Friday, May 16, 2008

Vista Sucks - Downgrading from Preinstalled Vista to XP


[ Click on the picture to read the interesting story behind the real sign!]

Okay, my blog is not a technical blog, but it is my blog and I write about things that I feel passionately about. This issue of Windows Vista is close to my heart and I feel very strongly about it. My readers would know that I experimented with Vista a year or so back and quickly uninstalled it. Vista is just pure crap - it's slow, it's laggy, it's a fascist OS that tries to run your life, it's full of Spyware as I read in an article today and of course, I hate anything that the marketing guys try to shove down my throat. Microsoft has been trying to push Vista like it's the last word in OS while it's so totally shi**ty that people who are not even software professionals or power users hate it and want to get rid of it!

Last time I had to simply reinstall Windows XP back on my laptop and it worked. This time it was harder. I had bought a new laptop, HP Pavilion DV9695ea, and it came with Vista pre-installed on it. I knew this and had no intention of keeping it that way. I had my Windows XP CD all out of storage ready to go into action...

I started the process as soon as I got home. Inserted the XP CD into the drive and started the installation. After a few minutes I got the message "No hard drives are installed in your system", with my only option being pressing F3 to exit the installation.

Houston, we have a problem!

Problem - M new laptop has 2 hard disks both have SATA interface and my XP CD didn't have SATA drivers. I learnt this after I saw the message "Windows did not find any hard disks installed in your system" message from the installation program about 10 times!

So after sifting through about a 1000 posts on about a 100 forums I found the solution. Thanks to all those guys who take the time to read and respond to somebody's problem . I am giving the solution here in simple form, so when some unfortunate Vista-victim searches Google, there is one more place to go and find the solution, esp. without having to dig through so many posts.

First of all, I could not "Disable" the SATA option in the BIOS because there was no such option there. So, this is what I did:
(All of this from my previous computer as I had already deleted all partitions from the new one leaving it inoperable, which I preferred rather than risking to connect to the Net from Vista!).

1. I downloaded the SATA drivers from HP's site, I could not find for my exact model but these were for Intel processors so that worked for me. Here's the link:
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareDescription.jsp?lang=en&cc=US&swItem=ob-54270-1


2. I copied the whole contents from my Windows XP Pro CD to a folder on my Hard Drive.

3. While that was going on I downloaded a program called nLite from here.
It's a freeware and a damn good program. Kudos to those guys!

4. There are guides on that site for nLite but it's pretty intuitive with tooltips. Using nLite I re-authored my XP installation to include the SATA drivers which I had expanded on my hard disk.

5. nLite can actually burn the installation back to a blank CD. Very impressive!

6. Turned on the new laptop, inserted the re-authored installation into the drive and it booted from the CD and installed like it was born with SATA support.


That's it! End of a 29 hours long nightmare!

1 comment:

Wind TV said...

Really I don't get why people hate Vista so much. It sucked in the beginning but half of its flaws were fixed with updates.

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