General discussion

Installing Windows XP over Windows Vista

I have Windows Vista RC2 installed on my new Gateway laptop and I'm trying to install Windows XP on it. However, when I insert the CD and open the setup it says that I cannot install an older version of Windows over Windows Vista. When I boot from the Windows XP install disc, it says that It cannot locate my hard drive. My hard drive is a Western Digital WD1200BEVS. I don't know what to do. Have any ideas?

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You need to remove Vista first...

Microsoft does not support 'downgrading' an operating system, so you will have to erase your hard drive, or at least that partition, before you can install Windows XP on it. The 'hard drive not found' issue adds an interesting twist (I'd blame the Gateway OEM recovery system's design for not being able to handle this situation) but it should be taken care of relatively easily. First, backup all files, favorites, etc. that you want to keep. Second, use DBAN to wipe your hard drive clean. (This will permenantly delete all files on the hard drive, so verify your backups before proceeding.) Once the drive has been erased then try installing Windows XP again from scratch.

Hope this helps,

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how do i go back to xp


i have windows vista on my computer but i want to go back to windows xp, but i cant boot my comp from the xp cd.

how do i go back to xp?


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What happens?

If your computer is going straight to Windows and never giving you the option of booting from CD you may need to access your system BIOS and edit the boot order such that the CD/DVD drive is of the highest priority, while your hard drive is second. Just keep in mind that you can't simply 'downgrade,' so you'll be wiping everything, including any personal files, and starting fresh.


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doesnt let me boot from cd

i have already changed the boot order but when i start up my comp with the disk in it never says "to boot from cd press any key" and when i try to install xp from the set up window after vista has loaded it says i cant.

is there any other way.


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See These Steps...

As described in other locations of this thread, you may need SATA drivers to get it to install correctly.. But then again, it wasn't necessary when I recently "downgraded" on an XP machine. You haven't describe which brand name you're dealing with PLUS the key to all of this is finding the correct hardware drivers for XP, but the link below should help you get the job done. Without the correct drivers, then machine won't work correctly. It's not really a processes for the faint at heart.

Hope this helps.


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to install XP over Vista on Dell vostro 1700

I could not install XP on the laptop that had Vista pre installed it kept telling me it could not find the hard drive.
I changed the Bios setting for SATA operation from AHCI to ATA and this allowed me to install XP

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good reply

You are posting a reply to: to install XP over Vista on Dell vostro 1700
by Archer_a - 12/19/07 9:19 AM

I could not install XP on the laptop that had Vista pre installed it kept telling me it could not find the hard drive.
I changed the Bios setting for SATA operation from AHCI to ATA and this allowed me to install XP.


This reply allowed me to install Windows XP and the Windows Vista is gone lol

Thanks a lot for the helpful reply.


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sata setting

I have a toshiba Satellite. the bios does not give you the ability to change the sata controller mode. it is set at ahci and no option to change to ati. Now what?

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Thoshiba BIOS update

I've the same Toshiba satellite L510. i'm getting the support for SATA and to desable it too.. try upgrading ur BIOS..

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Worked for me...

I changed the SATA settings in the BIOS to ATA (although I had to disable the flash module to do so... whatever that means or does???) and was able to boot from my XP CD... Thanks for the help/solution!!! Any idea if I'm going to need the flash module???


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how to find this SATA ACHI

how can i find this option and what is this plzz urgentt

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Problems with HDD not detect when installing XP over Vista

Changing the way the SATA controller from the BIOS has worked for me, hasnt been able to work this out for some time. Even third party tools havent been able to format the drive for me, it simply didnt show the hard disks...anyway just changing the settings from the bios has done the job, thanks very much guys!! keep it up..HappyHappy

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install XP over Vista on HP Compaq 8510p

I was able to install Windows XP SP2 32-bit over pre-installed Windows Vista on my HP Compaq 8510p laptop by making a change in the BIOS.

After entering the BIOS, I selected SYSTEM CONFIGURATION; then DEVICE CONFIGURATION; then changed SATA NATIVE MODE from Enable to DISABLE. I placed my XP CD in the drive, rebooted my laptop, pressed any key to boot from the CD, and voila, the hard drive was recognized and I was able to make the necessary selections to begin installing XP SP2.

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Yep, Already Mentioned Earlier In This Thread
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installing xp over vista

my customers don't always make my task easy. in this particular instance, i couldn't use the vista cd because my customer didn't supply the vista cd.

