is it possible that an HP laptop, factory loaded with vista will not allow an installation of XP ? the message I get while trying to load is that no disc is detected and yet the vista install still loads after trying to install XP
XP does not recognise sata drives.
You can use pata/ide compatability mode if your bios supports it or supply the sata driver from a floppy disk when prompted. Alternatively slipstream the driver onto an XP SP1 or higher instalation disk.
You will also need to get all the XP drivers for your laptop from HP.