We still use Windows XP on the vast majority of our end-user equipment at work. The standard procedure is to delete whatever partitions and data that come stock on the HP equipment and reinstall Windows XP Professional (SP2) fresh from a CD (or WDS image) and go from there.
Normally, for smooth and simple operation, this procedure requires that you go into the advanced settings in the BIOS and change the SATA mode from it’s native AHCI mode to IDE (PATA) emulated mode in order to avoid the blue screen of death (and having to install special drivers) during the install.
Today, we received a new model of laptop for a user, the first of it’s kind for us. It is a HP 635 with the AMD 1.6ghz Fusion E350 processor. I was surprised to find that, for the first time, I was unable to find any option in the BIOS for the SATA mode. There was not even an Advanced tab, that the option would normally be under.
With no option to change the SATA emulation mode, it looked like XP was a no-go on this rather cheapy laptop. Instead of giving up and deal with the bullshit of setting up Windows 7, I decided to hit up the Google. I eventually found a solution that worked for me.
First, I grabbed an external USB floppy drive, along with a formatted disk (I was surprised I could find a floppy disk!). Then I downloaded the AMD SATA AHCI driver from HP and extracted it to a folder. I copied all the files in the “RAID7xx” folder to my floppy and was ready to use it to install the SATA drivers for this chipset during the Windows XP install.
To do this, with your floppy drive attached with the disk inserted begin the Windows setup by booting to the CD. Then press the F6 option to install SCSI and RAID drivers during the beginning of the setup (when it is first copying the initial files). Choose the “S” option to specify the location of the drivers and choose the floppy drive. It should show that the AMD SATA drivers will be installed and then continue with Windows setup normally. Problem solved.
I learned of the drivers from this site, and it might be worth a read if you are looking to install Windows XP on newer HP laptops, or just need the drivers for a different model of laptop than I am working with here.
For the rest of the HP drivers for Windows XP for this laptop, visit this link.