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A while ago I wrote a post detailing how to install Windows XP on a laptop with SATA drivers without using any floppy disk. Today I had to do such installation again and I've met with some annoying errors.

The laptop was an Acer Aspire, so I did everything in my old post and started the computer. It is important to use the correct drivers, as in my case the installation met with a blue screen with code 0x0000007B. It was like it tried to use some of the SATA drivers I had loaded on my WindowsXP CD, but not the right ones.

After the installation went ok, Windows XP would not boot up, not even in safe mode. In order to check what the hell is going on (because the default behaviour is to show a blue screen and immediately reboot) you need to start the computer and press F8, then disable the automated restart in case of error from the menu.

The problem is that the laptop had "AHCI mode" enabled in BIOS. Apparently, Windows XP doesn't support this mode. Set it to IDE BEFORE you start installing Windows XP. After that, you can enable AHCI after you install some stuff and change some registry entries, but it seems XP doesn't really have much use of this mode of access anyway. Here is a forum discussing this, but I haven't got around to trying the things described there yet.

Good luck with your installation. I almost went for installing Windows 7. Phew!


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