General discussion


Best way to downgrade a new laptop from Vista to XP

By secretgeekygirl ·
Dilemma -

My daughter is shopping for her first laptop for college use. Of course, I have my favs, and she'll listen. But, we can't find much of anything in our area that isn't pre-loaded with Vista.

She wants XP, as do I. I've upgraded many desktop systems before, but never downgraded, and never messed with a new laptop.

We have the Win O/S for an HP laptop already (the screen was broken beyond repair by a pet, rendering it only good for file storage).
I'd rather ask what is probably a stupid question than to forge ahead and mess things up.

-If she buys a new HP laptop, can the WinXP installation disk from the old laptop be used to downgrade? Not concerned at all with the bells-n-whistles (in other words - extra software hitchhikers that come loaded on new systems).
-If not, what should be done?

Again, not a tekkie novice, but admittedly new to both laptop tweaking and downgrading O/S.
(No flaming please - I'm admitting a weak area here, not looking for someone to point out the obvious, that I need more laptop experience.)

Thanks in advance for opinions/advice.

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Things to consider

by ganyssa In reply to Best way to downgrade a n ...

Is the Win O/S from the previous laptop an OEM version? If so, it cannot be legally transferred to the new laptop.

If it's a retail version, the main concern is the drivers for the laptop hardware. Downgrading *should* make it a non-issue, the problem is generally getting Vista-compatible drivers, not the other way around. Another thing to consider, if you need service on the lappy, you could run into warranty issues.

Once past the licensing issue and the driver issue, installing XP is pretty simple, but you cannot downgrade, you'll need to wipe the hard drive clean and install the new OS. Most laptops have a restore partition on the hard drive, if you intend on ever going to Vista, you'll want to preserve it or burn it to DVD if that's an option.

Since you have not made the purchase yet, you may want to look at vendors that are still offering XP on the laptop to start with. You won't find them at the local big-box store, but they can still be ordered. It will save some head-aches and preserve the warranty.

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Contact the university book store

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Best way to downgrade a n ...

They often have deals on computers for students. Since they are probably purchase in volume, they may still be able to get systems with XP instead of Vista.

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Custom Order

by TheChas In reply to Best way to downgrade a n ...

You can order many Dell and some HP models with XP on them instead of Vista. Look at the small business systems rather than the home systems for the easy to find XP systems.

As to using your old HP XP CD for a downgrade, you need to check the license for Vista on the new laptop and verify that you are allowed to downgrade the OS. If so, you may have to work long and hard with the vendor of the new system or Microsoft in order to get a downgrade license key.

A source that some friends of mine recommend
allows you to select which OS is installed, or even no OS.

Yes, you are not apt to be able to walk into the big-box retailers and pick up a system with XP on it. But, there are plenty of sources that will sell you a notebook or a system with XP installed. Also, because of the Vista backlash, many manufactures will assist you in downgrading your system. Some even will ship you XP media packages.

Look around some more, and I am sure you will find a system that meets your needs with XP on it.


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Downgrade to XP

by mohd.wasim In reply to Custom Order

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