Thursday, October 11, 2007

HOW TO Downgrade your Laptop from Vista to XP Professional - Part Two

..continued from "HOW TO Downgrade your Laptop from Vista to XP Professional - Part One"...

May 2013 Update: Seems some of the links listed below are broken. Go to to download all the drivers for this family of laptops (Presario V6000 series)

Ah.. we've finally managed to sneak XP into a system pre-installed with vista. And now the microsoft guys come back with a vengeance.. in the form of missing drivers. This is where the REAL problems start... locating all the myriad drivers that your laptop needs. I scoured the net for such walk-throughs, and failed.. almost everyone has managed to falter over here. Someone couldn't get the sound to work, others couldn't fix the screen, the list goes on. By lots of trial-and-error, after about 3 days & 300 mbs of downloaded drivers, i was finally able to get all the drivers required by my laptop. Most are specific components needing a particular type of driver available only with the laptop-manufacturer. So, this Part 2 is brand-specific: since i own a HP Compaq Presario, the drivers mentioned below are hp-specific. But even if you own a different brand, read through this to get an idea of what stuff you need to gather before the big downgrade.

HP Laptop: Compaq Presario V6450 / V6xxx XP Drivers
These are the drivers that hp SHOULD be giving in a cd or something alongwith every laptop. If you wipe-out your laptop's hard disk (vista makes that necessary!) and install XP professional, These are most of the drivers you'll be needing to install to get your system started. And just to make things interesting, HP doesn't list these in most laptops' driver-downloads page, nor does it give the exact names of its internal devices like network cards or card readers.

Before we start, A few things to remember: during drivers-installation, if the 'Found New harware Wizard' pops up anytime, just ignore it completely! If it lasts till after the driver's installation, just hit cancel.
And almost every driver you install will require for windows to be restarted. Do it, don't whine. Remove any boot cd from your drive (which will be there if you just installed XP!) And when downloading the setup files from the net, put in the driver's name in the Save As box, otherwise you'll get confused which file is for what. (since they're all named like SPxxxx.exe)

First: I needed to know exactly what intel-chipset (read:motherboard!) I had. For this, intel's website has this nice little file: intel chipset identification ultility : ChipUtil.exe
You can get it from here

On my notebook, it detected: Mobile Intel(R) 945GM/GMS/940GML Express Chipsets or Intel(R) 945GT Express Chipset
And gave a link to get the required graphics & chipset drivers:
Download the appropriate graphics & chipset driver files from the table given.

I first installed the graphics driver & restarted. It corrected the resolution from a flattened-out 800x600 to the proper 1280x800.
Then the chipset driver. It didn't do anything noticeable, but then I opened the device manager & saw that many of the 'unkown device's had been identified… unfortunately that still didn't include the sound & ethernet/network adapter!

Side Note:
This is the WAY to get your needed drivers from the net: Right-click My Computer icon (from windows explorer if not from desktop) > Properties > Hardware tab > Device Manager > in the top menu, View > Devices by Connection > now right-click any yellow or weird-looking entry and choose Update Driver > In the update-wizard-window, choose "yes, this time only" > Press Next > Cross your fingers!!

Windows can update a faulty part's drivers straight from the net, but for that first I needed a working network adapter!
...getting back to drivers list...

Intel PRO 100 Network Adapter Driver , file was named sp33645.exe

Now, since I had an internet connection at home, once i got the network adapter installed & net connected, just right-clicking some of the 'unknown device's & saying 'update driver' did the trick. But since all of us can't have the net handy when we need it the most, i'm gonna show how to do this by way of manual downloads only.

Wireless network: Intel PRO/wireless drivers , the file was named sp36414.exe

Software and drivers for HP Integrated Module with Bluetooth Wireless , filename: sp32883.exe

HP Wireless Assistant : file was named sp35333.exe

this has to be done in 3 steps:
First, install Microsoft Universal Audio Architecture (UAA) Bus Driver , file name sp33867.exe

(once you put this in, 2 new harware-detects will occur: Audio device on high definition bus, then Modem device on high definition bus. Gotta get 2 more drivers!

