Windows 7 Forums

Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: downgrading to XP

12 Dec 2010   #1

Windows 7 home 64
downgrading to XP

I have a Gateway DX4300-15e that runs Windows 7 Home 64 bit, I purchased an additional hard drive to install a OEM copy of Windows XP Home 32 bit to set up a dual boot situation so that I can run some of my older softwares and games.
I am having a fit with the system running with XP though, and I can't seem to get Gateway to assist me in finding a list of suitable drivers to get this thing at least quasi-operational with XP.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated, however, please spare the me usual the lecture about older operating systems, I can't afford to run out and buy software upgrades for my higher end software, and I am finding more and more compatibility issues with the 64 bit system.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

12 Dec 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

I am afraid you will not find the drivers for XP. The component manufacturers do not bother to develop them (costs a lot of money) because that yields no income for them.

As an alternative I suggest you run the XP in Virtual Box. I run Ubuntu that way and that works quite well. If that does not fit your bill, there are other virtualization programs to choose from.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2010   #3

Windows7 Pro 64bit SP-1; Windows XP Pro 32bit

Here is one way to do it. I used Method Two. Windows 7 was installed and I added XP for the same reason as you.

There is also a way to install on a seperate HD. One OS per hard drive. I will see if our resident expert is on line at the moment to assist you with that. Seperate hard drives for the OS's is best in the long run. Mike works so I'll leave it be for now.

I'll see if I can find Gregrocker now.

Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP
My System SpecsSystem Spec

12 Dec 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

As Mike suggested, you best install both systems seperately (no dual boot). Disconnect the HDD with Windows 7 and make a normal install of XP on the other HDD. Then you switch between XP and Windows 7 (after you rewired the Windows 7 HDD) by changing the boot sequence in the BIOS. That way you have the least trouble and the two operating systems do not interfere with each other. ---BUT, that will not resolve your driver problem. I don't think you will get XP work in native mode because of the lack of drivers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2010   #5

Windows 7 home 64

Awesome hopalong! I have been digging into this a little today and from what I gather, I will have to start with installing the SATA drivers for XP with Nlite before I can install XP at all, no problem with that as it seems pretty straight forward, but it's the other system and device drivers like the audio that worries me. If I can pull this off, I would be absolutely thrilled. I just can't deal with 64 bit anymore, it's like having a supercomputer in Borneo right now lol.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2010   #6

Windows7 Pro 64bit SP-1; Windows XP Pro 32bit

Gateway Support Drivers & Downloads

Some of the drivers at Gateway are usable. Some are XP and some Vista32 bit and maybes.

Chipset is AMD. Vista32 but AMD may have XP.
LAN is Marvell. Shows Vista32 but Marvell may have an XP.

Audio is Realtek get an XP at Realtek possibly or Windows will supply it thru Windows update.

It is possible.

Windows will automatically get all the drivers it can find once you get on line with XP.
So you would need to find what is left.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2010   #7

Windows 7 home 64

I've got to get off of here for a bit but I'll get back here as soon as I can and see what I can come up with, I really appreciate everyone's time!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2010   #8

Windows7 Pro 64bit SP-1; Windows XP Pro 32bit

My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2010   #9
Microsoft MVP


Keep in mind that you are entitled to either 32- or 64-bit with each license, no matter what Gateway says. I see there are important 32 bit drivers on the Gateway Downloads webpage for your model: Gateway Support Drivers & Downloads

I would be tempted to first test install 32 bit to the other HD to see if Windows 7 installer - which is nearly driver-complete, with newer arriving quickly via optional Windows Updates - has the important drivers in 32 bit. Import any drivers then missing in Device Manager from page linked above.

Then you could test the software which is giving you fits in 64 bit to see if it works correctly in friendlier 32 bit, and even give your XP software a good shot using Compatibility Mode or by installing Virtual Box or Virtual Player which is how many are utilizing XP in Windows 7 until they get balky programs working in Windows 7.

You can run this 32 bit test install up to 120 days without activating until you decide which you want to keep:

If you decide to install XP instead, you'll need to find the SATA controller driver to either insert it at F6 prompt during initial drivers-loading phase if you have a floppy drive, or by slipstreaming it into the XP installer: SATA Drivers - Slipstream into Windows XP CD

XP is so old now that it doesn't have most modern SATA controllers in its installer so they have to be provided. Research exactly what SATA controller you have (in Device Manager or using Belarc Advisor) then Google to find if there is an XP driver for it, or try to use a Vista driver.

Excellent advice given about booting via BIOS to keep HD's independent to come and go as you please. On Gateway use the F10 key to boot whichever is not set as first HD to boot in BIOS setup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2010   #10
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64

In reference to what Hopalong said about installing XP, if the option is available from the bios (for me it is F8 while on the bios loading screen) to pop up a boot device menu the easiest way to dual boot is to,

1. Disconnect the drive with Windows 7 on it

2. Connect the drive for XP and install

3. Once XP is installed and working then reconnect the Windows 7 drive

4. Check the bios, manual or even possibly it will show up on the Gateway loading screen (what you probably have) and see if it says which key to hit. If it is available after you hit the correct key you will have something that looks like this,

Name:  7-2-Boot-Device-Menu.gif
Views: 289
Size:  52.9 KB

where you just select which hard drive to boot from. Even if that option isn't available it would still be easier to to the above and then enter the bios and change the boot order to the drive/OS you want to load than having the Windows bootloader.

As far as drivers for it goes, assuming the specs for yours is the same as what is here (780G chipset with teh HD 3200 integrated video),

Gateway Official Site: Shop - Desktops - DX4300 15e Desktop Product Details

then XP drivers are not a problem despite what Gateway says, just get them straight from AMD,

ATI Radeon

If you need the AHCI driver to get XP to install (the F6 step at the beginning) grab this,

That is the XP AHCI/RAID/SATA driver (was easier than posting directions on how to get it).

for the audio you can get that straight from Realtek,


Not sure what it has for the onboard NIC (Gateway only shows a Marvell-Yukon driver for all OS'es, and is dated from 2005 ????), just check what it shows in Device Manager in 7 (same can be done with the TV tuner shown in the specs if you plan on using it in XP).

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 downgrading to XP

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads for2: downgrading to XP
Thread Forum
Solved Downgrading from windows 8 Installation & Setup
Downgrading from Win 7 to Win Xp General Discussion
Downgrading from MSN 15 -> 14 Software
downgrading from windows 7? Installation & Setup
Downgrading Gaming
Downgrading Windows 7 64-bit to 32-bit Drivers
Downgrading Installation & Setup

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:13 PM.
Twitter Facebook Google+

Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33