Installing Windows XP

Posted on 2013-01-24
Last Modified: 2013-02-05
I have a Compaq Presario CQ56 laptop that came with Windows 7. I want to set this up for my elderly mother who is used to using XP. I purchased a new hard drive for this system but when I try to load Windows XP it loads to the point where it says "Starting Windows" and the I get the blue screen telling me to run checkdisk etc. I get the same message when I try to load it on the original hard drive. On other systems I was able to change the Hard Drive setting in the BIOS to accomplish this but I cannot find any setting to change. Please advise on how I can get Windows XP loaded on this system. Thank you!

Question by:RobertEhinger
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 38816765
Are you formatting the drive at the beginning of installing XP?

Expert Comment

ID: 38816777
Go into the BIOS, and change the boot order to the drive in which the Windows XP installation media is living on. If you want a dual boot setup with Windows XP & Windows 7 let me know and I can send you instructions on how to enable that, but if you want a clean slate with Windows XP for your grandmother then make sure the device with Windows XP media is first on the boot order. Then when you boot to it you will receive prompt for license agreements, and delete the partition with Windows 7 on it and install a new partition with Windows XP. Also make sure you have the ethernet driver download for Windows XP before wiping the hard drive of the data, You probably want to grab the wireless network card driver as well.
Good luck, Alpha
LVL 94

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 38816858
A Windows 7 machine will have a SATA hard drive. XP does not have native SATA drivers. Go into the BIOS and change AHCI to compatibility mode. This should allow you to start from the XP DVD, and install XP. Make sure all partitions are deleted before you start


Set up Windows 7, turn on Classic mode, delete the eye candy and it will look and feel like XP. This is a better approach than adopting a dead operating system and your mother can be easily trained because it can be made to look the same.

... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

ID: 38816886
OK, a few things here - the installation never gets to the point of allowing me to format the drive. The "Starting Windows" is right after all the basic drivers and things are loaded after it check hardware configuration.
Wanted to AHCI to compatability mode but I cannot find that setting in the BIOS.
I already have the boot order being the DVD drive first and then the HDD. I have no problem with actually booting from the disk.
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 38817680
i suggest to run   a disk diag on that drive, to be sure it is OK; and best also a RAM diag
download UBCD, make the CD and boot from it
run the disk diag for your drive brand, eg the Seagate diag for Seagate drives - LONG test
report results                              ultimate boot cd                        direct link UBCD
LVL 28

Accepted Solution

burrcm earned 500 total points
ID: 38817742
Time to move on. thinkpads_user is of course correct. Classic will do the job, but really there is no reason not to progress. I doubt the lady in question does any more with the operating system than opening programs, email, etc. Put shortcuts to everything she uses on the desktop, and suggest she explores further at her leisure.

Chris B
LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Don Thomson
ID: 38819024
If the original Windows 7 is Pro version, then you can always install XP mode for free.

Otherwise - unless you got an install disk from Compaq - your install media won't have any of the Compaq chipset or other hardware drivers on it

You cannot use an XP install disk from another machine -
You can use a full retail version that has never been installed on another PC
If you have Win 7 Pro - you can downgrade to XP PRO but not from Home version
You will never get it activated even if you could install it
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 38819106
well - it is possible you can find all or some of the drivers -  only way to know is try it- but his concern now is getting xp installed - right?
if it is missing the sata drivers, you'll have to integrate them in the install cd (and best all the drivers you can find)
if W7 is still running ok -  look in device manager, and make a not of all the drivers - or use SIW  to llist all devices :      
then google for the drivers

here some info to start with :
LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 38819887
If there is no option to disable SATA mode in BIOS, then your only choice is to slipstream the SATA driver onto an XP CD using 'nlite'.

It is a fairly simple process, that does not take too long. You can even slipstream all the XP drivers that you need at the same time.

The only other thing I can think of is a Virtual Floppy Drive solution. I have heard of them and read some good results using it, but have never tried it myself. It basically entails downloading a small program that formats and configures a small usb flash drive to emulate a floppy that a system can recognize at boot time.

Try searching for Virtual Floppy Drive

Author Comment

ID: 38822863
OK, one of the reasons I want to use XP is because is allows me to install Outlook Express. Mom has two computers and she had XP and OE on her desktop computer and I wanted to set them up to be identical. She is nearly 80 and has only been using her computers for a few years. Before Dad passed away he did all the emails and simply included what Mom told him she wanted to say. I really don't want to confuse her any more than necessary.
LVL 94

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 38822884
Outlook Express has died and is no longer available with newer system. Windows 7 comes with Windows Live Mail that can easily be set up to work like Outlook Express. It is different, but I am sure you can set it up. The main commands (New Mail, Send, Send/Receive) can be easily learned.

I have people in my group of volunteer friends over 75 who are using Windows 7 with no issue.

You can import OE mail into Windows Live Mail and collect it all.

You can use XP Mode, but that is likely more confusing than just using Windows 7 as it comes.

.... Thinkpads_User
LVL 94

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 38823441
If you are really convinced you must have XP, I looked on eBay and there appear to be a number of IBM XP desktop/tower computers for small dollars. Check the vendor for integrity and check that the product can be returned if not working or as advertised. This would be a very inexpensive way to stay with XP for a while.

... Thinkpads_User
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 38823611
you can also use Thunderbird - which appears like outlook express  - ands runs on W7
slipstreaming the CD is a fairly fast process, if you want to try it

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