Windows XP Installation


Windows XP cannot be ran on most new systems which have a UEFI BIOS with exception to the following four business models:

  • OptiPlex 7010 – Disable Secure Boot and use a Legacy Boot
  • OptiPlex 3010 – Disable Secure Boot and use a Legacy Boot
  • OptiPlex 790 – Use a Legacy Boot
  • OptiPlex 390 – Use a Legacy Boot

All other Dell models that are Windows XP capable have a Legacy BIOS.

In order to install Windows XP on an OptiPlex 3010/7010, Secure Boot needs to be Disabled and Legacy ROMs need to be Enabled. To enter the UEFI BIOS setup press [F2] when powering up the Dell.

This will take you to the UEFI BIOS Setup.

The OptiPlex 3010/7010 when at the latest BIOS revision has Secure Boot. This needs to be Disabled and Legacy ROMs Enabled:

Dell Business UEFI BIOS

In order to install Windows XP on an OptiPlex 390/790/3010/7010 the Boot Sequence should be set to Legacy:

The COM port is usually set to COM1 or COM3:

For maximum performance the SATA Operation should be set to AHCI. Note the Windows XP Installation Media needs to incorporate storage controllers in order to see the Drive during installation and to not get error 0x000007B during installation.

Windows XP can be installed on a Solid State Drive. In this case a Samsung SSD 850 Pro (newer SSDs may not have any support for Windows XP):

Product Key and OEM Downgrade Rights

All Dell Systems that supported Windows XP had a Code of Authenticity (CoA). However the Product Key on the CoA was not used instead a generic Dell OEM System Locked Preinstallation (OEM SLP) key was input from Dell Media and the Dell system BIOS contained a System License Internal Code 1.0. Together these produce offline product activation. Systems with Dell Windows 7 Professional and Dell Windows Vista Business had a SLIC of 2.1 and 2.0 respectively and these SLICs also worked with the Windows XP SLP in a process known as OEM Downgrade Rights.

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The CoA was often placed under the battery compartment of laptops or inside the computer case of Desktops to prevent fading.

Installation Media

To install Windows XP you will need a Dell Windows XP Reinstallation CD/DVD (preferably with the Dell Driver Pack slipstreamed) and for systems with Media Direct you will also require the Dell Media Direct DVD.

Dell Windows Reinstallation CD/DVD

A Dell Windows XP Reinstallation CD/DVD was supplied with every Dell Model shipped with Windows XP.


Select Models also came with a Media Direct DVD.

Media Direct DVD

If your Model doesn't have the Media Direct Button. Ignore steps related to Media Direct.

Media Direct
Media Direct Systems had the Media Direct Button

Clean Installation of Windows XP

Booting from Media Direct DVD

Hold F12 while powering up your computer (at the Dell BIOS screen).

Press the [↓] key and highlight CD/DVD drive and press [↵].

The MediaDirect preinstallation setup will then load.


Type in:


The MediaDirect preinstallation setup will format the drive creating a 47 MB diagnostics partition and a 2 GB Media Direct partition assigning all remaining disk space to the C:\ Drive. Type in (note the capital):


The MediaDirect preinstallation setup will inform you it has successfully carried out the operations.

You shouldn't get this error if you are setting up this in a Media Direct Machine.

Booting from Windows XP Installation Media

Hold F12 while powering up your computer (at the Dell BIOS screen).

Select boot from CD/DVD or from USB respectively.

Press any key when prompted such as “h” when it says Press any Key to boot from CD/DVD.

Press [↵] to begin installing Windows XP:

Press [F8] to accept the License Agreement:

Drive Options

  • If you have Booted from the Media Direct DVD follow the Media Direct Heading and then proceed to Windows XP Setup.
  • If you have performed a Secure Wipe of your Hard Drive, follow the Clean Hard Drive Heading and then proceed to Windows XP Setup.
  • If you have an existing Windows XP Installation, follow the Delete Old Partitions Heading and then proceed to Windows XP Setup.

Media Direct

Select the largest partition and install Windows XP on it.

Clean Hard Drive

If your Drive has been securely wiped before installation your setup should resemble the following.

Press [↵] to begin installing Windows XP on the Hard Drive. If using a Bootable USB your Bootable USB may display as another drive.

Delete Old Partitions

You will be informed you have an old installation. Select [Esc] to continue with a clean install:

Select each partitions and then select D, select L to confirm the deletion and continue until all partitions are deleted.

Windows XP Setup

Press [↵] to format the Virtual Disk:

The Windows XP setup will format the Virtual Drive, copy files over and then restart the Virtual Machine:

In the next screen you will be given the language settings. Select Customize.

