How to install Windows XP on Toshiba laptop?

 MarkR -

In Toshiba Satellite A205-s5859 laptop, I can't change the SATA drive. What shall I do to install Windows XP operating system in my laptop?

Please help!
System Configuration: Windows Vista Internet Explorer 7.0

20 replies

Hey guys,

I had the same problem. I have a Toshiba Satellite L300 that came with Vista preinstalled. It crashed constantly so I tried to install XP but as you already know, it would say that it couldn't find a hard drive.

What you have to do is:
  • Power on the Laptop and then press F2 to get into the BIOS menu.
  • Then scroll down to the SATA option
  • Change it from ACHI to Compatibility then exit saving your changes (F10)
  • Reboot your Laptop from the XP Operating System disk.

It will now let you install Windows XP or any other Operating System.

I too have been searching for answers on various sites and forums and none of the suggestions (including downloading XP drivers) worked.

This definitely works (at least for the Toshiba L300 Laptop anway).

Good luck!
Thank you

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hello what I hav a problm with toshiba is im not able to work with hard disk
in compatibility mode if I change into compatibilty mode then hard will dissappear it wont detected in bios what is solution for this
thanks, that worked for me.
THANK YOU! I've been stuck for quite a few days. It worked, thanks a million. Very grateful.
thanks for this. wanted to put xp on a Toshiba that had Vista on it. mark.
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Thursday May 15, 2008
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May 29, 2009
hey dude,

in your bios settings just search for an option where it is written acpi function and in that option just turn it off and then start windows setup and it should be ok
i did nt acpi in bios so wht to do now I wnt install win xp into my laptop
i did nt acpi in bios so wht to do now I wnt install win xp into my laptop
> hari
If you have the D300, you have the option in's either on ACPI or on COMPATIBLE, choose the last one.
Good luck.
> EagleForce
Anyone resolved the ppor sound issue yet under XP??
Thank you, thank you, thank you
It's worked for me.

Thank you very much.
Is it possible to turn off AHCI/AHPI, install XP, download the necessary drivers, install those from the hard drive while the OS is running rather than a floppy at OS install, then switch AHCI/AHPI back ON once the drivers are properly installed?

My first time replacing a hard drive. I'm an XP install virgin.
For all of you guys having problems getting xp running on your notebooks with s-ata drives: here are the instructions on how to do it WITHOUT changing from s-ata to ide and therefore making you system slow after the installation.

you will need your xp home or professional or whatever version you want to install cd/dvd. i know this hasent worked for it didnt recognize the hard drive.

you will also need the xp driver (.ini) for your individual hard drive. now, how are you gonna get it? on your vista system which is still running, go into system -> hardware -> device-manager (not sure about the proper name because I am using the german version and its calles Geraete Manager). check out IDE controller and undfold it, the first entry (perhaps the only entry) should be your hard drive, in my case intel 82801 hem/hbm sata ahci controller. now, remeber that name. go to google and find the xp driver for exactly that drive, download it. if you got several download options, pay attention to not download any raid crap.

Now, still using vista or whatever, you will create a new xp installtion disk from your existing one and it is fairly easy. Download the program nLite. Put your xp installation disk into your ROM. Start nLite. Follow instructions, the program is multilanguage so no drama. It will ask you where the xp installation is, choose ROM drive. Click next. The program will continue by reading in all information from the disk and saving the stuff on HD. nLite will now give you several options that you can check such as integrate hotfixes, drivers but also to create a bootimage (ISO). Check only "drivers" and "bootimage". Click next. It will now ask you where the driver is located. Tell it, where your inf file is, it will find it and perhaps give you some list of several drives, wich you will simply choose your one, in my case intel 82801 hem/hbm sata. Click next. Now, nLite will make an ISO that has integrated your required s-ata driver. The program finishes off. You have the iso on your computer. Burn it on a cd (or DVD). Use it to install xp on your notebook. Dont change from s-ata to ide or crap like that in your bios. Everything should work now. Good Luck.
Will the disabling of BIOS work on Satellite P200 too. Other could someone help me out n how to format it to install XP. It keeps saying that 'no hard drive found' thing.
If the option is there in your BIOS where you can choose the HD to be recognized as either ACPI or COmpatible, then YES, then set it to COMPATIBLE, or uncheck ACPI if available.
Good luck
> EagleForce
This worked for me...:-)

We changed the ACHI option to ISO mode... :-)

how should I go in bios setting for toshiba laptop please reply ASAP
hi does resetting the HDD settings from ACHI to Compatibility mode also work on a Satellite A205-S5804 laptop? If so, any problems in HDD speed and/or crashes that you guys know about? Anybody out there can assist me? Thanks a lot in advance!!!!!!!!!!
hi there

does anyone have any suggestions as to why my satelite L300 with XP installed cannot see the soundcard or modem and therefore won't load the corresponding drivers? toshiba suggest reinstalling vista to make sure that the soundcard and modem actually function, but thought i'd try here first.


had same issue you need to download and install Microsoft Universal Audio Architecture (UAA) Bus Driver for High Definition Audio. In device manager under veiw click show hidden devices. I had an error shown. I download from here and it was ok after this your should be able to do driver upgrades etc
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Monday March 2, 2009
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March 2, 2009

Hello guys..

