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Downgrade to XP RRS feed

  • Question

  • I expect soon that when we buy new PCs we will not get a choice of Vista or XP, it will be Vista only. If I have software that doesn't run on Vista and isn't going to be updated anytime soon, can I use the licence (ie the fact that I have paid for a version of Windows), not the key obviously, as justification to install Windows XP?
    A similar licence was granted with Visual Studio, where MS allows you to purchase a new version (.NET 2005) and install instead an old version (VB6) should you wish. Yes, its more expensive that way, but was legal.

    Thursday, February 22, 2007 3:51 PM

Answers

All replies

  • If I'm not mistaken, you need to purchase license for Vista and XP.  You may check the http://www.microsoftvolumelicensing.com/userights/ and http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/default.mspx?wt_svl=20120a&mg_id=20120b

    As for downgrading info, please go http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/resources/volbrief.mspx and download the document "Downgrade Rights Chart"

    Thursday, February 22, 2007 9:06 PM
  • I have the right according to the rights list - Vista Business OEM to downgrade this to XP. The question is how do I do this? The application we need will not run under Vista but will run in about 8 months. So we plan to downgrade then go back to Vista onces the apps are running. I just need to know the technical way of doing this.

    Wednesday, March 14, 2007 11:18 PM
  • You'll need to contact your OEM to figure out how to do this since they're managing your licensing rights at this point.
    Wednesday, March 14, 2007 11:31 PM
  • I emailed Gateway and their first response was:

    Thank you for your e-mail.  If you wish to downgrade the Operating
    System of your Gateway GM5424 computer to Windows XP Professional, you
    will need to purchase and install a retail version for this Operating
    System.

    Are they allowed to do this or are they violating their OEM agreements with Microsoft?

    Sunday, March 25, 2007 6:05 AM
  •  recurr wrote:

    I emailed Gateway and their first response was:

    Thank you for your e-mail.  If you wish to downgrade the Operating
    System of your Gateway GM5424 computer to Windows XP Professional, you
    will need to purchase and install a retail version for this Operating
    System.

    Are they allowed to do this or are they violating their OEM agreements with Microsoft?

    Here's more:

    Thank you for your e-mail.  If you wish to downgrade the Operating
    System of your Gateway GM5424 computer to Windows XP Professional, you
    will need to purchase and install a retail version for this Operating
    System.

    Once Windows XP is installed, drivers must be loaded that will work with
    this Operating System.  You may try installing the drivers available
    from this link:

    http://support.gateway.com/support/drivers/docexpress.asp?pn=1014151

    Note: In some cases, drivers for Windows Vista work with Windows XP
    Operating System.  However, we cannot guarantee all divers will work
    since you are going to use retail copy of Windows XP operating system.

    Please note that Gateway does not support changing of Operating System.
    Any support for third party software should come directly from the
    manufacturer.

    For your reference, I have also provided here the link for the
    specifications of the motherboard of your computer that you may use when
    searching for the drivers in case drivers from the link above will not
    work:

    http://support.gateway.com/s/MOTHERBD/INTEL/4006159R/4006159Rsp2.shtml

    Before you proceed with the downgrade process, it is advisable that you
    create first a copy Drivers and Application CD so that in case you
    decide to restore the Windows Vista, you can have the chance restore the
    factory settings of your computer using this CD including the Operating
    System using the Restore DVD shipped with your computer.  You can refer
    to this link for instructions:

    http://support.gateway.com/s/software/MICROSOF/vista/7515506/7515506su7.shtml

    This option is used to create a backup copy of the drivers and
    applications that are included with the computer. This backup copy does
    not include the operating system. The backup created during this process
    is burned within the eMachines Recovery Center and should be labeled and
    stored in a safe place.

    I hope you find this information useful in addressing your concern.

    I have documented this correspondence in Case Number (removed) in our
    contact tracking database.  Please use this number in the future if you
    need to contact us again regarding this issue.

    Please reply to this message if you require further assistance with this
    issue.  If your reply is received while I am out of the office, to
    ensure a speedy resolution, your issue will be handled by one of my
    colleagues.

    Sincerely,

    (removed)
    (removed)

     

    Sunday, March 25, 2007 6:12 AM
  • It looks like Gateway does NOT manage my licensing rights as they aren't telling me how to downgrade nor are they giving me an XP Professional product key.

     

    Thank you for your e-mail.  I apologize that we cannot provide the
    product key for Windows XP Professional, because the preinstalled
    software is Windows Vista and please be advised that the Restore CD is
    different from the Windows XP Home Edition installation CD.  In
    accordance with our license agreement with Microsoft, the version of
    Windows that came pre-installed is bundled with other software in a
    Ghost Image format.  Because of this, individual files or programs
    cannot be extracted from the CD, except for the device drivers, which
    can be loaded individually from the Restore CD.


