Vista to XP Downgrade - Comments Page 3

Category: Vista

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Posted by:

14 Aug 2008

i want to buy a sony laptop with vista pre-installed, could it be downgraded to xp with an xp disc that is not genuine?... and also if it works but i dont want to activate it, will my xp be working normally?

EDITOR'S NOTE: I doubt it... on both counts.

Posted by:

20 Aug 2008

Bob, The following from your above instructions is not true in my experience:

"Insert your Windows XP install/recovery CD and restart your computer. Install Windows XP normally, providing either the product key that came with the disk, or the one you got from Microsoft customer support. If the installer warns you that another copy of Windows is already installed, don't worry. Remember, this install will wipe out your existing Vista installation. "

If you can boot to the XP CD, at all, it either has the 'install windows XP' option greyed out; or will simply give a 'no hard drive detected' message. And, to make matters worse, if you had a laptop that came with XP on it, and then you install Vista, you get the same issues, as I described above. Format the drive? Well, if you use the Vista disk to do this (the XP one won't allow you, in this case), you will still be left with the same problem, and........most bootable disks will no longer work: "Bootmgr not found." As far as I can tell, if you install Vista on to a perfectly good XP machine, Vista will make changes to your system that will prevent, or do its best to prevent your putting XP on there, again. Quite unacceptable, I think. So now we are faced with getting some industrial strength third party erase tool; even then I wonder if the changes wrought by the Vista install are indeed at the BIOS level, effectively restricting you to Vista, or nothing. Again, unacceptable. Thank you.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first I've heard of this problem. Anyone else experience this?

Posted by:

21 Aug 2008

Dell has been anything but co-operative about downgrading with the new XPS 730 system I shelled out over 4 grand on with them. I asked Dell sales if they would provide this downgrade CD from the beginning and they skirted the subject and claimed this system would not work using XP. This was a bold faced lie. Later when I had trouble with Vista and demanded they provide the downgrade or I'd return the system they conceded to refund money to buy XP Pro from saying they would not support the OS if I downgraded. Fine, they didn't provide much by the way of support with it on my old Dell Dimension 8200 either I figured, a system which still is running 7 years later I might add. Got the last laugh on that deal at least. They said there would need to be changes made to the BIOS to make XP work on their XPS 730 machine but when I asked for this BIOS alteration information to be sent was later told support could not do so as it would void my warranty. HUH? Wait a minute, the guy who refunded money for the XP Pro purchase and told me go ahead and install it said Dell support would not only help install the OS, but alter the BIOS to do so as part of our agreement to compromise and seal the sale. So from my experience, Dell tends to say one thing, then do another, and play both ends to the middle. This very well may be my LAST Dell ever. I've never been toyed with and lied to like this before, and am not about to take this treatment. I'll hold them to their promises if I have to sue for it, but doubt they'll want to take it that far. Instead they'll just keep making more promises to break. Michael Dell should be ashamed to have his name represent such terrible and inconsistent service. Every time I turn around their support tries to con me into paying for 'advanced' support after their selling the consumer their award winning XPS experience. What a load.

Sorry if you're reading this Andre' (from Dell Tech), but you know I'm telling the truth as I've already told you all this. It's not personal, you know I like you as a person, but it's your employer using tech support to do their dirty work for them. It was Andre' who led me to this article by the way hoping to help me out when Dell refused to allow him to provide BIOS alteration directions I'd requested. What is Dell trying to hide? It's not secret government documents, and if they can tell me on the phone to make these BIOS changes why not put them in writing? I'll tell you what it is, they don't really want us all to downgrade!

EDITOR'S NOTE: I can't see why you'd need BIOS changes. Has anyone ever needed to make BIOS changes to go from XP to Vista? I think not. So why would they be needed to do the reverse?

Posted by:

24 Aug 2008

I just finished downgrading from Vista to XP on a friend's brand new Dell Inspiron Desktop. The only issue I had was with the network card. I booted from my XP Pro installation disk, ran it all the way, and XP was running perfectly. The only mistake I made was not having the XP compatible drivers for the network card. 25 bucks at the local Radio Shack solved that. And then I logged onto DriverAgent, at 30 bucks a year it is worth it, and downloaded all the missing drivers. I did not experience any difficulty other than the normal procedure involved in a standard reformat

Posted by:

25 Aug 2008

Dear Bob... As a reply for your last editor's note, which you gave on Dave's last post. Regarding the Grey-ed out/no hard drive message...i am afraid to inform you the fact that i currently experience this same problem. BTW: my notebook is an HP Pavilion dv9700/9880ee. Actually, i have been surfing a lot forums for a while seeking a solution for this problem!!

