Windows XP on the Gateway P-6831FX

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.

  1. Download this guide as a .txt document.
  2. Download the auto installation program for the laptop’s LAN drivers.
  3. Download the Wireless networking drivers for the laptop from Gateway’s website.
  4. 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.
  5. Start or restart the computer.
  6. 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. P-6831FX BIOS Disable AHCI
  7. Once you have set it to Compatibility press F10 to Save and Exit. The computer will reboot.

Install XP

  1. 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.
  2. Install Windows XP.
  3. 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

  1. Copy the files from Before Installing XP’s Step 4 to your desktop from whatever media type you stored them on.
  2. Extract the files from PCIE_Install_5686(installshield 12_1.16)
  3. Open the PCIE_Install_5686(installshield 12_1.16)_0219 directory and run Setup.exe to install the Realtek LAN Driver.
  4. Run D00734-001-001.exe
  5. Navigate to C:\cabs\D00734-001-001\XP\Drivers\ and run DPInst32.exe to install the Intel Wireless Driver

Install Intel Chipset Drivers

  1. Download Intel Chipset Drivers.
  2. Extract the files from
  3. Run Setup.exe
  4. Reboot the laptop.

Install .NET Framework 3.5

  1. Download Windows Installer 3.1
  2. Run WindowsInstaller-KB893803-v2-x86.exe
  3. Download .NET Framework 3.5
  4. Run dotNetFx35setup.exe

IDT/SigmaTel Audio Driver

  1. Download the IDT/SigmaTel Audio Driver from Gateway.
  2. Run D20253-001-001.exe
  3. Navigate to C:\cabs\D20253-001-001\HDAQFE\xpsp2\us\ and run kb888111xpsp2.exe to install the High Definition Audio Driver Package – KB888111.
  4. Download 92XXM4-10DM.INI and Sthda.ini
  5. Move 92XXM4-10DM.INI and Sthda.ini to C:\cabs\D20253-001-001\WDM\WinXP\, replacing the existing files.
  6. Open the Device Manager by clicking Start > Run (or by pressing WinLogo+R) and typing “devmgmt.msc” in the run box and clicking “OK”. Run Device Manager
  7. Under “Unknown Devices” right-click on “Audio Device on High Definition Audio Bus” and select “Update Driver“. Device Manager - Audio Device on High Definition Audio Bus
  8. In the Update Wizard select “No, not this time,” then choose to “install from a list or specific location“.
  9. Include this location in the search: C:\cabs\D20253-001-001\WDM\WinXP\ and Windows will install the drivers.

Modem Driver

  1. Download the Modem Driver from Gateway.
  2. Run D20185-002-001.exe
  3. Navigate to C:\Cabs\D20185-002-001\ and run Setup.exe

Synaptics Device Drivers

  1. Download the Synaptics Device Drivers for the Synaptics TouchPad. Make sure it’s the Windows XP one.
  2. Run Synaptics_Driver_v10_1_8_XP32.exe
  3. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. Run 16758.exe
  3. Move nv4dispd.inf, the Modded INF file, into 171.16\167.58\. “Yes,” you would like to replace the existing one with this one.
  4. Run Setup.exe
  5. Reboot the laptop.

Windows Updates

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.

Bluetooth Drivers

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:

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.

234 thoughts on “Windows XP on the Gateway P-6831FX”

  1. @jed:
    I still have those. I read that the three unknown devices with ids such as “acpipnp0c321” are for Windows Vista’s direct application launch. In Windows Vista you would download the “Hot Start Utility” from Gateway to get the keys working. They wouldn’t be unknown because Vista recognizes them. Windows XP isn’t capable of this so you’re probably out of luck on that.

  2. although i haven’t installed XP yet, i will definately use this guide when i dual boot with XP. thanks for all your hard work.

  3. @Tinman – I’ve been searching, looking for the hotkeys app but have not come across anything yet – thanks for confirming!

  4. THANKS !!!!!

    Just got a P-171XLFLX laptop, trying to get XP installed and it’s been frustrating. I was close, but that Audio Driver really threw me for a loop. Thanks for those INF files, did the trick.

    Never would have found the answer on my own. There are newer drivers for Nvidia cards @

    Got these loaded on mine, worked great so far.

    Dude, major Kudos to getting this site up. I was thinking of doing the same thing to help other users out there if I ever got mine working, man, really thanks for the info.

  5. I have the P 171S FX. I installed XP so I can duel boot. I followed your directions but I can’t seem to get the sound working. I don’t have a problem under other devices for sound. My problem is under the sound video and game controllers area. The IDT High Definition Audio codec is giving me my problem. Allthough Under other devices I still have a SM Bus Controller problem. I wonder if they are connected in some way? Anyways I was wondering if you might have any suggestions. I can send you screenshots if you would like. Oh by the way everything else I needed to fix worked perfectly using your instructions. Thanks for the awesome info.

