Windows Vista to XP Downgrading/Reformat? [Solved/Closed]

 tabu -
I bought a new laptop with Windows Vista preinstalled but I don't want Vista at all. There is no data on the laptop as it is brand new. I would like Windows XP but couldn't find a new laptop with XP on it... so I got a Windows XP Home Edition disc and bring it to PC world so they can downgrade it for me. But I have been told it can't be done. Are they lying? What can I do?

107 replies


i put my xp installation disk in my disk drive I restart my computer then it says do u wanna boot from cd I clik yes it does sum other crap then it says click enter to install windows xp professional, I press enter then it says windows cannot detect a disk drive insatlled onto ur computer, make sure your disk drive is installed then it says press enter to reboot ur pc

does any1 have any solutions.

oh and also I have the blue screen of death does any1 have any sollutions to that as well

hello to all the HP Dv users. here are some steps for the DV6700 and 6880ev models.
personally I am using the thinkpad of IBM (T61), but my friend got the DV6700 on a deal, and finally lended on my head regarding the downgrading to XP. tearing up the google for answr, I had seen all stuck at the same problem.
so guys for at least this model , there is NO WAY to do it without floppy (external/internal and usb floppy will do just fine).
to get started better prepare the following: hirens boot cd, 1 usb floppy and 1 disk and the XP installation CD.
before you send vista to the history pages, go to HP support and drivers and download "Intel(R) Matrix Storage Manager" for your model (FOR OS XP!!!). save it on your desktop. create a folder, put the downloaded file (sp38088)
and extract it in the folder(you can use winrar is the fastest way) now you will have many files inside the folder. you need file 32, if you use 32 bit or 64 if you use 64 bit OS config. copy the contect of this file to the usb floppy drive.
now you may download all other drivers and utiliies speciall the lan card, and the wireless drivers.
once you kill vista, till you finish the XP you wont be able to use you laptop for nothing! now that we have all drivers on USB stick , and the other files on the usb floppy, you may start.
put the hirens boot cd into the DVD drive. boot and with F1 ( read on the bottom of the bios) set boot priority to CD drive and F10 (save and exit.) when boot, choose boot from cd and watch it , you must press the F6 the moment you see it. press several times, and let installation proceed. at a certain point you will be promotet to install drivers for the sata, then you will be asked to press the letter S, and here is important: you will see 4 files all of them are sata but not all of them for you. choose the no.3 from the top (one before the last) and press enter. youll be promoted to the message you are about to install .... bla bla, just enter. then if you choose the correct driver, when youll be promoted to the installation message , youll be promoted to install, and then... vuala the hard drive is there.
press the F8 to confirm installation. from there its easy down hill slide....

i had just finished downgrading the last of the 5 HP DV laptops to XP, so I wrote for the new HP users to come.

twisted is that the files for supporting the Sata HDD are not in the bios , their natural place, its on the drive ....
who design this model?

i hope I solved some problems, and if you still going to use the HP laptops, invest in the USB floppy drive the 20$ you are going to need it , with any OS youll install.....

wish you all luck.

"not all laptops are created equals...."
It can be done but you need to go to best buy so they can downgrade your computer. They told me it would cost $500 though. Kinda pricey I know. I'm in the same fix as you, because I have a new vista laptop and all my old programs are in xp; but I don't want to spend that much money on it. :)
lö, I'm running now a laptop on XP, it was originally Vista and they said at the store that downgrade won't go. Well, probably not for them, I had to do some slipstreaming tricks to get the shit to install, but if your laptop has a cd drive, you're probably going to end up just fine.

Here's a something I wrote for yahoo answers for some lamer fighting with a Sony laptop.

