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How to install Windows XP on a 2016 Skylake Asus Z170-A motherboard

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c(n*199780) Senior Member
Feb 18, 2002
Click on the spoiler if you have to ask why, otherwise skip to how, below.

Windows XP would, of course, not be the only OS on your system, why would you only have one? :)

• I reboot into Windows XP to reimage Windows 10 and my Windows 8 and/or other:


Windows XP does not use BCD so it is an excellent OS to reimage other Operating Systems from.

• I reboot into Windows XP every time I need to group files or folders on the screen.
Windows XP allows you to group files or folders on different parts of the screen whereas in Windows 7/8/10, you can *only* do this on their Desktops and nowhere else. Windows 7/8/10 have no option to turn Auto-Arrange off. Registry edits which force Auto-arrange to be turned off cannot be used, because they break other Windows 7/8/10 features.

You can group pictures on different parts of your screen to sort them, you can group music files to sort them for your "mix tape" - I group my music files then pick one from the group and move it to another part of the screen, and so on. That's how I make my "mix tapes".

I also sort through files, prioritizing them for work by sorting them on different parts of the screen.

Whoever came up with the idea to PREVENT us from grouping files on Windows 7/8/10 - did us a great disservice. An option, just an option is all they have to give us, but nooo, so now we have to figure out how to install Windows XP on 2016 motherboards.

• Sometimes I run into a problem using software. Sometimes Photoshop, sometimes music editing, sometimes video editing. I even know of a bug in WordPerfect that Corel refuses to fix for three consecutive newer versions, that was not present in an old version of their program, so in cases like that, I reboot into Windows XP where sometimes earlier versions of the same software works, allows me to do what I want to do. I then get back into Windows 8/10 in a minute or two.

• Windows 7/8/10 Search Engine is more difficult to use and is not as reliable as Windows XP Search Engine. I have screenshots to prove how Windows 7/8/10 search engines can and do miss search hits that are there.





I only use Windows 7/8/10 Search when they actually finds files. If they do not, I ether use a third party program like http://mythicsoft.com/agentransack/ or reboot into Windows XP to make sure there are no hits.

• Windows 8/10 Explorer status bar does not show file details which were available in previous versions of Windows. The only features left in Status Bar in Windows are the total number of items, items selected and size of selected items (but only up to 99 files). In addition, Status Bar control in Windows 8/10 is not standard but uses private undocumented control (DirectUI). This means not even external software can provide useful file information.

This and copy-paste window, which is SO MUCH WORSE in modern Windows, because it does not give you the overview of files being replaced without AN EXTRA CLICK, which therefore takes half a second off my efficiency so it is more efficient to use Windows XP if you are into super-fast computing where half a second makes a difference for the speed with which you work.


You will need:

0. A hard drive formatted under Windows Vista/7/8/10 - do not format hard drives under Windows XP because correct partition offset would not be achieved if hard drive is formatted under Windows XP.

1. A USB FLASH Drive.

2. RMPrepUSB.com freeware
Download the latest RMPartUSB and see what the password is to open the download is here:

You do not need a modified BIOS.
You do not need to set BIOS passwords of any kind.
You do not need to disable secure boot in BIOS.
You do not need to disable Fast Boot
You do not need to switch Secure Boot > OS Type > Windows UEFI Mode to Other OS [unless you have problems multi-booting]

You *DO NEED* to go into BIOS and setup your BOOT order and have NON-UEFI Windows XP installation media first, and drive you are installing Windows XP to second. Every other drive disabled, if they were not already disconnected from the computer, which they should be.

You will need
-ASUS AHCI driver for XP
-ASUS Tools and files for W7/XP USB installation
downloaded from

4. Windows XP ISO.

Integrate Windows XP installation with ALL patches Microsoft ever released for Windows XP, so that you install Windows XP with Service Pack 3 plus all the patches that came after SP3.

Do so like this:

First of all real Windows XP is a 32-Bit OS.
Windows XP 64-Bit is not really Windows XP. In reality, it is
Most people do not know that and think it's just a 64-Bit version of Windows XP. It is *not*.
Only 32-bit Windows XP is the real deal. :)

Slipstreaming (integrating) Service Pack 4 with the original Windows XP installation files will create an installation which will include all Windows XP updates up to April 8, 2014 when extended support for Windows XP ended.

