Cannot uninstall Vista

By jools1976
Jul 30, 2008
  1. I recently bought an Acer desktop computer that came with Vista Home installed on a bios partition. It automatically installed when I first started up the computer, and it's been nothing but trouble since. The computer is slow and it won't let me install any kind of software. I want to get rid of Vista and put XP Home on. I attempted to install XP by setting the CD ROM as the primary boot device and starting it up. It booted the CD and the Windows Hardware Inspection screen came up. It went through the motions and everything was looking good until it suddenly stopped and went to a crash blue screen. I've retried several times but it's always the same result. I read that because it's a SATA HD you need to put the drivers on a floppy and hit F6 during the inspection. I got the SATA drivers from the Acer website but they're for Vista not XP, and there's no way there going to fit on a floppy. I also read that you don't even need the drivers anyway and that you can put them on later. I'm not sure what the problem is here... Can anyone help?
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Acer Model?

    Xp Genuine?

    Recovery partition present? (this may be the re-install Vista part)

    Actually it would be best to put as many details in your Profile as possible
    Once in your Profile, add any/or system specs and answer Yes to displaying these details (this will avoid anyone asking for this again)

    Reply back once done

    Actually you might want to confirm that your Acer can actually have Xp (many new laptops do not have drivers (sound/network,...) for Xp) Sometimes you may need to search around for these drivers (before installing Xp)
  3. jools1976

    jools1976 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    The model is an AM1640, and the copy of XP is genuine. I've actually installed it several times on my laptop with no issues whatsoever. I'm pretty sure there is a recovery partition as it didn;t come with a Windows disc....
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

  5. jools1976

    jools1976 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    Hey thanks for the info! This is the exact process I've been trying but I'm gettin a blue crash screen before I get to the screen where I can choose to repair an existing installation....
  6. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    There may be a number of issues, that it could be:
    Incompatible drivers installed
    Hardware conflicts (note: I suggest to detach any non essential hardware)
    Software in general, Antivirus (actually this may fall under drivers too)
    Hard Drive issues, sectors damaged. Check Disk is good here
    CMOS settings, overclocking, incorrectly set up with caching etc

    Or possibly Ram, please run Memtest for 7 Passes
  7. jools1976

    jools1976 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    As far as software goes... I don't even have any antivirus running yet because Vista won't let me install anything. I haven't run Check Disk (not sure how exactly....) but I did run memory test and it came up good. Here's the exact message I'm getting;

    A problem has been detected and windows has shut down to prevent damage to your computer

    If this is the first time you've seen this stop error screen, restart your computer. If the screen appears again, follow these steps:

    Check for viruses on your computer. Remove any newly installed hard drives or hard drive controllers. Check your hard drive to make sure it is properly configured and terminated. Run CHKDSK/F to check for hard drive corruption, and then restart your computer.

    Technical Information:

    *** STOP: 0x0000007B (0xF78D2524, 0xC0000034, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)

    I hope this helps. Thanks!
  8. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

  9. jools1976

    jools1976 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    Ran Checkdisk... came up clean.
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,456   +1,759

    Discretion is he Better Part of Valor.......

    XP SATA driver files (to make floppy) are available from Intel's website.

    You need to determine if the BIOS in your machine has the capability to be configured to run SATA as IDE. If so, you wouldn't actually need the F6 action, just start the box, and load Windows

    When you run into a situation with corrupted files, the best thing to do is wipe the HDD, and start with a clean drive. Alternatively, you could buy another HDD and install clean to that.

    Before you do anything, >>>> Re-read the Title!

    Some manufacturers "tatoo" their motherboards so that only the original recovery discs can be used to reinstall the operating system. Your machine may be one of them. As an example, an Emachines will ask for an "administrative password" (BIOS) should you try to install Windows from a normal, legitimate CD.
  11. xxdanielxx

    xxdanielxx TS Rookie Posts: 1,069

    I've had this problem lots of times what you have to do is format the hdd first then run your installation you wont get that BSOD.

    You can use a boot cd to do this or find the maker of your hard drive and download the tool cd then format it.

    Make sure to not delete the recovery partition for recovery purpose.
  12. jools1976

    jools1976 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    Is the SATA driver specific to my mobo/processor or is it generic?
  13. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

  14. jools1976

    jools1976 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    Used Parted Magic to reformat the HDD to NTFS. Put back in the XP cd (even got a different windows CD to use this time...) and got the same BSOD....
  15. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Please run Memtest for 7 Passes ( ~ approx 4 Hrs)
  16. jools1976

    jools1976 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    Running it right now. I'm on pass 3 and I haven't gotten any errors but here's the thing... I have 2 sticks at 1024MB each. Under memory it's only showing 1791MB. Is that correct? Also I'm running it with both sticks in, should I be doing them 1 at a time, 7 passes each? Thanks again.
  17. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 923   +11

    it would be best to run it on each stick of ram separately. as for the reasoning for 1791 MB, I am not going to answer that as I have no idea, unless one stick is so bad that it is not being read right.
  18. jools1976

    jools1976 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    Here's a crazy twist for you. I removed one stick of RAM and started up Memtest. It showed 767MB of RAM. So I figured, there's the problem, bad RAM stick. I switched to the other stick and got the same thing, 767MB. This is using the same slot each time, I tried both sticks individually in the other slot starting up Memtest each time and here's where it's weird. I get 767MB no matter which stick I use and no matter which slot I use it in, but if I use both sticks in both slots at the same time get 1791MB. Ever seen that before? I've got Memtest running right now on the first stick anyway just to see...
  19. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Yes, some of the Ram is being allocated to the Video in CMOS settings
    I'd say
  20. jools1976

    jools1976 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    I ran both sticks individually through 7 (or more) passes in Memtest and aside from the missing 257MB, which as previously noted is allocated to video, they both came up with no errors. So the RAM looks good...
  21. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Going here:
    I've noticed that Xp is not stated

    I had a look here:
    Which talks about making an Xp disc (specifically for your model)
    I think this may be best (ie re-install Windows)
    You may also be able to contact Acer, on getting a disc (if they will sell you one)
    Otherwise Newegg is still (not forever though) selling Xp discs

    Another idea (just had another thought!) Go to your system BIOS (ie CMOS settings) and disable AHCI (which is only used by Vista)
  22. jools1976

    jools1976 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    Kimsland you rock!!!! It worked. I followed the procedure outlined in the link and made a new Xp disc with the SATA drivers built in. Xp installed with no issues whatsoever. I did pre-format the HDD (leaving the recovery partition intact just in case it didn't work, or there were driver issues down the road) and away it went. Now everything is up and going I just have to deal with the missing drivers which are as follows:

    ethernet controller
    PCI Device
    Sm Bus Controller
    Video Controller (VGA Compatible)

    It's an N1996 mobo so I'm going to get on the hunt for drivers now.... Thank a million for all the help!!
  23. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Thanks :grinthumb

    Let me know how you go
    I usually just put the motherboard name and model and windows OS and the word "drivers" in google (to find drivers the manufacture doesn't support)
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