Installing XP over Win 7.

  jerica 11:55 04 Jul 2013

Hi, just wondering if it is possible to install XP over an existing Win 7 installation. Had XP on a machine and installed 7 Ultimate over the top and now it says it will not verify as it can only be used on one computer and they want lots of money to send me a new key/license. I'd rather go back to XP. How can I do this and possibly format the drive at the same time to get rid of some old stuff left over from the first XP install. Thanks.

  Chronos the 2nd 12:21 04 Jul 2013

If you just want to wipe the drive and start over, boot off the XP setup disk, when it gets to the partition selection, delete the existing partition. Then format it (quick is OK), and continue with the setup. The drive will be cleaned out and you can then install XP.

Make sure that you have the COA number to hand, you will also need to download and store on a flash drive or external harddrive the motherboard drivers unless of course you have a motherboard driver disk.

You will also need to download the latest driver for your graphics card.

  Jollyjohn 12:30 04 Jul 2013

Ensure you have your XP licence key and an XP CD. Pop the CD in and boot from it. Delete the W7 partition, create a new partition, format and install XP. Be aware this will delete everything on that partition so ensure your personal data is copied / backed up elsewhere.

If you cannot delete the partition from the XP CD then download GParted or similar partitioning tool, burn it to CD, boot from it and sort out partitions.

You will also need your Motherboard driver cd and drivers for any peripherals. Make notes of what is in your PC before you start, for example what GFX card is it? This will make it easier to install the correct drivers first time.

Set aside a day to do this, you will not need to be sat in front of the PC the whole time, but the whole process will take a while.

Once complete create a Restore point on a separate drive.

  jerica 13:04 04 Jul 2013

OK, ta for the info, will give it a go.

  jerica 09:28 25 Aug 2013

OK, so finally managed to get to this and what a disaster. Booted from the XP disc and that was OK, the install seemed to go fine, code worked, got all the right screens but when it said a load of files didn't install properly and a stream of file went down the screen to fast to follow. Finally got to desk top and all looked fine. Rebooted to check all was working and it got to start up page and froze, gave it 30 mins and rebooted, this time it got to a black screen with the curser arrow and froze again, this time accompanied by a loud click and a high pitched whineing noise that increased in pitch, this happened every few seconds. After a while I switched it off at the mains and sat down to write this. HELP.

  Chronos the 2nd 09:59 25 Aug 2013

I would suggest that the loud noises including the whining might well be an indication that all is not well with your harddrive.

You could try another installation of Windows XP, did you follow this method? As I am a tad confused with the error message you received.

And do you have your motherboard drivers ETC to hand if the installation goes right this time you will need them if you want to access the internet and get various ports (USB ETC) to work?

  jerica 10:04 25 Aug 2013

Your confused? Some of the messages went past so fast it was nigh on impossible to read them. I'll try another install if that doesn't work I'll get a new hard drive. I've got the drivers I need, thanks for getting back so quickly.

  Chronos the 2nd 10:11 25 Aug 2013


Being an old(ish) fogie who is usually reluctant to change I could never go back to XP, I can remember spending the best part of a day if I needed to do a reinstall. But with Windows 7 a couple of hours at most and I am done and I find it much easier to use.

But each to there own.

Come back if you are still having problems.

  alanrwood 10:40 25 Aug 2013

Jessica If your hard drive was OK before you did the XP install then it is unlikely that there is anything wrong with it now. Try to get hold of a Disp Partition Manager. There are a few around such as Paragon, Easeus,(click here Make the Boot CD and run it. Delete all the partitions on the drive. (If you have more than one drive make sure you pick the right one). Once they have all been deleted (You normally have to press "Action" or something similar after making your menu selections as it just stores the commands and does nothing until you do.

Then recreate your partitions as you wish and format each one. Ensure the main partition is set as "Primary Active". Also you can not have more than 4 Primary partitions on any disk but that should be enough for anyone. You can make the later drives Logical" if you wish instead of Primary.

Once you have done this you should be able to install WinXP without a problem. I do go along with Chronos's view however that Win 7 is far better.

  alanrwood 10:42 25 Aug 2013

Sorry for mistype - Jessica instead of Jerica. My old eyes !!!!!??

  jerica 14:51 25 Aug 2013

Hi again, I've been having probs with the machine anyway so I took your advice and swapped an old hard drive with the one in there and it installed perfectly so I've now got to get a new hard drive (the old one is very small). Ta for all the help, and don't worry about the wrong name, I've been called worse.

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