Downgrade from Windows Vista to XP (HDD S-ATA not recognized)

October 2016

When downgrading from Windows Vista to Windows XP, problems can occur if the hard disk is a S-ATA disk drive. The Windows XP operating system does not recognize S-ATA hard drives. A S-ATA drive needs to be installed manually. There is software available such as NLite that customizes the Windows XP so that it can recognize a SATA disk drive and install on it. NLite can be downloaded for free on the internet. The installation CD for the Windows XP operating system is required to carry out this procedure. Once XP has support for S-ATA drives, downgrading from Windows Vista to Windows XP can be done using the standard procedure.

Below is the procedure to follow. This method is for those using laptops with Windows Vista who want to upgrade to Windows XP.

Have you tried installing XP on your laptop but had the problem of the disc not being recognized?
Normally, your hard disk is S-ATA (Serial ATA), and XP does not support this.
XP needs to be installed manually with a floppy disk (the thing that makes a sucking noise and that can store music in 64kb / s), or by creating a Windows XP CD and integrating it in the S-ATA drivers on your hard drive.

Tools needed

  • A CD
  • The Windows XP CD
  • NLite (Freeware to customize Windows XP)
  • Your S-ATA driver

Step 1

Pick up your S-ATA drivers
Go to Device Manager (Windows key + key Pause/Break) and then pull down "Controllers IDE ATA / ATAPI IDE"
You will normally see the name of your S-ATA controller (for me, this is the Intel 82801 HEM / HBM SATA AHCI Controller)

Step 2

Do a Google search to find your matching driver.

If it is the drivers you need, download and go to step 3.

You will have two options:

1. If the folder / file S-ATA driver on your hard disk is composed of 6-7 small file systems (such as. "Sys", ". Cat". "Inf" etc), put it on your desktop then go to step 3
2. If the file is a. Exe (as in my case), extract the executable, keeping only the driver files that interest us:
Register your. Exe file that you downloaded for example C
Then run the command prompt (press the Windows key + R) and type this: "c: \ le-name-of-a-fichier.exe-a-pc: \"

The executable will run but will not.
If everything worked OK, go into C: and you will find a folder "Driver" with system files (such as. "Sys", ". Cat". "Inf" etc).
For those who do not have the folder "Driver" but "Logfile", go and get your drivers in
"C: \Program Files\Intel\Intel Matrix Storage Manager\Driver"

Copy the folder you have extracted then put it on the desktop (so you know where it is).

Step 3 - Download NLite

Download NLite from here: 1280 nlite then install.

Step 4

Start NLite and choose your language (French is the default) then click "Next."
In the next window, you need to select the location of Windows XP (or an iso on your hard disk or CD)

If you have the Windows XP CD, insert it into your player then click NLite. Select your CD drive.

If your Windows XP is one. "Iso", select it, click "Next."
Here you must specify the location where you want NLite that creates Windows XP to be amended. Create a new folder on the desktop with the name "Windows update" and choose this location.
NLite then copies your CD / iso Windows XP in "Windows update" on the desktop. Wait until it has copied.

Once the copy is complete, click "Next", then and "Next" again.

You can choose from the options of burning the CD automatically at the end of the stage. There is no need for Nero or other. The CD is bootable automatically. You just need to select "Bootable ISO".
Select "Driver" and then "Next".
Now, click on "Insert / Driver Single" and look for your folder "Driver" in step 2 then select the file. Inf

If more than one choice appears, select the one that is most on behalf of the Controller of stage 1 (for my part is the "Intel 82801 HEM / BHM SATA AHCI Controller (Mobile ICH8M-E / M))
If you are unsure, select them all;)

Click "Next" and "complete the process".

That's it! Your Windows XP may now recognize your hard drive S-ATA if everything has gone to plan.

You need to burn the entire contents of the folder "Windows Change" on a CD and start to boot (no need to press F6) if you have not chosen the option "Bootable ISO" .

NB : You can also add updates with NLite, among many options!

Related :

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