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Windows 7 Thread, Downgrading Windows 7 to XP. "Syntax error in .sif file" in Technical; Afternoon all. I wasn't totally sure which forum to put this in. The Head has been bought a new laptop ...
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    Downgrading Windows 7 to XP. "Syntax error in .sif file"

    Afternoon all.

    I wasn't totally sure which forum to put this in.

    The Head has been bought a new laptop my my manager and asked for it to be downgraded to XP and put on our network. (usually, he doesn't have it networked.)

    It's Windows 7, so i know it's not straight forward to downgrade.

    I've changed the SATA setting in the bios to compatibility (IDE) and that allowed me to start running the setup CD.

    I then got this error;

    "There is a syntax error in the .SIF file that Setup uses at line:8971.

    Setup cannot continue. Shut down or restart your computer."

    I've got this with 3 different original Discs

    Looking around, downgrading involves getting rid of all recovery partitions. So i have, including a hidden one and now i have one large primary NTFS drive.

    I'm still getting the same error. No recovery drives. Original Discs, and now i am totally stumped.

    Anyone got any idea of what i could try?

    Cheers
    Stu

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    Have you tried a different cd/dvd drive to install the media from?

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    BandyQuill's Avatar
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    why not just re-install it with XP rather than the downgrade, will be alot faster than trying to find the issues...

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    That's what i'm doing BrandyQuill, maybe downgrade was the wrong choice of words. What i have now is a completely black hdd.

    Thanks for the suggestion Difinitiy. I've now tried that and it's different. Now i got a BSOD, suggesting a virus scan / CHKDSK /F.

    Remove any newly installed HDD etc. Could that be the USB DVD Drive i've tried?

    I've got another drive to try it with when i get a chance to collect it.

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    BandyQuill's Avatar
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    ahhhh in that case its probs hdd or memory failure, is the installation CD one that defiantly works? had that problem a couple of times...

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    The .sif error suggested a read error, as you've tried 3 original discs i didn't think it was that.
    You could also try to check the hdd for bad sectors. Go to the manafacturer and download their diagnostic software.

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    Well i used the other CD drive and i'm back to the .SIF error.

    Trying another format, using acronis. Hoping that may sort any bad sectors. Going to take an age though.

    I'll be back though, don't worry.

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    round2it's Avatar
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    I had an Acer laptop brought to me from a member of staff saying they want windows xp instead of vista ( i thought no problem)

    unfortunatly that model had to have a bios update/upgrade or downgrade to run windows xp cant remember which one.

    you might be better finding the sata drivers and loading them when asked to press f6 during installation

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    Sorry about the lack of reply.

    Well after i formated the drive (taking 2 days or so!) it still didn't work.

    Thought, 'balls to it' and used the DVD to restore to factory settings.

    It only retruned it to XP

    So it looks like i'm sorted.

    Thanks for the help.

    Cheers
    Stu

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    round2it's Avatar
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    yes i have had a few like that

    you need to burn your own windows 7 /rista recovery cds on first run

    and the media supplied is a downgrade to xp

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