Certain versions of Windows XP will be supported through April of 2019, with updates applicable to all versions of Windows XP. The included Service Pack 4 enables updates to continue through April of 2019.

0. Service Pack 4 Slipstreaming can only be done if Service Pack 1 or later were slipstreamed already. So we first need to integrate SP1 or SP2 or SP3 with original installation files.

How to Integrate Windows XP and Service Pack 2

1. Copy contents of original Microsoft Windows XP installation files to folder C:\WINXP
[That means actual contents extracted from original ISO or original installation CD.]

2. Copy Service Pack 2 exe file to C:\ drive and rename it to xpsp2.exe

Service Pack 2 exe file can be downloaded from here:
EDIT: [LINK DEAD] looking for new download link from Microsoft, anyone have it?

3. Start Menu > Run... > cmd.exe > Press ENTER >
Now type c: and then press ENTER
Keep typing
and pressing ENTER until you get to the root C:\ directory
Then type xpsp2.exe -x:c:\SP2 and then press ENTER

4. After extraction completes, Press OK then type this in the cmd window and press ENTER:
cd SP2\i386\update

5. Finally, type this then press ENTER:
update.exe -s:c:\winxp

6. Wait until you see this message: "Integrated install has completed successfully." > OK

Contents of WINXP folder now contain non-bootable integrated (splipstreamed) Windows XP+SP2 operating system installation files.

Now we can integrate the unofficial Service Pack 4 with Windows XP+SP2 installation files.

Interestingly, unlike previous service packs, Slipstreaming of Service pack 4 *must* be done under Windows XP. If it is done under any other operating system, there may be problems with entering Windows XP product keys at time of install.


7. Copy SP4 exe file to C:\ drive and rename it to xpsp4.exe

8. *** !!! Disable anti virus software or it may interrupt the integration process with false positive virus detections. !!! ***

9. Start Menu > Run... > cmd.exe > Press ENTER >
Now type c: and then press ENTER
Keep typing
and pressing ENTER until you get to the root C:\ directory
Then type xpsp4.exe/integrate:c:\winxp and then press ENTER

Contents of WinXP folder now contain non-bootable integrated (splipstreamed) Windows XP+SP4 operating system installation files.

Here we go:

01. Insert blank USB Flash Drive and Start RMPrepUSB.
02. You may use any Volume Label but Select NTFS > make no other changes, do NOT Choose Source, just [lower left] 6 Prepare Drive > OK > OK
03. Wait for it to finish then click on Install grub4dos [center right button]
04. YES > OK > [Enter] > **STOP!!** Press on Cancel [do NOT copy grldr file when asked]
05. Exit [lower right]

06. Extract ASUS Tools and files for W7/XP USB file Install OS from USB.rar
Copy contents of folder Install OS from USB\XP\USB root to USB Flash Drive's root directory.

07. Extract ASUS AHCI driver for XP file iaStor_skl.rar
Copy contents of folder iaStor_skl to USB Flash Drive's root directory.

08. Copy the actual .iso file, Windows XP iso file to USB Flash Drive's root directory and make sure file name is XP.iso and not something else.

09. Disconnect E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G from the motherboard so that only one hard drive is connected to it and make sure it is connected to one of the main Intel SATA ports, not additional ones you may have on the side.

10. F8 at startup should let you boot from the newly created USB Flash Drive.

You may see two versions of the USB Flash Drive.
DO NOT SELECT the UEFI version. If the non-UEFI version is not there, you need to go to BIOS and set the non-UEFI as a boot priority device.
BOTH non-UEFI and UEFI must be selected in the BIOS list, but boot from the non-UEFI version.
All non SATA/IDE drives should be disconnected, they should not show up in the boot device list at all, or the Windows XP installation may try to write to them and fail, which will crash the installation process, so only have a single IDE/SATA Windows XP drive connected

You may see the cursor flash in the upper left corner.

11. SELECT: Widows XP Setup Step 1 (TXT-mode)

12. Wait for ISO to load and after you see Remember to press F6... message, *GET READY* to press Enter after which you will see a blue screen and at the bottom: Press F6 if you need to install a third party SCSI or RAID driver...

