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Downgrading the Toshiba T110/T130 to XP

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Using a netbook for work has become a great convenience for me. Only two big problems with netbooks at the moment (yeah, sure there are more, but these are the most annoying for me): the Atom is not an ideal CPU for daily needs, being moderately to extremely under-powered for a lot of daily use and the screen resolution is way too low. After reading about the dual-core AMD Neo X2 I immediately ebayed my old netbook for a Toshiba Satellite T110/T130.

The biggest downside with this Toshiba, for me, was the only available o/s was Windows 7. Unfortunately, I use a lot of apps that require Windows XP, so an XP downgrade was necessary. Looking around the net there were really no guides to performing the downgrade, just a lot of people looking for assistance. After a few hiccups, and a lot of searching for drivers, XP is now installed with 99% of the hardware working.

The first step was to get an SSD installed. The Toshiba came from the factory with a 5400RPM hdd. Put simply, the SSD option was just way overpriced, so an SSD was purchased separately. The install, though voiding the warranty, was fairly straight forward besides the fact some new tools were needed: a small torx wrench and some needle nose vice-grips. The need for vice-grips was because I managed to strip one of the screws attaching the HDD.

The first thing to get XP installed is to get SATA drivers working in XP. While most OEM versions of XP (from Dell, Asus, etc..) have sata support they're sketchy at best with the direct to consumer xp releases. I choose to slipstrean the drivers into a custom XP install using nLite. Details on this are another how-to unto itself; google is your friend here.

Now that XP is sata aware there is one other adjustment must be made before XP can see the ssd. In the BIOS of the Toshiba sata support must be set to compatibility mode. After that is done the WinXP Installer should recognize all sata disks.

Getting all the hardware working was just a matter of combing the net for compatible drivers. Below is a synopsis of each piece of hardware followed by a link to download them all in a rar file.

Video: working

this was the easiest, just went to ATI's site and downloaded xp drivers for the Radeon HD 3200.

Wlan: working

found drivers for the RTL8187se chipset at Realtek's site

Ethernet: working

Athereos ar8132 from MSI's site.

Sound: partially working

got the contexant chipset drivers from Toshiba's site from a notebook that had xp downgrade options. yet to try and get HDMI audio working; I'd rather the thing had a PC Express card slot instead of an HDMI port.

SD reader: working

got really lucky with this and tried some Realtek drivers that worked.

here is a rar file containing all the drivers mentioned above. Hope some you who were having trouble find this.

P.S. if you'd like to run Linux, the Ubuntu install works out of the box after the restricted drivers are enabled.

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Converting to XP from anything post-Vi$ta is an UPgrade as far as I'm concerned. Was the hard/SS drive on the Toshiba mounted in a removable "tray" that you access from the underside of the laptop or one of those stupid things where you have to remove the keyboard to get it? I had a couple old Toshiba laptops that had the former setup.

(OP edited by scratchytcarrier: fixed the linefeed spacing that got all messed up during the forum software conversion. You're welcome.)


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It was really easy to get to no  keyboard..  About 15 minutes to upgrade; hardest part was getting the little Torx screws out (they were WAY tight).


Thanks. ;-)


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