Reformat Vista for XP on Dell Vostro 1500

Discussion in 'Dell Latitude, Vostro, and Precision' started by awwitzjerreey, Mar 16, 2008.

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  1. awwitzjerreey

    awwitzjerreey Notebook Enthusiast

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    I've just received a new Dell Vostro 1500 and it came with Vista Premium. Is there any way I can reformat it and install Windows XP on it? I have both XP and vista disks. Thanks
     
  2. mario666

    mario666 Notebook Consultant

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    I'm going to be doing exactly the same thing!

    Which XP disc do you have?
     
  3. Moidock

    Moidock Notebook Consultant

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    I have done it on my 1500 too.

    If you want to set up a dual boot partition you will first need to download the Windows XP drivers.

    Then wipe the hard drive clean and delete all partitions. For safety make sure to make 3 partitions, one for WXP, one for Vista and one for storage.

    This way, if an OS gets corrupted or crashes all your files will be on the storage partition which can be easily accessed by the other OS, or in the case of a major crash on both OS, none of your personal or work files will be harmed.

    About 20-25GB for each OS partition will be more than enough to install the OS and work programs. You can make them bigger but that is up to you.

    To setup a dual boot you will first need to install Windows XP first on the first partition, after you got it properly running, run the Vista installer and it will ask you if you like to keep the older OS, tell it to keep the older OS and install Vista on the second partition.

    When it restarts, you will now start seeing the OS selection menu, simply select Vista and finish installing it.

    NOTES:

    I have found a few "bugs", if you will, with the XP drivers installation process, that is, if you download them from the Dell website.

    First, if you want to run the HDD in SATA mode, you will get a blue screen when trying to start Windows XP.

    Two workarounds are to deactivate SATA mode in the BIOS but this negates the advantages of SATA, that, or make a slipstream Windows XP install disc with the SATA drivers installed.

    First download the Intel Matrix Storage Manager and extract the files and then create a slipstream disc. You can use nLiteto create this disc. It is simple to add drivers and custom installation options with this program.

    Then simply burn the image created by nLite, and run the new slipstreamed Windows XP install disc. After XP is installed, simply install Vista from the disc that came with your computer.

    When installing XP also, the sound driver installer may not want to recognize the sound hardware. Simply go into Device Manager and you will find a non-recognized device there.

    Extract the files from the sound driver package and then simply right click on the unrecognized device, manually install the driver from the extracted directory.

    You may then find another unrecognized device, this is the dial-up modem. Do the same process you did with the sound drivers, except that you must install the modem divers.

    Tips:

    If you download drivers from the Dell website, it is wise to download each file with its original name (it's always R followed by some number) and at the end add what the driver is for (modem, sound, chipset, etc).

    This will make them easier to identify when installing. This will also make it easier to recognize which extracted directory you must manually install those pesky sound and modem drivers from. :)

    Also, before proceeding to make a dual-boot partition, go to Hardware manager and make a list of the hardware installed on your system, focus mainly the modem, wireless card and ethernet card as these have changed during the past few months.

    Otherwise, you will have a hard time finding out which driver to install.

    Oh, and another thing:

    Since this process wipes the Dell Media Center partition, DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT press the little Dell Media Center button on your computer.

    If you do, it will create the Dell Media Center partition on your hard drive and mess up the Master Boot Record. You won't lose any files or partitions (as far as I've seen) but you won't be able to boot any Operating Systems. You will either have to fix the MBR or re-install both OS.

    This happened to me and a friend's Vostro 1400 at one point when we accidentally pressed this button instead of the power button. :p
     
  4. mario666

    mario666 Notebook Consultant

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    Good advice, Moidock.

    "When installing XP also, the sound driver installer may not want to recognize the sound hardware. Simply go into Device Manager and you will find a non-recognized device there."

    I gather that if you install the sound driver before the modem driver, it avoids any problems.

    "If you download drivers from the Dell website, it is wise to download each file with its original name (it's always R followed by some number) and at the end add what the driver is for (modem, sound, chipset, etc)."

    Definitely a top-tip!

    "...DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT press the little Dell Media Center button on your computer."

    True. However, there is a way around this, which I will try out next week.

    I'll let you know how it turns out.

    Good luck, awwitzjerreey. Let us know how it goes.
     
  5. ditoa

    ditoa Notebook Enthusiast

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    I bought a Vostro 1500 N Series as I have my own retail XP license I wish to install. Many thanks for the tips :)
     
  6. Moidock

    Moidock Notebook Consultant

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    No idea, I've also tried installing both ways and hasn't worked for me. So I had to resort to forcing the driver to install. :confused:

    Anyway, let me know if it works for you, perhaps I may be doing something wrong somewhere or it's just my luck.
     
  7. awwitzjerreey

    awwitzjerreey Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks the the great advice guys. I'm thinking about completely wiping out vista from the laptop and install XP PRO SP2 on the notebook. I noticed that the tips were related to dual booting. Can I just simply reformat the whole HD and install XP PRO SP2? Thanks
     
  8. DerKaiser

    DerKaiser Notebook Geek

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    You can wipe Vista and install XP, you would simply reformat the Vista partition and install there. The Vostro will have multiple partitions on the hard drive and you can decide which ones you want to keep. Do you want the recovery partition, the MediaDirect partition? When you decide, you can use the disc utility in the XP installer to delete, create and format partitions.
     
  9. awwitzjerreey

    awwitzjerreey Notebook Enthusiast

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    Does the Vostro comes with all of the drivers on the CDs in order to install XP correctly? I'm afraid after installing XP that I will lack drivers. Thanks guys
     
  10. DerKaiser

    DerKaiser Notebook Geek

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    Yes, my Vostro 1500 driver disc has Vista and XP drivers.
     
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