START PRESSING F6 then F7 then F6 then F7 (one after the other)...

13. Blue Windows Setup screen appears > Press S >
Select: FiraDisk Driver (32-Bit) and press Enter
Press S
Select: Intel (R) SKL SATA AHCI Controller (X99+Skylake) and press Enter
Press S
Select: ASMEDIA USB3 Controller Driver and press Enter

14. Press Enter to Continue

15. Setup is Starting Windows > Enter > F8 (to agree) > Select partition where Windows XP should be installed. No partition should ever be formatted under Windows XP, only under Windows Vista/7/8/10 so > Leave the current file system intact (no changes)

PAY ATTENTION TO DRIVE LETTER OF PARTITION YOU ARE INSTALLING TO, that will be the Windows XP system drive letter after installation completes.

16. Wait for the process to finish and ALLOW the timer to run out telling you the computer will be restarted, do not press Enter to Restart immediately. Start pressing F8 to be able to select to boot from the USB Flash Drive again. If the computer freezes, restart it manually and boot from USB Flash Drive again.

17. This time SELECT: Widows XP Setup Step 2 (GUI-mode)

18. Windows XP may hang on first boot, just like in the "good old days".
If (when) that happens, Reboot!
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Once an M.2 drive with Windows 10 is connected directly to the motherboard, Windows XP refuses to be part of the multiboot.
When M.2 drive is disconnected, Windows XP can load.

This may be due to an improperly set up multi boot.
Maybe Windows 10 M.2 is GPT formatted, Windows XP can only recognize MBR.
I need to figure that out next.
I use that to install on my Hero8 all the time. I suppose if you can get a NVME driver for XP you should be able to install to that as well. My problem is USB. I even bought a cheap PCI USB card and can't get it to work either so I have to Insta Win7 on the same drive to transfer files etc... Since I only bench it's no big deal.

As for the WIN10 thing could be a conflict with the XHCI or even the CSM setting in BIOS
I am making progress.
I am nuking all partitions on the M.2 so that I can reinstall Windows 8/10 on MBR not GPT.

I believe that may give me EasyBCD access to rebooting into Windows XP.

Obviously, I cannot have access to a GPT formatted drive from Windows XP but when the M.2 is formatted as MBR, I still may need a driver to access the M.2., what is an NVME driver? I have Asus Z170-A.
Is it a NVME M.2 drive? If so you can get the driver from the MFG. If you installed Win7 on it without one then it's not likely NVME. NVME is the "fast" PCIe interface like the Sammy950PRO
Not the PCIe card, just the bare M.2 drive connected directly to Asus Z170-A M.2 connector.

The goal is for Windows XP (installed on another drive) access it.
I am not sure if the NVMe driver works in XP... that may be something you need to talk to OCZ about or if you look at their webpage:

For OCZ RD400/400A

Version: Release: July 11, 2016 User Guide
By downloading Windows® drivers for RD400/400A you are accepting all terms and agreements in the End User License Agreement.

Operating System Compatibility Download
Windows® Windows® 7 (32-bit and 64-bit)
Windows® 8.1 (32-bit and 64-bit)
Windows® 10 (32-bit and 64-bit) 1.2MB (.zip)

It doesn't show XP as supported. Perhaps there is a workaround...
Windows XP is never going to show as officially supported anywhere and companies generally 9/10 times don't even want to spend a second talking about expired Operating Systems. We live in a world where Microsoft almost forced Skylake users to a mandatory Windows 10 upgrade even though Windows 8 is valid until 2023, and it is 2016(!!!).
Last I heard they moved that mandatory absurdity to 2017 and now there's talk of 2018 last I checked.

This entire thread and everything in it, we are on our own.

So I just tried to install Windows 10 on a normal MBR disk and got this insanity:

"Windows cannot be installed on this disk. The selected disk has an MBR partition table. On EFI systems, Windows can only be installed to GPT disks."

Does this apply to Windows 8 as well?
This means that by definition, Windows XP cannot access any disk where Windows 10 resides.

So I just found out the hard way, and I hope that I am wrong, that there is no easy way to reboot into Windows XP, because of this restriction. I can pull out the M.2 and as soon as I do, Windows XP can load.

This looks like a long-term extended gathering of information on how things work.

