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Reinstalling XP (with no Vista CD)


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#1
laurakoz

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I'm fairly intermediate when it comes to computers but I'm a quick learner and have been able to 'recover' fairly fried machines in the past. I'm a great Googler and I follow directions rather well, so I'm fairly confident I can do this with your help...

Specs:
2007 Compaq Presario (SR5130NX)
AMD AthlonTM 64 X2 dual core 3800+
1024MB memory 200GB HD
NVidia GeForce 6150SE
Windows Vista Home Premium

Background:
Just bought a new Compaq after my 7 year old HP died for the third time. Came with Vista of course, which I thought I would try out, but I'm having compatibility issues with a majority of my software and the compatibility wizard is hit or miss. I'm also having a variety of other annoying issues and I'd much rather just go back to XP.

I have an XP CD but since Vista came with this machine, no Vista CD. I've seen various tutorials about reinstalling XP with dual boots and the CD but nothing that particularly applies to me.

My concerns:
1) No Vista CD
2) No previous version of the OS on this machine to steal drivers from the old.windows folder
3) No knowledge/experience with SATA support (as it seems this is a fairly important part of the step)
4) I'd like to keep some of the software that came with this machine (e.g. Lightscribe)

If anyone would be able to work through a few posts with me until I can get a step by step 'how to' for my situation, it would be much appreciated. Please ask for any details you need... (I'm half tempted to go back to Best Buy and just throw my XP CD at them and tell them to 'have at it' but I am afraid of what ungodly amount that would cost)...

Thanks in advance!
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#2
Neil Jones

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You have an XP CD and a...? Do you have a licence key for it? Please remember if its an OEM key you cannot transfer it to another machine and if its a retail key it has to have been removed from the previous machine before you use it on this one. You cannot use one key on two machines (this is a Microsoft requirement).

The machine may come with a utility to make system recovery CDs or DVDs, so make those before you wipe it, otherwise you'll never get the opportunity again. This is common when there is no operating system CD/DVD with the machine.

You should also look up your machine on the Compaq site to see if there are any XP drivers for it - if there aren't, there's no point in wiping it as most of the stuff will not work. Generic drivers may be available and may work, but its not guaranteed.

The software will be tied to the machine and the Vista installation only, you won't be able to transfer it to XP. However if you have a generic copy of Nero 6 and download an update from the Nero site, it will do the lightscribe.

Edited by Neil Jones, 12 August 2007 - 03:28 AM.

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#3
laurakoz

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I see this new Backup Center that Vista has but it looks like its only a personal file backup as opposed to a system restore type deal, and am I missing something? (off to look at Microsoft's site)...

I found XP drivers for Lightscribe, but didn't know how complicated it would be to pick through and try and find enough files to install it on XP from a burned CD. The only other issue I have with software is the DVD burner, I assume though any generic DVD burning program would be sufficient, but I haven't been able to find a free one yet... any leads on something decent? I'll keep looking...

As for the drivers, looking at the HP site, it's only showing Vista 32 and 64-bit --that mean I'm screwed? :whistling:
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#4
Neil Jones

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As for the drivers, looking at the HP site, it's only showing Vista 32 and 64-bit --that mean I'm screwed? :whistling:


Depends if you can find drivers from somewhere else to fill in the driver gaps. You have an Nvidia chipset machine, but there's no guarantees that their drivers will work. HP and Compaq use butchered Asus boards but you won't find the model on Asus site.
Failing that, then its either Vista or nothing. Or run with XP but with a load of missing drivers that you may never be able to fill.
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#5
laurakoz

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Yeah, I'm thinking that based on what HP said about my drivers (it's a long shot) and the warranty (not so much with a dual boot), I'm just gonna go with Best Buy for Business and grab one with XP already on it (where were they when I decided to 'give Vista a try' --arghh!)

Thanks all :whistling:
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#6
howlleo

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Neil, when you say OEM does that mean the "recovery" disc that came with my past laptop from Dell? I was hoping to use it to downgrade to XP. Do you mean it won't work, because the CD is somehow tied to the laptop it came with?
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#7
Neil Jones

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Recovery CDs are tied to the machine they came with by design. They will not work on any other machine.
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