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Windows 7 - Downgrade

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Blahniks

New Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2009
Location
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Hi everyone,

I am hoping that some of you can help me out with a problem I created for myself. I am pretty computer illiterate, but I can follow directions well and am self-sufficient when I utilize Google and common sense. That being said, not a lot of people are downgrading from Windows 7 back to XP.

I however decided to help out my sister and "fix" her slow, virus ridden computer by formatting (I have done numerous times before -- successfully) and happened to have just bought the W7 OS. Everything went like a charm until it booted up after a full install from format, not an upgrade, and the graphics card could not support the OS properly. The screen resolution cannot be changed and is beyond annoying. I have to have the taskbar on auto hide in order to click "next" in windows.

The issue now is, I would like to reinstall XP but the hidden partition in Disk 0 does not allow XP to locate the proper files in order to install.

I have tried loading XP onto a bootable USB drive, I have tried installing from the original windows xp disc, (Yes both times, the BIOS was set correctly). I have also tried assigning the partition a letter, working through DOS commands to make the partition NTSF.

I am worried I have royally screwed her and will need to buy a graphics card to make this all work.

I called Dell and they want to charge me for seeking Software help, or send me a new hard drive for $80.00. I went to future shop and the guy there was useless stating that it is impossible and I should just replace the graphics card.

I am desperate and am hoping someone can help. The Dell tech. support guy did give me one free tid bit and said they can guide me through an "advanced process" where in we use Dos to format the drive but after searching for something like that, I am left with command prompts for W98, W2000, WMe, WXP and Vista, but nothing for Windows 7 yet.

Any suggestions? This has been a week of trying and you guys are my last hope! Thank you in advance!
 
Last edited:

johnz

Member
Joined
May 30, 2004
I find it hard to believe that there aren't Win7 drivers for the gfx chipset. What's the service tag# for the Dell?
 

turbohans

Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2008
Location
n43, w86
I would do a windows update and then restart the computer if you have the ability to hook it to the internet. Some of the drivers for ATI & NVIDIA cards are propriatary, but windows will know what it needs to download automatically with the "Windows Update" feature.

Try that,, most likley it will work. Good luck and :welcome: to the Overclocker forums.
Let us know if that works or if you have any other problems for future readers.
 

Rider200

Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2008
Location
Arizona
How old is the Dell?

I dual booted my T-30 with XP and Win7, the video is set for standard VGA and there are not any drivers for the ATI 5200 M embedded video under Win7. Even Vista drivers won't work.

One way of getting rid of the hidden partition (about 100 meg) is to use a BartPE boot cd and the disk tools, can't recall the name of it off the top of my head but I used it to clean a vicous malware virus off the Misses computer a couple of months ago. When I was using it I noticed it would delete partitions.

And welome to the OC forums!

HTH...
 
OP
B

Blahniks

New Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2009
Location
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Thanks for your quick replies so close to the Holidays!

I have heard that XP and W7 are so similar that if you can run one, you can surely run the other with no problems... I am just one of the unlucky few!

The tag is: 54VDW41

I am going to have to try BartPE and see if I can get it to work. Thanks for the suggestions and I will let you know how I make out.
 

Xtreme Barton

Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2004
one of my computers has an old mx 420 on it .. it uses generic driver provided by windows but my resolution is 1024 x 768 .. only thing that i cant utilize is the s-video out for a second display to watch movies .. but in that cas i have dual boot on it and just boot into xp ..
 
OP
B

Blahniks

New Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2009
Location
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Hi Guys, I am ready to write an update. I got my hands on the partition program mentioned above (BartPE) and it showed me the partitions but could not delete them. Maybe I just don't know how to do it, but I am generally pretty good at getting things to work.

So my next attempt has been wiping everything with KillDisc. I even paid to get the full program since the 1wipe of 0's did not work. Last night I sat for 5 hours watching the program wipe 3 times, first 0's then FF's then randoms. And I put the xp os disc into the drive, rebooted and the freaking w7 loaded! What am I doing wrong? How can wiping the whole harddrive with killdisk not erase it?

I am about ready to throw this computer out of my office window!
 

johnz

Member
Joined
May 30, 2004
Win7 has 2 partitions. One that's about 100mb, and the main partition which is the rest of the drive. You shouldn't have to do anything extraordinary to get rid of them. Formatting from a boot CD should do it. Try using the Gparted live CD...

http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php

Make 1 big partition, I don't think the file system matters, and then try booting to your XP CD.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Ya know deeds, I never mind being corrected, but it would be more beneficial to the OP and less frustrating on anyone's end you reply to that way if you actually helped the OP instead of posting to simply single out mistakes...I also didnt see after reading it a 3rd time, where it says he formatted from the XP disk (I see DOS command to NTFS though).
I have tried loading XP onto a bootable USB drive, I have tried installing from the original windows xp disc, (Yes both times, the BIOS was set correctly). I have also tried assigning the partition a letter, working through DOS commands to make the partition NTSF.


Anyway, let be more clear in my instructions... When you try to install from the XP CD, when you get to the formatting part, you will need to delete both the 100mb aligment partition, and the actual partition on that drive, then format the new space as one. See if that helps.

Anyway, in regards to post #7 did you make the CD/DVD drive the first one to look at in the boot sequence? Sounds like it just picked up the HDD and not the CD/DVD.

I would also insist you complete a W7 update to see if it has drivers for the GPU.