    As for changing Operating System, I apologize to say that changing the
    operating system is not supported,  and is not covered under the
    warranty.

    Gateway does not warrant or support any third party products, so any
    support that you may need shall come from the manufacturer of the third
    party manufacturer.

    If you wish, you may search online for drivers for the devices
    preinstalled in your computer.  Please note that we have not tested
    drivers other than the ones provided and we cannot guarantee its
    compatibility with the preinstalled components in your system.  Please
    be advised that all information obtained from the Internet is to be ***
    used at your own risk ***.   This will include all information obtained
    from the Internet, such as, files you may download, information about
    how to resolve an issue or just visiting a link that you were referred
    to.  This will include any links or downloads that Gateway may refer you
    to as a possible resolution to an issue or just as a source of
    information.  This also includes any references to searching the
    Internet for any type of information.

    Consulting the manufacturer of the software is also a good idea.  They
    could provide additional information regarding your issue and assistance
    in installing or configuring it to operate properly.  Gateway technical
    support is here to help troubleshoot hardware technical issues and to
    determine if the original software is faulty or corrupted.  We can also
    arrange for warranty repair service if required.  However, we do not
    have the information available to answer software usage questions or
    work with third party software compatibility issues.  We can only
    support the original software that were preloaded on the system.

    Tuesday, March 27, 2007 12:32 PM
  • Hello recurr,

     

    I'm looking into where you can find the answer to this.  This forum is for Vista validation issues, so I don't have the info you need.  I'm hoping to hear back by the end of the day where you can go for more info.  Thank you

    Tuesday, March 27, 2007 6:04 PM
  • It is noted in the Product EULA that neither Microsoft nor the Manufacturer will supply such End User with media for such previous
    versions. The End User must provide the downgrade media and a valid Product Key.

    The PC manufacturer may not provide the end user with the Downgrade Software media. This media must come from the end user and must
    be legally licensed from the Microsoft retail, OEM/System Builder, or volume license channels.

     

    Ref: Downgrade Rights Details & FAQ: http://oem.microsoft.com/script/ContentPage.aspx?pageid=553076

    Wednesday, March 28, 2007 7:27 PM
    Moderator
  •  

    How does the End User provide a valid Product Key legally?

     

    How does the End User provide a valid Product Key without purchasing an extra license?

     

    How does the End User provide the downgrade media without purchasing an extra license?

     

    Can I use someone else's Product Key?

     

    Can I find and legally use a Product Key from the Internet?

    Wednesday, March 28, 2007 11:43 PM
  •  Carey Frisch wrote:

    It is noted in the Product EULA that neither Microsoft nor the Manufacturer will supply such End User with media for such previous
    versions. The End User must provide the downgrade media and a valid Product Key.

    The PC manufacturer may not provide the end user with the Downgrade Software media. This media must come from the end user and must
    be legally licensed from the Microsoft retail, OEM/System Builder, or volume license channels.

     

    Ref: Downgrade Rights Details & FAQ: http://oem.microsoft.com/script/ContentPage.aspx?pageid=553076

     

     

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    Wednesday, March 28, 2007 11:45 PM
  • Recurr,

    The link that Carey provided is in the secured OEM/systembuilder section of microsoft.com.

     

    Here is a cut and paste of the page:

     

    What to Know about Downgrade Rights
    The following provides more details on downgrade rights for Windows Vista, Windows XP Professional, Windows Server 2003 Standard and Enterprise Editions, and Windows Small Business Server 2003 Premium Edition.

    Also see the Downgrade Rights FAQ

    • The right to downgrade is an end-user right and is documented in the OEM System Builder product end-user license agreement or EULA.

    • OEM System Builder Downgrade Rights for operating systems apply to Windows Vista Ultimate, Vista Business, Windows XP Professional, and Windows XP Tablet PC editions only. For Server, these rights apply to only Windows 2003 Server Standard and Enterprise Editions and Windows Small Business Server 2003 Premium Edition. OEM versions non mentioned do not have downgrade rights.

    • If the End User chooses this option, it is noted in the Product EULA that neither Microsoft® nor the Manufacturer will supply such End User with media for such previous versions. The End User must provide the downgrade media and a valid Product Key.