Typically Sony has released also drivers for the XP, it is, after all, the most used Windows version worldwide. For many devices, there are generic drivers (i.e. mouse, bluetooth), but some (i.e. special buttons on your Sony laptop, webcam) might be so proprietary that Sony has chosen not to release any.
Typically you should check the manufacturers of each component separately (e.g. bluetooth: Toshiba or Microsoft stack?) and go for those manufacturers' web sites. It is, of course, their best interests that you can use their devices even if Sony (your laptop's manufacturer) has deliberately chosen to screw you over. That would seem improbable, though. Why not send a mail to Sony?
Registration date
Saturday September 13, 2008
Last seen
September 14, 2008

I think the only way to solve your problem is to remove your hard drive from your laptop and install it as a slave to a desk top computer and figure out who's the manufacturer and down load their disk formating software, format the hard drive and then install it back to your laptop and down load XP that way. Because vista won't let you dual boot, but XP will. Then you could partition the drive and install vista there if you want. This way works for me.
Hi Guys,

I have successfully installed windows xp and windows server 2003 on my Notebook dell inspiron 1525 having windows vista home as OS.

Please read this blog for the solution
my m8 bought a hewlet packard desktop from currys and asked me to downngrade it for him to xp,there was no problem, all I done was booted up with the xp installation disk, done a format and installed the os.the only problem I had ,i had to run a program called aida to find what sound and graphics he had on his system, because inevitibly when you buy a computor you dont get the driver disk anymore.when you know what they are go to there site and download the latest drivers.if it is a nvidea 8600 gt ,go to nvidea site. no problems with the bios either ,but cant guarentee this with all models. .and before anyone says I know you cant run vista drivers anyway on xp
Ho Bob,

Can you tell me which model of HP you are using.For that you can go to and download appropriate drivers from that. In another way if you think there is any mistake in boot process you can follow this website for a step by step installation of windows xp on laptop

Samarendra Biswal
Well I've still been fooling with getting XP to isntall. I've been able to run a portable version of xp from thumbdrive and dvd but still no luck getting by the screen telling me that on a GPT drive or mbr drive it can only be upgraded (and this is while there is no os installed.) The bios I have is phoneix 93.13. I kept looking to see if there's a way to disable SATA but I have seen nothing in the bios. If anyone can find a solution it'd be appreciated. (I even tried installing last xp which has the right drivers but I still get the screen telling me a gpt and mbr disk can only be upgraded.
For most drivers, Check out

This is not a free site, but believe me it works!! Very cheap for the trouble it saves.

It can be done, infact I got bored of Linux software last night and tired of vista all together so I scrapped both of them in for XP, here's how its done.

Firstly when you swith on your computer look for a message notifying you to either press F2 or F12 to into your setup.

Secondly scroll to where it has your boot setup, and move the CDROM to one of the top 3. (this allows you to boot your computer from the XP disk.

Thirdly, restart your computer and press the key when the option is given, that allows you to pick to boot from the cd (mine is F3).

Then follow the instructions to install xp. What will happen is your hard drive will be completely wiped of windows vista and then replace with XP! If your hard drive is partitioned then once you have booted from the cd press the corresponding key that says something about a RAID driver. This worked for me.

Also if you dont want to pay for windows then I suggest downloading a program called Keygen, that calculates potential product keys for windows xp
yes you can downgrade and it will work fine I have worked for microsoft for 5 years now and you can downgrade and it will work fine some laptop bios are set to not see the hard drive but you can fix that by setting it to.
Hi All,

Actually, it can be done, I already did. but....

First: please forgive my english since I am from a spanish talking country.

Second: My computer is a HP-Compaq Presario C552US.

Third: I am a businness administrator, not an IT Pro.

Fourth: You must have a copy of XP installer on your hands.

How to do it: When you are rebooting your computer click on the key that will make change the set ups of your computer. Mine use F10, don't know if it is a standar.

After you push that key, change the SATA Native Support from enable to disable.

Restart the computer and then push the key that will makes you change the order and stablish the CD as the first one.

Place the XP installer on your CD drive. Restart your computer. Push any key when the screen ask to.

Good Luck.... THE BUT....: My computer is working really fast but I can not find the standar drivers so I can make it work properly. I mean: No sound, no WLan, no modem... you know. the usual.

