Since there is no 'downgrade' option to Windows Vista, all
that remains for you to do is to wipe all vestiges of Windows
Vista from your new computer and install Windows XP. If you followed the
instructions above, you hopefully now have the necessary drivers and software
to complete a successful Windows XP installation. Back up all your personal data files before beginning.
Let's move into the installation with these steps as
taken from PCSTATS Guide
to Installing Windows XP.
Start the computer and
insert your Windows XP CD. After a few seconds, the screen
will clear and you will see a 'press any key to boot from CD' prompt.
If you do not get this prompt, and Windows Vista loads instead, you
will need to set your computer up to boot from the CD/DVD drive first. To
do this, restart the computer and press the 'DEL' key repeatedly (on laptops or
some desktops, the correct key may instead be 'F2' or even the 'ESC' key).
This will bring you into your computer's BIOS settings, which allow you to
change some fundamental functions of the computer's hardware. You are
looking for the 'boot order' setting, which depending on your computer will
generally be in either the 'boot' menu or the 'advanced BIOS options'
menu. Find this option and ensure that your CD device (which may be listed
as either 'CD-ROM' or by the brand name of your drive, for example 'LG DVD-RAM
HD55' etc.) is the first boot device. Hit 'F10' to save the changes and
reboot your system.
Press any key to start the install. The prompt allowing you to install will
time out after about 4 seconds, so if you don't hit any of the keyboard keys you
will have to reboot to install.
The installer program will begin copying files from the
CD. Once the 'welcome to setup' screen appears press enter to continue. View the licensing agreement and hit F8 to continue.
The installation program will then search your drives for any prior
installation of Windows. If it finds one, you will be given the option to repair it,
which essentially reinstalls most system files while leaving the registry and
installed programs intact. Otherwise, move forward to the partitioning and
formatting section of the install.
The initial screen shows the hard disks connected to
your system, and any partitions that may already be created. You will see that
the C: partition is listed as containing '(Vista)'. This is where your Vista
installation resides, so we need to remove it. If you haven't backed up
all your data by now, stop and do that, otherwise it will
be erased. Highlight the C: hard drive partition and press 'D' to delete
it. You will be prompted to confirm the action. Do so.
You now have a vista-free computer and a chunk of empty
space where you can install Windows XP. Highlight the newly created
'unpartitioned space' and press ENTER to begin the XP install process. For more
information on installing Windows XP, consult this guide on the
subject, starting on page 3.
Now, connect to the Internet, start downloading software updates from
Microsoft and relax. You are back on familiar ground again.