Downgrading from Vista to XP SP2

On my Packard Bell Easynote MX36-U-030D Windows Vista was preinstalled when I got it some 6 month ago. I would like to get rid of Vista and install XP SP2 (SP3?!) instead, but I am concerned about the drivers.

The computer contains a set of reinstallable drivers which  can be saved on an external storage device. But will these drivers suited for Vista work on XP. Some would, I guess, some wouldn't. The drivers on Packard Bell's internet page also seems to be mostly Vista:
http://support.packardbell.com/dk/item/index.php?i=platform_ajax_c2&g=2000

Is there a Packard Bell computer prior to Packard Bell Easynote MX36-U-030D which contains some of the same hardware devices - but designed for XP (thus I could probably use those drivers)?!

This wouldn't be an issue if the internal XP drivers would be able to handle the devices in the Easynote - but will they?!

Ordinarily I would simply try this: Get rid of Vista by "killdisking", installing XP, and if it didn't work, reinstall Vista and accept to continue with Vista. However, there is no install-CD/DVD in the package which came along with the computer. The only way to preserve Vista seems to make the recommended restore image of the present configuration on a DVD.

Another thing is that there is a hidden partition before the first visible partition. I am not sure what it contains. Probably some recovery items, but on other computers (Dell and Compaq) I have experienced such hidden partitions to contain important BIOS related stuff. So I am very reluctant to start messing around with this hidden partition. I don't know whether or not the restore image would also restore the hidden partition.

Instead of killdisking the entire hard disk, I could easily killdisk the C: drive, leaving the hidden partition unharmed and installing XP - and then see what happens!

I don't think there will be a SATA issue if I use a slipstreamed XP SP2 installation disk - but I am not sure about it.

Question: Has anybody tried downgrading Packard Bell Easynote MX36-U-030D from Vista to XP - if yes, was it successfull and how did you do it?

Thank you in advance.

sebastianemborgAsked:
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antontolentinoCommented:
try collecting all the important hardware information and check to the manufacturers website if they offer XP drivers. Once you have all neccessary drivers, try to install VirtualPC first

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/virtualpc/default.mspx

and then check all your acquired drivers if it will work on XP flatform.

Once you are satisfied, you can now completely reformat Drive C and install XP without VISTA

IF your xp installation has the latest SATA driver then it wouldn't be a problem.

Good luck
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sebastianemborgAuthor Commented:
Thank you. This will take a while, I think. I will come back here, when I succeed - or fail

Greetings
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
As you're noted, the manufacturer does NOT have XP drivers (so the suggestion above to get the drivers from their site won't work).    The Vista drivers will NOT work on XP.

The Realtek audio and ethernet drivers are generally available for XP, but the Xpress 1100 video may be an issue.   I don't know if there's a driver for this readily available for XP => a quick search of the AMD/ATI site didn't help ... but there may be an XP driver on Windows Update => the easiest way to confirm that is to install XP.

But you do NOT have to wipe out Vista to try that ...

=>  ReSize the current partition to free up enough space for an XP install.
->   Install XP to its own partition in the space you just freed up.

The easiest way to do that is to install the free demo version of Boot-It NG on your system.   [http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/bootit-next-generation.htm ].   Download it; create a bootable CD; boot to the CD; and let Boot-It install.   Then remove the CD, reboot the system, and set up a boot item for Vista (I believe this will already be done).   Then boot to Maintenance Mode; go to Partition Work; and simply ReSize the partition.    Then create a new partition in the free space; set it up as a boot item called "XP" ... and try to boot to it (it will fail).   The boot to the XP CD and install XP on that partition.    Sounds harder than it is ... it's really very straightforward.   Just ask if you have any questions ... or watch the video tutorial on how to install XP at Boot-It's site [Watch "Installing XP to its own primary partition" here:  http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/bootit-next-generation-tutorials.htm ]
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sebastianemborgAuthor Commented:
hi garycase:

Thank you for your interest in this matter and comprehensive instructions :-)

I will try this - however, being a man with a busy life, it is going to take some time before I get to it.

"I'll be back", like Arnold from Califonia :-)
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sebastianemborgAuthor Commented:
I am looking around for drivers. Do you think this could be the xpress driver, I will need?

http://ati.amd.com/support/drivers/xp/radeonx-xp.html
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Not sure if the Xpress mobile chipsets use standard Catalyst drivers ... won't hurt to try though.
The nice thing about an isolated dual boot setup is you'll always have a fully functional system (Vista) while you're finding the right set of XP drivers :-)
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sebastianemborgAuthor Commented:
Hi again

Things are going "interesting". Created a new partition, installed XP, and found all the drivers (according to the device manager) except audio - im still searching.

The grafics works beautifully with the driver I mentioned.

I made a mess about the dual boot-thing. Didnt make it the way you said (I SHOULD HAVE) and now I can only boot to XP. Vista is still there and so is the hidden partition. Fiddled a little with boot.ini, but no result so far.

Not a big problem, if I get XP up running. In that case Vista will die on this computer.

Thank you
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
The dual boot can probably be resolved if you install Boot-It :-)   ... but since things are going okay, and you don't have any need for both OS's, then I'd just finish this up.

By the way, I think you already knew this (since you didn't try to do it), but in reviewing this thead I noted the suggestion antontolentino made r.e. installing Virtual PC to "test" your drives -- do NOT do that !!    The "test" antontolentino describes is meaningless !!   Virtual PC emulates a PC with an Intel 440BX chipset, S3 Trio video card, Intel/DEC 21140 network card, and SoundBlaster 16 ISA PNP sound card.   Installing XP on a Virtual PC will easily work => but means NOTHING about whether or not you have drivers for your "real" PC !!

