's already a KNOWN EXPLOITABLE FLAW in the XP TCP/IP stack that Microsoft WILL NOT FIX deeming it "too difficult" to do. We also know from experience that Microsoft sits on bugs for weeks, months, sometimes even YEARS. Back in the dark days of Internet Explorer 6, Microsoft routinely sat on KNOWN EXPLOITABLE SECURITY FLAWS for 6 MONTHS or more.

XP has served its tour of duty and then some. Let it have some dignity in its final years, and don't keep clinging to it out of irrational fears of the unknown. In the rare event that you have an app that won't work with Win7, then you want to look into Win7 Pro's XP Mode, but the number of apps that actually need this are probably minuscule, and should have been phased out 5-6 years ago.

Collapse -
Driver dependent on computer?
by gwin_7 / January 29, 2010 2:26 AM PST
In reply to: Not going to happen

To Jimmy

I am mostly a mac user and do not know much about PCs. I would have imagined that the drivers are dependent on the OS not the computer model. How are there no drivers for XP on a dell? I guess I just don't know how that works. I figured that the drivers would be installed with XP. Im just looking to use XP for probably another year or so till all the audio software picks up their game with updating.

Collapse -
You are catching on quick.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 29, 2010 2:44 AM PST

The disaster scene that you find here is that the Windows industry has yet to get the driver act together. It's better but not by much. After 15 years (actually longer) you still have to go hunting for drivers.

And what you often hear for reasons are a hoot. Don't let them get away with EXCUSES. The industry had many chances to correct this and didn't.

Collapse -
Unfortunately no
by Jimmy Greystone / January 29, 2010 4:16 AM PST

Unfortunately no, it would make a whole lot more sense to move to a device independent system like the Unix world has had since forever, but that makes it quite a bit more difficult to include all the anti-piracy measures Microsoft chooses to add into their OS.

With Apple, they control the hardware and the software, so it's a lot easier to create a cohesive solution. It also puts you at greater mercy to the whims of a single company.

But you should look into XP Mode that's available with Win7 Pro. This basically lets you run XP inside a virtual machine. So think of it kind of like Parallels for the Mac. Though in this case, you're running an older version of Windows on Windows.

Collapse -
I would not mind running virtual mode but..
by gwin_7 / January 29, 2010 4:48 AM PST
In reply to: Unfortunately no

Does virutal mode give you full advantage of your computers processor and RAM?

Collapse -
For you. No.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 29, 2010 4:56 AM PST

You have some hardware and software that will be too finicky for me to suggest XP Mode. Tell Dell you want one of their XP models.

Collapse -
by jeff_windows_team / January 29, 2010 1:11 AM PST

What is your exact reason for wanting/needing to go back to XP?

Collapse -
by gwin_7 / January 29, 2010 1:56 AM PST
In reply to: curious

I appreciate the responses. I need XP for my recording studio. Most of the audio recording software (moslty all the plugi-ins) is not up to date with their drivers, nor does my interface have a driver for windows 7 yet. I guess I will have to return the PC if I cannot get XP to work. I called Dell and they said I could install xp but frankly it sounded like the lady did not know what she was talking about.

Collapse -
Dell has a plan.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 29, 2010 2:02 AM PST
In reply to: Reason
Collapse -
install xp or learn more about windows features...
by TaraS_WinTeam / January 29, 2010 2:16 AM PST


Here are the directions for uninstalling (replacing) Windows 7: Other commenters have pointed out some critical information- your new computer may not support Windows XP, drivers may not be available and Microsoft no longer supports XP.

I am not sure why you want to downgrade, I recommend you look at Windows 7 XP mode or a virtual machine if your concern is program compatibility:


Collapse -
XP Support
by jeff_windows_team / January 29, 2010 2:26 AM PST
Collapse -
just keep forking it over
by porsche10x / January 30, 2010 2:10 AM PST
In reply to: XP Support

You know, Microsoft has been itching to change from a purchase model to a subscription model for years. Guess, what. Their products have always been purely subscription based. They're just clever about it by putting up a smokescreen of "new products" and "life cycle" euphemisms.

This all started when someone made the possibly correct but irrelevant comment that it is impossible to formally, mathematically, guarantee that a piece of software is truly "bug-free". Somehow, that's been perverted into a culture of "doesn't have to work as along as it does something" and "I can keep charging you to fix what you already bought that never worked in the first place."

Gee, how come my hardware/firmware/software products have to work 100% or they come back and I don't get any money? What am I doing wrong? Oh, I know. It's because I have competitors.

