Switching from Vista to XP Pro: Have a wide-screen Vaio laptop that came from the factory with Vista and Sony does not support XP on this box. I allocated next week the time to pull the drive, drop in two 500gb new SATA drives, and do a complete install of XP Pro. I am told that I will need a special boot disk to accomplish this. I see a guy on eBay is selling a cd that purports to enable you to do this. What is actually needed? The Sony guy said 2 drives in this laptop is not suggested but there IS an empty bay here so I want to max storage. Also, the drivers available specifically for this box are for Vista, not XP but he did give me the model of the last Vaio like mine that shipped with XP and said I could TRY those drivers. I really do not care if everthing like webcam, etc., work; I just need to dump Vista. I bought a new copy of XP Pro, SP2 to do this.

Suggestions on what I will need to do this are sincerely appreciated; I just want to have all ready b4 I begin. Thanks!!

Okay a couple of ways of doing it

A) it might just work. Even if they say its not supported, it may just work.
B) It may work if you go into the BIOS and change the SATA and RAID settings to IDE Emulation and OFF (these options may or may not be present in your BIOS)

If neither of these work, it means you need drivers for your disk controller

XP only supports loading the drivers off a floppy by pushing F6. Nearly all lapotops wont have a floppy so this isnt really an option. An alternative would be to find the drivers for your disk controller and slipstream them into your XP cd using a tool called 'nlite'.

P.S if the reason you are ditching vista is speed, just reinstall vista using a retail disk. I have worked on many sony laptops with vista and they are all slow as hell. Sony load them up with so much crap. A clean install of vista is nothing like that.

I noticed in the bios that there are no settings to change, like the emulation, etc. I do not even see how one would tell the bios WHICH SATA drive to boot from, if 2 were installed. The slipstream approach looks like the likely way. I have been shipped the new XP Pro SP2 disk so I guess I make an .iso of that and that nlite will put the drivers 'into' the .iso??

Yeah install and run nlite. Point it at the windows cd and then tell it where to extract it to. It will copy all the files to the hard drive for working with. Integrate drivers, service packs etc.... with it and at the end, nlite will be able to produce an .iso with the finished, slipstreamed product. Burn the .iso as an image (not as a file). If your burning suite doesnt have this capability, try the free version of DeepBurner.

so, ok, then. I have a folder with all the files. How do I add the SATA driver to the mix?? Just d/l it from Sony and drop it into the folder?? And when I do that, will that enable the installation to see the SATA drives?? Also, when I put the second 500gb SATA drive in, how does the computer know which one to boot from? I see no jumpers and no place in the BIOS to set that.

In nlite select drivers in the tasks thing and then point nlite at the .inf files, keep hitting next.