ARTICLE: Windows XP on Your Brand New Laptop?

Is Windows Vista installed in your brand new laptop? If you hate the experience and you are interested in installing Windows XP, you have come to the right site for the instructions on how to get Windows XP installed instead.

Most OEM laptop makers provide the option to downgrade your laptop to Windows XP so obtain the media from them if they provide this option. Otherwise, now is the time to secure a legitimate copy of Windows XP install CD.

Assuming you have the install CD ready. Let us go through the process of slipstreaming the SATA chipset drivers into your Windows XP install CD so that it can be installed.

Requisites. In order to make the experience smooth, ensure that all the required utilities and software are readily available. The requirements are :

* Windows XP install CD
* etfsboot.com or bbie.exe (download here)
* cdimage.exe (from Microsoft OPK)
* mobile chipset SATA driver (download here)

Download etfsboot.com or create one from the install CD using bbie.exe.

Slipstream SATA Drivers. Assuming all the required software are intact, let us start the activities leading to the tweaking of the Windows XP install CD. Copy the entire contents of the install CD to the harddisk. For this guide, let us name the target directory C:\XPCD.

Open the intel chipset SATA driver (f6flpy32.zip) zip file. Extract the .sys and .inf files to the directory C:\XPCD\i386. Once done, it is time to modify the file txtsetup.sif.

* insert the following lines under the heading [HardwareIdsDatabase]:
[HardwareIdsDatabase]
PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2922&CC_0106 = "iaStor"
PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2929&CC_0106 = "iaStor"
PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2822&CC_0104 = "iaStor"
PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2821&CC_0106 = "iaStor"
PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2829&CC_0106 = "iaStor"
PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_282A&CC_0104 = "iaStor"
PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_27C3&CC_0104 = "iaStor"
PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_27C1&CC_0106 = "iaStor"
PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_27C6&CC_0104 = "iaStor"
PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_27C5&CC_0106 = "iaStor"
PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_3A22&CC_0106 = "iaStor"
PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2682&CC_0104 = "iaStor"
PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2681&CC_0106 = "iaStor"

* insert the following lines under the heading [SCSI]:
[SCSI]
iaStor = "Intel(R) ICH9R/DO/DH SATA AHCI Controller"
iaStor = "Intel(R) ICH9M-E/M SATA AHCI Controller"
iaStor = "Intel(R) ICH8R/ICH9R/ICH10R SATA RAID Controller"
iaStor = "Intel(R) ICH8R/DH/DO SATA AHCI Controller"
iaStor = "Intel(R) ICH8M-E/M SATA AHCI Controller"
iaStor = "Intel(R) ICH8M-E/ICH9M-E SATA RAID Controller"
iaStor = "Intel(R) ICH7R/DH SATA RAID Controller"
iaStor = "Intel(R) ICH7R/DH SATA AHCI Controller"
iaStor = "Intel(R) ICH7MDH SATA RAID Controller"
iaStor = "Intel(R) ICH7M/MDH SATA AHCI Controller"
iaStor = "Intel(R) ICH10R SATA AHCI Controller"
iaStor = "Intel(R) ESB2 SATA RAID Controller"
iaStor = "Intel(R) ESB2 SATA AHCI Controller"

* insert the following lines under the heading [SourceDisksFiles.x86]:
[SourceDisksFiles.x86]
iaStor.sys = 1,,,,,,4_,4,1,,,1,4
iastor.inf = 1,,,,,,,20,0,0
iaAHCI.inf = 1,,,,,,,20,0,0

* insert the following lines under the heading [SCSI.Load]:
[SCSI.Load]
iaStor = iaStor.sys,4


Disable AHCI. Before starting the install AHCI needs to be disabled in the BIOS. Different laptop models have different ways of implementing this feature.

For my experience, this is done in a DELL Latitude D630. The same should be similar to DELL laptops. To disable AHCI, boot up and press F2 in the POST (power on self-test) to enter BIOS (or setup).
Onboard Devices --> SATA Operation --> ATA

For Compaq/HP laptops, boot up machine and press F10 to go to BIOS Setup.
System Configuration --> Device Configuration --> SATA Native Mode --> DISABLE

For Asus notebooks, boot up and go to the BIOS.
Advanced --> IDE Configuration --> SATA Operation Mode --> Compatible

For other notebooks please let me know so I can update this post.

Tweak the Install CD. Create the image of the install CD using either cdimage.exe or oscdimg.exe. The binaries can be taken from the Windows OEM Pre-installation Kit CD.

cdimage -l XPCD -b etfsboot.com -n -h C:\XPCD XPCD.iso

After creating the install CD, XPCD.iso can be burned to a CD and Windows XP can now install on your brand new laptop.

The same procedure can be done to add other drivers. Addition of drivers is not exclusive to only one. Several drivers can be added.

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