  6. The mass storage went away after installing Windows Updates, Windows installed that driver for me. The screenshot was taken before that step.

    I will e-mail you about the sound problem. I have nothing to go by with it right now since my laptop is a different model.

  7. Thanks, will try setting this up this weekend

    How would gateway even know XP was on, if you have problems reload Vista and call Gateway

  8. @Dave: If you ever have to send in the laptop they would be able to tell, over the phone they wouldn’t. I think one of the reasons for them having the warranty void if you install over Vista could be the recovery partition; if you modify the partitions by installing a different OS than what it ships with then you risk making a mistake and loosing that partition. That’s probably something that they don’t want to deal with. Their tech support line in Ohio is horrible.

  9. lol, first thing I did was to blow away the 10 gig partition, then a week later I installed 2 x 160 GB 7200 RPM drives.

    I guess we’ll see what Best Buy says if i ever have to bring it in.

  10. jusat finihsed the instal

    Works great

    Thanks so much

    I was having a heck of a time trying to locate the Audio drivers for this.

  11. I have my speakers manually balanced with the equalizer pretty well, and I haven’t found any drivers to get the built-in mic to work. I use a headset most of the time to have a good perception of right and left with 3D sound in games so that hasn’t bothered me. If I figure it out I’ll update the guide.

  12. I am trying to get this to work, but as soon as I install the ChipsetDrivers and reboot the laptop it says that it cannot find an operating system. Basically the laptop crashes.

  13. Thank you so much for this tutorial! Everything works perfectly. I’m not sure, but are there any drivers for the built in card reader? I wasn’t sure so I thought I’d ask.

    At any rate, thank you for this resource. It allowed me to finally ditch the memory hog Microsoft calls vista and go back to what worked well, XP. I still cant figure out why Microsoft allowed the release of another disaster OS similar to Windows ME.

  14. The card reader worked for me without having to install any drivers, in My Computer I have a Removable Disk drive that is the card reader, I’ve only tested an xD-Picture Card in it, but that worked fine.

  15. No I am not trying to dual boot.
    I have tried a slipstream install of WinXP Pro and also an OEM WinXP home. Both of them have pretty much the same problem.
    1 note I AM using a raid setup. I have no problems getting the raid set up and the system installs fine, but when I start adding drivers the chipset one for sure and also the synaptics driver causes my operating system error.

  16. TinMan I just wanted to thank you so much for this great guide! Vista was giving my so many problems, and I was about to lose it. I followed this guide and everything worked perfectly. Hopefully we can find a microphone driver soon, so I don’t have to buy a new mic.

  17. I finally got the install to work πŸ™ but could not get it to work in a RAID configuration. So now I have 2 250gb hard drives.
    If anyone was able to get this setup with RAID please let me know.
    I ended up buying a Sound blaster X-Fi express card. I prefer it over the mainboard sound… plus with the adapter I can have full 7.1 surround sound.

    Thanks for the instructions… worked for me, just hope someone can come up with a fix for RAID.

    I am upgrading to the T9300 CPU and a WUXGA screen… which Extreme CPU would work on this MB? I see the 171XL comes with an extreme 7800 but cant find this cpu anywhere to buy.

  18. Audio doesn’t work on my 6831fx. I get to step 7 and the device list specifies IDT HD Audio Codec. When I update the driver I get a “cannot continue” message. This is a dual boot install, btw.

    Any advice?

  19. Ok now another weird issue.
    I got a T9300 CPU and a wuxga lcd The LCD looks and appears to work great, the T9300 works and shows up as a t9300, but the issue is my FX now takes over 2-3 minutes to post then boot.
    Thats 2-3 minutes of just no activity just looks locked up, but then after the 2-3 minutes it boots/posts fine. Any ideas? I turn on visual post and right after the hard drives are recognized it just sits… no hard drive activity or cd rom activity for 2-3 minutes.

  20. I would guess that you might need to go into the BIOS and see if there are any settings related to your CPU that may need to be updated. Other than that I’d say to check forums about it and call Gateway’s horrible tech support.

  21. Yeah I been looking and looking and have not found any answers.
    I did notice something today, as my system is posting after it displays my CPU, RAM, it says 108 kb L2 Cache then system and video bias Shadowed (not sure what that is) then it loads the DVD and the two SATA hard drives then it sits for about 2 minutes, then mouse initiallized pops up and the rest of the boot up sequence is straight forward. Not sure what happens between Hard drive initilizing and the mouse initilizing. Any ideas?
    1 other thing I am also having raid issues. I tried to use win xp and was un able to find the proper raid drivers. Then I decided to go back to Vista. I was able to get the raid to load Vista no problems, but after I install ANY driver, let it be Chipset, Video, Sound, or even webcam… when the computer reboots I get a repeating message that says “Operating system not found” over and over.

