Vista to XP Downgrade

By andy ·
I have purchased two laptops to run non-vista compatible software.

Toshiba A215-S808
Windows XP Pro SP2 Loaded however the XP Drivers that can be found won't load automatically or manually.
The biggest issue is connectivity. If I can hit the network I have more options for directly running updates. For now I am using a memory stick.

The Wan adapter is a Realtek RTL8187B_WLan_Adapter. (USB Based)
I located an XP driver that "successfully" auto installs from a Setup.exe routine, however, the device manager shows no driver installed for the device.

The second unit is an ACER Aspire 5920-6864
The XP support on this unit doesn't look too promising either.

Any advice / experiences with Vista Downgrades or recommendations for compatible notebooks would be greatly appreciated.


This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Answers

Collapse -

Re: Vista to XP Downgrade

You say that one of the adapters is a usb wlan, can you not hardwire it (cat.5 network cable) to do the updates?. Please post back if you have anymore problems or questions.

Collapse -

You should use the Add New Hardware Wizard

by seanferd In reply to Vista to XP Downgrade

That is the best way to do it always, unless it is uncooperative. Have it search whatever drive you have the drivers on. If necessary, point it to the exact folder where the driver in question for the particular bit of hardware resides. (As in, it can't find the driver. Sometimes you have to hold its hand.) If you get your network working, then you can let the Wizard search the 'net also. (Sometimes a crapshoot. Who knows where it might look besides

Collapse -

Sorry to say....

by tintoman In reply to Vista to XP Downgrade

This question comes up nearly every day now.
The reality is you are giving yourself a wholes barrel load of trouble here, if you bought laptops that were designed for vista you will always have a problem trying to find drivers for the on board devices, the fact is backward compatible drivers are very often not available and therefore your machines might not be able to successfully run XP at all.
You wiil almost certainly finish up reloading vista and upgrading your other software to run on it
Sorry but that's microsoft life

Collapse -

Two drivers needed

by GDoC In reply to Vista to XP Downgrade

On the Toshiba, you need to have a good 32 bit USB driver. Then you can most likely get the realtek driver from:
And select the UI package.

Good Luck

Collapse -

Did the driver show up under Unknown Devices?

by seanferd In reply to Vista to XP Downgrade

Would be a big yellow question mark in device manager.

Select the adapter in device manager and have it install the driver. Just because you installed it with a setup file, it doesn't mean that Windows applied it to the network adapter.

You also need to go to vendor's websites for all hardware for which drivers won't auto-update, and download them yourself. Use Device Manager to install them for the particular bit of hardware.

See also GDoC's post.

Good luck.

Collapse -

May Can Help, But...

by willcomp In reply to Vista to XP Downgrade

I want to see a response from andy@ before spending time and effort. Dialog will be required as well.

Collapse -

How to Downgrade RTL8187B USB WAN (for Toshiba Laptops)

by devnull In reply to Vista to XP Downgrade

Hello Everyone,

I figured out how to install the XP Drivers for this wifi card. This method probably only applies to Toshiba Laptops.

So, I downloaded the same drivers everyone points you to and tried the three ways to install a device driver in XP with no luck.

Then I opened the net8187b.inf file under RTL8187B\WinXP directory.

Now scroll down until you see:

;; IDs for 2K/XP
%RTL8187B.DeviceDesc% = RTL8187B.ndi, USB\VID_0BDA&PID_8187&REV_0200
%RTL8187B.DeviceDesc% = RTL8187B.ndi, USB\VID_0BDA&PID_8189&REV_0200

Now, in Device Manager compare these IDs to the one the yellowed question mark RTL8187B Device reports and you will discover that the ID of the card for Toshiba Laptops is:


This is where Toshiba set a different device ID because they didn't want the manufacturer's drivers to work on their laptops.

The fix/hack is to do a find and replace for 8187 to 8197 in the net8187b.inf save the changed version as net8197b.inf then copy rtl8187b.sys to rtl8197b.sys. Now device manager should recognize the card and install the driver.

Collapse -


by etsdup In reply to How to Downgrade RTL8187B ...

Thanks a million devnull@!! Have been battling with this driver for a few days already!

Much appreciated!


Collapse -

You're a GENIUS!

by poorerman In reply to How to Downgrade RTL8187B ...

Man, I've gotta tell ya, I've racked my brains for over 12 hours, downloading Realtek drivers from many sites figuring one of them's gotta work. But no. Tore my hair out checking and rechecking every setting and driver combo on my Toshiba A215-S7413 Vista laptop. I was about to give up, and then found your hack. For all the searching through many forums, no one else has offered such a solution. How the heck did you ever think to do that? I'm on a learning curve, and I'm taking notes on your approach and reasoning. Many, many thanks to you. XP Pro is up and running, and it has escaped from the Vista pit dug cooperatively by Realtek, Toshiba and, of course, Bill. THANKS!!!

Collapse -

Satellite p305-s8814

by sonic625 In reply to How to Downgrade RTL8187B ...

I did the above on changing the numbers but mine was a little different, it showed PCI\VEN_168C&DEV_001C&SUBSYS_042A1468&REV_01
in the hardware id but when I changed it in the inf file it installed but said it failed to start. So I did some more searching and found these drivers.
I downloaded them and these fixed my problem without any mods.

Related Discussions

Related Forums