Having problems installing Windows XP


Aug 16, 2021
I tried to install Windows XP on a HP 256 G3 Laptop and I got a BSOD on “Setup is starting Windows” during the textmode setup. Error code is 0x000000A5.
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Hello @eeeepc - welcome to Computer Forums 👋

I will preface this with something you probably already know: Windows XP is now very out of date and should’nt ever be connected to the internet as chances of malware are a lot higher than with more modern OSes.

With that said, there’s a couple of things you can try.
I suspect your machine might be a bit too new to successfully run XP natively, in which case I would recommend using something like Virtualbox to run XP. This will also let you share files to/from XP which can be quite convenient.

As a rule of thumb any machine made after 2008 will have hit and miss compatibility, anything after 2012 is unlikely to be able to run it at all. Check your CPU supports 32 bit, if it doesn’t you can try the 64 bit version of XP but this can be very hard to find drivers for.

One other thing you could try is hitting F6 when prompted to do so via the setup but unless you can find XP native drivers for this machine this is probably a dead end.

Let us know how you get on 🙂
Thanks for the advice. I’d rather update to Windows 8.1 or 10.

CPU: Intel Core i3-4030U

GPU: Nvidia GeForce 830M

4GB of ram

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In this case it should be pretty easy. As far as I’m aware as long as the machine came with Windows 7, 8 or 10 it should automatically be licensed to run 10.

All you need is another PC and a USB stick. You can use the media creation tool to create a USB that will let you install W10:

Media Creation Tool
Since this laptop came out in 2014 before Windows 10 it was a Windows 7 machine. Also I’m running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
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It should hopefully work okay with Windows 10 in that case: it’s been a while since I’ve installed 10 on a machine that came with 7, but if you are asked for a product key during installation it should hopefully accept the 7 one on the machine.
Since I’m running an ubuntu on the laptop I can’t use the Media Creation Tool because ubuntu can’t run .exe apps I rather download the raw .iso file
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Ah in that case the site ‘should’ let you download the ISO but your mileage may vary. Let me know if this doesn’t work for you and I will see if there is another way.
Since the .iso file is more than 5GB and doubled with my crappy wi-fi speed it will take ages to complete
I used Media Creation Tool before. Even though my internet speed is crap I let the MCT download the iso from the internet overnight with no problems.
Fantastic! Hopefully this will install okay and get the machine on W10 with no issues.