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Topic:

vista to XP

Posted by: samuel M.      19 May 2010 @ 19:15
vista to XP

I have a desktop PC with XP windows and a laptop with windows vista.
Can I use my OEM XP disc to convert laptop vista to XP? Is it as simple as following disc instructions or are more complicated moves involved? My vista contains an inbuilt recovery drive.

Reply by: Jon S. PCIQ IT ProfessionalIT Professional in Morecambe, LA3      19 May 2010 @ 21:23
RE: vista to XP

what are the makes of the two machines?

how old is the XP machine? Did it come with XP service pack 1/2/3 preinstalled?

what version of windows vista is on the vista machine? home/pro/ultimate or whatever)

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Reply by: Alan D. PCIQ IT ProfessionalIT Professional in Oakham, LE15      19 May 2010 @ 21:37
RE: vista to XP

If the Vista PC is much newer, you may have problems finding XP drivers for the hardware. It is best to check them out first. Try the PC manufacturers website.

You may also have a licencing issue. Depending which version of Vista you have, you may not be licenced to put XP on the PC. You cannot use teh same key as it will already have been registered.

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Reply by: Dave C. PCIQ IT ProfessionalIT Professional in Nuneaton, CV11      19 May 2010 @ 21:38
RE: vista to XP

This is not quite as simple as you may hope for a number of reasons:

There is no downgrade path from Vista to XP. The Vista and Windows 7 boot loaders differ from that of XP so you'll have to first backup your data then boot from the XP CD to (optionally repartition) then reformat and install XP.

Your inbuilt recovery drive would likely be deleted meaning you'll be unable to re-install Vista without an installtion CD if you later change your mind.

You might want to consider buying a replacement hard drive, taking this opportunity to aquire more disk space - disks are relatively cheap. You'd always then have the Vista disk to fall back on.

There are other things you could try too but they'd require access to 3rd party disk partitioning tools.

You can use your OEM CD and key to install XP on your laptop however it may fail activation if you've recently installed and activated using the same product key on the COA as used on your desktop.

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Reply by: Jon S. PCIQ IT ProfessionalIT Professional in Morecambe, LA3      19 May 2010 @ 21:42
RE: vista to XP

hang on chaps before we start confusing him
There ARE downgrade rights from SOME versions of Vista to SOME versions of XP
If both systems are from the same manufacturer and if the XP disk uses a later version of the SLP activation system (hence the question about preinstalled service packs) then the XP disk may well install without needing a product key

Lets wait and see what Samuel says before confusing this issue further

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Reply by: Dave C. PCIQ IT ProfessionalIT Professional in Nuneaton, CV11      19 May 2010 @ 21:51
RE: vista to XP

Jon I take your point about downgrade "rights" but the question was specifically asking about how simple the procedure was. There is no simple downgrade procedure, it requires a reformat and thus loss of original O/S and data.

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Reply by: samuel m.      19 May 2010 @ 22:15
RE: vista to XP

Desktop is Time make purchased 2004 with service pack 1 installed.

Laptop is Gateway purchased about 1.5 yrs back using vista home

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Reply by: Jon S. PCIQ IT ProfessionalIT Professional in Morecambe, LA3      19 May 2010 @ 23:06
RE: vista to XP

then you have not a hope of using that disk
That Time recovery CD is NOT a windows CD - its a recovery disk which unlocks a hidden image on the hard drive, and is anyway tied to the specially tweaked Time BIOS. You cannot run windows setup from it
Besides which, I strongly suspect that if the machine does not have a floppy drive you may run into problems loading IDE drivers at startup: most XP setup disks (except for late Media Centre 2005 or SP3 versions) probably wont have the required SATA drivers
You will have to purchase a CD - and legally it has to be a full retail copy of Windows XP (if you can find one). There are no downgrade rights to XP from Vista Home, nor do you qualify to use the cheaper "upgrade" or "OEM" disks

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Reply by: Jon S. PCIQ IT ProfessionalIT Professional in Morecambe, LA3      19 May 2010 @ 23:12
RE: vista to XP

Just a further note on that - if you do boot that Gateway with the Time recovery disk in, it will almost certainly kill the hard drive partition table, so nuking everything on the drive
Don't even think about trying it. If you do you'll lose the lot and reformatting the drive may be a problem.