  22. It sounds like a BIOS setting needs to be changed, calling Gateway should solve it.

    As for the RAID, I would recommend not bothering with RAID in XP unless you really need it since it seems to be such a bother. If you disable ACHI mode then RAID probably won’t work. I am assuming that you are installing with a SP2 CD with drivers also slipstreamed into it, otherwise the hard drives wouldn’t show up if you have RAID and AHCI enabled. I tried this route at first and then ditched it and disabled AHCI just because it was easy, I don’t need RAID on a laptop, and it cut down on a lot of steps to install XP.

  23. great guide. i was having a hell of a time hunting around laptopvideo2go. wasn’t sure what i was looking for. really appreciate the help. and this might be off topic but would you know anything about why i can’t run certain programs, always says i only have 4mb of virtual memory??? only happens when i boot xp. the vista side ;obviously, works fine.

  24. It sounds like Windows may have made your “pagefile” too small or something. Right-click on “My Computer”, select Properties, select the Advanced tab, find Performance and click Settings, select the Advanced tab on the new window, and make sure that the virtual memory at the bottom isn’t only 4MB, if it is then you probably need to change it.

  25. yeah actually you were right. when i set up my dual boot i must have screwed something up or overlooked the memory allocation. thanks man. much appreciated.

  26. i just bought a 6860fx… I’m assuming that this should all work with that laptop. Its basically just an upgraded version of the 6831fx… any thoughts?

  27. thats what i figured too… unfortunately I keep getting the BSOD when the xp disc is loading/copying setup files!

    I’m using a og disc, store bought. Had it for 5yrs, no scrathes or anything. Used it just a month ago sticking xp on a friends vista toshiba laptop.

  28. @Steve: Try using SP2, you would need to rip your XP CD and slipstream SP2 into a new CD image that you burn to a CD-R. You can easily do this with a program called nLite.

  29. Don’t know if this helps, but when I installed XP W/SP2 on my FX I had to alter some of the BIOS settings in order for it to run. I’m not really prepared to tell you which ones, but I’ll check mine and get back.

  30. ok like i said maybe this is just coincidence but i changed my SATA controller to compatibility mode and all seemed to work. i was getting the same bsod. however i’m still a noob at this stuff so i might have just been screwing up somewhere else and it was just dumb luck. but hey any input is better than none.

  31. Installing XP DOES NOT Void your warranty. I have talked to gateway and they have even helped me with websites for drivers to help me get it setup. Whoever told ya this is completely wrong. Just an FYI. I have XP on my version and have sent my laptop in to get the speakers and Mic replaced. all they do is format the drive and put Vista back on it.

  32. @Reds: Sorry about that then, the tech support person who I talked to said that re-partitioning the harddrive in any way other than upgrading your Vista version would void it, I found this ridiculous myself.

    The soundcard is IDT and they are dead in some ways and don’t have much of a support database, they just tell you that you need to contact the laptop manufacturer.

    I haven’t looked into the mic enough to even find out what kind of hardware it is. Any information on whether it’s a part of the internal USB Webcam or just a mic on it’s own would be helpful with that. I use a headset, but it would be nice to have a mic in the laptop sometimes.

  33. great article…really helped

    i have a question tho…when i click on the 2 little drivers needed to get the audio working it just takes me to a page with a bunch of coding, i cant download the drivers

  34. @alex: They are for Windows Vista’s “Direct Application Launch Button” that lets you open applications with the multimedia keys above the keyboard on the laptop. Windows XP doesn’t have the Direct Application Launch so there aren’t any drivers for those, they’re only supported to launch applications in Vista. They work fine for controlling media players in XP for me though.

  35. Well finally figured out why I had a slow boot, for some reason the BIOS setting for Legacy USB was interfering with the touchpad/mouse… I disabled it and it boots great.
    I went back to Vista raid, but I STILL hate Vista so i am going back to XP, I see nobody has gotten raid to work with XP so I guess its going to have to be 2 250GB 5400rpm drives πŸ™ I did run 3dMark 06 and got a 8100, not sure that good or bad with T9300, 500 gb Raid 0 5400rpm hard drives, WUXGA 1920X1200 with 3GB ram. I am going to start installing XP again… minus the Audio, since I plan on using my SB X-FI Express card. Thanks for the help… I am enjoying this laptop!!

