Retrofitting XP on Dell

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My son has a Dell Inspiron 6400 laptop which was supplied with Windows
Vista Home Premium.

He hates Vista. He would like to have Windows XP Pro or Home (which
were not available at the time of purchase). sell Windows XP CDs and driver CDs for
specific laptops, including his. They emphasize that one is required to
have the Windows Product Key to be able to use their CDs. However he
only has the Vista product key on the label on his laptop. Would that
work for one of these XP CDs? I suspect it will not. Gennersales have
not replied to our query about this.

I see Dell in the US (we are in the UK) have resumed selling some
laptops with choice of Windows XP/Vista. I can find no reference to
retrofitting XP. However Dell have many XP driver downloads for his
laptop, so the driver part of the problem is probably OK.

Please can anyone suggest how to get XP legally and cheaply onto his


Re: Retrofitting XP on Dell

Turps wrote:
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Depending on your definition of
I bought extra copies of XP last year when the price bottomed out
at $10 after rebate...but that ship has sailed.
You're not the only one with the problem, so it's a seller's market.
You'll find lots of xp on ebay and craigslist.  Much of it is bootleg.
Surely, a lot of it is legitimate, but there seems to be no way to tell
without installing and trying to activate.  And that still doesn't prevent
problems in the future when your key shows up on someone else's system.
It's a nightmare.  There are issues with OEM vs Retail versions.

A quick scan of ebay shows xp selling for $100 and up...while other
identical-looking xp gets no bids at $60.  Somebody knows something
that I/we don't.

M$ wants the revenue from Vista.  You can be sure they will apply
all possible pressure to FORCE people to upgrade in order to use new
hardware/software as it comes available.

Fortunately, you have a laptop and don't have to worry about internal
hardware. It's fixed.  Suggest you double-check that driver list to
make sure that EVERY hardware driver you need is avaialble for xp.

My advice: "suck it up" and learn to love Vista...warts and all.
Issues will get resolved by third parties additional
cost to you...sigh...

Are we having fun yet?

Return address is VALID!
Bunch-O-Stuff Forsale Here:

Re: Retrofitting XP on Dell

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As long as the version of Vista installed matches the version of XP in terms
of level, by which I mean Vista Home to XP Home or Vista Ultimate/Business
to XP Pro, I understand that you can downgrade to the equivalent version of
XP.  This can be achieved by formatting the laptop's hard drive and
installing XP using an already used OEM copy of Windows XP with an OEM
Windows XP installation CD (and its already in use product key temporarily
just to complete the install).   When you've finished the installation and
need to activate XP, and find that it won't (because the Product Key you'll
have used is already in use), you will be prompted to ring the activation
phone number.  When you get to speak to a human being you will need to
explain that you are downgrading and they should issue you with a legitimate
alternative Product Key.  This is allowable under the terms of the Vista
license.  He cannot cross-downgrade from Vista Home Premium to XP Pro

I have to do this for one of my clients who has a new HP laptop and verified
that the downgrade path as described above was permitted before he made his

Whether or not one of the CD's you have seen advertised would work using the
method I've described remains to be seen, however if it is the correct
version for your system, you are only using the installation media and the
downgrade process should be fine.  You are not permitted to have both Vista
and XP intsalled using the same license.

Alternatively you can purchase an OEM copy of Windows XP as a system
builder.  To qualify as a system builder you usually have to buy an item of
hardware at the same time, and quite a few UK suppliers will sell you an OEM
copy of Windows with a mouse as a bundle which only adds a few to the

Or as the OP says, bite the bullet and learn to live with Vista.

Re: Retrofitting XP on Dell

My son has decided to stay with Vista. Thanks for your comments folks.

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