How to downgrade Windows 7 to Windows XP

    General discussion

  • The option is available from Friday, April 30 2010.

    Important: If you are doing that before Friday, April 30 2010 then you must do something to your computer.

    1. Put your Windows XP disk in the drive and restart.
    2. Press Escape (or F12 if you are using other computers than HP). Also, go into the BIOS by hitting F10 (F2 on Dell, F1 on Lenovo or IBM or Delete on other computers).
    3. Boot from CD or DVD drive.
    4. Make sure you boot from the disk before the Windows logo appears.
    5. Hit F6 to install RAID drivers.
    6. Hit S to specify SCSI drives and adapters.
    7. Insert the 1.44 MB floppy disk into drive A:, then hit ENTER.
    8. Choose the device to install, then hit ENTER.
    9. Hit ENTER to continue. Hit S to specify another device.
    10. At the welcome screen, you can hit ENTER to set up XP, R to repair an XP installation and F3 to quit without installing it. If you haven't backed up files yet, you can do so before moving on and installing. Hit F3 to quit Setup, then backup all of your files from Windows 7.
    11. Choose a partition. The 3 partitions will be (in MB), 173136 MB, 110035 MB and 85146 MB. Hit ENTER to install onto the selected partition.
    12. Choose Format the partition using the NTFS file system. Make sure you select Normal to make it better to format instead of Quick method.
    13. It will format the drive and examine them.
    14. It will then copy all files to the hard drive.
    15. Hit ENTER to restart now, or leave for 15 seconds.
    16. DO NOT boot from the disk. Let it boot from hard drive.
    17. Hit Customise to customise your language. Or hit Next.
    18. Type in your Product Key, which is located on the back of your DVD case.
    19. Type in your full name and organisation (it may be optional).
    20. Then choose your router connection.
    21. It will restart one more time. DO NOT boot from disk. Let it boot from hard drive.
    22. It will set the resolution. Hit OK to continue installing XP, or hit Cancel to revert to the previous OS.
    23. Make sure you turn on Automatic Updates now to protect your PC from viruses, spyware and threats.

    Now, you finished installing Windows XP.

    Saturday, July 17, 2010 12:50 PM

All replies

  • Don't you really think you should warn potential users of your instructions that newer computers may have no XP driver support?!?

    Anybody considering a downgrade to XP should check to make sure that a *full set of XP drivers* is available for the hardware in question before trying to install XP.

    Another possible consideration: if the computer in question is under a manufacturer warranty, the owner may want to check with the manufacturer to find out if the warranty is affected by changing the OS.

    Saturday, July 17, 2010 8:42 PM
  • Why is "The option is available from Friday, April 30 2010."? This has always been a valid way to downgrade to XP from Windows 7 or Vista.

    You said "Insert the 1.44 MB floppy disk into drive A:, then hit ENTER." Most newer computers do not have a floppy drive.

    You also said "Choose a partition. The 3 partitions will be (in MB), 173136 MB, 110035 MB and 85146 MB. Hit ENTER to install onto the selected partition".  This is certainly not true on any of my computers. On one I have 7 partitions, on the other I have 5. None of them match any of the sizes you specify.

    And lastly, you said "Type in your Product Key, which is located on the back of your DVD case." XP comes on a CD, not a DVD.

    Rich The only two things that are infinite in size are the universe, and human stupidity. And I'm not completely sure about the universe. - Albert Einstein
    Saturday, July 17, 2010 11:14 PM
  • Win7 to XP > Install XP to a different Partition e.g. E: partition. You can see partitions under "Computer" C: or  E: or F: etc . Windows will not allow to be downgraded in the same partition.

    If Win 7 has taken up all space then shrink it to create unpartitioned space. How to do it? type "compmgmt.msc" on the Start > Search.

    Go to Storage disks and see the partitions. Righ-click the C: partition (It could be different, Must ensure first) which contains Windows 7 system. then Select "Shrink.."  enter size to shrink e.g. 50GB.

    Insert XP cd and Select "install a Fresh copy".

    Follow instructions: and Where you are asked to Select the partition to install to., select the "Unpartitioned space". It will be Formatted first before installation can continue.

    Thats it!

    Sunday, August 21, 2011 7:04 PM
  • Trying to get Legal wersion of windows XP can/will not hawe SATA drivers. Some hard drives will show "no hard drive found".

    Instaling all drivers to PC with ATI Radeon video card, con do not to show the video in full screen mode, as its not showing on win7 external devise.

    Friday, February 24, 2012 5:25 PM
  • Hi,

    Can i use Windows 7 license to Windows XP machine,

    I Just want to continue working on XP OS with license version. I wont be getting new liceses for XP but i want to continue with XP. Can i use Windows 7 license for Windows XP.

    Any other suggestion for license downgrade please?


    Wednesday, May 04, 2016 8:59 PM
  • Hello mz11.

    You are beating a dead horse. XP is long gone and out of support. I really doubt that anybody will care what you do with XP at this point.

    If you want to ask about XP licensing: Speak directly to a Microsoft licensing specialist by calling 1-800-426-9400, Monday through Friday, 6:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. (Pacific Time). You will be better served by speaking directly to Microsoft licensing specialist. Here is a blog that provides more information about licensing:

    You can also visit the following site for more information and support on licensing issues

    Thursday, May 05, 2016 2:25 PM