  36. has anybody been able to play Crysis… I did everything in the instructions above and computer works great.. I just keep getting a black screen lockup when I run crysis?

  37. Great guide – Thank-you very much!! Just got my 6860 yesterday and am booting XP off of a small (80-Gb) spare HDD that I had. Only issues are the unknown devices as mentioned above.

  38. Guys, I just purchased a Gateway P172x FX and was wondering if anyone has tried these drivers on that notebook.

    I know they should work but was wondering if anyone actually used them. Thanks.


  39. Well, I went ahead and downloaded them all. They added up to a total of 250mb. I zipped them up, and split them up using winrar.

    Right now I am in the process of uploading them to a file sharing site to make it easier on everyone. When the upload is done I will share the links.

  40. @killabee44: For all the hardware that is the same the drivers will work, I’m not sure about the finger print reader or any of the hardware it has that is different.

    Split up packages where you have to wait in queues to download on sites with ads and then having to install an archive manager before installing drivers on a computer can be more of a nuisance to some than downloading the up-to-date drivers from official websites.

    I updated the .txt guide with direct links to the files to help out a bit:
    (At the bottom of the .txt)

  41. Tinman,

    I just saw your post. Thanks for the links. The zshare links only makes you wait 20 seconds. That is why I use it. If you feel it’s a nuisance plz feel free to delete my post.


  42. hi guys, anyone who tried and Esata connection with windows xp sp2 on this machine? I’m having trouble it seems it cant read my connected esata drive, Im using WD my book premium ES 500gb

  43. @olof: There aren’t any that I know of for the built-in mic. The mic port works fine though, I’ve been using it with Mumble and had no problems. If someone has Vista on this laptop and would like to send me information on what drivers it’s using for the built-in mic, that would help get it working in XP.

  44. XP Support for Webcam and Mic Please !!??

    I really need the webcam to work to speak to my family on Skype when away from home. I have tried the Bison driver from Acer, but no luck. Has anyone been able to get the Webcam and Mic going?

  45. @Traplinemechanic: The webcam should work out of the box with an XP SP2 install. Go to “My Computer” and it shows up in there. You can even use the Gateway Webcam utility from their website to record video with it. Read my above comment about the mic. I haven’t heard of anyone getting the built-in mic to work, but plugging in an external one works fine. If someone has Vista on the laptop and can determine what driver it uses for the built-in mic, that would help with figuring out how to get it to work in XP.

  46. I just followed these instructions to a T with a P-172S FX and it worked perfectly! I owe you a beer, TinMan.

    Regarding your last comment, since I still have Vista on the laptop if you tell me how to do it I will gladly tell you what the driver is for the mic. Just shoot me an email sometime.

    Thanks again SO much man!

  47. Hi I’ve got XP on my p6831fx but no sound. Going through the tutorial, I’m stuck on the audio driver section.

    When I go to run kb888111xpsp2.exe to install the High Definition Audio Driver Package – KB888111, I get the following error message:

    “Setup has detected that the service pack version of this system is newer than the update you are applying. There is no need to install this update.”

    I then replaced the 2 .ini files anyway, but there is no “Audio Device on High Definition Audio Bus” in my device manager, just the 3 unknown devices.

    I’m stuck, and any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  48. @Austin: It sounds like you have Service Pack 3 either built into your XP install or you’ve installed it after installing XP. I have not been able to install the audio drivers while XP SP3 is installed. I recommend doing a fresh install with Windows XP Service Pack 2, installing all the drivers, and then from what I’ve read from other people who own the laptop, you can safely upgrade to XP SP3. ( )

  49. Hello every 1 and happy fourth of july. Today is a great day for me i am now the proud owner of a gateway p6860fx running windows Xp 64 bit professional service pack 2 build 3790. Tinman i owe you more then a beer i bought my laptop about 2 months ago and had nothing but troubles with vista both 32/64 versions. the useless calculating when copying files to the most annoying thing ever created UAC. i got so mad once i didn’t even open the damn thing for like a week. Then i landed on this Page and remembered the good old days of XP. I instantly wiped both hard drives not even making back ups of anything i had. i just so happen to have a Valid copy of Windows Xp 64 bit Professional Laying around and decided to grab a beer while the friendly old ugly blue setup screen did its thing. Most of your driver links got me hooked up with what i needed and of course good old google did the rest. however there were two things that had me stumped for about a week the IDT sigmatel drivers and the usb 2.0 media card reader. I finally got the sound working by downloading your provided patch files with the gateway sound drivers and heres the trick to get it to work in WinXp 64. just go into the C:cabsD20253-001-001WDMWinXP folder and after you replace the 92XXM4-10DM.INI and Sthda.ini open up the sthda64.ini file and copy and paste this –> HDAUDIOFUNC_01&VEN_111D&DEV_76B0=92XXM4-10DM.INI <–onto an empty line underneath words [Model]. then go to device manager and scan for hardware changes. when prompted go to the winxp folder in cabs and install the driver. it actually works better then it did in vista. which doesn’t surprise me. this thing is so fast its pathetic i have x2 4 gb 1.4ghz DDR3 corsair ram chips and the stock processor and it eats through maya 2008 like its butter and even old school halo is unreal on this thing. i now Love my laptop. as for the media reader no luck yet it sees flash drive when i plug it in and lets me use it once but if i try to go back to flashdrive it says no appropriate permissions to use the drive not sure what thats all about but everything else works perfectly. ok thanks

