No matter how much Linux has become user-friendly and Windows Vista has put on lipstick, Windows XP is still the most reliable and user-friendly operating system. Since designers and developers need to use many high RAM consuming applications like Photoshop, so it’s wise to use Windows XP which doesn’t waste CPU on unwanted visual effects.
Since Windows XP is no longer officially available so you will have tough time installing Windows XP on your new laptop like I did. I recently bought Dell Inspiron and I lost quite a lot of my hair while trying to install Win XP in it.
You will face problems while configuring the system as well because many computer manufacturers do not provide Windows XP drivers now. So if you have bought a new machine and are planning to downgrade to Windows XP from Windows Vista then you beware of the challenges.First of all you’ll obviously try to install Win XP by putting in its CD in the CD Drive of your laptop. The Windows will start copying files to your system initially and after some time you will get some error like this “Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer. Make sure any hard disk drives are powered on and properly connected to your computer, and that any disk-related hardware configuration is correct. This may involve running a manufacturer-supplied diagnostic or setup program. Setup cannot continue. To quit Setup, press F3.”
This is the first bummer you’ll need to handle. You basically get this error because your Dell Inspiron comes with AHCI setting enabled in the BIOS Settings. You can safely change this setting to ATA in order to install Windows XP. You will be prompted to Disable “Flash Cache Module” which is just another BIOS setting. You can disable this setting because it is mainly meant for Windows Vista and since you don’t want it so you don’t need it either.
This will pave way for smooth Windows XP installation and the next challenge will be to find the Dell Inspiron 1525 drivers for Windows XP.
This tweak will work for other computers as well which do not come with Windows XP support now.
You can find some of the Windows XP drivers from the Dell Support site but in case those drivers don’t work for you then you may download certain drivers from Rapidshare as well.
Audio Drivers (8 MB)
Card Reader Drivers (3 MB)
Chipset Drivers (2 MB)
Ethernet Drivers (1 MB)
Graphics Drivers (15 MB)
HMDI Drivers (17 MB)
Modem Drivers (2 MB)
Microsoft UAA Bus Driver for HD Audio (55 MB)
WLAN Drivers (50 MB)
Bluetooth Drivers (98 MB)
I have tried all the Rapidshare links and they work pretty well on my Dell Inspiron. I hope it helps you in installing Windows XP which is still very much relevant. Do tell us if you need more help regarding this.