EDITOR'S NOTE: Are you sure you are BOOTING from the CD? And not just running the CD after booting up Vista? If you turn off the machine, then boot from an XP CD, then nothing on the hard drive should matter.

Posted by:

27 Aug 2008

RE: BIOS changes

Bob, you ask a good question and I only went on what Dell said... but then that's usually a mistake. As it turns out (I've been digging ever since) there is no need to do anything of the sort. Apparently Dell says whatever sounds good at the time if they think it will sell and the customer believes it. Some of their tech support agents don't appear to know better either, or hesitate to contradict a customer's prior contact. Others on the other hand are quite candid.

Just got this machine so have no clue as to what need be done to install Vista as it came installed. Been mostly concerned with downgrade installations as I see one in my future. Vista is pure misery and reminds of Win95 with all the software and hardware crashes it's had. There are concerns mentioned by Dell support about permanent hardware changes made by Vista installation which I'd like to learn more about. I'm thinking that even if I downgrade there will be problems to contend with. While I'm furious with Dell, Microsoft is next on that list for ramming this OS down our throats and doing nothing to make it work properly first. Thanks a million for the link you posted to their offer allowing customers to upgrade to Vista at their own pace... that was rich and made Dell's nose grow another three feet. Nice article too.

Posted by:

28 Aug 2008

I changed the BIOS settings to get my HP Pavilion dv6000 to read my XP installation disc. Change the SATA native enabled, to disabled. Then it should read your XP installation disc. It's also needed to make a native Vista computer dual boot with XP. Most of the instructions are incomplete. It took me (an average user) to install XP dual boot perfectly about 4 days to figure it out, and download drivers with no internet driver. I don't know if this will help some readers, but it's a good warning to get several instructions before attempting a dual boot. :]


Posted by:

29 Aug 2008

Thank you Bob, and all posters for your input on this matter. A couple more items I think worth sharing, gleaned from several of these installs, under different circumstances: 1. Changing the SATA options in the BIOS works to allow booting to the XP CD in some cases, including, but maybe not limited to when you have a 'downgrade' CD, but those SATA options are not always present on a system. 2.The greyed out "Install XP" issue does happen when you boot to the XP CD, not just when you run it. 3.Vendor-supplied 'downgrade disks' work through both the MBR and the drivers problems; but of course, one should not have to use these if one has a legitimate copy of XP that one wants to put back. 4.The major issue seems to be the alterations that Vista makes to the MBR; this was acknowledged to me recently by a Microsoft Evangelist; however, his only suggestion was to format the drive. I explained to him that the options to do so from the Vista install CD, still do not solve the problem. What I still can't figure out is: what changes exactly do a Vista install make to a system, and are these changes limited to the hard drive? 'Fixmbr' was suggested to me by the Microsoft fellow, with regard to the format options available from the Vista disk; this would imply changes are in fact confined to the HD, and do not extend to the BIOS. The quest goes on.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Yes, that sounds right, that the changes would be confined to the MBR. The FIXMBR command replaces the MBR, so that may do the trick.

Posted by:

31 Aug 2008

I bought an hp laptop 2 weeks that had vista on it and vista lagged and crashed too much, so i decided to downgrade to xp.... windows xp installed successfully, but when i started to work with it i found out there was no sound, wifi , some keys didnt work, or the nvidia graphics card was recognized !! so i tried to use the recovery partition on my computer to recover vista, but the recovery didn't start up at all. what should i do???

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you cannot get the recovery process to work, you'll need to find XP drivers for your specific hardware. You'll probably have good luck doing so if you search the web.

Posted by:

13 Sep 2008

Yes I am currently formating my Acer Extensa 5620Z (1.86ghzdual/3GBDDR2/250GBSATA/802.11a/b/g) and You have to BOOT from the CD. To do so go in your PC menu (not windows menu) and check the boot sequence. Put cd/dvd drive first on top. It will then prompt you to boot from CD. Press any key. Then voila XP installed. You WILL have problems with some drivers. Ex: sound cards like NEVER work when downgrading from vista to XP. But yeah I already got that sorted.(Google Is Your Best Friends In These Circumstances) Anyways I'm not yet finished, so I can't tell for the Wi-Fi just now but I'll get back to you guys in a couple hours with that. Good luck to all!