  50. @RhinoXeros: Great to hear that you’ve got it working on 64-bit XP! Thanks for contributing that information, I might just try 64-bit XP when I buy another HDD to put in the empty SATA bay. I currently have Xubuntu 8.04 running on the 250gb SATA drive and I have my XP install on an 80GB external USB HDD. I made this guide because I tried Vista, I don’t mean that I just tried it, I mean that I forced myself to use it for a couple weeks and then I just couldn’t stand it so I looked into getting XP running on the laptop. It’s great to see desktop-replacement-laptops getting cheaper and better πŸ™‚

  51. I’ve had my mind set on this laptop for a week or so now. I can’t seem to find a better deal anywhere, and not to mention the recent update from p-6831 to p-6860 with no price change! I’m glad you researched into this, because I’ll be dual-booting into XP pro 32-bit.

    Also, should I look into purchasing a 7200rpm 2.5″ drive for it as well, or does the 5400rpm give enough speed for gaming? I’m looking Age of Conan, and other popular FPSs here.

  52. @Dragoon: I have read that Age of Conan runs well on the laptop, it’s a very demanding game, but that it still runs well. I run Crysis and on medium-high settings it runs fine. I would say that the 5400rpm HDD is all you need for file access speed with gaming (a faster harddrive might cut map loading times down a bit, that’s about it, games usually aren’t that dependent on hard drive speeds). If you are willing to spend the money on another drive I would tell you that if 250gb is going to be cutting it close with file space for you between XP and Vista, I myself would want each on their own drive with lots of room, so a 2nd hdd might be useful.

  53. Ok….

    This might be one of the best put together guides I have ever seen independent of the manufacturer. I mean really you did this all and then shared it with the world……

    You my friend have not only earned my respect and admiration but also 100 Internetz sir



  54. @predatorramboxx: As far as I know, nobody has gotten the built-in mic to work, and those 3 unknown devices are explained in the comments above. They are for the multimedia buttons on the top of the keyboard, they work in Windows Media Player and such fine, but do not launch applications like they would in Vista because XP does not support that.

  55. Hey RhinoXeros and did u guys get sound working on winxp 64bit? i did everything right and it works, but when i restart the computer it doesnt work anymore. The wierd thing is that i can hear windows sounds(like alert sounds and start up) but i cant hear anything on interent explorer etc. PLz help any advice would be helpful

  56. Another question for Rhino…

    I also tried installing winxp64, but I can’t seem to update my graphics drivers… did you have any trouble with that? The nVidia driver pack I downloaded claims to support winxp64, but it tells me it couldn’t find any drivers compatible with my hardware. Any advice?

  57. @Kris : we have p6860fx, this may be the difference here. I followed his steps exactly and I didn’t have any complications. What do you mean by sounds in Internet explorer? do you hear sounds in ‘Sounds and Audio Devices Properties’ ‘Sounds” tab? If yes then you driver is working and something in flash plugin(or whatever you use in IE) is not configured. What about media player?

  58. Hello every 1 for those of you scratching your heads over how to get xp 64 to run on the p6860fx here are the links to the drivers i am using on my laptop i uploaded them to rapidshare and have them compressed into rar files so make sure you have winrar available. to go along with the video driver i recommend downloading RivaTuner 2.09 if your a graphics guy like me as it solves some issues with viewports flipping around inside autodesk maya 2008 and 3dsmax2009. as for the microphone issue i use a headset and have no issues with sound or recording sound. oh p.s im here at the SIGGRAPH’08 conference and nvidia is announcing drivers for winxp 64 to be released in september. i guess a bunch of people who got the p6860fx complained enough for them to do something about it so keep an eye out at the nvidia site for legitimate drivers to be released. Heres a tip for the overlay problem disable the power management option inside nvidia control panel and set your multi display option to single dislpay. Back to my Character Rigging Have fun every 1

    p.s im hitting 14,784 3d marks on 3dmark06 for those wanting to know.

