Installing Windows Xp Over 7

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manticle

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My lady was given a laptop and a friend of hers installed windows 7 on it. However it's giving her grief (possibly as it's a cracked version) and she'd like to install XP over it. I have a bought disk of XP professional with a few licenses left.

When I try and boot directly from the CD at start-up, it tells me there is no partition and that setup cannot continue.

If I start the PC normally and try and run the disk, it tells me it is incompatible with win 7 (after I select 'install windows').

Some net searching has suggested I can wipe the disk using DBAN, then re-install XP. Anyone used this before? Can I run it from a USB which contains files I want to keep without any risk to those files?

Is there another, simple solution I've missed? I did read a suggestion after googling that suggested changing the SATA settings in the BIOS from AHSI to ATA but have no idea if that's feasible.

Any really well thought out comments about getting a mac or switching to ubuntu or linux etc - please save them to annoy someone else. Any help much appreciated especially if it works.

Thanks
 

killspice

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My lady was given a laptop and a friend of hers installed windows 7 on it. However it's giving her grief (possibly as it's a cracked version) and she'd like to install XP over it. I have a bought disk of XP professional with a few licenses left.

When I try and boot directly from the CD at start-up, it tells me there is no partition and that setup cannot continue.

...
If booting from the windows xp cd cannot find the partition, it is quite possible that you will need specific drivers for the hard drive. You may be able to switch the HDD mode between SATA and RAID in the BIOS to trick XP into seeing the disk, but this is just a guess at the problem. I would not expect a reformat/repartition would resolve the problem if it is indeed a driver problem.

If you have the model number of the laptop you can probably find the correct drivers and either slipstream them into a windows xp+sp3 install disk, or on a floppy/separate cd.

Good luck.
 

bum

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Is the XP professional or home? 7 Won't let you downgrade to XP home. [EDIT: Nevermind. I just used my eyes and shit]

Is the desire to get XP running or get away from 7? 8 is out in a few weeks and I've heard it will only be $40 for anyone who owns a legit copy of XP/Vista/7. Might be easier than stuffing around with stuff you're maybe not comfortable with.

Might also be easier to get to the bottom of what this "grief" is. I get a lot of grief from clean installs :ph34r: but it may be something that is fairly easy to fix.
 

manticle

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I think part of the issue may be due to the crackedness of 7 - mainly notifications that it's not genuine, unable to get regular updates, unable to connect to the net (not sure if that's a different issue).

Generally it's about returning to what she knows works rather than ******* about with something that doesn't now and maybe never will.

If 8 comes out soon and it's only $40 for me with a legit XP copy then we can still presumably get XP running for those few weeks until 8 is available - just to get a functioning computer and presuming 8 is an improvement or equal to XP and 7. XP was OK for our purposes and my preferred of those I've experienced but some windows OS are nightmarish.

It is entirely possible I have missed something very simple. My understanding of PC setup is pretty rudimentary.

Cheers for the replies so far.
 

Fourstar

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as noted, it could well be the drivers required for the HDD, not suprising for a laptop installation IMO.

I have had to do this once before and its somewhat a pain in the arse, moreso for a laptop installaion if you do not know the HDD manufacturer/model. godspeed little man.

i would suggest biting the bullet, install ubuntu and then a virtualmachine of windows xp. but that would be breaking the rules of the thread. B)
 

bum

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install ubuntu and then a virtualmachine of windows xp. but that would be breaking the rules of the thread. B)
I was recently running a VM on ubuntu with a heavier MS product as the guest OS. The laptop it was installed on has 8GB RAM and the guest OS was slow as hell (with 4GB provisioned) and ubuntu was sluggish as hell too. Not sure this is a practical solution on a give-away laptop.

Installing ubuntu and leaving it at that is probably a good enough solution but most people aren't all that interested in that.
 

Bizier

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I can't comment on the HDD driver thing because I have never been required to install these that I can recall, but I can tell you that DBAN works and works well, I had some issues with MBRs one time and it was a sure way out.
 

pk.sax

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In the past, have just used a bootable cd with a Linux based disk reformatter to totally clean out the HD, reformat it, partition it and subsequently install win XP.

Can't rem what it's called but there are a few around. Search for 'bootable disk formatter' or something like that, make up a cd from your computer and then use.
 

bum

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Pretty much any distribution's liveCD should be able to do that. I think most can run from USB if that is more convenient. I know the Ubuntu liveCD does both.

But if the problem is a windows driver issue, he'll still have the same issues installing XP.
 

WarmBeer

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IIRC the Windows XP install bootloader doesn't have a lot of luck detecting the correct driver for most modern (i.e. post WinXP release date) CD/DVD drives.

In the old days, the solution was to put the driver on a floppy disk (remember those?) and hit F9 or something at the appropriate time. The bootloader would then load the correct driver into memory, and use this for the remainder of the install process. Once XP was up and running, it was able to replace the driver directly from Windows Update, so it only needed to be done the once.

The other solution is to 'slipstream' the newer driver into an ISO image of the Win XP install media, then burn the ISO to disk. This allows the bootloader to automatically find the correct driver without the need for a floppy. This, however, is not a trivial exercise.

I know it's not what you want to hear, but your most user-friendly solution is to buy/acquire a legitimate Windows 7 license, and install that. I run all 3 of the major operating systems on a daily basis, and while not my favourite, I have to grudgingly admit that Microsoft did an alright job with Win 7.
 

pk.sax

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...................wank and wipe ................... and while not my favourite, I have to grudgingly admit that Microsoft did an alright job with Win 7.
As long as you turn off or down UAC!! I concur your eminence.
 

Ducatiboy stu

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Download ubuntu liveCD, and use that to re format your HDD, then install XP......or dual boot them
 

Airgead

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I would concur with those above and say that its likely a driver issue. If the notebook is significantly post XP release date (which it likely is given how old XP is and the notebook is still working), then XP won't have a driver for most of the hardware on the machine, including the disk controllers.

You may be able to to find and download a driver but you are probably in for a world of frustration and pain.

If you wipe the machine using DBAN, you will likely end up with a blank machine that you still can't install XP on.

You may be better off trying to fix Win7 than install XP. Or put up with it and wait for 8.

Cheers
Dave
 

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