Since you've got both the graphics driver and the network driver (I presume ... since you said you're only missing audio) then the system's clearly very useable as is.    Try this driver:  ftp://202.65.194.212/pc/audio/WDM_R186.zip
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sebastianemborgAuthor Commented:
Hi again

Right. Only one driver issue - audio. Network (even wireless) and grafics work.

Unfortunately I still have that issue. Tried a million drivers (also the one you link to) and still no sound. Could it be that I have installed so much junk that Windows XP can't take anymore?

I'm willing to do any odd trick - even if it messes up Windows XP a bit. Because when (if) at one point I reach the shore, I will clean install anyway.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
I suspect you simply need to install the Microsoft driver ==> this is supposed to be done BEFORE the actual audio driver (the one I suggested before) ... so uninstall it first; then install the Microsoft driver; then install the Realtek driver.   That should take care of your sound issue :-)

Microsoft doesn't supply this driver directly unless you fill out a support request ... but I found a copy on HP's site (it's the same driver no matter where you get it):  http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareDescription.jsp?lang=en&cc=ca&prodTypeId=321957&prodSeriesId=1847094&prodNameId=1847095&swEnvOID=1093&swLang=8&mode=2&taskId=135&swItem=ob-45958-1
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sebastianemborgAuthor Commented:
Can't make it work, garycase. It's midnight here, and I have to get some sleep. But in the morning I will be on my feet again.

In Device Manager I'm getting a big Question mark + ekclamation mark in the  "Other Devices", and further down in "System devices" I get an exclamation mark in Microsoft UAA..." which is funny as the HP driver is excatly that.

If i remove the device, then after restart I am prompted with:

Insert the cd-rom "Microsoft UAA Bus Driver for High Definition Audio. Installation disk #1. If I go througt the installlation, Windows asks for files (sys,dll and more) that actually exists on my computer, but that is on the partition with Vista, and those files dont seem to work - I tried it earlier today.

I appeciate your help very much.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
With the system connected to the internet, try right-clicking on the device in Device Manager and choosing "Update Driver" ... and let it search the internet.   This MAY get the right driver installed.   Not sure why the driver from HP's site isn't installing => it's supposed to be the right driver for XP (but the application notes DO say any older drivers must be uninstalled first).

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sebastianemborgAuthor Commented:
hi gary

I will go into "hibernation" today, remove Vista completely (but not the recovery partition), and try again.
Maybe it sounds a bit unnessercery, but I feel like it :-)

My high spirit comes from the fact that I now know this: The recovery disk works!!

It's nice to know that you - if everything goes wrong - can go back to the basis vista-configuration. Especially because it's not my computer, but my wife's...

By the way: About removing an older driver before the HP-install: I came across this.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/888111

I actually had the registry setting in question. Removing it, however, didnt really help.

When I have restored the XP-configuration I will try the driversearch as you suggested.

See you
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
The Microsoft KB article is what I was referring to when I said you had to submit a request to get the download (but since the download's freely available on other sites, it's easier to just get it there).

When you get everything re-installed EXCEPT the sound driver, I'd make an image of it ... so you can just restore back to that exact point anytime you need to.   A lot easier than a full reload :-)
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sebastianemborgAuthor Commented:
hi garycase!

I'm out of hibernation :-)

Spend all day playing with my computer. I really mean "playing" as I am enjoying this kind of killdisking, formatting, reinstalling, searcing for drivers, configuring and so on. To "non-computer-lovers" it must seem tedious, but to me it's great fun.

I ended up with this: I succeded in getting access to the Vista, creating a new partition for XP from within Vista, making a dual boot with a program called VistaBootPro.

A few things are puzzeling me, though. I would have expected the Vista partition to be primary, and the XP to be logical. Instead Vista says "system" for the Vista partition and "primary" for the XP partition. I don't remember having the option choosing between primary and logical when I created the new partition.

My goal is still to wipe out Vista, but not having solved the audio issue yet (and my wife needing the computer in her work) I have decided to rest for a while. Now knowing for sure that I can restore the computer at any time (as long as I don't mess with the hidden partition), I will surely try again next time we have a few days off (and not needing the computer for work). From time to time I will grab my wife's computer, boot into XP and try to solve the audio issue. When I do, I will come back to EE and tell you what I did.

For now, garycase, I am handing you some points - but foremost: THANK YOU for your help.

To assist others who may wish to find XP drivers for EasyNotes from Packard Bell:

http://www.4shared.com/file/32383566/5549c266/Packard-Bell_EasyNote_MX36-R-015_XPdrivers.html

This user made an application 30-40 MB containg all drivers for his model which is not excatly the same as mine. Most of the drivers worked - however not grafics and sound.

--

http://mx36.iespana.es/

Some of the same drivers.

--

http://ati.amd.com/support/drivers/xp/radeonx-xp.html

The video driver that made wonders on my computer.


Till next time :-)
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sebastianemborgAuthor Commented:
What?!   I just said "yes" to accept the solution, and now it says "NO". That's a mistake. Ill try again.
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sebastianemborgAuthor Commented:
Ohh its right :)
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sebastianemborgAuthor Commented:
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sebastianemborgAuthor Commented:
If this link above does not work: http://www.geocities.com/easynotemx36/
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