    • End Users can use the following media for their downgrade: Volume Licensing media (provided End User has a Volume Licensing agreement), Retail (Full Package Product), or a System Builder edge-to-edge CD (provided software is acquired in accordance with the Microsoft OEM System Builder License). End Users can use one legal version of the downgrade media for multiple installations. The end customer does not need to have one set of media for each PC they are downgrading, because they have acquired legitimate full operating system licenses for the most recent version, which gave them the right to downgrade.

    • In the event the End User opts to downgrade, neither Microsoft nor the PC Manufacturer is obligated to provide customer product support for Customer Systems on which such previous versions are installed.

    • The software may not be installed on any other computer system than the one which was downgraded under this right.

    • If downgrading the End User cannot use the downgrade operating system (for example Windows XP Professional) and the most recent version which they downgraded from (for example Windows Vista Business) at the same time.

    • If downgrading Windows Server 2003 or Small Business Server 2003, the End User cannot use the downgrade server software and Windows 2003 software at the same time.

    • If an End User chooses to downgrade to an approved, prior version of the Windows desktop operating system, the PC Manufacturer is still required to apply the desktop operating system Certificate of Authenticity (COA) to the PC.

    • End Users may reinstall Windows Vista Business, Vista Ultimate, Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Tablet PC edition, Windows Server 2003, or Windows Small Business Server 2003 at any time, provided the downgrade operating system has been removed from the computer, and that software is reinstalled on the PC it was originally installed on with the original OEM System Builder edge-to-edge CD distributed with the original PC. The End User will need to use the Product Key, located in the center of the Certificate of Authenticity (COA), in order to activate the product.

    • When an end user is using their downgrade rights offered under the License Terms in Windows Vista Business and Ultimate versions and they use both Windows XP media and a product key that was previously activated, they will fail activation due to the hardware configuration change when installing on the Vista system. In these cases the end user will be prompted to call the Activation Support Line and explain their circumstances to the Customer Service Representative. Once it is determined that the end user has a valid Vista Business or Ultimate license, the Customer Service Representative will help them activate their software.

    • For Client Access License (CAL) downgrades, end users may use Windows Device CALs and Windows User CALs with an earlier version of the software in accordance with the terms of the of the Windows Server 2003 EULA; however, due to technical incompatibilities, the end user may not use TS Device CALs with TS User CALs.

    This summary is intended to be a general informational overview of the downgrade rights outlined in the End User License Agreement for the indicated Microsoft OEM System Builder product. It is not intended to be a legal analysis/interpretation of its contents. Information in this document is subject to change without notice. Please refer to the actual EULA for the precise terms and conditions which govern use of the software. In the event of a conflict between this general summary and the EULA, the EULA prevails.

    Downgrade Rights FAQ
    Q. Who can install the Downgrade Software or reinstall the original software?
    A. A System Builder (when authorized by end user), or the end user. Because downgrade rights are an end user right granted in the end user license agreement (EULA), the end-user must first be able to accept the (EULA) associated with the software, so this software must be installed first before the Downgrade Software is installed.
    Q. Do I need to ship media for the Downgrade Software system as well as most recent version they are using to downgrade from?
    A. The System Builder may not provide the end user with the Downgrade Software media. This media must come from the end user and must be legally licensed from the Microsoft retail, OEM/System Builder, or volume license channels.

    System Builders must provide the Windows Vista Business, Vista Ultimate, Windows XP Professional, Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition or Enterprise Edition, or Windows Small Business Server 2003 media that is located in the Microsoft System Builder Pack to the end-user.
    Q. Can end users use Windows Vista Business or Ultimate, Windows XP Professional, Windows Server 2003, or Windows Small Business Server 2003 software and the Downgrade Software at the same time?
    A. No. End users may only install and use one Microsoft operating system (either the Downgrade Software or the applicable Windows Server 2003 software) at any given time.
    Q. Can end users return to Windows Vista Business or Ultimate, Windows XP Professional, Windows Server 2003, or Windows Small Business Server 2003 software after they downgrade?
    A. Yes. End users who downgrade may reinstall the original software when they are ready to migrate. For example, an end user who downgrades to Windows NT Server 4.0 may later return to the Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition software provided that the end user deletes Windows NT Server 4.0 software from the server.
    Q. How do end users reinstall the original software after downgrading to a previous allowed downgrade version?
    A. End users must use the original System Builder media that was included with the PC or server for reinstallation. The Downgrade Software must be deleted from the hard drive before the original software is reinstalled.
    Q. Where do customers get the CD to install the Downgrade Software?
    A. End users must use a legally licensed version of the specified previous version of the Windows desktop or server operating system to install the Downgrade Software. The Downgrade Software may be from the retail, OEM/System Builder, or volume licensing channels.

