Saturday, July 12, 2008

How to install XP SP2 on HP mininote

Installing XP on an HP mini-note is a very challenging process if you don't know how to do it. Below are the key steps:

  1. Shrink the preloaded Vista partition. For example, boot with the System Rescue CD, type startx to enter X11 and run gparted to do it graphically. Easy.
  2. If you go ahead to install it using the XP CDROM, setup will fail with a BSOD (blue screen of death) with error code 0x0000007b after loading its builtin drivers. This is because XP SP2 needs a VIA chipset driver in order to properly access the SATA disk in protected mode. To fix this problem, boot into Vista, download and unpack the VIA chipset driver from HP. There is a sub-folder named "driver" and that's what you need. Copy the XP files from the CD, use nLite and try merge the drivers into the files (tell it to load all the drivers found in that "driver" folder and then exclude inappropriate ones such as the 64bit ones), make a new iso image and burn it into another CD. To burn an ISO image, follow these steps.
  3. Use that CD to boot and install XP.
  4. Now, you can only boot into XP but not Vista because XP has taken over the MBR. To fix the problem, follow these instructions to restore the Vista boot manager.