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HP 550 Won't let me install with purchased XP SP2 CD.

I am trying to get XP Home Edition installed on my HP 550 lap top model number. It has an Intel Celeron processor 2.0ghz 3gb RAM. It had Vista Basic installed on it. I ran deban to erase Vista and now, when I try to install XP from CD I get this message "A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer. If this is the first time you've seen this error screen, restart your computer. If this screen appears again, follow these steps: Check for viruses on your computer. Remove any newly installed hard drives or HD controllers. Check your HD to make sure it is properly configured and terminated. Run CHKDSK /F to check for HD corruption, and then restart your computer.

Technical Information:
*** STOP: 0x0000007B (0xF78D2524, 0xC0000034, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)

I ran a check HD in BIOS (as this is all I have with an erased HD and it found no issues with the HD. Does anyone know what I can do to remedy this and get XP on this laptop?

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Did you chat with HP?
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Installing Windows XP over Windows Visitation

All of this information is very helpful to me. But I don't remember how to get into the BIOS. I seem to recall that one used to have to press one of the function keys while the computer is booting, but I'm not sure about this. If so, which key? Or must I do it some other way?

Thank you,

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It Depends On The Computer/Motherboard...

Immediately after starting the computer, generally after the brand name flash screen loads, press the appropriate F key for your manufacturer and model number.. The appropriate key can be F1, F2, F10, Delete, Esc, or a combination of keys. Sometimes, the appropriate "Setup" key is listed on the black post screen during startup. Since you've not told us which computer brand or model, that's the best I can do.

Hope this helps.


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Get to the BIOS using which function key?

Grif Thomas,

Thank you very much! Your memessage narrows it down and is a great help.


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Loading Win XP on a Dell with Vista

I have a Dell Inspiron 530 that came with Vista installed from the factory last year. I am wanting to dump Vista and re-load using Win Xp. After reading various post, it looks as if there are issues with some Dell motherboards not wanting to allow this. Is this true, and if so, are there any ways around this.



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It's Not So Much The Motherboard As It Is the Drivers...

Drivers for all the hardware devices, including the motherboard, are getting harder and harder to come by.. Some of the mobile computer devices are made without XP drivers.. So before jumping into the water, be sure you've got all the appropriate drivers for your computer hardware.

Hope this helps.


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Gateway MT6452 Notebook---- S/n t027231001049

I have been trying to install xp onto my vista laptop since vista crashed, I wiped the hd(hitachi) put in my xp cd and it got all the way to where in the bottom left side of the screen it says "setup is starting windows" ( blue normal background for xp installs)
Then it just sits there and sits there. I have been working on this for a week now, any hel would be appreciated =)

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bios key

It varies by manufacturer: Sometimes F2, sometimes F10, sometimes ESC.
In most cases if you power down your PC and then power it back up, it will put out a message like "Press F2 to enter BIOS setup". You will have to watch carefully as the message will only display for a couple of seconds. You will probably have to power down/up again after you know the correct key.

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I cant find that sata options in bios

I have laptop l40-17r and i i dont know what to change in my bios.if you know tell me what to do.sorry for the bed english.

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great solution

cool solution thanks. can you explain what this does?

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thanks for the posting

Thanks for your posting I was able to install XP over Vista. The steps I went through:
1) Powered up computer and immediately press F2 to enter BIOS
2) Changed boot sequence to have "Boot from CD-rom" on top of the list
3) Changed the Flash Cache Mode to "Off"
4) Changed Sata Operation from AHCI (default) to ATA
5) Save the setting and exit bios

Now the system should boot from Windows XP CD. After finish installing XP, went back to re-enable to Flash Cache Mode back to "enabled" or "on" (forgot the exact word).

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In my Opinion

Firstly you can't install any earlier Windows version after installing a newer. That's why it is showing "Can't Install".

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all i want to do is dump vista and put xp in its place

all i want to do is dump vista and put xp in its place and then never c vista again. can i do that with out doing ahole bunch of crap. im prety good at the pc. i no how to install programs and o/s , i put the xp disk in and it tell me it done c the drive , just like it said on th other guys pc, i read what u said to do , it didnt work so AGAIN i just want to get vist off my laptop and put xp in its place and never c vista again. please help

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hello form sumanraj

fist instert the cd of vista and restart your system 15menitet option of patastion information you have to do delete the both patatison and create the new patastion and restat your system insert the xp cd and boot from the cd

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