Installing Widows XP On A Newer Computer


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Installing Widows XP On A Computer That Has An i Series Processor

Have an i Series Processor in your computer? Check the BIOS, does it have IDE compatible or Legacy settings for the SATA drive settings?

The CPU is not the problem, it is two things: Lack of SATA support on the XP install cd or the lack of legacy or IDE support for the motherboard BIOS!

If you have a newer computer and it has a i series processor it will more than likely come with Windows 7 / 8 or 10.

But what if you don't want Windows 7 / 8 or 10 for various reasons and would like to have Windows XP?

After doing some research I have not found one computer manufacture that offers backward compatibility to XP when they have Windows 7 on their newer products.

I also did some research in to why if you have a newer computer you either get a BSOD or the computer hangs when you try to install Windows XP on the computer.

It is not that Windows XP is incompatible with the i Series Processor but the way the BIOS is written and the fact that XP lacks the correct drivers for a SATA II or SATA III hard drive. It is that simple.

Note: Microsoft has all but dropped XP as a viable product, it is like when Windows 2000 came out, MS supported NT 4 for an additional three years but only if you paid for it and some large companies did that. I haven't found any proof that the big companies are doing this for XP. This means that the last SP will be 3 and very few new 'Security' updates will be forthcoming in the near future. Last report from MS is 8 April, 2014 when support will officially stop.

Along with my research I found that you can make a new install cd for XP with the correct drivers for your hard drive and it will install.

You face a few challenges in getting XP to run on newer computers with the i Series Processor because in some cases of proprietary devices there may not be any drivers for XP.

Still need XP on a newer computer that also has an  i Series Processor? Before you think this is going to be a piece of cake, believe me it isn't!

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First you need to check your Windows 7 / 8/ 10 on the computer with the i Series processor installation, you need to know the chipset manufacture and names of any device that you may think the XP install cd will not have. (Do not rely on Microsoft's Windows Update service for XP to get the hardware drivers you are lacking, they aren't there anymore).

The drivers I found I would need were:

  • SATA chipset drivers
  • Network Interface Card (NIC) wired and wireless drivers
  • Sound device drivers (if embedded)
  • Video device drivers (if embedded)
  • Pointing device and/or touchpad drivers (Laptop)

Once you have decided to go forward with your project the first thing to check is the BIOS settings for the SATA hard drive.

You are looking for one of two settings:

  • Legacy
  • IDE

I found these settings in the Advanced section and in the Drive section on different computers.

If you have these settings in the BIOS of the i Series processor computer then you will not need to do the next step, just set the SATA drive to either Legacy or IDE, XP will not recognize a SATA setting of OIHC or AIHC (it sees these settings as an USB setting not a hard drive setting).

Then install XP, do the normal setup routines, add the drivers you collected for the devices XP doesn't recognize. Then finish it off with the normal optimization and security settings.

If you do not have these settings (of my newer computers, a desktop, and two laptops) did not have the settings to allow you to change the SATA interface type from SATA OIHC or AIHC to Legacy or IDE) then you will need to 'add' the correct SATA drivers to the install cd.

In the IT world this is called 'injecting' or 'slipstreaming' (I don't know why they change the words!) but basically you are adding the drivers XP needs to see the SATA drives, thus going around the BIOS settings of Legacy or IDE.

To make my new cd I first copied all the files on the XP install cd to my hard drive, found the correct Intel SATA chipset drivers and used a free program called nlite.exe  (be careful of where you download this program from the thieves have made a virus with the same name!) to add the files to the cd source files, then made an ISO image with the new drivers and burned a new install cd. (A lot simpler than the old System Admin way of doing it with Sysprep, for sure!)

The help file for nlite is pretty skimpy so here is what you need to do:

  • Make a folder, call it what you want, I called mine SATA.
  • Go to the chipset manufactures web site and find the drivers you need.
  • Unpack the new drivers in to the SATA folder.

Get nlite and install it at the ROOT of a hard drive (the root is the base directory of the hard drive or volume).

Next make a folder (I called mine XP-SATA) then copy all the files from your original install cd in to that folder.

Now you are ready to add your new SATA drivers to your cd.

From the control panel of the program tell it where your install files are, it will do a search for the list under the browse box.

Next it will ask if you want to import the last 'session' the first time through there won't be any 'Last Session', click next.

This page is where you make your choices on what you want nlite to do for your new cd.

At this time I would suggest you only use two components:

  • Integrate: Drivers
  • Create: Bootable ISO

(Once you have made a good bootable cd/dvd with your new drivers you may want to experiment with the other options, for this article on the two above are explained.)

When you click next the 'Integrate drivers in to the installation page' is where you tell nlite where the new drivers you want to put in the cd are located. Click the 'Insert' button, then select 'Single Driver' or 'Multiple driver folder' (in my case I wanted to add as many SATA drivers to the cd as I could find - fifteen of them).

The next page will tell you what driver you picked was, you can pick either 'Regular PNP driver' of Textmode driver'. (I found that which ever radio button is selected is the mode of the driver listed, you can change it but you may wind up with a useless cd). Highlight the driver the click the 'Ok' button.

Back on the 'Integrate drivers in to the installation page' click the next button.

A box will pop up: "Do you want to start the process?" you can select yes or no, if you are unsure about your selections select 'No' and go back and check them. If you are sure then click the 'Yes' button.

A task bar will fill out as the process does the tasks you set for nlite.

Click the next button when it is complete.

The next page is the "Create a bootable ISO to burn on CD/DVD or for testing.

The mode box has:

  • Direct burn (you have to have a cd/dvd burner installed!)
  • Burn Image ( same as above but opens the cd/dvd burning program)
  • Create Image (create an ISO image for later burning, backup copy)
  • Erase RW (erases a Rewriteable cd/dvd)Fully Translated From Geek - Self Computer Repair Unleashed 2nd Edition Manual

Next block is for the name of the cd/dvd/image when made.

On the 'Advanced' block if you selected Create Image all you need to do is click the Make ISO button, nlite will ask you for the folder to save the ISO image and the name you want to give it.

If you want to look at the newly created cd before you create an actual CD/DVD or ISO image use the 'Explore' button.

Once you have made your selections click the next button.

And it will either burn your cd/dvd or create the ISO image.

Next step would be to test the cd, I did four images before I found the right combination of drivers that would work on three different computers, you may not need 15 SATA drivers on one cd and may only make one. :)

Enjoy your i Series Processor computer with XP on it, I am.


If my new server motherboard hadn't had the IDE settings I would have had to do this to my Server install cd also...

If you would like to learn more about SATA drives and the i Series Processor click here.

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