The tricky process of upgrading from Vista to XP

July 16, 2007

Vista busy cursor True to the title of this blog, and disillusioned with Vista, I set about upgrading my new home desktop PC to XP.

I am familiar with the process of installing Windows and was not expecting problems. I had cannibalised my old PC for a Seagate 40Gb IDE drive which I installed in the new PC. I then formatted the drive and proceeded to a clean install of XP Pro. I left the drive that came with the PC untouched so I would later have the option of booting up in Vista.

The XP installation itself went smoothly enough. The problem came when I tried to connect to the Internet and couldn’t. In fact, my PC would not communicate with any other devices on the home network, even though it was connected by ethernet cable to my Belkin pre-N wireless router.

Brief digression: I pronounce router as “rooter”, because I’m British. Americans on technology podcasts say “row-ter” to rhyme with doubter. It sounds wrong; really grates. Similarly Americans pronounce route (as in how you get from A to B) as “rowt” to rhyme with doubt, not “root” to rhyme with boot as you would in the UK. That’s all very well but did my ears deceive me or didn’t Chuck Berry get his kicks on “root 66”, rather than “rowt 66”? Has the pronunciation changed, even in the US? Anyone out there in the States, please tell me. Digression over.

The problem was that the motherboard has an on-board gigabit LAN chip which needs a driver installing before it works. This is what happens when you install old operating systems on new PCs. The required drivers won’t in general be provided. In my case the motherboard was OK, but I had no LAN.

This wasn’t all that much of a problem. There are many ways to tackle it, but the easiest was to reboot from the Vista drive. I could now access the Internet, navigate to the Asus website and download all the latest drivers for my mobo, including the LAN drivers, Cool ‘n’ Quiet drivers, etc. Thereafter those files were available on an XP reboot so I could install the required drivers and get connected.

It wasn’t much of a hiccup but I felt a bit silly that I hadn’t thought ahead and downloaded all the drivers I was likely to need, in advance of the XP installation. Given that I had a two-disk setup, it would have been very easy.

You live and learn.



  1. Comment on digression: When I stayed in Las Vegas in autumn 2001 and used thei bus system I once paid attention to “rowt XX” announcement by a bus driver. It took me some time to realise he meant “route”. In the same way, I was kind of slow to get the American “yart” for “yort” (in the word “yacht”).

  2. I’m Canadian. We say it Rowter but refer to A to B as Root. Never thought about it until now.

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