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Installing Windows XP on a Inspiron 15 (1545) Preloaded with Vista


By steve - Posted on 25 August 2009

I picked up an Inspiron 15 to use as a general purpose internet accessing laptop and the only option for a pre-installed O/S was Vista--yuck. I have 7 of my 10 licenses of XP Pro I can still use from my MS Access Pack subscription, so I started down the road to repair... and ran into the BSOD wall (blue screen of death).

Not to worry, a little fiddling and...

while it takes a little bit, but you can get XP to install.

First, you'll need the SP2 installation disk. I burned an disk from my backup ISO copy and booted up. XP's installer started up, but almost immediately it blue screened with a x0000007B error and whining about pci.sys causing the problem.

This has to do with the advanced AHCI interface that comes enabled for Vista on the Dell and the lack of compatible SATA drivers on the XP install disk. You'll also need the SATA drivers on a diskette and a USB diskette drive (or you can slipstream the install, but you'll have to look elsewhere for that as there are tons of tutorials that will tell you how to do this.)

Here's what you do to get past this:

1. Turn on your computer and boot to the BIOS by pressing F2, then go to through the settings and find the SATA settings. Switch from AHCI to ATA and save the settings and Exit.
2. Hook up the USB diskette drive and boot to the XP SP2 CD by pressing F12 whilst booting. Select the CD boot option.
3. Press any key to boot from the CD. Then press F6 when the setup screen appears and asks you to.
4. Press S to select your driver.
5. Select the ICH9M-E (the last option) from the drivers list and press ENTER.
6. You should be able to continue with the text installer.
7. Continue with the text installation and into the graphical installation. Finish your setup.
8. Install the other missing drivers for video, network, glidepad, sound, etc.
9. Install SP3.

really very helpful dude.....
i wasted 4 hrs to get it done until i came to ur page and it worked....
good job

You specifically state to initiate the install with xpsp2, but if I get this laptop and begin with xpsp3 would that work just the same instead of installing sp3 once all the other usual drivers are installed? I really don't want to spend all the time learning how to slipstream sata into my xpsp3 install disc.

thanks,
Chuck

I had xpsp2, so that is what I used. It should work with an xpsp3 install as well, though MS often changes install processes so the options or screens might be different. It should work fine, though.

So, I walked through nlite following the instructions on http://www.maximumpc.com/article/howtos/how_to_slipstream_windows_xp_sp3... for XP, incorporated the driver just fine onto the disc but have some question or two as a result.

1. I am burning with Nero 6. Do I just make a Data disc and just select the folder that nlite made from the source disc that now includes the SATA driver?

2. Does it matter that I am using a DVD-RW instead of a CD? I don't have a CD-RW to keep retrying with. I am sure this doesn't matter, but need to ask anyway just in case.

3. Here is the message I get as soon as this machine tries to boot to the DVD: "No bootable devices--strike F1 to retry boot, F2 for setup utility Press F5 to run onboard diagnostics."

Thus far I have tried both of my XP cd's - sp2 and sp3, which are both known good installers. Why can't I boot to this disc? when I put my modified disc in the machine I'm typing on right now, it comes up with the XP stuff from the disc asking if I want to install, so forth and so on with the welcome to xp list of options from the standard XP install CD.

Thank you very much in advance for any help on this install.
Chuck

1. You have to create a bootable CD. Nero can do this, but there's more to it and you have to follow the nlite tutorial exactly.
2. Shouldn't matter if you are using a DVD-RW. You should use a CD-RW disk as it will probably take a few tries to get everything to work.
3. This could be because your CD isn't bootable or you haven't allowed your PC to boot from it. You can try F12 during the BIOS boot screen and, if that gives you a boot menu (Dell's do), select the CD as your boot device.

It might be easier to buy a USB diskette drive for $20 and use that.

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