Downgrading vista to xp

i know this is not the right fourmn but this is really bugging me and i want help
bear with me please
Last september i got a laptop with vista home premium installed the model number is HP Pavilion dv9233cl Notebook PC i know i should dl the drivers i plan on dling the to a partition. but there are a few things that im afraid of…

  1. if i do reformat although ive had done before (today was my thrird time reformating my laptop) but reformatting to Xp will my partitions be affected.
  2. am i to buy an xp program?

basically i just want somone to guide me through step by step i dont want to mess it up. also after the reformat and the installation of the drivers

please help vistas annoying me so much


If you want to change operating systems from vista to xp then probably the best thing is to thoroughly backup all your data.

Then buy XP and do a new install which will completely overwrite the vista installation. It will wipe out your partitions completely.

Make sure to thoroughly backup your data before doing anything.

Some people might consider going from vista to xp an upgrade, not a downgrade.

The HP laptops usually have two partitions, one is the recovery and the other is the normal system partition. You should be able to install xp without changing partitions, it should ask during setup which partition you want to install it on, and whether or not you want to format that partition. If you save the recovery partition and don’t mess with it, you should be able to reload Vista later if you want to. It will wipe out all your data, so you DO need to back up ALL your data!

It’s been a month or so since I installed XP though…and my memory isn’t as good as it should be…but it seems to act just like windows 2000 during installation…

You’ll need a full installation disk and key for XP. Not cheap, unless you luck out and find it at the thrift store like I did!

the second partition is a back-up for the system back-up function in vista. Its not needed in xp, make sure you save all your data to an external source or image your hard drive with acronis true image or ghost, whatever you prefer. When installing xp make sure you boot to the cd and completely reformat your whole drive and remove the back-up partition(xp has no use for it, also be aware if your laptop has quickplay allocate 204 mb of the hard drive for quickplay). Install xp.


I’m not sure about the Vista “back up” partition…what is that?

I do know for a fact that recent HP laptops that shipped with XP have a recovery partition that has the system recovery information–this is what you copy when you make the recovery CDs when you first get the new laptop, and it is used in case you ever need to reinstall XP for whatever reason.

I would guess that Vista computers from HP work the same way?

vista has a built in function that compares to acronis imaging in the way that it periodically takes an image of you hard drive and stores it in the second partition. XP doesn’t do that, it keeps the back-up files on the same partition, which if you think about it is not good because if your disk blows your lost and theres no way of switching it to a different partition for saving. As for the second partition its basically a copy of windows xp that is set as the secondary boot partition if the first doesn’t boot. The second partition kicks up and runs windows recovery, which usually slows down the machine and doesn’t work as well as a full re-install.

for the record i have 3 partitions one for recovery one as a side which i use for memory storage after the first reformat and the main one.

so what im getting is
-even though i have 3 partitions i will lost all memory
-so its not a good idea to put the drivers on partition
-backup EVERYTHING (-_- that will be fun unless i get an external)

what did you mean by boot to disc?

When you insert a retail or oem copy of windows into your machine it will give you an option to boot to the cd with a line resembling this one…

press any key to boot to disk…

when this comes up hit any key and now the machine will run off of the cd instead of the hard drive, the cd will have functions to format, partition, and install windows xp, everything is very easy to use.

after reformating how do i go about installing the drivers - ive already identified where i should get my drivers so…

once you install windows xp Hewlett-Packard offers the drivers and they are installed like any other program by double clicking them and following the steps, its very easy.

After you install XP, then you may need to install some drivers, and how you do that depends on the driver! some are .exe files that you just run, others are folders with .inf files that you need to tell XP where they are.

ive pmed you about the current situation just pm me back this was a really helpful conversation though it woint be just yet it will be eventuall i can assure that

i actually recieved a coputer last year that wasnt fully configured so if its anything like that… i would just go install area in control panel then right? 9its been a while i had to install certain drivers mannually others were automatic this is just to confirm installation when its being searched for

I’m surprised that nobody’s asked: what’s the issue you’re experiencing with Vista? Unsurprisingly, killing the OS and reinstalling is a pretty crude and wasteful way of keeping your computer happy, in a lot of cases.

