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Windows XP on Toshiba Satellite

Posted on 2009-04-14
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-17
I have a Toshiba Satellite with Vista on it.  Given that Vista is perhaps the worst OS that I have ever used, I'd like to take the Toshiba to XP Professional.  Does anyone have a blueprint for how to do that, and any insight into what issues might aries.

Thanks in advance.
Question by:rickatseasoft
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Accepted Solution

LeeTutor earned 800 total points
ID: 24138059
Why anyone would want to go back to a 7-year-old operating system that soon will not even be supported by Microsoft is beyond me.  You're probably turned off by the seemingly endless User Account Control prompts, like everybody else, but that is one of the many security improvements of Vista over XP that helps keep your system much cleaner of trojans, spyware, drive-by malware installations, etc. than XP ever was.  And besides that, it's easy to "tame" the User Account Control feature by using a freeware program called TweakUAC.

Let me briefly name some of the improvements Vista has over XP besides the nice "Aero" user interface that nearly everybody appreciates:

- Vista has "instant search" available in nearly every window
- the Windows Explorer has numerous improvements, such as more columns available, more panes that can be displayed, the possibility of grouping, stacking and filtering folder contents, more customizable icon display, and the list goes on and on
- you can more easily relocate your personal folders (Documents, Music, etc.) to another drive or partition
- Media Center manages ALL your media, even including the capability to record TV shows for later watching (provided you have a TV tuner card installed)
- the Vista Recovery Environment replaces XP's Recovery Console and all the old restrictions regarding the folders you can enter or what can be copied between hard disk and removable media have been lifted.  Also, you can now run a memory test, perform a startup repair, do a system restore, and even run a few programs from RE
- all sorts of new features have been added to the operating system if you have the correct version, including (but not limited to) a Sidebar for Gadgets, the Windows Calendar, a Photo Gallery, a DVD burning tool, a Fax and Scan center, speech recognition, Parental Controls, BitLocker, Complete Pc Backup
- the Partition tool that you use to shrink or expand or create new partitions on your hard drive is now non-destructive
- the new Hybrid Sleep power option is a combination of XP's old Hibernation and Standby
- the WIndows Firewall has the capability to be bi-directional
- there's a "Snipping Tool" for capturing live screenshots of what's shown on your display

And I'm sure I've left off some important improvements and additions.

As to being able to go back to XP, you will first have to check that all your device drivers are available for XP. A lot of the modern pcs have been specifically planned for Vista and the manufacturers of the devices don't even have XP drivers any more.  If you have a SATA hard drive on your new Vista computer (as many current pcs do), then you will have to go through special procedures to get the driver for that operating on XP, since XP came out so long ago that SATA drives weren't available.  

During the early stages of setup, you need to press the F6 function key to load the SATA drivers from a floppy.
More info, see this page:


If you don't have a floppy drive on your computer, you have a couple of alternatives:  a) buy a cheap USB floppy drive, or b) slipstream the SATA drivers into the XP install CD, with the free program called NLite, as detailed on this page:


Also sometimes there is an option in the BIOS to disable the SATA interface, which you do during setup, and then turn it back on after the install is complete.  Most newer systems default to AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) access mode for the disks.   Just go into the BIOS and disable AHCI.
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Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 24138089
Some very good points.
If you are determined that you want to try XP then post the full details of the model and product number for the Satellite - it will help check if all the hardware is supported in XP.  If not at best you will have most of the components available to use.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 24138129
Please provide model and sticker code from the bottom side of your laptop, so that we can check is XP drivers available for your hardware.
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Assisted Solution

myderrick earned 400 total points
ID: 24140310
I will not recommend downgrading Vista to XP. You must be aware that Vista has a lot of improved features and security compared to Xp.

If you still insist, I will give you some points to note.

XP CDs do not come with a SATA driver (if your laptop uses a SATA drive). This means you should have the drives from the manufacturer's site before attempting the installation else you will get errors like cannot find hard disk etc.

