The musings of an IT Consultant

Jul 19 2008   9:44PM GMT

Windows Vista to Windows XP Downgrade Driver Woes

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

I have run into  a few people who needed/wanted to downgrade to XP from Vista which came with their laptops when they bought them. There are a lot of good deals to be had with laptops in the big box electronic stores and they all come with Vista pre-installed. In order to downgrade you need to first create recovery CDs so you can re-install Vista later if you ever decide to go back to it. Then you need to use oem XP media to downgrade your license and call Microsoft to activate XP. Of course after doing all of this you might run into some driver issues….

 I recently ran into this problem with the HP Pavilion dv6898ca notebook. On the bottom of the notebook it is also referred to as the HP Pavilion dv6700. However I found out that it’s exact model name is the HP Pavilion dv6898ca. I was able to downgrade the OS, and even found most of the drivers online at HP’s web site. But unfortunately the wired network card driver for the Realtek RTL8101 NIC, the video card driver for the Nvidia Geforce 8400M GS video card and the modem driver for the Motorola SM56 soft modem were missing from the HP web site. I was able to get the modem to work by using the Vista driver provided on HP’s website. But there was no luck with the network card driver or video card driver.

I contacted HP technical support and they were able to provide me with the XP network card driver link at ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp38001-38500/sp38329.exe.   However they couldn’t find a driver for the Nvidia Geforce 8400M GS video card that came with the notebook. I was finally able to get it to work here with the driver from this link: http://drivers.softpedia.com/get/GRAPHICS-BOARD/NVIDIA/NVIDIA-32bit-ForceWare-GeForce-Go-15655.shtml.

I hope this helps out you folks trying to do the downgrade. The moral of the story is to contact the vendor if you are trying to find drivers for a notebook, and if you still can’t find them, Google is your friend!

-RP

3  Comments on this Post

 
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  • Belasz
    The second link is not functional (grayed out) in your article of great interest to me. Belasz
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  • Raj Perumal
    Hi there, I have fixed the link, thanks for the heads up! -Cheers, RP
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  • Ha1der
    the moral of the story is that - microsoft sucks?? why in 1st place the drivers only available for Vista...ms bribed oems for promoting vista...my friend has compaq presario sg3043il which comes with freedos..the support page provides driver only for vista
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