You didn’t get stuck with one of the “Windows Vista Capable” systems, which lack sufficient RAM and video processing power to run the Aero theme, right?

If not that, I’d bet it’s the UAC prompts that are annoying you. (Those are the ones that want you to confirm every action that would normally require administrative privileges.) You can turn those off; search the internet for using gpedit.msc for turning aspects of UAC off. (And there’s really no reason to kill UAC completely, but if you understand the implications behind doing that, tutorials are readily available as well.) The whole UAC thing is really the culmination of a lack of understanding on the part of users, and some poor communications by Microsoft. Basically, it exists because formerly (on the pre-version-6.0, NT-based versions of Windows like 2003, XP, 2000 and NT 4) you had to run as an administrator to get much of anything done conveniently. Most people weren’t up to the task of managing that excess power all of the time, and were therefore giving themselves a lot of grief by letting various malware into their computers. UAC is, in short, a way of isolating that power. Now, to get actual administrative rights, you need to click through the special UAC prompt; prior to that, you run as a locked-down user. So, basically, it really is a feature, not a bug, and if you don’t like it, you can just shut it off.

By the way, it looks like Eugene is describing the System Restore service, in combination with Windows Recovery. It doesn’t necessarily use an alternate partition; it will work just fine on the system partition alone. There’s a separate file backup utility (not NTBackup like in 2000, XP, etc.), but it’s not a replacement for Acronis, and it only allows full backups, rather than letting you customize. (The justification for this was that NTBackup was overkill for the casual user, which while potentially true, is a real pain for those of us who used NTBackup.)

Also, you know there’s a service pack for Vista at the release candidate stage, right? You can download SP1 RC1 and install it, if you’re interested. It won’t be perfect, but then again, Microsoft has provided the functionality to uninstall the release candidate and install the final version when it comes along. If you’re experiencing actual bugs, rather than just disliking the features (a few of which are definitely bad in their own right), this is the way to go.

Finally, if you’re interested in following Microsoft’s rules for licencing, you’ll have to get a separate licence for XP. (Vista Business and Vista Ultimate allow downgrades to XP Professional when sold with OEM licences, but no other versions of Vista do.) So, do you have access to a spare licence of XP or have money to waste? Otherwise, unauthorized copies are your only option…

You can always upgrade to Linux. :smiley:

It has the best community support. :slight_smile: That’s why I switched. Plus it put’s Vista to shame. (at least in my opinion) (no offense to any vista lovers)



I’ve actually tried to the do the same thing on an HP laptop that came with Vista and I wanted to downgrade to XP. After installing XP, I was never able to get all the drivers working right and was actually forced to go back and install Vista again. So, just something to keep in mind, your laptop may not even have XP drivers available for it.

Unfortunately I don’t remember the exact model number, this was a friend’s laptop that he bought about 6 months ago.

I will backup what richardmcc2 just said. With most laptops that are being produced there isn’t many XP Drivers for. Make sure when you are going to “downgrade” to XP that you have Drivers for everything or you will be sorry.

Maybe you can explain more on the problems you are having with Vista?? There are a lot of help out there now for Vista. When I originally tried vista a year ago there wasn’t support for it and many programs aren’t compatible. I just put vista back onto my desktop a month ago and love it totally. . . Took a long time to setup correctly and fix some minor bugs that come with it. I think service pack 1 will fix most of these problems.

Be aware that for many new HP notebooks, you may not be able to get full featured drivers for XP. This may affect power management and other special HP provided features.

What do you use Vista for? Word processing and checking your e-mail? Or do you have one of those 4.5GHz machines with 8GB of RAM?

For me, it is the fact that with every feature turned off it takes 1GB of 2GB RAM total…AT IDLE. What could it possibly be doing with all of that RAM? I can’t even express how outrageous that is…

Vista keeps the cores on a dual-core 1.7GHz system around 20% load, as opposed to XP’s occasional 1%. This makes power saving impossible–since the cores never idle, the battery is always being sucked down and the fan is always on. Even the simplest of games (Pocket Tanks, StepMania) running on top of Vista run at half their intended frame rate, even on a system with a specially purchased nVIDIA chip, instead of the crappy Intel Integrated stuff.