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Reply by: Alan B. PCIQ IT ProfessionalIT Professional in Cambridge, CB22      20 May 2010 @ 07:48
RE: vista to XP

There are two completely separate issues here:
1) The feasibility of what you want to do.
2) Whether what you want to do is software piracy.

I'll ignore issues of feasibility and assume you have a proper OEM Windows CD (not a Recovery Disk). You also need a licence key (the set of numbers on the product sticker). You cannot re-use the key on your desktop because the Microsoft licence agreement says each computer needs its own copy of Windows. You cannot decommission your desktop and use its licence key because that also contravenes the licence agreement for an OEM copy of Windows (although if you had paid lots more money for a retail copy of XP then it is allowed). A very few Vista computers were sold with the option to install XP instead. If you had this option I presume you would have been supplied with an XP CD. I don't know how the licence key issue works in those cases because I have never dealt with one. I doubt you have 'downgrade rights', as they are called, because only a tiny minority of Vista computers were sold with them. So the chances are what you are trying to do contravenes the Microsoft licence agreement and is therefore software piracy.

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Reply by: Jon S. PCIQ IT ProfessionalIT Professional in Morecambe, LA3      20 May 2010 @ 10:41
RE: vista to XP

to confirm what I said before:
this version of Vista does NOT come with downgrade rights
the only way to legally put XP on that machine is with a Retail version of the the Windows XP CD

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Reply by: samuel m.      20 May 2010 @ 11:02
RE: vista to XP

Is the retail version a general comodiity that can be borrowed or must I buy one specifically for my computer?

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Reply by: Jon S. PCIQ IT ProfessionalIT Professional in Morecambe, LA3      20 May 2010 @ 11:07
RE: vista to XP

each one comes with a unique product key, which enables windows to be activated and used
each key can be used on one machine ONLY

your problem is that Windows XP was withdrawn from retail sale two years or so ago and you are unlikely to find a one, unless you find some surplus stock somewhere
beware of buying through Ebay - there are a lot of fraudsters there with pirated copies

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Reply by: Jon S. PCIQ IT ProfessionalIT Professional in Morecambe, LA3      20 May 2010 @ 11:10
RE: vista to XP

and I'll just reiterate again what I said before:

I believe its quite probable that you will run into technical problems due to the IDE drivers which will make installation difficult, if not impossible
Also before you commit yourself, check the Gatweay support website to see if there are any Windows XP drivers issued for that machine

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Reply by: Alan B. PCIQ IT ProfessionalIT Professional in Cambridge, CB22      20 May 2010 @ 19:37
RE: vista to XP

Most people seem to prefer Windows 7 to Vista; I certainly do. You might consider going forward not backward and upgrade your Vista laptop to Windows 7.

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Reply by: samuel m.      20 May 2010 @ 22:49
RE: vista to XP

Do I need to purchase a windows 7 disc to instal into my laptop vista and/or desktop XP?

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Reply by: Alan B. PCIQ IT ProfessionalIT Professional in Cambridge, CB22      20 May 2010 @ 23:20
RE: vista to XP

Yes, Samuel, I'm afraid the Windows 7 upgrade would not be free. An upgrade to Windows 7 Home would cost from around 75 pounds (e.g. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Microsoft-Windows-Premium-Upgrade-Vista/dp/B002DGS81C). That's a lot to pay but it is a lot cheaper than the retail copy of Windows XP that you would need to downgrade - if you could even find one.

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Reply by: Daniel F. PCIQ IT ProfessionalIT Professional in Walmer Bridge, PR4      1 Aug 2011 @ 14:21
RE: vista to XP

I would advise you to do a Windows Easy Transfer. Run a scanstate on the Vista machine, then loadstate once the XP operating has been installed. You must understand that you cannot downgrade from Vista to XP and vice versa, as they run different kernals.

Good luck.

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Reply by: Jon S. PCIQ IT ProfessionalIT Professional in Morecambe, LA3      1 Aug 2011 @ 16:36
RE: vista to XP

I wasn't aware Easy Transfer would work "backwards" to an older operating system

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