Article ID : S1F0395 / Last Modified : 03/03/2009

Windows® XP Downgrade Instructions - Use the Windows XP Downgrade DVD (not available for all models)



    This document provides the steps and information necessary to complete the Windows XP downgrade. This process will vary by computer model and may take up to two hours to complete. The downgrade process does the following:

    • Completely removes the Windows Vista? operating system
    • Formats your computer's C:\ hard drive, removing all content such as files, programs, personal settings, etc...
    • Installs a standard version of the Windows XP Professional operating system


    IMPORTANT - BEFORE proceeding with the Windows XP downgrade process:

    • Please print and carefully read this document.
    • Back up all important content BEFORE starting the downgrade process.
    • Create a Vista Recovery DVD in case you wish to restore the Windows Vista® Business operating system at a later date.


    Installation Instructions

    Follow these steps to complete the Windows XP downgrade process.

    WARNING: Some parts of this process may take a long time to complete. Do not interrupt the Windows XP downgrade process once it has begun. If this process is interrupted, the Windows XP installation will be damaged and you will have to start all over.

    1. If you are using a notebook computer, fully charge the computer battery and connect the AC adapter to an external surge-protected power connection.


    2. Note: Do not run this process if only powered by the battery. The computer must be connected to an AC power outlet.

    3. Turn on the computer and insert the Windows XP DVD Downgrade - Recovery Disc number 1.
    4. Restart the computer.
    5. After the computer has restarted, you will see the message, "Starting VAIO System Recovery Utility." It will take a few minutes to finish loading.
    6. From the "VAIO Recovery" screen, select "Restore Complete System".
    7. From the "Restore Complete System (Step 1 of 5)" screen, you may choose to "Keep the Recovery Drive (Recommended)" by leaving that option box checked.
    8. Read the disclaimer regarding data loss. If you understand and agree with the terms, select the "I understand" box and press "Next".


    9. WARNING: All data will be lost from the C: Drive.

    10. The "Restore Complete System (Step 2 of 5)" screen will appear. Please wait while Windows XP is being installed.
    11. When prompted, remove the XP DVD Downgrade - Recovery Disk number 1 and click OK. The unit will restart.
    12. After the computer has restarted, you will see the message, "Starting VAIO System Recovery Utility" again.
    13. The "Restore Complete System (Step 3 of 5)" screen will appear.
    14. When prompted, insert the XP DVD Downgrade - Recovery Disk number 1 and click OK. Please wait while Windows XP is being installed.
    15. When prompted, insert Windows XP DVD Downgrade - Recovery Disc number 2 and click OK.
    16. When prompted, remove the XP DVD Downgrade - Recovery Disk number 2 and click OK. The unit will restart.
    17. The unit will start completing the Windows XP Installation and will reboot automatically.
    18. After the computer has restarted, Windows XP is still finishing the installation. It will reboot automatically one last time to complete the XP Downgrade process.
    19. After the computer has restarted, follow the onscreen prompts to complete the Windows XP configuration.


    20. Note: After the configuration, the Windows desktop is displayed.