I tryed to download the drivers from the HP Compaq site but the ones I downloaded do not work on my XP. May be is because an SP2.

Well, hope this is useful for you.

Regards... tell me how it goes.
Vista sucks, even today, with all the "fixes" programs constantly crash, even MICROSOFTS ERROR REPORTING SERVICE CRASHES, LOL

And when I tried to downgrade my vista ULTIMATE, I was told by the lady on the phone when I went to activate my XP version, that I didn't have a valid XP KEY. She SAID I NEED TO PAY FOR A VALID XP KEY.



But in all REALITY, you cannot, you MUST PURCHASE a 150$ COPY OF A VALID XP.

How is this a downgrade, or how is this considered NOT charging me for the downgrade, (like they advertise users of vista premium can apparently do for "free")

Microsoft is an over-grown beast that needs its head chopped off and split into two competing companies.
Well BillG if you have a physical advertisement or a web page maintained by the company of resseler of your computer that states that they provide free downgrades to XP you can sue them for false advertising. And you will get a free downgrade from them if you can defend your case. And I recently switched back to vista after a virus bricked my XP laptop and if you have 2gig of ram, turn off the transparincy and sidebar, it works fine without crashing. But it's no good for gaming.

I finally was able to downgrade from vista to XP.
I follow this steps, I hope this help you as well...

There are two DVDs on the net named "All in one" (Todo en uno). Those DVD includes windows XP and all the applications you need like office, antivirus, photo editors etc.

Those DVD are stored in rapidshare servers.. I dont know if you are familiar with this kind of downloading, if not, dont worry is easy. THe page were are all those DVDs of fixing computers is this one, if you want to take a look:

In that page there is a DVD called COMPUTER FIX V1.0 and consist on three dvd's. The first one I didnt use it because is windows vista... the second one is four versions of windows XP and the third one is the applications like office etc.

At the bottom of the COMPUTER FIX V1.0 post you will find this link:

This link is the text file with all the links you need to download in order to build each DVD...

In that text file you will find somethink like this:
DVD 1:

Download From Rapidshare

you just need to copy and paste those links and follow the instructions to download the files to your computer.
Once you get all the files (like 70 files each DVD) you must unzip them and burn it in to a DVD. Be aware that theres several options for the same DVD, one in rapidshare and other in megaupload. I rather megaupload, sometimes is faster.

Once you get and burn the DVD 1 and 2 ( or at least the #1 which is windows xp) you must put the #1 in to your dvd driver and reboot your computer. Then it will boot from the DVD and you must choose the option 1: "Windows XP without drivers and unattended installation." This version allows you to read your hard disk even if you have vista on it.... then just follow the installation instructions... BE AWARE that installation will FORMAT your hard drive, so back up your info before....

Also, if your lap doesnt boot from the DVD and does not show you the DVD menu (text mode), going directly to vista, it is probably because the DVD drive is after the hard disc in the boot sequence in your bios. If that is the case you must stare your screen when you turn it on, and hit the "entry bios key" it use to be F12, or F10.... when you just turn on your computer there says "Hit F12 to enter setup or bios", Hit that key, and once you get in to the bios search for the boot order option and change it putting the DVD first than the hard drive....

I hope this help somebody...

If the Vista Computer has a SATA hard drive, the XP boot CD doesnt have drivers loaded for SATA. You will have to have a seperate floppy drive attatched, and in the bios boot from it first.
I was gonna buy a new laptop just to take to work with me, but if all I can find is a laptop with Vista installed.....I'll go to a motherfuckin pawnshop and buy a used one and wipe the OS and reinstall Windows XP, its kinda like going to a car dealership and trying to find a good deal and the salesman saying " I know you want something your comfortable with " but this is what we have and were not selling anything else, take it or leave it, Michrosoft is forcing the hords to buy Vista and report the bugs so their technicians can work them out, then sell the same version with the bugs worked out and call it.....Vista Premium.....or some shit.......
Reformat to Win 7 beta, then reformat to Windows XP.