Want my XP back
August 29, 2007 7:36 PM   Subscribe

How can I replace Vista on my new pc with Windows XP? The XP is newly purchased software. I have an Acer Aspire L100 Ultra Small Form Factor Desktop PC Model # ASL100-UD400A AMD Athln X2 4000+, 1GB SDRAM, 2500GB HDD, Wi-Fi, Slot-in DVD RW.

Here are better specs:

Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4000+ , 2GHz 64 bit Dual Core Processor
L2 Cache Per CPU: 2 X 512KB L2 Cache
Memory: 1GB DDR2
Hard Drive: 250GB 5400RPM SATA
Optical Drive: Slot-in DVD RW
Wireless Networking: Built-in 802.11b/g
Audio: Integrated Audio
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 6150 LE 256MB, DVI, VGA Output
Memory Card Reader
Operating System: Windows Vista Home Premium Edition

My old PC died, when shopping for a new one, all had this Vista crap on it. Best Buy did offer to custom order a system with XP installed, at twice the price. I need XP because none of my tax software is compatible with Vista.

Instead I purchased a brand new Microsoft Windows XP home edition. Made a recovery disk for new PC. Tried to install XP, "The software you are trying to install is an older version of what is on your pc". I am aware of that!

Tried reformatting hard drive " This will erase your data and your pc may not function. We will not allow you to do that" That is the idea, then install my spanking new XP.

I've read the past posts on this issue, but can not get a clear idea of how to do this. Please help!
posted by JujuB to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Dual Boot
This is for a DUAL BOOT.
First order, FIND XP DRIVERs, not easy!
posted by raildr at 7:45 PM on August 29, 2007

Boot from the CD you purchased.
posted by majick at 7:46 PM on August 29, 2007

Make a ubuntu/whatever live disc and use the partition utility (like gparted) to obliterate the vista install, then swap in your XP install CD and reboot.

(the recovery disc may have fdisk to do the same thing, but personally I think live cds are swankier. You can still use the computer even if you botch an OS install)

posted by cowbellemoo at 7:53 PM on August 29, 2007

Boot to a linux disk. Run, from the terminal:

dd if=/dev/null of=/dev/hda

then boot from the XP disk.
posted by pompomtom at 8:10 PM on August 29, 2007

Sorry, that should be if=/dev/zero
posted by pompomtom at 8:24 PM on August 29, 2007

If your machine is fast enough, you could always run a copy of XP inside Vista using Microsoft Virtual PC, it's fairly simple to do. Detailed instructions can be found at Lifehacker.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:26 PM on August 29, 2007

You need to learn to boot from a CD. This involves going in your BIOS and setting the boot order to go CD first, HD last.

At boot up the PC will say something like 'press f2 for setup.' BIOS looks like this.

Now boot from your XP cd. Do an install. Wipe the drive.
posted by damn dirty ape at 8:40 PM on August 29, 2007

To expand on what majick said: it sounds like you're booting into Vista, then trying to run the Setup program from the XP Home CD. Don't do that, because Vista won't allow you to kill it while it's running. Do this instead.

Before you do your clean XP install, you should collect appropriate XP drivers for your mobo/chipset, network, video and sound, and burn those to a CD; you will need to install them after installing XP, and nine times out of ten you won't have Internet connectivity until you've installed at least the mobo/chipset and network drivers.

Normally this would be a fairly straightforward exercise, because normally the system manufacturer would have all the required drivers on their website. But judging from what seems to be the right place at Acer, you may well be in for an exciting adventure finding XP drivers to suit your L100. Get on the phone and hassle Acer about this.

Alternatively, you could either stick with the brave new world of Vista or kick it in the head and install Ubuntu, then install your XP in a VMWare Player virtual machine and run your tax software in that. On Ubuntu, VMWare Player can be easily installed using the Synaptic package manager (after the Multiverse repositories are enabled under Software Sources). Regardless of host OS, VMWare's virtual devices are all supported natively by the Windows XP guest OS.

Or you might actually be able to get off the Windows treadmill altogether. I was pleasantly surprised to have no trouble completing this year's tax return and submitting it electronically using the most recent version of the Australian Tax Office's E-Tax 2007 software, running on Ubuntu with help from Wine. The ATO makes no mention of being able to run this thing on anything but Windows. If you feel brave, you might even care to try installing Ubuntu, installing Wine, and seeing if your tax software runs better that way than it does under Vista.
posted by flabdablet at 8:42 PM on August 29, 2007

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