Down grade question: HP G50-126NR

By jeffreygxd ·
..I bought this HP G50-126NR laptop cheap at Bestbuy a few days ago with Vista preinstalled. It ran ok under Vista with its specs, but not to my liking knowing I can get a bit more performance out of it under XP. I made a back up of the system, formated and tried to installed Windows XP professional w/SP3 via a bootable cd. The "press any key to boot from cd" message appears and I press the "any" key. At this point the screen goes black which is not normal in my experience with installing XP many many times of the years, but the CD seems to spin and be read. After a few minutes of this a BSOD appears stating a generic error message, "A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down to prevent damage." Any one have any ideas..? Could it be sata driver issues?

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It's definitely a driver issue...

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to Down grade question: HP G ...

... but it could be the video too. Usually, when you encounter a SATA problem, it will say something like 'disk not found'. Also, if it's a driver issue, it doesn't usually BSOD until after a partial install is done and you reboot.

Where did you get the WinXP w/SP3 disk? Is it slip streamed from another system? Is it an OEM disk? Retail? Volume?

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What did you use to Format the HDD with here?

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Down grade question: HP G ...

And did you remove the Recovery Partition that has Vista on it?

Now what should happen is you get the Press Any Key to Boot From CD message then the screen goes black momentarily while the Windows XP installer checks the HDD or to see if there is one and then you should get some sort of Error Message like No HDD Found or if there is a Partition on that HDD with Vista on it you will stop right there and get some sort of message that XP Can Not be installed on this system.

You need to wipe the HDD with a Utility like Boot & Nuke available here

Then without formatting the HDD proceed to install XP and let the Windows Installer format the HDD in the way you require.

The HP XP Drivers for this system are located here too


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by jeffreygxd In reply to Down grade question: HP G ...

I tried dban to no avail.. It crashes after it initializes with a few generic error message about possible hard drive errors. At least Gparted lets me do whatever to the hard drive with the exception of seeing or touching the 10gig hidden partition. Its frustrating that there isn't a tool to delete or even see it... I tried using my trusty HawkPE boot cd, but no XP (sp 2 or 3) based boot disk will function without stalling or crashing some where along the line. I can how ever install any linux distro I choose with no problems though! Which is great, but I wanted to dual boot winxp & linux.

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Try this

by Jacky Howe In reply to Down grade question: HP G ...

Reasons to not delete the HP Recovery Partition
A small partition on the hard drive contains a record of all software installed at the factory and shipped with this system. This includes images for the Microsoft Operating System and supplemental products. If you have a problem with the operating system or device drivers, the programs on the recovery partition can restore the PC to proper operation.
If you decide to delete all of this information and remove the Recovery Partition you will make a small amount space available for other programs. If you back up your data, and you create a set of Recovery disks before deleting the partition, you can restore the PC later.

If you download and create this Recovery CD you will be able to use <b>Diskpart</b> to manipulate your Partitions. <i>Make sure that you have created your Vista Recovery DVD before attempting this.</i> Follow the directions below and you should be good to go.

The Windows Vista Recovery CD can be used to Boot your PC. Check your BIOS settings to make sure that you are booting from the CD first.

<b>Creating a Windows Vista Recovery CD</b>

<b>Download from here:</b>

Burn it to a CD with Nero or equivalent software.

Boot from the CD and on the first screen click Next, click Repair your computer, click Next and select Command Prompt.

Type in DISKPART and press Enter. This opens the Microsoft DiskPart application. You need to select the active disk, so type in:

The primary disk is generally Disk 0, so type in:

select disk 0

type in:


Now type


<i>Keep us informed as to your progress if you require further assistance.</i>

<i>If you think that any of the posts that have been made by all TR Members, have solved or contributed to solving the problem, please Mark them as <b>Helpful</b> so that others may benefit from the outcome. </i> :-bd

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i will try it..

by jeffreygxd In reply to Try this

..1st thing I did was make a recovery cd to restore the system to factory defaults.

..I Didn't even think about trying the vista recovery cd.. Thank you for the commands to enter. I'm about to give it a go and then maybe I can sleep easy... :)

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Let us know how you get on

by Jacky Howe In reply to i will try it..

and as for Dual Booting I would be looking at a Virtual environment.

