How to install Windows XP on Toshiba laptop?

dd - Updated on Jan 29, 2019 at 03:00 AM
 MarkR - Dec 29, 2018 at 07:38 AM

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!
With any of these machines,
you don't want to disable ACHI, even if the bios lets you.
Figure out what HDD controller you have.
Download the correct XP sata drivers, most likely from Intel website, and follow their instructions to make the XP floppy disk driver installer.
Connect a USB floppy drive to the machine (you MUST use a floppy, memory sticks will NOT work)
insert windows CD, setup
at the beginning of the install, windows will prompt to press F6 if you need 3rd party storage controller, put the driver disk, in your floppy drive follow instructions.

If you don't have a floppy disk drive, get one, or you'll have to slipstream the driver onto the windows setup CD
EagleForce > gd
Nov 14, 2008 at 04:19 PM
Isnt it possible to make an USB stick become and "A:" drive? So the usb sticks boots (possible) and the drivers from SATA been read from this USB??
have a toshiba Satellite L45-S7409 Trying to downgrade to XP. downloaded the sata driver to the floppy and followed instruction on windows setup but it is still saying can't find hard drive then it say can't continue setup press F3. please advise
I just wanted to reiterate that changing the sata disk mode from ACHI to Compatibility on an L300 will allow you to boot from a Windows XP CD/DVD, delete and create partitions and install Windows XP. I have configured over 12 L300 laptops this way and they all work perfectly.
Mazzie > Daniel
Feb 13, 2009 at 01:54 AM
This might sound like a sillyquestion, but I am just about to downgrade my L300 to XP and I have done the first steps changing from SATA to Compatibility and booting from XP. It's doing it's stuff as we speak. However, once xp is in, (fingers crossed) do I go back and change it back to SATA or leave it on Compatibility?

Thanks for any help you can give me.
kallor234 Posts 18 Registration date Thursday May 15, 2008 Status Member Last seen May 29, 2009 3
Sep 15, 2008 at 05:53 AM
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
that's wrong answer
i cant find ur methods in bios setup utility
plz give ur answer if u know
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
EagleForce > hari
Dec 27, 2008 at 12:13 PM
If you have the D300, you have the option in's either on ACPI or on COMPATIBLE, choose the last one.
Good luck.
EagleForce > EagleForce
Apr 5, 2009 at 08:28 AM
Anyone resolved the ppor sound issue yet under XP??
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.

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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
Venky > EagleForce
Jan 4, 2009 at 01:36 AM
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
thegapster Posts 2 Registration date Monday March 2, 2009 Status Member Last seen March 2, 2009
Mar 2, 2009 at 06:35 PM
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?
use EasyBCD ( free):

allow you to edit Vista BCD form XP operating system, after Xp installed on vista machine. Discovered last week and worked well for me.
use EasyBCD ( free):

allow you to edit Vista BCD form XP operating system, after Xp installed on vista machine. Discovered last week and worked well for me:
Gerard > kwik
Apr 16, 2009 at 08:45 AM

I had the same problem. I've solved it at the easiest way I think. Just download the newest BIOS version you can get at Toshiba

You can download there the newest bios firmware download it and use it. Then you have to set your harddrive to install winxp again to compatiblemode

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 and change it from ACHI to Compatibility then exit saving your changes (F10) and then reboot your Laptop from the XP Operating System disk.

Kind Regards,
Gerard Frerix
rajputz > Gerard
Apr 17, 2009 at 12:02 AM
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...
Nikola > Gerard
Apr 23, 2009 at 03:44 PM
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
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.
baxteradio Posts 1 Registration date Sunday October 28, 2012 Status Member Last seen October 28, 2012
Oct 28, 2012 at 10:12 PM
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.
Ambucias Posts 47360 Registration date Monday February 1, 2010 Status Moderator Last seen September 1, 2021 11,255
Nov 17, 2013 at 06:41 AM
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 ?
Ambucias Posts 47360 Registration date Monday February 1, 2010 Status Moderator Last seen September 1, 2021 11,255
Nov 17, 2013 at 04:05 PM
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!