    As I posted in another thread that seems to have been deleted (??), the circumstances surrounding downgrade rights seem to be geared to big organizations instead of an individual such as yourself.  If would be natural to expect a larger orgainzation to have oodles of copies of XP laying around, but regular folks don't normally have extra copies of XP laying around.

     

    If you can get a CD for XP Pro, you should be able to install it using the media-matching generic Product Key from the chart at the bottom of this article:  http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/winxppro/deploy/wpadepl.mspx  Once installed, you can then run the Activation Wizard, choose activate by phone, and then speak with an activation rep to assert your downgrade rights.

     

    If the generic PK approach does not work for some reason, then your only other option would be to borrow a copy of XP Pro from someone and use their PK to install.  However, you will want to be very careful to not accidentally allow that installation of XP to activate, because if it does it will create problems for the person from whom you borrowed XP.  The best way to prevent an inadvertent activation would be to disconnect from the internet before the Out Of The Box Experience Wizard runs at the conclusion of Setup.

     

    As I posted in the previously deleted thread, all of my downgrading experience has been in circumstances where the business has had previous licensed copies of the previous OS, so I cannot say that I have made a downgrade work they way we both think it should work for you.

    Thursday, March 29, 2007 1:37 AM
  • Thanks! That explains it a lot and is pretty much what I was looking for.
    Friday, March 30, 2007 2:40 AM
  • I agree that the information given is clear as to how to handle the right to downgrade if Vista is pre-installed by an OEM. 

     

    However, what if someone is willing to buy the Windows XP Professional (SP 2) UPGRADE disc?  Is it possible to downgrade with an UPGRADE disc?  I would think that it is possible; however, I was told by Microsoft Installation Support that it is not possible. 

     

    So the question is: 

    Must a person buy the full-blown installation of XP Pro (retailing around US$300) to downgrade over a Vista installation (which at present retails for no more than about US$260 for the top-of-the-line Ultimate)? 

     

    Naturally, the follow-up question to that is:  Is it fair to have to pay for the OS in the price of the OEM box and then again to have to pay even more for it after-market just to use an OS that's 7 years old? 

     

    (Pointless Aside:  I do regression testing and need boxes with all of the old OSes installed.  I use separate boxes; not multi-boot because I test different hardware configurations as well.  It's very important to me to be able to downgrade.  I'll pay the same for an older OS as for Vista but to pay more, that's out of line.)

    Tuesday, July 17, 2007 10:01 PM
  • Yes, you would need a "Full Version" of Windows XP if you wish to "downlgrade" from Windows Vista.  It would require a "clean install" of Windows XP.
    Tuesday, July 17, 2007 10:07 PM
    Moderator
  •  Vista Validation Support - MS wrote:
    You'll need to contact your OEM to figure out how to do this since they're managing your licensing rights at this point.

     

    what is a OEM??  I am a simple user that wants to downgrade to xp pro, I will never intall vista again, I don't like it, period.   I bought the xp pro and when I want to install it the option does not appear.

     

    What can I do??

    Monday, November 12, 2007 6:21 PM
  • Hi, I'm also trying to do this, but I'm not sure where I fit in.  I have a Sony Vaio entry level laptop with Vista that I have it with.  I have a full retail version of XP Home, if I get the device drivers from Sony, like these I think will work:

    http://www.sony-asia.com/support/download/216766/sectionfirst?site=hp_en_AP_i&subpage=detail

     

    But it doesn't have for instance, the drivers for Matshita dvd ram UJ-850S ATA Device, nor Hatachi HTS541612J9AOO ATA Device.

     

    Can anyone tell/link to a faq, exactly how I can downgrade to my XP Home version I have now for my VGN-N365E Vaio laptop?????  Please?? Wink

    Wednesday, January 9, 2008 6:34 PM
  • Hello Fore,

     

      In your situation, the Downgrading part is easy, you just install XP Home and you are downgraded. The problem that you have is you can not find the XP drivers for some of the componets in your laptop.

     

      Since Microsoft doesn't (usually) write hardware drivers we will not be of  much help to you, but I can suggest a) contacting Sony (or going to their support site) and see if they can direct you to the drivers, b) go the the hardware maker's website and see if they wrote a XP version of the drives. or c) there are a few website that specilize in making available old, hard to find or custom drivers. Due to policy, I am unable to direct you to any of these sites, but they should be fairly easy to find. I do suggest doing some reseach on the site before downloading any custom drivers, to confirm the site is trusted by other users. 

     

    I hope that helps,

    Darin Smith

    WGA Forum Manager

    Wednesday, January 9, 2008 10:51 PM