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Is it possible to install 32bit Windows XP on a computer with a 64bit CPU?


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#1 Lee42

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 03:13 AM

Hello everyone. I hope this is the right place for this. I will be "in a sense" building a new system if I buy this one I have my eye on. I can't afford a new computer so I've been searching on craigslist for a good deal on something (like a dual core) that's a lot faster than this old eMachine T5048 I've had for going on five years now.

I know basically nothing about 64bit systems since I've never owned one. The one I'm seriously interested in buying is an HP Pavilion p6203w Desktop PC. The specs for this model can be seen here.

And according to the specs, it shows a 64bit version of Windows 7 is installed. If it does in fact have a 64bit version of Windows 7, then the CPU is obviously a 64bit.

But is it even possible to install a 32bit version of XP on a system with a 64bit processor? I know it sounds crazy to do such a thing but since I don't like Windows 7, I want to stay with XP but want a faster system. If I can do it, then I'll buy the system. But I need to know for sure and that's why I'm asking here.

If I can put 32bit XP on it, then I'll want to install my Tv tuner card in it that I think has 32bit software, as well as all my other programs that are probably 32bit too. But like I said, 64bit systems are new to me so I'd have no idea what I'd be getting myself into. So any and all help would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you in advance,

Lee

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#2 BrendanT

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 03:25 AM

Yes you are able to install a x86 OS on a X64 Processor. HOWEVER seeing as you're downgrading to XP i would suggest that you check to make sure that there are X86 XP drivers for the hardware that is in the PC.

-BrendanT
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#3 Lee42

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 03:47 AM

Yes you are able to install a x86 OS on a X64 Processor. HOWEVER seeing as you're downgrading to XP i would suggest that you check to make sure that there are X86 XP drivers for the hardware that is in the PC.

Thank you for the quick response. That's good news. You make a valid point there. I didn't even think about the drivers issue. I have a collection of various discs that have thousands of drivers that might work to hopefully get around that issue. Or else I'd be doing some searching online for them I guess. So since I can install an x86 OS on a x64 processor, does it mean I can install all x86 software on this system too?

Thanks!

Lee

#4 BrendanT

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 04:06 AM

Lee42,

Basically what you're doing is 'making' that CPU into a X86 CPU (although it has the potential to be an X64 CPU, its only using the resources of an X86 OS, in a nutshell) so any X86 applications will work with the X64 CPU regardless of wheather the OS is X86 OR X64. So your main and only issue really is drivers. Just go through and check the main things. i.e. GPU, SFX, Chipset, NIC.

Hope that helps!!

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#5 Lee42

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 05:06 AM

I wont be taking advantage of the full x64's capabilities but if it'll run x86 XP and all the programs I currently use on this old computer, then anything from here will run considerably faster than what I've been used to with this old thing.

Since it's an HP computer, I should go to their website to see if they'll have the drivers I'll need to get it all up and running after the XP install. I'll probably just download everything they have available to have all my eggs in a basket for when the time comes. Now that I've heard from you that it is possible to accomplish the goal at hand, I think I might just go ahead and buy the thing and (crossing my fingers) hope for the best. I'll keep checking back here to see if you or anybody else has contributed to the topic.

Thank you! You've been most helpful. I appreciate it lots. :thumbsup:

#6 BrendanT

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 05:11 AM

Lee42,

Excellent! :) HP's are generally very good PC's i work with them everyday. Just please make sure you get an extended warranty!! With that said there should be XP drivers for the PC. If you want to give me the model i can have a look for you.

-BrendanT
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#7 killerx525

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 05:16 AM

I would say you made a wide choice on using XP because you mentioned something about using old programs. Windows 7 64bit usually can't run some old programs like DOS.

>Michael 
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#8 strolln

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 06:01 AM

One issue you will probably need to deal with is that this machine has a SATA drive which XP does not have a driver for. That means XP won't be able to access the HDD at install time. Typically, you would hit F6 during the install to load the driver from a floppy but this machine doesn't have a floppy drive so you need to follow these instructions to "slipstream" the SATA driver onto the XP install disk.

Edited by strolln, 26 July 2011 - 06:05 AM.