I will update my language settings to English (UK). Once you have made the changes select Apply and then Okay:

I will also change my keyboard to English (UK):

Once you have the correct settings, select Next:

Input your user name and select Next:

If using a Dell PC and a Dell Windows Reinstallation CD/DVD you should not see the screen asking for the Product Key as the Dell Windows XP Reinstallation CD/DVD contains an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) System Locked Preinstallation (SLP) Key and the Dell Basic Input Settings (BIOS) has a System License Internal Code (SLIC) which collectively result in automatic offline product activation.

Input the name of your PC and select Next:

Select No and input WORKGROUP and select Next:

Select your timezone and select Next:

Use the default settings for Network and Workgroup (we are going to leave XP offline anyway):

Select OK when the Windows XP Setup asks about changing resolution. Select OK again to confirm the changes:

You will now get to the final stages of the Windows setup and the Welcome to Windows song should begin (in most Dells you won't hear the XP theme song due to lack of the Sound Driver).

Select Next:

There are no XP Updates and the VM will remain offline so select Not Right Now and then Next:

We are leaving the PC offline so select Skip in this screen:

Select No, Not at this time and then select Next:

Input your user name and select Next:

Finally select Finish:

You will reach the Windows XP Desktop:

It should then reboot and you should be taken to the Windows Desktop.

Additional Setup Screens – Windows XP Media Center Edition

For Windows XP Media Centre Edition there will be a few additional steps. It will automatically reboot and then install the Media Centre Edition programs, you shouldn't touch your computer at this point. It should then reboot and you should be taken to the Windows Desktop.


Product Key and Product Activation

A Dell Windows XP Reinstallation CD/DVD should automatically input a Dell System Locked Preinstallation Key and this alongside the System License Internal Code 1.0 embedded in the Dell BIOS should lead to offline Product Activation.

System Drivers

System Drivers can be downloaded from:

and then copied onto a USB Flash Drive. Unfortunately the drivers are not listed in the correct installation order and the driver installation is also system specific. You will need to install them in the following order otherwise your system (particularly the audio) will not work correctly.

  • Service Packs
  • Dell System (Notebook/Desktop) Software – Under System Utilities
  • Chipset Drivers – Intel Chipset First – Under Chipset
  • Chipset Drivers – Any other Intel – Under Chipset
  • Card Reader – Realtek, Ricoh, O2 Micro – Under Chipset or Removable Storage
  • Intel Matrix Storage Manager/Rapid Storage Technology – Under SATA Drives or CPU
  • Video* – Intel, AMD or NVIDIA – Under Video
  • Modem* – Conexant or Intel – Under Modem
  • Network* – Ethernet – Under Network
  • Touchpad – Touchpad – Under Input
  • Audio – Sigmatel, Intel or Realtek – Under Audio
  • TVTuners – Under Video
  • Wireless Card* – Under Network
  • Bluetooth* – Under Network
  • Keyboard/Mouse Application – Under Applications
  • Dell Quickset – Under Applications
  • Webcam Driver – Under Input

The drivers marked with * typically have variants. Install the driver first and then any application. Note if you select the wrong variant it will fail to install.

Not all these drivers are available for all Models, Touchpads were only prevalent in laptops and not every model had a wireless card or bluetooth. TV tuners were quite rare.

Royal and Royal Noir Theme

Download the zip file.

Save it to your desktop, right click it and select Extract all.


Rename both the Shell Folder as Royale and the Luna Windows Visual Style File as Royale.

Go to start and click run and type: 


Press [↵]

This will open up this folder. Copy the folder you extracted earlier. From this folder copy the folder Royale and the Royale file to the Themes folder.


Close all folders and delete any of the files remaining on the desktop. Right click a blank space on the desktop and select properties.


Then go to the themes tab and change Windows and Buttons to Royale. Change the Colour Scheme to Royale or Royale Noir and select apply.


To get this:


Or this respectively:


Installing Media Direct

Inset the Media Direct DVD and launch the setup.

Press [↵] to begin the installation:


The Dell Media Direct application will now install:


Note that Dell Media Direct only installs on Dell hardware:

dell media direct error

Install any Media Direct Patches listed under Applications on your systems drivers and downloads page.

To update the diagnostics partition download the following file A1394A0. Run the .exe

2. CW1394A0

Extract to the default location

3. CW1394A0

Once the files extract navigate to this folder and run the DDDP program (if it doesn't automatically run):

4. CW1390A

The DDDP program will now run:


One thought on “Windows XP Installation

  1. What about the drivers for a dell Lat D620 and D610. I am doing a clean reinstall on wiped Dells. I am having issues getting the wireless card to be recognized. I am installing drivers but the intel wifi icon when hovered over says "Driver not Installed." Any help out there?

    Happy Labor Day

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