  59. Here is what i have found about the on-board microphone on the P-6860FX. The microphone does appear to be integrated to the webcam. If this is the case, the proper driver for the webcam should include the microphone. I have found that it may not be possible to use the on-board microphone at all without first activating it with the camera assistant software that was supplied with the notebook (of course only Vista x32 and Vista x64 versions of the software can be found on the Gateway site). The webcam/mic hardware is manufactured by Chicony Electronics Co.,Ltd. I don’t know if an XP version is in existence at this time, or even if the manufacturer’s camera assistance software can solve the problem. Maybe someone can follow this lead and have better luck than I; as of yet each of my attempts to connect to the Chicony site or any link to the software download has failed…
    the software version, if it exists, should probably look like this:
    Camera Assistant (xxx.xxxx being earlier than 036.0614, the earliest version for Vista x32 I saw on Gateway).

  60. good article!
    worked fine to my p-172s-FX
    Just a question: memory card reader appears as a removable disk… is that normal? can i change this? can i hide “Safely Remove Hardware” icon?

  61. just read after searching around that the webcam software camera assistant driver for vista on gateway site works for xp too. it seems to be backward compartible. i am not sure if it works but i will give i a try to see if it is. anyone has try this already please post with advice. thanks.

  62. @bruno: Thanks, that’s good to hear. Seeing it as a removable disk is normal. I do not know how you could change it, haven’t looked into it. Yes, you can hide the “Safely Remove Hardware” icon. Right-click the taskbar, Properties > Check “Hide Inactive Icons” > Customize, and it will be in there.

    @jjone: The webcam doesn’t require any drivers, it works out of the box with XP, but yes, Gateway’s Chicony Camera Assistant Software works with it. I don’t use it though as it is not necessary to have to be able to use the webcam.

  63. Hey TinMan, i noticed a lot of people are using a USB floppy drive for some reason, but in your tutorial you say you can use a USB drive (I.E Keychain jumpdrive?) or a CDRW.

    My laptop is the 6860, would i be able to just burn the drivers to a CD or my USB jumpdrive??

    i have no idea how to create a floppy with windows on it or anythingg…my XP 32 bit is on a cd

    Thanks so much for your time

  64. @Mike M: By USB drive I do mean a “USB Flash Drive/JumpDrive,” whatever you want to call it. Yes, either method – CDRW or JumpDrive – would work fine.

  65. Hi TinMan,
    Great Post!!! I just picked up a P-7811 FX. From what you know, does this guide apply to us as well? I gather only except for the Chipset drivers which obviously need to be the Centrino Duo chipset. Am I correct?

  66. Dragoon, just fyi, I’m getting a 160gb 7200rpm 2.5″ drive from for under 50.00. My take is, it’s a change that will make the whole laptop run up to 50% faster on loading and swapping, so why not? I’ll just do the usual- partition off 20 gig for XP alone, 20 more for programs and use all of the rest for programs and games. That way I can optimize the OS, programs and games separately, and I find doing that keeps the machine from bogging down over time.

    Plus, this system supports dual hard drives, so I can put the original drive over to the other side and use it for in-system backups. The Vista install is on NTFS, so I don’t even have to mess with it to put files on it. If I’m traveling and want battery life, I’ll just take it out πŸ˜€

    Thanks TM for this awesome guide! I got nlite and slipstreamed in XP SP1, SP3 and all the drivers, just burnt the ISO to a DVD and tried it out. It’s ready to rock and roll the minute I get my new drive πŸ™‚

  67. Hi TinMan,

    Thanks for the amazing howto… .was a relief to find everthing documented at one place.

    I have just taken in a M-6843, will the above howto apply to it as well?

    Has anyone tried it?


  68. Odd. They are building systems to only work with Vista and not backwards compatible with XP? Anyway, thanks for this guide. It helped me 100 percent. Without it, I would have been up a creek….for awhile πŸ™‚

  69. Ok, I’m will do this but I wanna know if all the ports will work after installing . I see that theres no problem with USB ports… but what about the one for external video, those for digital cameras, etc.

    I mean a list of all the ports working fine after Xp installation.

    ty for the guide ^^

  70. Working fine: USB, 5-in-1 Digital Media Manager (card reader), audio in, audio out, VGA (the video port with pins that looks similar to a serial interface), RJ-11/telephone fax, and RJ-45/Ethernet LAN.

    Unconfirmed but should work: eSATA (with intel drivers for it), 4-pin IEEE 1394 Firewire, and the Express card slot.

