For testing purposes, I need to wipe out W7 from an Aspire 3810T laptop and install XP(SP3) on it.

Tried three different CD's, but they all failed, possibly because the drive is SATA. In the BIOS, changed AHCI to IDE, but it didn't work.

Next, downloaded the latest AHCI Intel SATA AHCI Driver ( from Acer's site, put the files on a USB drive, hit F6 when prompted to add drivers, but XP simply goes ahead without reading the USB drive.

Next, I figured maybe upgrading the BIOS would solve the issue, so ran Unetbootin to install FreeDOS on a USB key, downloaded and copied BIOS upgrade 1.28 onto the USB key, rebooted on the USB key, typed C: to switch to the USB key, hit F.BAT which calls "fla JM31.128", but got a crash:

DOS/4GW Professional error (2001): exception 0EH

Does someone know how to install XP on a laptop with SATA drive?

Thank you.

  • I've successfully installed Windows XP on SATA hard drives several times. You should elaborate on what you mean by the CDs "all failed".
    – sawdust
    Jun 14 '11 at 7:33

You can't load drivers into xp via a USB key - you have to use a floppy drive, or slipstream it with nlite.

  • Because they'll never make computers without floppy disks right??
    – Joe Taylor
    Jun 14 '11 at 8:47
  • Thanks for the tip. Adding the driver, changing the AHCI/IDE option in the BIOS, and booting off that new ISO was straighforward. Jun 14 '11 at 9:21
  • because they never expected that when XP was made. It is an old OS after all.
    – Journeyman Geek
    Jun 14 '11 at 9:43
  • Joe, that is how it was hard coded back to NT 3.51 and maybe before. They FINALLY changed it with Vista and beyond.
    – KCotreau
    Jun 14 '11 at 13:39

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