Hello, first I want to thank Brink for his helpful tutorial.
I have recently purchased a Toshiba Satellite L455-S5975
, which was a cheap but perfectly sufficient laptop for my purposes. I would like to set up a dual boot with the Windows 7 that came pre-installed on it and a (completely legal) copy of Windows XP that I just purchased on ebay. Upon following method two outlined by Brink, partitioning my hard drive via the Windows 7 disk manager was no problem, but as soon as I tried to install Windows XP I ran into a problem.
My computer crashed before the installation even began, giving me a blue screen of death with a "Stop 0x0000007B" error. I Googled this to find out what it meant and soon learned that I was facing a very common problem with SATA driver incompatibility. From what I gathered by reading some help threads, it seems that I need to download some kind of SATA driver that is compatible with my particular computer and then either 1) use a program called nLite to make a "slipstream" CD that has the needed driver as well as the Windows XP installation on it, or 2) copy the driver files to an old floppy disk and use a usb-connected floppy drive that is recognized by my system as an A: drive to install the driver by pressing F6 at the beginning of the Windows XP install setup.
OK, seems simple enough. I could go either route. To my good fortune I even have such an external floppy drive as well as blank floppy disks that have been sitting in my closet for ~8 years.
My problem is that I have no idea how or where to obtain the needed SATA drivers?? going to the Toshiba support pages for my laptop does not seem to help at all; they only list Windows 7 drivers as possible downloads. Is there some kind of general SATA driver that works for most computers or do I need one specifically designed for the laptop I bought? Where can I get it?
Then there is an additional "complication" to my question. For some reason I thought it might be a good idea to enter the BIOS and look around to see if maybe I could change something that would make it work out. That is when I stumbled upon an option that mentioned "SATA" that could be changed from "AHCI" to "Compatibility Mode." Honestly I shouldn't have screwed with these since I had no idea what they meant... but being easily lured I changed it to "Compatibility Mode" thinking it might make it... well, compatible. Windows 7 then started and downloaded about 7 or 8 drivers automatically upon startup (some things with "ATA" in their names so it made me think I was on the right track). so I restarted and tried the Windows XP install again. This time it worked out! ... Only when XP started, it had a terribly small and horrid resolution (right click on desktop -> properties -> ... only lets me change the resolution from 800x600 to 1024x768), and it had absolutely no ability to connect to the internet (neither wirelessly nor via Ethernet). This is quite terrible... so I used another computer to download the .Net Framework and EasyBCD, then moved them to my laptop with a flash drive and finished Brink's tutorial. I rebooted and started up windows 7 and looked again online for information about "compatibility mode" and it seems that while this makes installing Windows XP possible, it is not the recommended method since one loses AHCI mode, which cannot simply be turned back on in the BIOS without some drivers (or something like that).
SO, if any kind soul has bothered to read all my lengthy ramblings and can set me straight, your help would greatly be appreciated. At this stage, my guess is that the Windows XP I have installed is lacking a bunch of drivers it needs? This may explain my I am prevented from changing the resolution to something better than a very stretched out looking 1024x768 and why I cannot connect to the internet. So what should I do? Should I reinstall windows XP in AHCI mode and either slipstream a CD or use the floppy drive to install the SATA drivers? If so, where do I get these drivers?? Or can I fix things from where they are now (seems like this option may be a bit of a pain since I don't have internet access in XP)? Is the reason I can't connect in XP because I am missing drivers?
Anyway, thanks for any help anyone can offer!