    As of now I have not read of anyone getting the following to work: HDMI – I haven’t tried it myself, and the built-in mic that accompanies the webcam – I can confirm that it doesn’t work with this guide that I wrote and I am unaware as to how to get it working, I just use the audio-in port and a headset microphone at the moment.

  71. I recently helped a friend install Win XP on to his M-6864FX and used some info from your guide, thanks man.

    Here are some updates:
    Installed with Win XP SP2 (Slipstreamed Sata/ Network and Wireless Drivers)
    Installed IE 7
    Installed SP3

  72. @Christopher: Yes, I have. Many others have posted comments on the differences in a 64-bit install above. My model, the P-6831FX has 3gb of RAM in dual-channel (1x 1gb, 1x 2gb) so it isn’t necessary to access all of the memory.
    If you’re not running more than 4gb of RAM then you don’t really need a 64-bit OS to access it. I would recommend only using a 64-bit OS if you have 64-bit applications to run, do intense video/audio encoding or model rendering, or have more than 4gb of ram and have applications that actually use it.

    Read these:

  73. Neopulse – I’m not sure you know this or not but the gateway site has updated the audio drivers. Could you do your magic with the 2 config files (or detail what you do and I could modify them) as they don’t seem to work with the ‘updated’ driver set.

  74. @josmol: All you really have to do is look at them in a text editor and compare them to the other ones to see what I’ve done with them. They still work on the old driver.

  75. thanks for your quick reply! I actually did that last night and saw the few lines you modified. I haven’t tried it yet but will today and see what happens. Thanks buddy!

  76. Thanks for the great writeup!
    Anyone else running p-173x?

    So far everything has worked great,
    But I can’t seem to get the wireless drivers to work for XP
    Tried the Intel drivers found posted here, with no luck. As far as I can tell it’s using a Realtek Wireless card, not a Intel one.

  77. Thanks for a good article. Just bought a M-6843 (3GB RAM) from Best Buy. Had to slipstream the drivers for the HDD (see article on n-lite & Intel chips for details) but otherwise ok.

    However the display/monitor drivers above don’t seem to work. Anybody have any luck?


  78. @RasterBill: You are correct, it seems that model has a Realtek Wireless card. I would read the manual that it came with to find out the specific model of the card and then try to locate drivers for it by that, there might even be official XP ones on the Gateway website!

    @Leo738: As long as you have a nvidia GeForce 8800M GS it should work. I would recommend asking about the drivers on the “Laptop Video 2 Go” forums –

  79. Tinman,

    Thanks for the reply. Turns out the M-6843 doesn’t have a Nvidia chip! It’s an Intel controller (965 Express Chipset Family) and can be downloaded directly from intel here:

    The Intel SATA & RAID drivers can be slipstreamed with nLite as I mentioned before. Here’s a forum showing how to do it:

    Thanks again,


  80. i gettin the laptop soon and i downgrading to xp i just don’t understand the
    Install Network Drivers

    1. Copy the files from Before Installing XPÒ€ℒs Step 4 to your desktop from whatever media type you stored them on.

    does this mean install the drivers after you have installed xp or what.
    btw it’s a great guide.

  81. thanks tinman you are the best!, que este tema no decaiga!! saludos a todos desde argentina. my english is very bad.. somebody know how bios update for this notebook? i have old bios and would like bios update for 94.28(this is good? somebody test this bios?) thanks for all and I wait for reply ..

  82. @Tom1234: It means that when you install XP you will not have networking so you won’t be able to connect to the internet to install the networking drivers, so download them first and save them to a media (USB or CD-R) so that you can load them onto the laptop once XP is installed and setup your networking with them.

    @gonzalo: I have not tried the BIOS update, but I will soon. It should not affect this guide at all, but it might clear the AHCI mode setting above, so you may have to reset that to compatibility mode after the BIOS update.

  83. What is the purpose of the windows installer 3.1 ? And to a lesser extent the .net 3.5 (i know this is used by a number of user made programs, but wasnt sure otherwise).

    BTW thanks for this info, im in the process of doing of doing XP Pro installs tonight. Gonna try 32 bit and see how much memory I have available, then if its only 3 gigs total, i’ll roll over to 64-Bit and hope I can make all the drivers work.

    Ive read a few bits above about 64-Bit drivers, but if theres any other little hints or tips i’d love to hear them.

    Thanks !

  84. @WarS: The first time I attempted installing the audio drivers I ran into some runtime errors and installing those packages fixed it, so I listed them just in case.

    I plan on re-writing the guide for current drivers with Service Pack 3 on 32-bit XP very soon, I might try 64-bit also just to see what’s different as far as what works and doesn’t.

