I have a Dell Dimension 2400 and I need to downgrade it to XP. I am using WIndows Vista Home Premium and I have 2 different install discs for XP. When I try to install it nothing happens or it asks me to restart the computer. I have the CD drive as the first on the boot list and it doesn't do anything. I cannot find any ways to wipe the hard drive to do a fresh install. I have looked at post on a few sites and they all are saying the same thing. Just start the computer with the disc in the drive and it will wipe it but its not registering the discs until it finishes loading and I am looking at my desktop.
If your pc came preinstalled with Vista, you need to check that all XP drivers are available for your system.
If you have a SATA drive, sata drivers will be required on floppy disk and inserted when you are prompted to press F6 to load drivers.
If you don't have a floppy drive, the drivers will need to be slipstreamed onto a XP instalation cd, which must also have at least Service Pack 1 on it.
"When I try to install it nothing happens or it asks me to restart the computer"
Do you get a message to press any key to boot from CD? you must do this.
You can't just stick the cd in and walk away, you need to watch for all messages and reply to prompts. Record any error message, so that you can post to get further help.
It came installed with XP and that is why I thought it wouldn't be too hard to go back to it. It doesnt register the disc is in. It doesn't bring up the "press any key to boot from cd." I think I might have found the error though since this pc was given to me by a friend he didnt give me the original XP recovery disc. So he gave me a copy he said he got from Microsoft, but I checked the disc and it isn't bootabable and that tells me it wasn't a copy. More like he downloaded from a torrent or something. So I think I am screwed, but any advice would be great.
Can you get into bios to check settings?
There could be two screens, one has drive order and another has boot order.
It's the boot order screen you need to set the cd/dvd as first boot device, having it first in drive order will not allow the cd to boot first if it's not set to first in the boot screen.
Tell what shows on boot screen when trying to boot cd, press the break key on your k/board to pause screen so you can read it if it's too fast.
Well I put the cd drive first and I think it was boot order because I don't see drive order, but I will check after I write this. One thing I did notice was for choosing the order all it shows is the cd drive, hard drive and floppy drive. It doesn't show the dvd drive or the usb. I was also wondering maybe I have to manually boot from cd. I am not sure if there is a key for that though.
Well I checked it and it is in the correct order. Still nothing. I don't see a reason why this is being so difficult. I was also told by a friend that flashing the bios might help but I have no idea what that means. I am also getting an error meassage saying that "Primary Drive 1 not found""press F1 to continue or press F2 to go to setup" When I press F1 it just loads the pc normally.
If your DVD drive is IDE, try enabling legacy settings in the BIOS. You can also unplug your CD drive and only have your DVD drive plugged in to ensure you have the correct optical drive listed 1st in the boot order. There's only 2 options, it either isn't seeing your disc or the drive. Since you've got the same result from 2 different discs, it's likely not seeing your DVD drive.
I checked a few other forums and one of them told me to change the order that the disc drives were in. I did that putting the CD drive as the first and the DVD drive as second and it worked. I am guessing the person I got it from changed the order of the drives and didn't think it mattered what order he put them back in or he did it to make my life hell. Either way I got it fixed and it was thanks to all you here at Tom's Hardware. Thanks again.