Collapse -
How do I downgrade from windows 7
by Bobjons / January 29, 2010 2:25 PM PST

I also had this problem and tried many ways to reinstall XP.
This is how I solved the problem.
1. I pulled out an old Windows 2000 disc and did a complete format.
2. After the format I shutdown the computer and inserted the Windows XP disc and setup started with no errors.

Collapse -
XP maybe, maybe not
by msgale / January 30, 2010 11:12 AM PST

You mght be able to get a legal copy of XP on eBay. You will probably run into a problems doing the install since XP did not support SATA drives which the Studio XPS uses.

Collapse -
Best of Both
by Incognito60 / January 30, 2010 11:23 AM PST

Why not leave W7 in place.

I would partition hard drive then install XP on second Partition.

This can be done by inserting XP disk and starting PC. When asked choose the new partition.As there is no OS on new Partition XP will install with no problems.

Download Easy BCD from and create your duel boot system.

Once XP is booted you can let XP search for any drivers it needs for programs you run.

Now you can Both OS's

I run XP, Vista and W7 on an ASUS Duo 1.6 Ghz laptop with no problems.

If you need a program to partition hard drive then look at EASEUS Partition Manager from its free and easy to use.


Collapse -
That doesn't really help
by Jimmy Greystone / January 30, 2010 12:15 PM PST
In reply to: Best of Both

That doesn't really help if there are no XP drivers for the system's hardware. At the very least, you're going to need a SATA hard drive driver just to INSTALL XP.

Also, maybe a bit of a nitpick, but it's "dual" as in two. Duel is a ritualistic fight. So you might have a duel at dawn with dual pistols.

And dual booting is largely a relic of a bygone era now that we have hardware level virtualization. There's virtually no performance hit anymore, not to mention none of the headaches associated with dual booting.

The system you're dual booting with is much older than a recently purchased Studio XPS, so there might still be XP drivers for the hardware.

It really is time we let XP die. People hated it when it first came out, then they accepted the fact that it was here to stay. Vista wasn't really a bad OS all in all. It was just over promised and under delivered when it came to whiz-bang new features. No one cares about a lot of the under the hood improvements that did make it in, because they aren't readily visible. Win7 is now so well received because Microsoft learned its lesson with Vista. They made very few promises about 7, so it's easy to create the impression they are delivering more.

To the OP. You might just want to stick with an older system that came with XP originally. Then when it's time to update your apps to newer versions that will work with 7, you've got a new system all ready to go. But I also don't believe anyone has asked, or you have answered, whether or not you've actually TRIED installing the apps you need on 7, and to see if they will actually work. A lot of people just seem to assume some app or another won't work, but they never actually TRY it to see. The way I see it, you've got nothing to lose and everything to gain by trying. If you try and fail, you're no worse off, but if you try and succeed, then you are considerably better off.

Collapse -
Just a thought.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / January 30, 2010 7:44 PM PST
Collapse -
Company still using Win XP
by gipock53 / February 2, 2010 10:27 AM PST
In reply to: Just a thought.

this is all very interesting. I'm applying for a job with a company that still uses XP and requires that their employees not upgrade to Vista or Win 7 until they work out some compatibility issues with the company's own software. Does anyone know where I can read more about running XP mode under Windows 7? Thanks all.

Collapse -
In that case, never a problem.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 2, 2010 11:08 AM PST
Collapse -
Vista to XP
by gipock53 / February 2, 2010 1:12 PM PST

The problem is I'm running Vista on a laptop that is showing it's age. So I'm going to replace the laptop but still uncertain about Win 7. Most of the systems sold these days are with 64-bit versions of Win 7. Do I buy one of those and use the XP option or find a version of XP somewhere and overwrite Win 7? Appreciate everyone's input.


Collapse -
What I'm running today.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 2, 2010 1:44 PM PST
In reply to: Vista to XP

Windows 7 63 bit Pro with XP mode just in case. So far, nothing has me using XP Mode.

Collapse -
63-bit Eh?
by Jimmy Greystone / February 3, 2010 12:34 AM PST

63-bit eh? What did that last bit ever do to you?!

Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Help, my PC with Windows 10 won't shut down properly

Since upgrading to Windows 10 my computer won't shut down properly. I use the menu button shutdown and the screen goes blank, but the system does not fully shut down. The only way to get it to shut down is to hold the physical power button down till it shuts down. Any suggestions?