Anyone knows if is possible to change Sata mode, from Compatibility to AHCI after install Windows ??

I runned the setup in compatibility mode but, the Windows after instalation, Sloooow, Crashes, #"&%#$"&, not the way for sure......
First I had the message that setup didnt found any HD, now, in AHCI mode I have blue screens..... when trying to setup with the drivers now on FDD.
The same blue screen I have when trying to boot from the HD in AHCI mode after install in Compatibility Mode, but this oneo, makes more sense..

Anyone ???

I have just been trying to uninstall sp3 on pre loaded laptop. found all the same problems as above. solution my old destop had upgrade to sp3 which could be removed from add remove programs. I found the uninstall folder in the windows directory copied to flash drive pasted in windows directory on laptop and ran uninstall. Worked a treat. Installed service pack to and nearly all was good. an issue with HDMI sound but have now resolved that too.
hello everyone
i hv installed xp on my toshiba L300 nd its working fine bt I want to use both my OS. (of course one at a time). bt after installing xp I m not able to boot vista. can anybody help in this matter?
> Gerard
this whole method didnt worked for me even once....

whenever I tried to install the bios or even after installing the ahci drivers, restarted my computer in AHCI mode my windows didnt booted.

the compltete solution was to reboot the computer in safe mode in compatibility mode.....remove the existing hard drive drivers....update the new drivers from the known drivers location....restart the pc and select AHCI mode from BIOS worled...
> Gerard
Bios flash & update doesnt solve problem about installing XP on Toshiba L300 and some other models.

The point is that windows xp is install able when u disable AHCI mode in ur bios...but then u get damn slow u need to enable AHCI mode. Problem is comming when u booting ur XP installation disc...after drivers is loaded...bla..bla..bla..u get BSOD....coz ur disk drive isnt recognized...

The soultion is simple.

1. Download Intel Matrix Storage Driver -
2. Download Nlite from official site -
3. Get clean copy of XP Home/Pro and with nLite copy to ur disk
4. Extract file that u downloaded from Intel site IATA88ENU.exe (go in Command Promt (cmd.exe)) and run IATA88ENU.exe -a
5. Files from IATA88ENU.exe are extracted on ur C: drive (Program Files\Intel\)
6. Open nLite again and select path of ur XP copy that u made with nLite
7. You will see left button Integrate and right click on Drivers, then Insert->Single Driver
8. Find ur drivers for AHCI/SATA disk (C:\Program Files (x86)\Intel\Intel Matrix Storage Manager\driver) or (C:\Program Files (x86)\Intel\Intel Matrix Storage Manager\driver64 - for 64 bit systems)
9. You will get on ur display list of all supported drivers that u can inport (remember to select Textmode driver)
10. Finish this proces and burn ur copy of XP on CD
11. Happy installing Windows XP
I installed the latest BIOS but still there is no Option to switch the HDD Mode ?!?!?!?

The Key for this problem most of the times the SP3 for XP
If it is already included to the installer, you have a chance to install it successfully

try it
it worked for many new laptops :)
to successfully install vista and xp on same computer and boot them differently you must do the following: -
1. create at least two partitions on your disk. I said atleast. where the first partition is active and primary. generally for both xp and vista the minimum partition size should be 40gb. so create the first partition of 40 gb...the rest of the space create extended partition....once extended partition is made....make a logical drive of 40 gb....the first primary partition is C drive...and second 40 gb is logical drive with letter D (D Drive). the file system should be ntfs.
2. install windows xp on partition is the option in blue screen when we have to format the partition and file copy is about to is one step before that.
3. once windows xp is installed....restart your computer again and this time when installing should select the custom method of disk partitioning and install windows vista in D Drive of 40gb.

its simple...when installation is finished and u restart the will be having two boot for xp and one for vista....
it is mandatory that you install windows xp first....and then vista....otherwise you may face problems...cause windows vista setup is backword compatible but xp is not farword compatible....

have any querries....ask me...
yep, rajputz method worked for me too. I had to do the command line -a swith that "jon" suggested further up the thread to get to the drivers. other than that, exactly as rajputz and nony mouse have said. cheers. my satellite l300 works great with xp pro now.
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Sunday October 28, 2012
Last seen
October 28, 2012