I have installed Windows XP however, and I can use it, but two things:

1. There is no easy way to reboot from/to Windows XP, without physically cutting off the hard drive where Windows 8/10 are, a difficult proposition.
2. There is no way for Windows XP to access a GPT disk and Windows 10 cannot be installed on anything but a GPT disk on this modern 2016 system.
I thought I would go after a modded BIOS but Windows 8.1 ISO totally installed on MBR!!
So it is not the machine but Microsoft shenanigans again, they will not allow Windows 10 to install on MBR, not even over Win 8.1!!!

At least I found I can install Win8.1 on MBR, which is what I will do, I wonder if a modded BIOS would allow Win10 to install on MBR?
There should be zero reason why it shouldn't since Win8.1 can, no reason other than the old 'they know what's best for us' and they don't even give us options...
I'm not a Microsoft fanboy but you can't blame them for not wanting to support ancient, irrelevant OSs.
Now we are crossing into "wanting" them to "support".
I think the starting point here is that there is no support.

We are just enthusiasts who are in a correct place to talk about exactly this kind of thing.
It's just as ridiculous to talk about Chevy supporting a car from the 1950's or 1960's.

But Chevy doesn't actively go around preventing people from tinkering with their cars. No other industry does.

So back to the question of the moment: WHY is Windows 8.1 installing perfectly onto the same system, same MBR hard drive that Windows 10 cannot? It's not the system, it's built in code that prevents it.
Meanwhile all threads on the internet talk about the system being the limiting factor. Why would Windows 8 install on an MBR hard drive and you must have a GPT hard drive to install Windows 10 on this particular system?

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I use that to install on my Hero8 all the time. I suppose if you can get a NVME driver for XP you should be able to install to that as well. My problem is USB. I even bought a cheap PCI USB card and can't get it to work either so I have to Insta Win7 on the same drive to transfer files etc... Since I only bench it's no big deal.

As for the WIN10 thing could be a conflict with the XHCI or even the CSM setting in BIOS

You can do XP on a Maximus VIII Hero? I tried that and got a BSOD in the setup lol but I did not see this topic then. Very useful stuff here thanks a ton.
I figured out the Windows 10 on MBR hack!
After you create the Windows 10 installation USB, simply
rename file bootmgr.efi to bootmgr.efi.old
rename folder efi to wfi.old

That trick forces Windows 10 to install on MBR and as a result, Windows 10 drive will be visible from Windows XP and other custom OS.
I've never tried to install Win10 with XP but I was sure I was installing it MBR all the time. You have to set the DVD to normal boot not UEFI. It sets up a 500MB boot partition which is nuts though.
Manipulating the installation media as I posted above will result in Windows 10 going through on MBR. I think since there are many Windows 10 installation media versions, that's what the cause is. Thanks for pointing out the non UEFI boot but that iniitself, I think I found out the hard way was not enough.
Renaming the two files I mentioned, did the job.

Boot partition being that large is unusual. It did not happen to me. I would imagine that can be adjusted.
Not sure what version I actually use got it from their DL site ~ 6 months ago maybe give or take. I only use it for benching so really didn't look around much while I was in there.
Does anyone have a working link to Service Pack 2 for Windows XP, from Microsoft?
Or SP3?
EDIT: I think it's official Microsoft took them all down.

So this now comes to down to which third party site is the most reliable, unless you already have it.

Also off topic but did you know that Microsoft released unofficial SP2 for Windows 7? It's off topic, but how do you download that from Microsoft?
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On EFI systems, Windows can only be installed to GPT disks
This seems to be the issue. I have winten on 2005 hardware and I'm sure it could multiboot with XP.
This might be to stop multibooting or just a consequence of changing technology.

You won't find SP2 or SP3 easily on Microsoft, but I'm sure they are there to support those XPpos customers. Just keep looking and you should get some good hits eventually. There's lot of hit on popular download sites.
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Oh I have all of them.
But people reading the guide are asking where they could get it... There are some seemingly legit places but I don't know which one of those are good enough to recommend to people.

As for me, I do have that off topic question about why it's difficult to find a Microsoft Download page for the SP2 for Win7 Microsoft made under pressure from people a few months ago.

EDIT: I figured it out:
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