Removing Vista

  dw153 19:21 29 Aug 2007

From looking around this forum I know it may not be a popular thing to do, but I have been asked by a friend to remove Vista from a new computer and replace it with XP. Vista came pre-installed and he has given me his XP disc.

I managed to boot from the XP disc, format the drive to NTFS, and it said it was copying the installation files. It gets to the point where it restarts the computer and appears to hang. If I hold down the power button and then turn it on again, it appears to run OK and launches into another Setup window, where it tells me the installation will take approx 39 mins. It runs for a bit, gets to 34 mins remaining and then crashes; the mouse won't move and the little green blocks in the bottom corner stop pulsating. I cannot get past this point.

Does anyone have any ideas for solutions I might be able to try, or where I might have gone wrong and what I should do to try and correct it? I am familiar with computing but not necessarily with Windows, so you may have to bear with me if I'm missing the blidingly obvious!

  iambeavis 19:30 29 Aug 2007

Perhaps there's something wrong with he "XP" disk? I had no problem in uninstalling "Vista" and replacing it with "XP". The whole operation went very smoothly.

  dw153 19:48 29 Aug 2007

This is what I was wondering. Is there anything I could do about it, short of buying a new one!? (Is that still possible BTW, or is it Vista or nothing now?)

  iambeavis 19:57 29 Aug 2007
  dw153 20:00 29 Aug 2007

Thanks for the link, although ideally I'd rather leave purchasing new discs as a last resort; I've been left the machine for a week whilst he's on holiday, so would rather try other options first!

  norman47 20:05 29 Aug 2007

Some possibilities.

the hard drive may have a hidden partition that is interfering with the XP install.

When you load XP, create a partition say half the disk and format as fat32. Vista does not like fat32 and see if it loads. If it does you can convert to ntfs later and format the second part of the drive.

  iambeavis 20:07 29 Aug 2007

A long-winded way but you could try installing "ubuntu" over "Vista" (allowing it to to use the whole drive) and then installing "XP" over "ubuntu". The problem with his method is that if the "XP" disc is corrupt, you're stuck with "ubuntu".

  iambeavis 20:11 29 Aug 2007

may have a point. I found the "Vista Restore Partition" was still on the HD even after I had installed "XP" - I, eventually, had to use a third-party app ("Paragon Partition Manager") to delete it.

  dw153 20:51 29 Aug 2007


The drive did have several partitions on, and I have now removed them all and created one big one. In fact I tried it once using the entire drive, and once creating a 100GB partition (it's a 500GB drive), although neither of them were fruitful. When it comes to formatting the partitions, I don't get an option for FAT32, just NTFS or NTFS Quick. I've run the normal NTFS a couple of times, but have lately been using the Quick as I don't have two hours all the time to let it run through the process!

I tried making a copy of the XP disc, but I think if there is some fault with the original all I'll have done is made another faulty disc. In fact, I think I just confirmed this, as whilst it ran the same as the original, it still got stuck at the point of restart - I had to do it manually - and also when it got to 34 mins.

iambeavis, what is ubuntu, and what do I have to do to try and install it?

  norman47 21:14 29 Aug 2007

that is a large hard drive and it's no wonder you get no option to format in fat32.

Try creating a 30gb partition so it will format as fat32. i.e.

when you get to the screen to setup windows on a selected drive, press d, then enter and then L to delete the whole partition.

On the next page select the unpartitioned space and press C to create a new partition. make the size of this partition to 30000Mb or 30Gb.

The format as fat32 and do a full format so it scandisks the 32Gb sector.

See if that works.

You can then set the remainder of the drive as NTFS when windows is loaded.

  dw153 22:02 29 Aug 2007

Thanks - I guess the clue is in the name that it won't work with large drives, ie over 32GB!

Anyway, I partitioned it into one 30GB and left the rest as empty space, formatted the 30 as FAT, it told me that as it was over 2048MB it would have to use FAT32; fine. It went through its formatting, checked the disc, and copied the files as normal, but then proceeded to get stuck at Restart (how long should I give it? I'm probably now getting impatient with it and wondered how long would normally be acceptable.) When it got to Setup, again it only made it to 34 minutes remaining.

Where to from here?

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