I don't know if anyone's still contributing to this thread, but...I bought a Toshiba Satellite A305 that had been wiped clean. I managed to install XP pro, but I need the drivers. Not the original VISTA drivers, but XP drivers. I have no modem, sound, etc. Went to Toshiba's site and downloaded a modem driver for this computer for XP and installed that, it changed nothing. Can't see wireless networks. My only Network Connection showing is a 1384 Connection, which reads "connected, firewalled." I just ordered a Driver Recovery disk by MyDriversPlus which claims " Original myDriversPlus Software, Full Drivers Recovery Software for your computer" but I'm guessing it probably restores the original VISTA drivers that were shipped on this system originally...if so, not gonna help me. SO, if someone had already been thru this and knows how/where to get the XP drivers for this computer, Please Help! And I'd prefer they not be pre-loaded with spyware and virus! I bought this as a gift for my grand daughter's upcoming birthday and I'd really like to not screw this up. Thanks!
Wow thanks so much :)
go in bios and change to compatility , save / restart / update .
reboot on your cd :D thanks alots
I have toshiba satelite pro a100. I want to reinstall the xp from original disc. When I insert cd in the laptop and try to open it I get error message D:/is not accessable .. "request could not be performed because of an I/O device error" Has anyone got any idea how to get round this ? all other cd's work fine it just wont entertain this for some reason.
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Monday February 1, 2010
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September 1, 2021
What you wish to do cannot be done on a Toshiba
Thanks for reply. Why can I not re install XP on toshiba laptop? Its the disc that came with it. Does anyone know a way around this ?
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Monday February 1, 2010
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Because Toshiba made it that way, you can only restore to factory settings which is the same thing.
It's been awhile since you posted your question. I have gone thru the same frustrating problem including finding that the chains are forbidden by contract to downgrade from Vista.

Ultimately I found that WipeDrive 5 Professional ($100.00) will remove Vista so you can install the OS of your choice. Place the WipeDrive CD in your drive and reboot. Press F1 repeatedly during the reboot process and you will be presented with a screen allowing you to select if you want to boot Vista from your hard disk or run WipeDrive from the CD. Choose the later and follow the instructions. It is a slow process, but it will perform a low level format.

Good luck
how I install windows xp on toshiba laptob satellite
the windows xp setup said
cant found hard drive
The option of changing SATA mode to compatibility suggested on this forum worked like a charm for me! Thanks a lot to all those who helped. I am now able to yank off that mess called Vista and reinstall the last best OS from MS onto a Satellite L300.
Best regards to all.
I am having the same problem on a desktop (only quad booting) from the googling I did I have not found harm in turning off the ACPI or AHCI in the bios however it will hinder the speed of the disc. From the other forums I have visited the mode mentioned above is the control for the transfer rate of the hard drive. So in compatibility mode or with AHCI turned off your SATA hard drive will only read/write/transfer data at the speed a IDE hard drive would. The proper way was mentioned above in an earlier post and that is download a raid driver/ACPI driver (intel most common resource) the file is IaStor.sys I belive. Install this on a floppy (XP will only look for A drive) boot to xp install disk hit f6 first time you see any screen windows will continue to instal it will stop about 2 min later and ask if you want to load custom driver hit S it will tell you to load floppy into A and hit enter then choose the driver you want (you may have to try different ones) then enter again windows will continue to install DO NOT REMOVE FLOPPY windows will reload driver from floppy before it restarts to actually install once windows is installed go to intel or windows update and run the exe install of the driver. Also as for deleting any and all partions and formatting, use Gparted it is free and will show hidden partions, mac, allow you to format and even partion your hard drive all from a free live bootable cd. Recomend using the VESA setting when boot cd opens.
There is a much better way for those who cannot buy a floppy drive or do not want one for a simple swap of drivers. Do what the fellow says about switching off SATA to compatibility mode. XP will then install. After that just access the drivers that you burn to a CD. Tried it and it works too.
hello, I tried resetting the bios to accept the compatibility mode but within the bios settings nowehere do I see the choice to do that change...any help guys?
if you don't see it, update the BIOS. you should see it after that
get your AHCI drivers downloaded to your computer hard drive or CD for Sata Drive. Go to your BIOS and change the AHCI mode to Compatibility mode for Hard Disk. Your Computer will be slow. Install windows XP on slow computer. After inStallation start computer in safe mode. there update you disk controller with the new AHCI Drivers. restart and change the setting in BIOS again to AHCI mode...the same method some recommend doing with NLITE. but I am against that method. I have faced some real problems with WINLITE. the Sata Disk Driver work pretty well but some other drivers like audio video start giving problem and some times does not get installed. so just try the traditional way.
I've got to say that RAJPUTZ's method above (change BIOS AHCI to Compatibility, install XP, extract drivers to C:, restart in safe mode, update disk controller drivers [use 'Have Disk' and pick ICH9M/ME], restart and change reset AHCI in BIOS) worked like a charm for me - very painless. Have now got a Toshiba L300 running XP really rather fast. Thanks Rajputz!