Remove Vista Install XP on HP Pavilion

I recently get a new HP Pavilion a6077c desktop machine.

It has great hardware, good video card, litescribe dvd writer, 2 gb memory, 400 gb hard drive, lot of USB connectors, and a TV-FM Tuner. Really fine.

But it came pre-installed with Windows Vista !

What a nightmare! It took 3 hours to boot (exagerated), when it finally finished booting, it took 2-3 secondes to start simple applications like internet explorer, and also 2-3 secondes to react when I close the application. The overall system is SO slow, and it is really not an hardware trouble, it’s an OS trouble. So, the solution to make this beautiful hardware lightning fast was to remove Vista and install XP SP2.

Because I get a lot of trouble doing this, I provide you all the instructions on how to install Windows XP on a HP Pavilion PC with Vista preinstalled.

First of all, I want to tell you that I first contacted HP to do that, because they DO NOT provide any XP drivers for that machine on their support download web page. They gave me 2 or 3 suggestions that did not helped me. They told me to change the SerialATA emulation in the Bios, but the trouble was not the SerialATA emulation. The real trouble is that XP does not recognise this controller. So changing the emulation from SCSI to IDE does not help.

Detailed steps to do this.

1. Do not install any update from windows update in Vista, or else you may get the trouble I have: Must reactivate the Vista license because Windows tells me that I changed my hardware and my vista is NO LONGER VALID !!!!

2. Boot in the pre-installed Vista. Go in the HP support program section, and run the Recovery Disk creator tool. It will write you 2 dvd-r disk that will allow you to reinstall Vista to its original HP content, for if you want to sell your machine one day, or if you want to get a headache or have a suddent need to vomit.

3. After that, you’re ready to flush vista. Insert your bootable Windows XP CD in the drive, and reboot.
3.1 Start the XP setup. Surprise, XP do not see your hard drives ! It only lists you 4 strange drives (I think that these are the SD, MMC, MS card readers).

4. You need to get the SerialATA drivers and insert them in the setup process. The driver is for the device “intel matrix storage manager”, that can be found on the intel site, or with the copy I provide to you from my page. To “unpack” the IMA file provided by Intel, I used MagicISO that helped me extract the file like a zip file. For those who don’t want to install MagicISO juste for that take these alreadly unpacked files.

5. Now that you have the SATA drivers, you can use them in the XP setup. But, this machine do not have any diskette reader, so you can’t press F6 during setup and add drivers from the floppy. So, you will have to integrate these drivers in the setup on the CD. To do that, I discovered a very useful utility, called Nlite. Download it, copy your XP setup cd to your hard drive, follow the nlite wizard to add the drivers to the setup, and use Nlite to burn your new XP Setup. You can also pre-configure your XP setup with nlite, like integrate the CD Key, or choose the keyboard / language, and other settings. Nlite is a very wonder utility, and it’s free.

6. You have your new Bootable XP Setup CD, you can restart the XP setup. Wonderful, you see the hard drive ! Remove the actual partitions (1 partition is the Vista, the other is the recovery files that you wrote to the dvd-r on the first steps, you no longer need them. Remove all currently installed partitions, and configure your new XP ntfs partition like normal.

7. You have installed XP, you’re so happy. Now, let’s go to the Internet to download some windows updates and drivers. What? the network card is not working ? is the network card too new to be discovered by XP? No, it’s a very old chipset, but that have never been detected by XP. It’s an Intel Pro100 VE, so you can download this driver.

8. For the other drivers that you have to install, you can see in the device manager that you have a lot of unknown devices. Modem, Network, Audio, and even VIDEO because the Nvidia card is not detected by XP.

9. I learned something very interresting during this process. To find which drivers to install for other devices, I learned how to identify my device with the PCI id. Go to the device manager. Select property on any device (for example the unknow multimedia device). In the DEtails tab, you see a PCI id, like this: “PCIVEN_14E4&DEV_165E…” This is how XP can know that a card is for example a Sound Blaster PCI512 device.

With this information. go to this site: http://www.driveragent.com/. I used this site to identify all my devices. This site has an inventory of all VendorID and DeviceID. So, for my exemple, I can go to http://listing.driveragent.com/pci/14e4/165e and I see that vendor 14e4 is the company Broadcom, and device id 165e is associated with NetExtreme Gigabit (this example is from my notebook, not associated with the HP Pavilion devices).

10. Find all other drivers, run the driveragent utililty to be sure that you get all the most up-to-date drivers.

11. Enjoy your new lightning fast HP Pavilion desktop, that was so slow with Vista, and that is now so fast with XP!

12. Send an e-mail to HP to tell them that, even if they provide VISTA built in the machine, they can support XP too with their downloads page and help us downloading the drivers.

These are the drivers I get to make my Pavilion work fine under XP.

XP Drivers list for HP Pavilion A6077C

Screenshot of my devices list

Video: get current Nvidia drivers
Audio: realtek high definition audio
Network: Intel Pro/100 VM
Intel Chipset
Intel Matrix (after setup)
Card reader (usb driver)
TV/FM: Hauppauge – get them from hauppauge site
Modem

9 thoughts on “Remove Vista Install XP on HP Pavilion”

  1. Thank you for writing this blog and your exact steps for making the downgrade. I have the exact same HP Desktop and with your help and exact driver links, was able to complete the installation without any problem.

    Thanks again.

  2. Frederic, this guide you have written is pure GOLD! Thank you very much. I replaced Vista with XP on my son’s HP Pavillion 7700 and all the problems I experiened were solved in your guide. Many thanks again.

  3. Hey, when I got to install XP I get a blue screen.. says
    “a problem has been detected and windows has been shut down… blah blah…… check your hard drive to make sure it is properly configured and terminated”….

    please help?

  4. RE: “a problem”, when the computer starts up enter the bios setup (it will tell you which key to press to do this). Then you need to look for the hard-drive config, and set it to IDE. (In my case, it was set to RAID). This stops the blue screen.

  5. […] Then you need to look for the hard-drive config, and set it to IDE […]

    Thanks! Finally i can install XP on my HP Pavilion a6725ch without bluescreen.

  6. Thank you so much for posting this forum, you have saved me so much time and frustration. I have the same machine as you, but I’m having trouble with the modem drivers and I can’t get it to connect to the internet. I’ve checked all the settings, ran the pci id for the modem and have tried several drivers for it and it just won’t show up. I can see my network through both wireless and ethernet connections, and my internet connection show connected, but still no internet. All my other computers can get online. Any ideas? Thanks.

  7. merci beaucoup! thanks so much!got the same pavilion. I’ve been looking for these drivers from the hp web, ’till i finally found you! thanks so much from guatemala!!! really helpful!!! att: guatemalo xelawho.com

  8. I had a lot of issues figuring out most of the chipset drivers; specially for one labeled SMBus Controller. I found out it is part of the Intel Sub system and they have a tool to help with this issue. It will install the .INF files for the chipset so that Windows XP will recognize the system correctly. You can go here to download the tool.
    http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/inf/

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