Audio: Conexant High Definition Audio Driver , file was named sp34204.exe (note, there's several conexant drivers all over the HP site, and only this 1 worked for me.)

After rebooting, voila what do u know, the sound WORKS!! who knows why they still need that modem thingy but hey, i don't make them..

Modem device: Conexant HDAUDIO Soft Data Fax Modem with SmartCP , file was named sp33890.exe

At last, we put in the drivers for touchpad (need that? the mouse touchpad's working nicely from start!), card-reader, buttons etc

touchpad: Synaptics Touchpad , file was named sp35444.exe

card reader: Ricoh 5-in-1 Card Reader Driver , file was named sp33604.exe

hp quick launch buttons , file was sp34796.exe

..& that's it!

ALL these drivers, excluding the chipset which you should take from the chipmakers site only, I found listed over here:
Software & Driver downloads, Compaq Presario V6000T CTO Notebook PC

(Although not exactly my laptop-model, only this page has a list of practically all the drivers any presario v6xxx model & some others may need. If only i'd found this page sooner!)

Here's a quick top-to-bottom-list of all the drivers on this page that were usefull specifically for my Compaq Presario 6450EE:

- Microsoft Universal Audio Architecture (UAA) Bus Driver for High Definition Audio (sp32646)
- Conexant High Definition Audio Driver
- HP Quick Launch Buttons (use latest 1 only)
- Synaptics Touchpad
- Conexant HDAUDIO Soft Data Fax Modem with SmartCP
- Intel PRO/Wireless Drivers
- HP Wireless Assistant (many listed, just try latest-one-first..)
- Intel PRO 100 Network Adapter Driver
- Ricoh 5-in-1 Card Reader Driver
- Software and Drivers for HP Integrated Module with Bluetooth Wireless
- Wireless Home Network Setup (needed if you're going to use laptop in wireless network)

So, go ahead & get rid of that annoyingly incompatible vista, we CAN downgrade even a pre-installed laptop to XP.


Ramakrishnan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ramakrishnan said...


HP has some of those drivers and apps for the 6450ee:

The file sizes vary slightly from the 6000CTO.

I bought two of the same laptops. Unfortunately, I found your page after doing much of the same R&D myself.


Ahmed said...

hi Nikhil
i have the same 6450ee
but i can't install the Audio dirver
i tried it many times but of no use :(
Can u help
i will be very thankful to you

Ramakrishnan said...

Can you confirm that your Bluetooth worked. The two laptops that I downgraded accepted the drivers just fine, and Device Manager shows two bluetooth entries that display no problems. but starting my bluetooth places displays an error - no compatible bluetooth device found.

Nikhil Sheth said...

Thanks for reading my post! It's been 5 months since i downgraded my laptop, and i'm really glad i did so!

Concerning the Bluetooth, pls ensure you install the devices in the proper order.. other than that I can't explain why it's not working. I myself had to format my laptop again in December, when from some other installation (still can't trace it) my bluetooth stopped working as well, plus several taskbar icons just stopped being visible. But now after formatting and installing the devices in the same order i've described, i'm having no problems whatsoever. It could be that your models were shipped with different bluetooth devices from mine.. You'll have to scour around the HP website for that, i guess.

Nikhil Sheth said...

can you pls make sure you installed the drivers in that order? First Microsoft's UAA driver, and then the Conexant one.

And the HP site has Several audio drivers which all sound the same. I had to try several before getting this one.. just search for them in the HP website. They may have shipped a different audio device in your laptop from mine.

ATH007 said...

Yo Nikhil, awesome entry. But one thing is that this is similar to a normal XP installation on a fresh hard disk. Except for that small part of changing that Native SATA thingy... And another thing i wanted to mention, u should warn people in "PART 1" that they should read "PART 2" along and fully before jumping into conclusions.. anyways, as again it is a great post. Expecting more!!!

Hari said...


I have a laptop of model HP compaq presario V3600 with vista.But i want to change it to XP.Pls help me out...

Mehran said...

Thanks a lot man.
God Bless you amd keep going on.
You save my time after hundred time searching here and there for drivers!

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