I will not personally recommend downgrading Xp. There are circumstances where you may need to. For example my laptop came with Vista Basic which was not compatible with Adobe Creative Suite 3 programs. So I had the option to downgrade to Xp SP3 or upgrade to premium. Eventually I upgraded to Visa Ultimate and I am good to go.

So considered it properly before embarking on this journey.

Good luck

LVL 26

Assisted Solution

souseran earned 800 total points
ID: 24142029
It's often possible to downgrade an OS. Generally, the process I recommend for *ANY* Vista to XP downgrade is this:

Save any important data on the unit to external media such as a USB flash drive, external hard drive, etc.

Download DBAN from:


Create the necessary media.

Find and download *all* the most current versions of the necessary XP drivers, BIOS, etc. Also download an AV program. Assuming this is a home computer, my preferred for this is avast! antivirus Home Edition. It's available here:


Put that on the media with your drivers.

If the manufacturer has any specs on a proper install order for drivers, find it and print out a copy of that article.

If you haven't already, upgrade the system's BIOS to the most current version BEFORE YOU BEGIN.

Disconnect the system from the network.

Boot to the media onto which you have burned DBAN. At the prompt, type AUTONUKE. Press Enter. Take a break until you see the black screen that indicates the disk wipe has completed.

Boot to your OS media.

Once the OS has been installed, follow the steps in the Downloading and Installing Drivers in the Correct Order article and install the drivers in that order.

Install the AV program and connect to the network only long enough to update it. Disconnect from the network again and run the AV. Let it do a boot scan. This will take some time depending on the hard drive size. After that's done, reconnect your network cable and once you have network connectivity, go to


Do a Custom install of the necessary OS updates. This will allow you to see what you'll be getting and opt out of any updates you don't want.

Reinstall all other software applications.

Finally, copy back your saved data.

If you post your make and model here experts will be better able to assist you in locating drivers for your unit.

Author Comment

ID: 24147109
My real problem with Vista is the incompatability issues.  The most striking is my VC++ compiler which seems to have some issues.  I am about 85% done with a very major project, and, based on past experience, upgrading to a new compiler will cost me dearly in both time and money.  I can work around the compatability issue, probably, but will forever be waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Adobe acrobat doesn't work, I forget the name right now, but have been unable to install my vector graphics program, and the list just goes on and on.  

Suggestions on the compatability issues?????

I might just buy another laptop with native XP---I think that they are still available.

LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 24147241
I installed Adobe CS3 (Vector graphic software) and it worked after I upgraded my Vista from Basic to Ultimate. I understand you trouble. Acrobat 6,7 will not work on Vista as well.

A new laptop with Xp is not a bad idea considering it will be cheaper.

Good Luck.

LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 24154633
Please provide model and sticker code from the bottom side of your laptop, so that we can check is XP drivers available for your hardware.
LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 24384659
LeeTutor's comment #24138059 should be accepted as the Answer with souseran's comment #24142029 accepted as the Assist. souseran's comment provided additional information regarding wiping the drive first, using an AV program, following the correct driver install sequence, and updating the install as part of the process.

Author Comment

ID: 24384686
Thanks for the help.  Did I mention that the reason for the problem is that I lost my housel and two computers to Ike.  Not looking for sympathy, just understanding of why it has taken so long to reply.  Still haven't tried any of the suggestions offered, but am pretty certain that all will be useful,

Thanks again, Rick
LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 24384867

If you're satisfied that you have all the information you need at this point, go ahead and assign points as you see fit and close this question.

Expert Comment

ID: 26578959

I have got Toshiba Satellite L40-139. I was trying to Install Win XP Pro 64Bit. Tried to install the SCSI driver by press F6. Didn't press 'S' when it was asking to install the SCSI drivers and After asking to format the Hard Drive it come up with the error message saying something like HDD not found etc. I restarted my PC and now its coming up with Black Screen, HDD activity not light doing anything and when it boots from CD it ask to press any key to start windows setup and when its loading Hardware setting it goes blank again. Urgent Help required.

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