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View Full Version : Windows Vista to XP Help, HP Pavillion m8200n



PharaohsVizier
07-27-2008, 10:40 PM
Hi everybody,

So yesterday I got the dreaded SMART warning, hard drive failure is imminent, and about 2 minutes later it died (so much for backup your files now, didn't even get into Windows yet). I called up HP and I'm getting a new harddrive sometime next week, got to figure out how to install it (they kept telling me it would be easy). It sucks because I had all my DSDatabase files in there, all my roms (legal of course), etc on it.

Anyways, getting to the point, I will be getting a clean hard drive, and that means everything of mine is gone, so I see no reason not to downgrade to XP anymore (I thought it would be a hassle to backup my files and stuff). And I just wanted to do some research on how to do it.

The model of my computer is the HP Pavillion m8200n (I have added a EVGA GeForce 8600GT to it), and the specs are:
Processor Brand AMD
Processor Class: Athlon 64 X2
Processor Speed: 3 GHz
Installed Memory: 3 GB
Bus Speed 1000 MHz
Included Drives DVD-RW (?R DL) / DVD-RAM
Hard Drive Capacity: 500 GB
Media Center Yes
Operating System: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium

So now onto the questions. First one is what version of Windows should I be getting? I have Windows XP Professional X64, would that take advantage of the 64bit processor? At the same time, I saw that there is a Windows XP Media Center Edition but it isn't 64bit. My computer is a media center, and I was wondering, does my TV tuner and stuff like that not work if I don't have the Media Center Edition (and also, I have no clue where to get a copy of it, other than pirating it).

Next, I heard it is really hard to downgrade using HP desktops because of drivers and such. Can anyone explain why that is or provide me with some info to get through that? I am not a computer geek, so honestly I have zero clue on what to do. I have used nLite really quickly before, but really I don't know how to "slipstream" drivers onto the install, or even the basic process of downgrading.

And lastly, is it advisable to downgrade to XP? I like how Vista looks, and I heard that you can make Windows XP look just like it (link me please! ) I see a few threads down theres 4 pages of hate for Windows Vista, and beyond the Vista is buggy and all that stuff, would I get a speed boost? The reason I want to downgrade is because I am more familiar with Windows XP, I have a lot of programs that are not compatible with Windows Vista, games perform better on XP (my speculation), and it would free up lots of space, RAM, etc. Windows Vista hasn't really been a big problem for me in terms of bugs, I haven't really had it freeze on me all that much, and nothing has completely messed up my system, it is mainly the things that aren't compatible with Vista that is really cheesing me off.

Anyways, I know that is a LONG post, hopefully if each of you can help me out a little, you'll point me in the right direction.

Thanks so much,
PharaohsVizier

TheNeck
07-28-2008, 09:49 PM
I noticed on HP's website they only have vista drivers, so that could be a problem, especially if you try installing XP 64bit, 32bit XP might not be as much of a problem. As for media center edition, what is the exact model of tv tuner you have? Google your tv tuner and see if you can find media center/XP drivers, if not, you would have to stick with Vista. Also in regards to 64bit something do run faster, but the problem is driver support and software support, not all programs like 64bit.

Myself I've been using Vista for almost a year now, and if i didn't have 4gigs of memory, i think it would really sucked performance wise.

As for the bad hard drive, try connecting it to another system, or hook it up to your new system once its up and running again as a secondary drive, and see if it can be detected.

PharaohsVizier
07-29-2008, 02:46 AM
Thanks so much for the reply, my TV tuner is the WinTV-HVR-1800. Some guys over at GBATemp found pretty much all of the drivers I need, as well as my own googling. Thankfully everything does come in Windows XP as long as you look hard enough for it. So you'd recommend I ditch the 64-bit XP and go for the MCE?

I don't exactly have a huge problem with Vista, with 3GB ram it runs smoothly, I don't have many major complaints other than the fact that SO many programs are incompatible with Vista, and it is just a hassle.

Ummm, I have to return the faulty harddrive to HP, so even if it works, it won't help much. I tried to freeze the drive, I got about 35 minutes with it before it died and got most of the important files off.

