Thursday, October 11, 2007

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

I recently bought a HP Compaq Presario V6450EE that came pre-loaded with Vista. Right now, i think Vista can be best compared with an affair with a hot mistress : it may look simply jaw-dropping great, but it's damn hard to get things done with it, and at the end of the day you find out its loyalty lies not with you but with its former billionaire master.

That said, i naturally had to 'downgrade' it to XP Professional, whose cd i fortunately still had. Now, 'downgrading' doesn't really exist in microsoft's lingo, and it's up to us real computer-users to stuff it down their throats and show them their place. As u'd expect, there's several hassles on the way. U could lose your laptop and even your hair over it. I scoured the net for this, but nearly everywhere there were accounts of the hassles involved. Still, for me there was no other option: it was either XP, or sheer hell with vista which is Sooo slow even with a 1GB RAM.

First thing all new laptop-buyers will notice is this: no OS-restore cd like the good old times, and secondly, only one hard disk, with D: drive being a backup. Like i was gonna keep my precious star trek collection on the same drive as vista, yeah right! Needing to create multiple partitions was one of the reasons i decided to format this vista thingy. Now, here's a highly technical series of steps, get back to me if u don't understand some of it.

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)

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