The challenge was: install Windows XP 32bit on the Alienware m11x notebook, delivered with preinstalled Win7 x64. Do not ask, why – just accept it :-)
There are some TODOs to get it running properly:
TODO: Copy WinXP setup file to USB Stick, make the stick bootable.
Well, the notebook has no DVD/CD ROM, and I had no external drive, so copied the setup files onto the USB stick.
TODO: Backup existing Win7 installation for fallback purposes, check if the backup can be restored properly.
Backup’ed the existing Win7 installation using built-in Win7 backup to network share.
TODO: Check and adjust the target partition.
Since the note book comes with 3 partitions on the HDD (internal hidden service partition, hidden recovery partition and >400 GB partition for OS and data), you may want to split the work partition to two or more (OS + data, to be able to restore only OS without backup and restore also your data).
Keep in mind to format the partition with NTFS.
TODO: Boot the computer and go to BIOS setup (use F2), change AHCI HDD mode to ATA.
Otherwise, you fail to setup Windows XP: the error “Cannot find temporary files” will be shown.
TODO: Boot from stick you configured above, press F12 on start and select USB drive.
Funny, I tried different sticks: some can boot the notebook using “USB drive” boot option, some only “Removal device” option…
TODO: Start winnt.exe from [USBDRIVELETTER:]\[PATHTO WINDOWSSETUPFILES]\I386 folder.
This must work. Enjoy it!
The only problem I still have: there are really few Windows XP drivers for this notebook available: video, sound, mouse/touchpad, keyboard are running, I’m still missing: