Bienvenido! - Willkommen! - Welcome!

Bitácora Técnica de Tux&Cía., Santa Cruz de la Sierra, BO
Bitácora Central: Tux&Cía.
Bitácora de Información Avanzada: Tux&Cía.-Información
May the source be with you!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Upgrade from Vista to Windows XP

introHow to UPGRADE from Vista to Windows XP on an Acer laptop
It's a great little unit with a lot of potential, but the one big flaw was the operating system: it came with Windows Vista. The fast hardware was crippled by the bloated, clumsy OS. I was therefore forced to figure out exactly how to get XP on it, so wrote up a guide to help others. It should apply to different Acer notebooks, and likely has info useful to other brands as well.

It's not as simple at it used to be. Today's laptops are 'meant' for Vista, so trying to install XP often isn't easy. In the case of my 5620, the hard drive wasn't even detected until I researched and changed Bios settings (known as the AHCI issue). I'm SO much happier after ditching Vista, though- when I first got it, a 1GHz Pentium III with XP could have run circles around it!
How to UPGRADE from Vista to Windows XP on an Acer laptop
step 1Preparation
Don't immediately wipe Vista! It's actually useful for another hour or so. Use Acer's backup software (mine had an Acer floating toolbar with this) to do two things- First, a Full Backup of your system. Trust me, if you ever have to send your Acer in for servicing, it better have Vista on it or your warranty could be voided. Plus, someday when you sell it, uninformed…
step 2Make the Bios compatible
Reboot. Hit F2 to access the BIOS, and change the setting on the second page from AHCI to IDE (If you don't have this option, boot back into Vista and update your Bios, downloaded from the link above). On the Boot tab, change it so your DVD drive is first. Save changes and exit. Don't worry, we'll switch it back, but it's MUCH more of a PITA to leave it on when we insta…

step 3XP Installation
Pop in your XP CD and install like normal. My Acer had three partitions (10MB, 90GB, and 90GB); I killed them all and created a single one. The Recovery CD's we made -should- put everything back as it was, if we ever need it. After formatting my 200GB drive it's 186GB. Being on really new hardware it won't autodetect everything, but Don't Panic. We have all the drivers …

step 4Driver setup
Once we're at the desktop, change your resolution to 800x600, then start installing drivers (some setup program buttons are cut off in the default 640x480). You probably want to start with the chipset driver, then the video drivers, sound, etc. On the Extensa 5620, even after installing the drivers you will likely have no sound at first and end up with a 'PCI Device' th…

step 5Fixing AHCI
Everything working OK now? No exclamation marks or unknown hardware? Great! Now let's conquer the AHCI issue. On the driver CD, browse (don't auto-run) to the Drivers\ directory. Copy the AHCI folder to your C: drive, so now it's c:\AHCI\. Open the command line (Start - Run - cmd), and enter "c:\AHCI\setup.exe -a -pc:\" (without the quotes). This will pop up the setup u…

step 6Finishing & Troubleshooting / Tips
When your computer reboots, hit F2 again to enter the BIOS. I changed my boot order back to HD first (shaves a whole 2-3 seconds off bootup time), but that's up to you. Change from IDE mode back to AHCI, save changes and exit. Once you boot to Windows, your computer will find and finish installing the "new" hardware, then likely ask to restart again.... but hooray! No m…

step 7You're done!
Congratulations, you now have a decent operating system on your spiffy new hardware! And it runs so much better. Remember, if you don't actually have Bluetooth on your laptop (Acer puts in a switch, but sells it lacking the module) then DON'T install the driver! It can cause issues. The screenshot below is my Acer's desktop now. The next Instructable I post will exp…

No comments: