Install Windows XP on Vista Pre-Installed Laptop

This is a complete step-by-step guide to enable you to install Windows XP on your vista pre installed laptop. When we try to install Windows XP on our laptop, we face an error leaving us annoyed. Most of the time blue screen welcomes us with some coding and some instructions e.g check your hardware or hard disk not found and run scandisk with /f key.
This guide is meant to address such issues of checking hard disk besides the fact that hard disk is brand new and just few hours old.

Lets understand the logic behind this problem. Windows XP actually supports obsolete ATA hard drive technology and has no support for SATA hard drives. While windows vista is latest operating system as

compared to windows XP, so windows vista has an edge over its predecessor and have drivers for Serial ATA (SATA).

So if by any means Windows XP recognizes SATA drive, windows XP would be installed.

This is our aim in this guide to make windows XP as updated to recongnise our latest hard disks.


But you should take some precaution while executing this project. Mak back-up DVD of your system for future use. You should check the web for windows XP drivers. If windows XP drivers are not found, installation of Windows XP will not be beneficial, because operating system will not be able to use hardware resources efficiently. Just like integrated web cam, touchpad, built in W-Lan, Bluetooth and sound system will not work if their drivers are not available for Windows XP.

Lets start our work.


Tools we need for this project are.

  • Nlite software for merging SATA drivers into Windows XP setup. Download latest version from
  • Download freeware EASEUS Partition Master home edition from Windows vista has option to shrink the drives but this utility has limitation and will limit you after certain resizing. With EASEUS, you can easily resize/shrink/delete or create partition without any limitation and without any error.
  • You need blank CD for writing purpose.
  • Last but not the least, Windows XP installation source CD.

 These are the necessary tools we require for our bootable Windows XP CD.

Step #1. Copy and paste all files and folders from Windows XP installation CD to local hard drive.

 Step #2. Now gather some info about our machine. Click Start–>All Programs–>Accessories–>System Tools and click system information. A new window will occur, click the link conflicts/sharing. After some time information will be displayed in right pane. Now in file menu click save to save the hardware infor in text form for information.

Step #3. In right pane, you have noticed some information. For Intel motherboard based computers you will see something like this, ICHx. Where x denotes number ranging from 7 to 10. E.g ICH10. In my system I have ICH9. This is the part of our hardware needs to fixed in Windows XP. Now goto Intel web site and down load driver for this south bridge. Download driver for ICH9 Here. Driver will be in compressed form and have name like in pic below.

 Step #4. Install Nlite and run the program. Guide this program to Windows XP installation source. Nlite will recognize and show you the information related to Windows XP source.

 Step #5. Click next and you will see a next screen. Just click next button and skip it.

Next screen is very important and have many options. For our main purpose click bootable iso and drivers’ button. Both buttons will highlight. Click next.

 Step #6. We have downloaded driver for our south bridge (ICH9) that was compressed. Using proper compression software like winrar, extract it to a folder. Here you will see