So with all the drivers found (<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://forums12.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/bizsupport/questionanswer.do?admit=109447627+1217316900976+28 353475&threadId=1211038">http://forums12.itrc.hp.com/service/for ... Id=1211038</a><!-- m -->), I have 3 new questions.

1. With people telling me to keep Vista (apparently it'll work better with future games), and people telling me to ditch it, I read that you can dual boot the firmware. Is this advised? Personally I think it would be a huge hassle, but has anyone done it before?

2. Seeing as how I don't want to go through this process every time I want to reformat my computer (HP gave me 2 recovery DVDs that goes back to Vista and no actual Vista disk), I thought I might try out Norton Ghost or Acronis True Image. Any tips or recommendations?

3. Everyone kept telling me what they think of Vista, and to get the drivers, etc. But no one actually elaborated on the process of downgrading. I have read on the internet seemingly many methods, but no actual tutorials. Some use nLite and slipstreamed their drivers in, others had to do stuff in the BIOS, I only hear bits and parts of it. I was hoping you might be able to clear that up?

Sorry, I'm really technologically challenged. And I really appreciate the help. :salute:

TheNeck
07-29-2008, 08:59 AM
Thanks so much for the reply, my TV tuner is the WinTV-HVR-1800. Some guys over at GBATemp found pretty much all of the drivers I need, as well as my own googling. Thankfully everything does come in Windows XP as long as you look hard enough for it. So you'd recommend I ditch the 64-bit XP and go for the MCE?

I don't exactly have a huge problem with Vista, with 3GB ram it runs smoothly, I don't have many major complaints other than the fact that SO many programs are incompatible with Vista, and it is just a hassle.

Ummm, I have to return the faulty harddrive to HP, so even if it works, it won't help much. I tried to freeze the drive, I got about 35 minutes with it before it died and got most of the important files off.

So with all the drivers found (<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://forums12.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/bizsupport/questionanswer.do?admit=109447627+1217316900976+28 353475&threadId=1211038">http://forums12.itrc.hp.com/service/for ... Id=1211038</a><!-- m -->), I have 3 new questions.

1. With people telling me to keep Vista (apparently it'll work better with future games), and people telling me to ditch it, I read that you can dual boot the firmware. Is this advised? Personally I think it would be a huge hassle, but has anyone done it before?

Actually a dual boot might be the right choice for you. Install XP MCE first, with a partition of 250gigs, and then the other 250gigs would be for Vista. Once you get XP MCE installed, you would install Vista by upgrading your XP MCE from within windows itself, but instead of an upgrade you would choice the option for a seperate install on a different partition.

2. Seeing as how I don't want to go through this process every time I want to reformat my computer (HP gave me 2 recovery DVDs that goes back to Vista and no actual Vista disk), I thought I might try out Norton Ghost or Acronis True Image. Any tips or recommendations?

Ive only used Ghost myself, but ghosting your system once you have installed windows would be a good thing to do, but not if you decide to do a dual boot of Vista/XP MCE, in which case I dont think you can ghost this combination properly.

3. Everyone kept telling me what they think of Vista, and to get the drivers, etc. But no one actually elaborated on the process of downgrading. I have read on the internet seemingly many methods, but no actual tutorials. Some use nLite and slipstreamed their drivers in, others had to do stuff in the BIOS, I only hear bits and parts of it. I was hoping you might be able to clear that up?

In regards of installing Vista and downgrading, i dont think you can do that. Most of the time when they talk about downgrading they are talking about installing XP instead of Vista with a clean install of windows itself, but i could be wrong, ive never googled "downgrading Vista to XP"

Sorry, I'm really technologically challenged. And I really appreciate the help. :salute:

PharaohsVizier
08-04-2008, 03:50 PM
I finally fixed it, I couldn't manage to do a dual boot, but I did manage to get XP working, but there would be errors, no sound or internet, so I went back to Vista. :(

TheNeck
08-05-2008, 08:41 PM
I finally fixed it, I couldn't manage to do a dual boot, but I did manage to get XP working, but there would be errors, no sound or internet, so I went back to Vista. :(

Yeah sometimes it is hard to find XP drivers for systems that have Vista preinstalled on it, and if you do find XP drivers, it doesn't always work properly.