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Dell Inspiron 1545 Notebook - Windows XP

As with most new notebooks now this came with Windows Vista. But the customer wants Windows XP, which is fair enough although I would recommend Vista now.

Dell provide a recovery system and original install CDs for Vista, which is good, but not for XP on this model.  However, XP drivers are available.

Unfortunately I could not get the XP setup started. It would load the standard set of drivers from the install XP CD but when it got to the first screen of any importance, Windows Setup is now starting, a Blue Screen stop 0x0000007B appeared.

This infers a hard disk problem. To check that it was not XP being unable to read the new fangled Vista partition setup (which many programs view as a corrupted partition) I removed the hard disk. Same error. And same error using Bart PE from a CD.

So, definitely some form of hardware error.

The Dell SATA drivers do have drivers for a "F6 floppy", even though they make no mention of this, so I tried that. No change. I even tried removing 1 of the 2 2Gb RAM modules in case XP was tripping up over the 4.0Gb limit. That did not help either.

Luckily I stumbled across another person with the same problem on different hardware which provided the solution.

In BIOS change the SATA mode from AHCI to ATA.  This not only fixed the problem but means a F6 floppy is not required.

All the motherboards I use come configured that way, but I can not see why Dell would choose not to.

So, in summary to install Windows XP on a Dell Inspiron 1545 notebook, and possibly many other models, without getting a BSOD 0x0000007B error, change the SATA to ATA in Bios.

 

Last modified: June 23, 2009