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Old 07-22-2010, 04:53 PM   #1
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Question Reformatting a Dell Inspiron B130

My sister recently bought a new laptop so I decided to take her old one off her hands and use it as a secondary computer (mostly for storage unit). It is a Dell Inspiron B130 that is roughly 5-6 years old now. It came with Windows XP built in. However her clever boytoy decided to install Windows 7 in the machine and without obvious observation this computer is not meant to run Win7. I upgraded the RAM years ago for her but despite the memory increase, it lacks both HDD and processing power to efficiently run Win7. The funny thing from it all is that this boytoy is a computer engineer.

Anyways, I am not sure if DELL still does this today but at the time when she bought this one and I bought my DELL the previous year it came with XP built into a partition into the HDD. Neither computer came with XP software rather it was hidden in the HDD. When you wanted to reformat you would have to hit CTRL F11 on the start up screen.

I want to reformat this B130 back to factory settings however I have learned that once the Windows software is either upgraded (like to Windows 7) that it deletes the built in partition of XP. This renders the CTRL F11 function useless now. I then proceeded to use an XP disc I have lying around to see if that would work.

However whenever I insert the XP disc, the option to convert down to XP is faded out, or in other words, inactive. I am unable to convert it down to XP. It is a legitimate XP disc.

I have 2 questions:

1) How do I get this to go back to XP?
2) When downgrading back to XP, I will be able to reformat the computer in the process correct?

Thanks for any help.
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Old 07-22-2010, 08:16 PM   #2
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As far as I know, you can't downgrade 7 to XP, since the kernel versions are too far apart. You'll have to backup files and wipe the HD and do a clean install.
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Old 07-23-2010, 04:17 AM   #3
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You can't downgrade to XP while inside windows 7. You have to boot to the xp cd and delete existing partitions, repartition, format and then install XP. Make sure you back up any data beforehand or it will get deleted in the process.
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:00 AM   #4
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Pretty much what I said lol.
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:23 AM   #5
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If you don't want to pay for another copy of xp and you want to use it as a stoarage unit then just install a Linux dsitro, Puppy linux or mint 9 will use hardly any hard drive space and they look kind of similar to windows xp. If you want ubuntu uses a little more space but is a nice OS and it will work on your computer, I have a old B130 with ubuntu installed on it.

Plus all three OS listed here are legally free for download and install.
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:33 AM   #6
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Yeah they are all right, you'll have to backup somewhere, format, and fresh install. But I would stick with XP instead of going with Linux, like he ^^^ said.
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:40 AM   #7
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Linux is pretty great, especially if you're sick of activating a copy of Windows you legally bought. I hate how Microsoft is crossing the company/consumer line and taking control of everything.
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Old 07-24-2010, 03:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkribbs View Post
Yeah they are all right, you'll have to backup somewhere, format, and fresh install. But I would stick with XP instead of going with Linux, like he ^^^ said.
You know what is cool about Linux, it is free. So you can install and see if you like it and if you don't then go out buy a out of date OS from Micro$oft. Installing the Linux distro did no harm and it didn't cost you nothing, hell you never know he might like One of those Linux Distro's and stick with it.

I still have my B130 in my house and Ubuntu 32 bit actually had a faster boot time, multi task better and never gave me a blue screen like XP did when I had it on there.

I noticed you just don't like Unix based OS, better start to cause Micro$oft is slowely going that way, the way windows 7 does it's boot up is based on Unix if you didn't know.
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Old 07-24-2010, 04:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucasbytegenius View Post
Linux is pretty great, especially if you're sick of activating a copy of Windows you legally bought. I hate how Microsoft is crossing the company/consumer line and taking control of everything.
Well M$ feels a need to protect there crappy OS from people who continue to use it. I personally will never buy another Micro$oft product again, to many bad operating systems including the mobile OS as well (windows mobile 6.5) crappy mp3 player being the zune, and if you go to a game stop ask the employee and they will give you the average failure rating of the different Gen's of the xbox 360 (mine did).

I will say as great as open source is I will still have a major company in my home that does make profit, when I get back from deployment I will be buying my first macbook. In the past I would never get one but after some serious research (many hours) I have found there price to be very similar to a pc built of the same quality hardware.
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Last edited by DMGrier; 07-24-2010 at 04:26 AM.
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