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Ok now... ;-)

by jeffreygxd In reply to Let us know how you get o ...

..I've been really busy to pursue a fix to install XP on this laptop and Ubuntu ?just works? so I let it ride. The other day I took some time out to remedy this and I had XP installed with in an hour...

What I accomplished?

I do believe I removed the hidden partition and reclaimed the space thanks to Jacky Howe's suggestion.

I opened a terminal window with in Ubuntu (LiveCD would work as well) on the HP laptop and typed ?sudo lshw?. You could also use ?lspci? and in the terminal window spews forth a list of your systems hardware as long as an arm. The only part I'm worried about is this one here:

id: storage
description: SATA controller
product: ICH9M/M-E SATA AHCI Controller
vendor: Intel Corporation

In addition to that it also listed my chipset as ?Intel Mobile 4 Series? along with my sound and ATHEROS AR5007(or something close) wifi chips.

So then its off to Intel's website. Basically I went under their laptop download section for ?Mobile Intel? 4 Series Express Chipset Family? downloads and found the Intel? Matrix Storage Manager .zip version NOT exe here:**&DwnldID=17413&strOSs=44&OSFullName=Windows*%20XP%20Professional&lang=eng

You might as well grab the XP video drivers labeled as well while your here:**&DwnldID=17403&strOSs=44&OSFullName=Windows*%20XP%20Professional&lang=eng

I also went out and grabbed my wifi drivers for XP I found here for 32/64 and a wide range of models from Atheros:

I have tried quite a few sound drivers for the 82801I (ICH9 Family) HD Audio Controller in my HP G50-126NR laptop and NOTHING has worked yet.

So NOW that I collected the SATA drivers I needed so badly along with a few others just to make XP life easier! I need to get these on to my XP boot cd properly. This is where nLite comes into play to slip stream these drivers into my Windows XP Professional SP3 CD.

If you don't know what that is then Its VERY easy to use and to me I don't see it much different than using something like WinRar or Nero CD burner...

I already had that installed on one of my desktops so I just makes the necessary changes, not changing anything else about the boot CD except adding those drivers for my HP laptop...

It worked... Booted it up from the CD I made and again the screen went black for 2-4 minutes, but in stead of a BSOD I saw the WinXP text mode setup. I followed through and low and behold I was booting in to XP with my video and wireless really to go to boot.

Now to the strangeness! Lol.. It setup my sata 250G hard drive as E:, card reader as C:, and my CD/DVD as ... ARHGGG.. :-P
The later 2 you can change the drive letters easy enough, but the /Windows hard drive can not be changed while in use even under safe mode.. Does anyone know a way of doing this under Recovery mode or even a Linux live CD??

Other than this and the no sound issue its running awesome, glad I dumped Vista for XP/Linux. I haven't found a drive for the modem in it either, but I could care less about a modem...

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Wow, you had your work cut out

by Jacky Howe In reply to Ok now... ;-)

good luck finding a driver.

If you created a Primary Partition and installed XP first it should be on C: drive. I haven't botherd to dual boot with Linux but it should be happy enough to setup on another Partition.

You could have used Diskpart to create a couple of Primary Partitions and then mark the fist one as Active and then install XP.

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Fixed that...

by jeffreygxd In reply to Wow, you had your work cu ...

..I got the windows drive as C: I used Gparted in Ubuntu to format the drive as ntfs, but for some reason the XP setup installed the drive as windows installed C:, BUT not the booting hard drive. It had a USB stick of mine as the boot...(Don't ask, not to sure myself.. ) So I booted into Ubuntu again, looked at the boot.ini, found the problem and corrected... WoooHooo

..I also fixed the SOUND! After trying a few different drivers in desperation I remembered a time before when this happened with some oddball piece of hardware and Windows update actually knew what hardware it was and suggested an optional driver download that worked! Imagine that?! Yes it did it this time as well. It detected & suggested working drivers for my touch pad, modem, and sound hardware...

..If I was smart I would image this drive now in case of emergency, but at the very least I will run smart driver backup. I can pull all the hardware drivers to put in a safe place and or slip streaming into a custom xp setup cd...

..Thanks for your's and anyone else's help!

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Glad that I could help

by Jacky Howe In reply to Fixed that...

and it's good to see that you are up and running.

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