I have a Dell laptop that came pre-installed with Windows 7.

When I try to install Windows XP on it, Windows 7 does not allow me to.

I don't want a dual boot system, I just want Windows XP on my system.

Can anyone help me install Windows XP?

  • 3
    Are you sure Windows XP mode / a VM wouldn't do? – Phoshi Mar 21 '10 at 10:39
  • Posting your make and model of PC would help others help you. – Moab Nov 27 '10 at 15:23
  • Zero out the MBR (or to be on the safe side, the first GiB or so) and create a partition to install to first. – Eroen Jan 26 '12 at 22:00
  • Do you hava an XP licence? – kinokijuf Feb 28 '12 at 14:09

10 Answers 10

up vote 8 down vote accepted

My suggestion would be to save your data externally then wipe your hard drive. Then install XP first followed by 7.

I haven't installed Windows in such a long time I can't remember if there is a built in partition manager. Because the easiest solution is to partition beforehand.

  • 2
    There is a partition manager in the xp install software, but it is really clunky to use and makes a few wrong assumptions on modern systems. I'd suggest creating the partitions with a linux live disk and creating the filesystems on them with the xp installer. – Eroen Jan 26 '12 at 21:57

You need to download and install EasyBCD to remove Windows 7's bootloader

You should then be able to install from your Windows XP CD.

  • Thank You.There will not be any problem for windows Xp installation.Correct? – Ishan Mar 21 '10 at 12:20
  • 2
    You may need to erase the hard drive before starting, as the WinXP installer could try to be smart and "upgrade" your installed windows 7, resulting in bad things. – marcusw Mar 21 '10 at 12:48
  • 1
    @user31802 Prepare for the XP installer not seeing all of your hardware. Especially SATA disks are problematic AFAIk. – foraidt Mar 21 '10 at 12:52
  • @mxp: SATA disks will only be a problem if you have them in AHCI mode or RAID mode in which case you will need the correct driver on a floppy disk and hit the F? (can't remember which one) key when the XP installer asks for additional drivers. If you have it them in IDE mode then XP will see them fine. – Shevek Mar 21 '10 at 19:51
  • 1
    @marcusw: good point, in fact if the OP is wanting to do a clean install then a format is always best policy. – Shevek Mar 21 '10 at 19:52

If you want to use just Windows XP, reboot your PC from the Windows XP CD. And then select INSTALL Windows XP . It will ask to you "Which partition?" In this screen, delete all partitions of your hard disk. Windows 7 will be deleted, and your XP install will continue.

Install a floppy drive and run the Windows 98SE startup disk. Then run fdisk and delete all partitions. Then boot to your XP disk and create new partitions.

Then reinstall Windows 7 if you want a dual boot.

Technology has changed a lot, but, what we had 20 years ago still holds true today. The oldest system must be installed first and so on and so on.

The bigest issue to overcome today is the SATA drives. Slap four 500 GB IDE drives in there and change the DVD writers to SATA and all will work fine.

You can - But you will have to repair the boot manager from the Windows 7 disc. The reason why is XP will install it's own (older) version, and XP's boot manager can not boot to win 7. Repairing using the Win 7 disc will re-install Win7's boot manager, which can start XP.

You must take backup of you data before using this stuff. It is little risky..

Check these links for more details..



But the save is First Take backup of drive and partition your drive then install Windows 7 after window Xp.
this is safe approach to do this...

There are lots of different ways to update your system, including a complete format followed by an install of XP (be careful of driver issues and any data will be lost). You could perhaps also look at some kind of dual boot scenario and then you can keep your windows 7 install.

What I would probably do though is upgrade to Windows 7 Ultimate as this has Windows XP mode. That should solve your compatibility issues with least effort. Upgrade can be done online and is pretty quick.

I'm going to make a wild statement and say that this will be a horrible experience. Installing XP on a modern machine is going to painful because one the hardware is totally different from what XP was designed for 10 years ago, and secondly, XP won't have the drivers written for said hardware.

Quite a few new laptops preinstalled with Windows 7 are 64bit machines. 64bit XP will run, but it had terrible support for hardware and trying to find drivers for things will be a pain. Video card, webcams, wireless networking, USB3 support, all of those may or may not end up working.

If you stil have a laptop that is 64bit, most XP disks are 32bit, and that's going to physically limit you from the ammount of memory that can be used with your machine. Many new macines now-a-days comes with at least 4gigs of memory, and can easily be upgraded to 8 because of the 64bit hardware. You can install the 32bit OS on the machine, deal with the hardware issues and end up limiting yourself to less memory than what's installed on the laptop.

Since Windows 7 has excellent support for XP mode, and if you have Windows 7 Professional or better, it's free to download and use, I have to go against the grain here and say keep what you have and use XP mode for a much better experience.

Good luck on your quest, and hope this helps some.

  • "it had terrible support for hardware" No, vendors refused to support it because they didn't have to. – Hello71 Nov 20 '11 at 16:05
  • Are vendors now supporting 64bit XP? – Chris Nov 20 '11 at 18:23
  • They still don't, because they don't have to. – Hello71 Nov 21 '11 at 21:07

On the Setup of your bios. Choose the ATA instead of AHCI on the SATA configuration.

Now apply the changes then insert your CD in the CD rom. Make sure you have

chosen the CD as your first boot device.

The BSOD screen (Blue Screen) is the result a of SATA/RAID issue with XP. So disabling AHCI in your BIOS will get rid of the BSOD.

If you can run an extra hard drive, unplug the win 7 hard drive, install win xp on the second hard drive, plug the first and use F8 key during boot to pick the drive you want to boot from.

Simply delete win 7 reserved partion on boot screen and create new a partition on preinstalled win 7 drive by just removing space from current partitions, this will leave no trace of win 7 on the hard drive, and you can easily boot win xp without getting disc errors

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