Not to mention everything has been moved. Something that was 3 clicks away in XP is now buried under new headings in the Control Panel.

Vista itself is more wasteful than the person buying an XP license to replace Vista.

When XP support is dropped, it is likely I will be switching to Ubuntu, or a Mac.


That’s a bit of a false dichotomy, isn’t it? Incidentally, it’s used for all the usual office stuff (several running at once, of course), plus CAD and 3-D games. And the computer isn’t anything fancy, either: the everyday desktop system has a 2.8 GHz P4 (Northwood, with SMT) with 1.5 GB of RAM, a 9600 Pro with 128 MB of RAM, and boots off of a pair of WD360GDs in a RAID 1 array. That’s early-to-mid-2003 technology, and it manages to score 4.2/4.5/4.2/3.7/5.1 on the Windows Experience Index test (where 3.0s are marginal for Vista with Aero and sufficient without Aero, 4.0s are considered enough for Vista with Aero, and 5.0s were top-end as of fall 2006). And more importantly, it runs pretty well. Yes, running Windows 2000 SP4 was a little faster for basic things (with its less-resource-intensive version of Windows Explorer), but Vista is hardly slow.

That’s a common misconception, but in fact, this behaviour is beneficial to your system (though admittedly not to your power consumption). The important metric for memory usage on a Windows NT system is the commit charge, which is loosely expressed in Task Manager as the Pagefile Usage graph. (Microsoft has managed to mislabel it in XP, but it was right in 2000, and is pretty much right in Vista.) The commit limit is the maximum amount of memory the system can allocate—usually defaulting to approximately 1.5 times your physical memory, depending on the pagefile settings.

Now, the entire strategy employed by Windows is to use up as much of the physical RAM as possible, while keeping the pagefile at its default size (it can grow in response to memory needs). Why? Because RAM is fast, and if you’re not using it, it’s doing nothing for you, in terms of performance. Windows tries to keep as much stuff as possible in RAM, and stores the rest off to the side, but readily accessible in the page file. It will look first in the RAM, and if it finds what it needed, there are no HD operations involved, speeding things up. When it does need to consult the hard drive, then things do slow down a little, but not until you run out of pagefile room (i.e. you hit the commit limit) are you actually out of memory. So when Windows has 1 GB of RAM allocated at idle, it’s because it’s trying to save time the next time you need to fetch something from RAM, by precaching it. This is actually a good thing, but because of the way Windows 95/98/Me handled memory, people still think that using up a lot of memory at idle is a bad thing. To reiterate: you’re only in trouble when you need to handle more data at once than you have physical memory (e.g. a 2 GB paging operation, on a system with 1 GB of RAM), or when you exceed the commit limit. Prior to that, the ideal situation is for 100% of your physical RAM to be filled with useful stuff by the operating system.

There are a couple of things that might be the source of your issues. Have you set the power management options to Power Saver? And what’s disk indexing set to do? The indexing service is a bit of a resource hog, when it’s updating its catalogue; it’s the most likely candidate for eating 20% of your CPU time. Many people don’t use its features, and can simply disable it. If you do use it (e.g. you search indexed areas often), you can change its power management options in the Control Panel, so that it doesn’t suck down so much power when the computer is idle; this will make the indexing process take longer, but it won’t use as much power. As for the games, are you sure it isn’t the video driver? There are several documented issues with slightly out-of-date nVidia drivers and Vista; I think they’ve been mostly ironed out, but some of the slowdowns were pretty significant, on some hardware. For comparison, I run Battlefield 2 at 1024 × 768, 32 bit colour, full view depth, full geometric detail, full lighting, and low effects (that’s for gameplay advantage…) on a four-year-old video card, under Vista, sometimes with Outlook and Pro/E running. And I can still get 25-40 FPS consistently.

This is a pain, but the old Control Panel is still there, if desired, and the search box is very good within the Control Panel.