Question How to get windows xp working on modern hardware.

What: I currently want to install Windows XP 32 bit sp3 onto a modern computer. I have a pc with an AMD Ryzen 3 1200 cpu and gtx 1050, as well as a 120gb windows 10 boot ssd, 240gb ssd with games on it, and a 500gb sata hdd game drive.

What i have tried: I have extracted a windows xp trial vhd file from the windows xp mode program for windows 7 downloaded directly from microsoft 100% legally. This copy of windows xp is sp3, 32bit, and has most but maybe not all final updates. Sp3 should support sata hard drives but no gpt. I have extracted the vhd to a 500gb sata hdd formatted with mbr to get past the mbr limits of 32bit xp. I have used a program to add the xp vhd to the boot manager. And now when i boot my pc from my 120gb ssd i get an option to boot to xp or 10.

Problem: When i boot into xp i immediately get a a windows xp boot manager screen telling me that winload.efi could not start due to a hardware issue, no surprise. Since windows couldnt even attempt to load the startup file this makes me thing a hard drive problem. It seems the xp boot manager cannot communicate with the hdd after the win 10 boot manager loads the xp boot manager into ram. I get the same message whether the hdd is installed through usb, sata, or even partitioned as gpt, although it is partitioned as mbr right now. The program i used to create the boot manager entry (the cmd way failed) says on startup my bios is operating in uefi mode that could interfere with dual booting. Could this be the issue and how do i change this in my msi b350 gaming plus bios.

I also have an ivy bridge laptop with xp drivers that i may try this in, however this laptop only has 1 sata port meaning id couldnt install my win 10 ssd and xp hdd into the laptop to dualboot at the same time.

What other settings do i need to change to get xp to boot on a modern pc?
 
Last edited:

jimmysmitty

Champion
Moderator
You probably will not be able to get it to boot. Even if you could change your BIOS to load into Legacy mode, you would have to run through the BIOS to see if it even supports it, there are no chipset or GPU drivers for XP for that hardware.

Another note, Intel is pushing to finally kill off Legacy support in BIOS by 2020 and most likely AMD will follow suit if they have not already.

Your best bet? Installing 7 or newer and running XP in a VM or using VMWare to run XP in a VM on the machine. Otherwise you wont be able to do it. Also even if you do run a VM I doubt the update servers for XP are still running.
 
Yes im still trying the somewhat impossible. I mainly want to run xp for older games and nostalgia, and i know xp is impractical for any modern day use. I finally have gotten my pc to recognise an xp drive as bootable, so im trying again now that i got my last roadblock out of the way. I will look in my bios for compatability mode. My ivy bridge laptop wouldnt recognice a vista hdd running in uefi mode so my ryzen pc wouldnt recognise xp hdd either in uefi. Vista hdd was recognised by my laptop in csm mode, admittedly it wouldnt go further than the recovery menu, but ill try that with xp.
 

jimmysmitty

Champion
Moderator
I wish you luck on the endeavor though it will be hard to impossible. Another thing to keep in mind is some older games may not work well with the newer hardware, I once got Descent: Destination Saturn to run on a much newer Windows 7 machine. Suffice to say there was no frame limiter and the game ran at thousands of FPS which in turn also made the game run as if it were in super speed, pressing W would fly me through half a map.

Still your biggest issue is going to be drivers. nVidia, to my knowledge, has not provided XP drivers for their products since XP support ended, actually before that most hardware manufactures started dropping support.

Your best bet beyond a VM would be to find and buy older hardware that did have XP drovers and support.
 
Ok. I have pretty much given up on the trial vhd. The vhd from microsoft doesnt even contain winload.efi or winload.exe in the system 32 folder (exploring in 7zip so it could be hidden) so booting to it will be virtually impossible using the xp boot manager which looks for the above files. I really dont feel like trying another boot manager.

I actually do have some hardware that is compatable with windows xp. I have a toshiba satellite L55 with 8gb of ddr3, Core i5 3337u, integrated hd graphics,an optical drive, and i believe the touchpad uses a ps2 interface. When searching for the processor specs i found that intel has windows xp drivers for the integrated hd gpu and further investigation lead to me finding that the toshiba support page has some drivers for xp on this laptop. Xp 32bit wont allow for all of the ram to be used but 3.5gb allowed with 32bit should work for me. I may chuck my 120gb ssd with win 10 from my main pc in it and install windows xp to a 2nd partition from the optical drive if any room remains.

My old laptop has a mostly locked down insyde h2o bios which surprisingly has options for disabling secure boot and enabling all kinds of legacy compatability modes for booting and drives. It does have csm mode that alloes me to boot from some linux os that dont work with eufi from my findings.
What exactly do i need to change in order to get xp to run on this modern but still supported hardware?
 
Last edited:

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Many people just find older computers to run older OS for games, or use programs like DOSBox to run games on modern systems. I got some Lucas Arts games running on Windows 7 that way, specifically Full Throttle.
 

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