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#9 BrendanT

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 06:06 AM

strolln makes a VERY good point!! Another option you have is entering the BIOS and change SATA Emulation from AHCI to IDE, then install the drivers reboot and change it back to AHCI. Alternatively you could just leave it as IDE :)


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#10 Lee42

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 12:39 AM

Excellent! :) HP's are generally very good PC's i work with them everyday. Just please make sure you get an extended warranty!! With that said there should be XP drivers for the PC. If you want to give me the model i can have a look for you.

Hi BrendanT. I wished I could get an extended warranty, it's used but a little over a year old as it states in the craigslist post. Maybe the owner has an extended warranty on it that will transfer over to me? I haven't seen it yet but in the post, the actual model wasn't mentioned, just HP 2009m which was only for the monitor. I asked in an email and got a reply saying to google NY638AA#ABA for all the specs, so I did and I saw HP Pavilion p6203w show up on some of the links so that must be it. If you can find out anything like where to find the drivers, that would be awesome. Thanks! :)

#11 Lee42

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 12:50 AM

I would say you made a wide choice on using XP because you mentioned something about using old programs. Windows 7 64bit usually can't run some old programs like DOS.

Hi killerx525, thanks for your reply. Yep, staying with XP will allow me to use all my old familiar programs that wont run on a 64bit OS. With W7, there were a lot of great improvements made that XP doesn't have but Microsoft really messed up when they made some radical changes and removed a bunch of features that I use daily with XP. I'll probably continue to use XP until the support runs out in 2014. :rolleyes:

#12 Lee42

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 01:17 AM

One issue you will probably need to deal with is that this machine has a SATA drive which XP does not have a driver for. That means XP won't be able to access the HDD at install time. Typically, you would hit F6 during the install to load the driver from a floppy but this machine doesn't have a floppy drive so you need to follow these instructions to "slipstream" the SATA driver onto the XP install disk.

Thanks strolln! I am so glad you mentioned that, it didn't occur to me the sata drivers would be missing from an XP install disk. I appreciate the link for the instructions to slipstream the drivers, I was just checking it out. I'm not experienced with slipstreaming so it may take a few attempts to get it right. Not only that being an issue, I have no clue as to where to get the proper sata drivers I'll need to make this disk correctly. Any chance you could point me in the right direction?

And I actually still have (from like 5 years ago) an external usb floppy drive. Do you think maybe I could put the sata drivers on a floppy disk and during the installation, will it ask me for them and I can point to the external floppy for them? Is that possible? Or would it have to be an internal floppy drive that the computer is able to boot up off of?

Thanks again!

Edited by Lee42, 27 July 2011 - 01:22 AM.


#13 Lee42

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 01:40 AM

strolln makes a VERY good point!! Another option you have is entering the BIOS and change SATA Emulation from AHCI to IDE, then install the drivers reboot and change it back to AHCI. Alternatively you could just leave it as IDE :)

That is a great option to know about and will definitely keep it in mind! Of course I know about tinkering in the BIOS (to an extent) and I'm sure I'll be able to follow your instructions here if I can find it in the BIOS where it shows the option to change the SATA Emulation. But to be honest with you, I'm not sure how you mean to install the drivers after changing the emulation from AHCI to IDE. Did you mean by my using the slipstreamed cd that will have the sata drivers included on it? Providing I slipstream it correctly that is. Or by having the drivers on a seperate cd or thumb drive maybe? Thanks!

#14 BrendanT

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 05:47 AM

Lee42,

go into the BIOS and search for something along the lines of SATA Emulation and change it from AHCI (the default) to IDE then you won't have an issue. That is the best option i think.

-BrendanT
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#15 strolln

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 09:58 AM

Here's a link to the support page for that computer on the HP website: Pavilion p6203w. If you click on "Software & Driver Downloads" you'll be given the chance to select which OS you are using. If you select "Microsoft Windows 7 (64-bit)", you'll see a full set of drivers available for download. If you select "Microsoft Windows XP" you'll see that HP does NOT have XP drivers available for that machine.

Since you want a machine with XP, you probably should forgo this one and find one that comes with XP already installed.

Edited by strolln, 27 July 2011 - 10:01 AM.

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