Posted by:

14 Sep 2008

Thanks guys for the good recommendation! This is just one more story on Dell ... bought a Dell Latitude D530 with Vista pre-installed. Discussed in detail installing XP instead at time of purchase. But XP wouldn't find the hard drive. Dell told me to install the SATA driver, which I did. But then they would do no more. After reading the lines above, found the SATA setup, and switched between ATA/ATAPI. That did the trick, and for the first time in my life I told the XP installer to go ahead and reformat the hard drive to get that Vista crap out of my system. It all worked as a charm, though I had to install lots of drivers (video, internet, sound, etc.).

Posted by:

25 Sep 2008

some hdd controllers, raid controllers, sata controoler, smart hdd controllers, scsi controllers are not compatible with the windows xp installation cd included drivers.

if it is greyed out or if your setup cannot find any harddisks, you likely need to find a driver to use during the xp dos-like install, you have to push F6 when prompted at the bottom, and prepare a floppy disc (you need a floppy drive or usb floppy drive to do this) if you do not have this, you have to edit your XP installation disc (add drivers to it)(and burn the edited version to a bootable cd) there is a tool nlite that can do this for you, but it can be tricky, and you need to find the drivers.

it is not because of VISTA that you cannot install XP, it is because the hardware controlling your harddisks is not designed for XP, and thus requires some driver.

Posted by:

07 Oct 2008

I want to buy toshiba notebook.I enquired the vendor about downgrade to vista business to windows Xp. They said that they have rights to downgrade. Now I want to know whether the downgrade xp behaves like normal XP? or will it create any problem? If I buy freeDos notebook from HP compaq or other manufacturer ,can I install vista business separate?

Is the freeDOS notebook suitable for windows XP or vista businees or botth?

EDITOR'S NOTE: There are two issues here... First, if you downgrade from Vista to XP, it will be "normal" just like any other XP system. Second, FreeDOS is yet another operating system. If you want FreeDOS and Vista, you'll need to create a second partition to install Vista and then use a dual boot setup.

Posted by:

j winstead
23 Oct 2008

Is there any solution yet for dealing with the Pavilion dv9700 disable SATA problem. The bios has no setting avaialble to do this.

Posted by:

28 Oct 2008

I tried downgrading an acer 5120 from vista to xp but am getting an error message that "cannot recognize harddisk". Anyone with a solution to that.

EDITOR'S NOTE: It might be a SATA hard drive, for which you lack the drivers. Do a little googling along those lines...

Posted by:

11 Nov 2008

i have acer am5620 , came with windos vista home premium preinstalled. i called acer to downgrade it to XP. Customer service told me , it is not recommended and they wont help me to figure out the situation.
i do have original licence of windows xp cd. when i boot of the cd.. it start from cd and loading up. when get the message on blue screen (loading drivers) "Preparing to install windows" before i get any kind of options "enter" or F8 to agree on licence. i get blue screen with memory or some kind of error. however it vista is running fine of the system now.
plz help me to downgrade to xp .
i changed 2 hard drives .. suspecting some kind of lock on HD. but same answer

Posted by:

13 Nov 2008

The Microsoft site says they want $59.00 for any support call -- so not as simple as calling the Microsoft Helpless Desk...

Posted by:

02 Dec 2008

I just purchased a HP slimline. It came with Vista Home Premium. I booted with my XP disk, it reformats the hard drive, restarts, then reformats the hard drive again. It just keeps doing the same thing over and over. The computer has 2 hard drives, one has the Vista recovery on it. Help, please.

EDITOR'S NOTE: It seems that after XP formats and restarts, it's not seeing a formatted disk. I would try using a partitioning tool such as Partition Magic to delete the partition that Vista formerly occupied (the one you're trying to install into now) then recreate it and retry the XP install. When you say the computer has two hard drives, you're probably seeing one hard drive with two partitions, so be careful not to delete the Vista Recovery partition.

Posted by:

19 Jan 2009

I want to go back from Vista to XP but when I insert the XP DVD into the drive and reboot my PC, I dont get any options to reboot from the disk, I checked the BIOS and it is already set to boot from the CD/DVD unit but I have no clue on why it's not doing it. And when I go to the disk directly, I get the usual XP installation screen but the option to install XP is blocked, I only get other options like check compatibility and stuff. I'm looking forward to get rid of Vista, I don't care if I have to format, but how do I go about it given this inconvenience that the XP DVD wont boot?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Here's a link that may help:

Posted by:

04 Feb 2009

How do I find out which drivers are on my XP disk?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Drivers for what?

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