Hope this helps.
Understanding Downgrade Rights
The School has purchased 16 Dell Optiplex 380 PCs and all of them have come with Windows 7 Pro preinstalled. I would like to install Windows XP Pro as part of the downgrade program. I already have a Windows XP Pro OEM CD Media, but how do I get the product for Windows XP Pro? Do I need to contact Dell or Microsoft? Also no Windows XP Pro downgrade disc was provided by Dell.
Do you have a Dell XP Re-installation disk? When installed on a dell system it registers with an OEM license...
Should install ok using the Dell XP disk. I had a problem trying to install Vista over a Windows 7 installation on a Dell. It hung on 'completing installation'. After much searching the solution was to change SATA in the Bios from ACHI to ATA.
Wipe the drive and re-image?
I think you need to use your previous Windows XP OEM disc and key. If you don't have a valid Key I think you'll need to contact Dell.
The Downgrade Process
Follow these steps to downgrade to a previous version of Windows:
1.Obtain genuine Windows media and a corresponding product key for the eligible version of Windows for downgrade (see next section for eligible Windows versions).
◦The media should come from a prior legally licensed version from the OEM or Retail channels.
◦Additionally an end user, who is licensed separately through Microsoft Volume Licensing (VL) programs, may provide their VL media and key to their system builder to use to facilitate the downgrade on only their systems.
2.Insert eligible downgrade version of Windows media in the CD drive and follow the installation instructions.
3.Type the product key.
◦If the software was previously activated, you will not be able to activate it online. In this case, the appropriate local Activation Support phone number will be displayed. Call the number and explain the circumstances.When it is determined that the end user has an eligible Windows license, the customer service representative will provide a single-use activation code to activate the software. Please note that Microsoft does not provide a full product key in this scenario.
4.Activate the software.
pbaddhan (25th November 2010)
Thanks for the quick replies! I am on the case now!
if you need any further clarification i have an email from our dell account manager in regards to downgrades. i would copy past but it is an image within it so cant copy the text. if you have a hotmail or something i will happily drop it over (or if there is a way for me to upload it here?) to you but the above from Steve is pretty much the solution
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