This guide covers how to install Windows XP on the Gateway P-6831FX, it also works for many other laptops in the Gateway FX series.
To install Windows XP on the laptop you will need an XP installer disc, duh! The installer disc that I am using has Service Pack 2 slipstreamed onto it. You will also need internet access and some way to transfer files to the laptop other than a network connection because neither the wireless or wired internet connections will work out-of-the-box after installing XP. You will need to get the wireless and wired networking drivers to the laptop via USB Drive, CD-R/DVD-R, or by removing the hard drive and connecting it to a different computer that is capable of using a SATA hard drive. I used a CD-RW to get the drivers onto the laptop and later found out that I could plug the hard drive into my desktop computer using SATA to transfer all my files over to it.
Before Installing XP
Of course you should back up all your files and use the Gateway recovery software to create a backup of your Windows Vista drivers before doing anything else. Installing Windows XP will void your warranty, I know this is ridiculous, but I have even called Gateway’s “Customer Care” to confirm it, so think that over before you continue.
- Download this guide as a .txt document.
- Download the auto installation program for the laptop’s LAN drivers.
- Download the Wireless networking drivers for the laptop from Gateway’s website.
- Put these files on a USB Drive or burn them to a disc so you will be able to install them on the laptop and then have internet access.
- Start or restart the computer.
- At the Gateway boot-up screen press F10 to enter the BIOS setup, then use the arrow keys to navigate to the “Advanced” tab and set “SATA Controller Mode Option” to “Compatibility”. This disables AHCI mode, which isn’t needed if you don’t have a hard drive RAID set up, it also allows the Windows XP Setup to detect the SATA hard drive without needing to install any drivers for it.
- Once you have set it to Compatibility press F10 to Save and Exit. The computer will reboot.
- Insert your Windows XP installation CD in the DVD tray and press F2 at the Gateway Boot-up screen to enter the boot menu, then choose to boot from the DVD drive.
- Install Windows XP.
- Once you are at the desktop you can fix the desktop resolution for now by right clicking on the desktop, opening “Properties“, going to the “Settings” tab, and setting the resolution to “1440 x 900 pixels“.
Install Network Drivers
- Copy the files from Before Installing XP’s Step 4 to your desktop from whatever media type you stored them on.
- Extract the files from PCIE_Install_5686(installshield 12_1.16)_0219.zip
- Open the PCIE_Install_5686(installshield 12_1.16)_0219 directory and run Setup.exe to install the Realtek LAN Driver.
- Run D00734-001-001.exe
- Navigate to C:\cabs\D00734-001-001\XP\Drivers\ and run DPInst32.exe to install the Intel Wireless Driver
Install Intel Chipset Drivers
- Download Intel Chipset Drivers.
- Extract the files from infinst_autol.zip
- Run Setup.exe
- Reboot the laptop.
Install .NET Framework 3.5
- Download Windows Installer 3.1
- Run WindowsInstaller-KB893803-v2-x86.exe
- Download .NET Framework 3.5
- Run dotNetFx35setup.exe
IDT/SigmaTel Audio Driver
- Download the IDT/SigmaTel Audio Driver from Gateway.
- Run D20253-001-001.exe
- Navigate to C:\cabs\D20253-001-001\HDAQFE\xpsp2\us\ and run kb888111xpsp2.exe to install the High Definition Audio Driver Package – KB888111.
- Download 92XXM4-10DM.INI and Sthda.ini
- Move 92XXM4-10DM.INI and Sthda.ini to C:\cabs\D20253-001-001\WDM\WinXP\, replacing the existing files.
- Open the Device Manager by clicking Start > Run (or by pressing WinLogo+R) and typing “devmgmt.msc” in the run box and clicking “OK”.
- Under “Unknown Devices” right-click on “Audio Device on High Definition Audio Bus” and select “Update Driver“.
- In the Update Wizard select “No, not this time,” then choose to “install from a list or specific location“.
- Include this location in the search: C:\cabs\D20253-001-001\WDM\WinXP\ and Windows will install the drivers.
- Download the Modem Driver from Gateway.
- Run D20185-002-001.exe
- Navigate to C:\Cabs\D20185-002-001\ and run Setup.exe
Synaptics Device Drivers
- Download the Synaptics Device Drivers for the Synaptics TouchPad. Make sure it’s the Windows XP one.
- Run Synaptics_Driver_v10_1_8_XP32.exe
- Double-click the Synaptics Pointing Device icon in the System Tray (lower right corner of screen) to configure it.
The right side of your TouchPad should scroll properly now.
NVIDIA Display Driver
At this time the NVIDIA website does not have drivers for the GeForce 8800M series, instead it tells you to check the laptop manufacturer’s website. Gateway doesn’t have these drivers on their website for XP users, so download a forceware driver and use a modified INF file.
- Download the NVIDIA ForceWare 167.58 driver for Windows XP and the Modded INF file. The Modded INF file is to the right of the driver.
- Run 16758.exe
- Move nv4dispd.inf, the Modded INF file, into 171.16\167.58\. “Yes,” you would like to replace the existing one with this one.
- Run Setup.exe
- Reboot the laptop.
Do not install “A-FOUR TECH CO.,LTD. – Input Devices – Compatible USB Port Mouse,” it is an optional hardware update and gives you a BSOD. If you accidentally do install it then your computer will restart itself, press F8 at boot for Windows boot options and then choose to boot with the last known good configuration.
Download and install the latest Broadcom Bluetooth Drivers.
The installer will place a “My Bluetooth Places” icon on the desktop, I made a registry file that will delete it. Download the registry file, run it, and then refresh your desktop by clicking on it and pressing the F5 key.
Wallpapers are available here: gateway_p-6831fx_wallpapers.zip
Service Pack 3
Upgrading to SP3 from SP2 may break the drivers, I have successfuly got audio working with these steps on both a SP2 and SP3 slipstream installs. SP3 users can skip the step involving the KB888111 patch.