  85. Thank you for the reply. Ideally Im thinking I want XP 64, however drivers are always difficult for it. I noted your above post about not truly needing 64 vs 32 bit with only 4 gigs of memory. Makes good sense but if we have 4 gigs (2x2gig) of memory (im on the 6860fx atm) and the OS only sees 3 gigs of that for use after video and other systems, would it be a solid performance boost to shoot for a 64 bit system so you can take advantage of that extra 1 gig of memory ? In your opinion. Im still torn as I read more about it, and sometimes I see a lot of whats out there on the subject can be conflicting and sometimes just opinions / guesses, so I dont quite feel educated about it yet.

  86. Update –

    Installing XP 32 on the P-6860FX will cause the system to only see 3 gigs of installed RAM. I tried out the /pae command quick modify the boot.ini file to use it, but the system still saw only 3 gigs of RAM. I didnt try turning on /dep with it, just used the setup for /pae without /dep.

    Moving on to the XP 64 install atm. I’ll give and update on how that went and which drivers I used.

    Also Ive not posted on too many topics in this format so if there is a post limit here etc let me know and i’ll just keep everything to one big post when Im done.

  87. @WarS: It is fine to continue replying in the same fashion.

    @gonzalo: The Gateway website does not say what is changed in the driver update, nor do the actual update files.
    My laptop, the P-6831FX shipped with BIOS version 94.25.08, the current version on the Gateway website is 94.28. You might as well update if your BIOS version is older than that. BIOS updates usually feature fixes for issues that users have run into over time, patches to security vulnerabilities, and/or fan speed fixes to better regulate the computer’s temperature.

  88. Update –

    XP 64 install went smooth as silk. I have a SP1 disc so I installed XP 64, then installed the SP2 for it. Then went to windows update and updated all the fixes. Then went for the drivers.

    Chipset – Used guide driver – its 64 bit as well. Intel website.
    Video – Laptop2Go (using 178.15).
    Audio – Used the link for RhinoXeros’s file above.
    Ethernet – Used guide driver – its 64 as well.
    Wireless – Intel website – 4965 AGN – its 64 bit as well.
    Storage Controller – Windows Update had this in the list.
    Modem – Successfully installed off Vista 64 driver. Not tested.
    Bluetooth – didnt bother with – dont use it.
    Webcam – Havent tried.
    Mic – Havent tried – though some were having issues before ?

    Im pretty sure the bluetooth above is 64 bit as well or has a 64 bit version, didnt check it out though as I dont use bluetooth. Disabled this device.

    I still have the 3 “unknown” devices ACPIPNP0C321 (theres 2 and 3 as well). As I understand it these 3 devices are for the light up media keys on the laptop and dont have drivers for XP. I just disabled them for the time being. I dont really use them anyways.

    Notes – everything runs very smooth. Im impressed. The sound is decent if i turn up all the equalizer settings in the IDT audio control. Otherwise its not quite as loud as it was under vista 64. So not sure if I could use a better driver here or not.

    However I feel as if video quality is actually a bit higher using XP 64 and the above drivers. Using VLC lan the video is so much better looking. Less pixelated.

    Ive run CoD4, CoH, and a few other games so far. Completely stable and beautiful. Again I think video quality is stronger.

    I had previously used Vista 64 for about 5 months before moving to this install. I had vista 64 trimmed down considerably on all the graphical eye candy and unnecessary services and it still felt fairly sluggish on this laptop. This XP 64 install is very fast and I dont feel the sluggishness. So far im extremely pleased with the results.

    I will work on the other drivers and then testing the various components as time permits.

    I again thank you all for this guide and the replies throughout, helped me get a solid foundation for doing the installs.

  89. Thanks for the great guide! I was able to get XP sp3 running on this laptop. Your guide and the responses saved me a ton of time.

  90. xp 64 pro sp2.
    blue tooth and webcam works.

    audio is unbalanced though.
    hdmi audio and internal mic is no go.

    thanks for the guide and RhinoXeros

  91. I just reinstalled XP, this time from a cd with SP2 and possibly other updates, that I may not have needed, and had lots of problems with the audio drivers. It would not show up in the device manager even after installing the kb888111. In frustration I ran the setup.exe in the cabs folder for the driver, that did not help. I went ahead and installed everything else, and after installing SP3 it recognized the sound card in the device manager, but the installation was borked at this point. Installing the driver per the instruction would result in an error message. What finally fixed it was going into add/remove programs and uninstalling the drivers that were put in when i ran the setup.exe. Updating the drivers then finally worked and I now have sound.

  92. hi,i made a mistake, i use win disc to install the system again on my 6860 but i loose my recovery console on start menu. and also i cant get in the recovery menu at startup withF8, so i want to know if there is some way to re install that app.
    So, the recovery partition is unusefull…

    sorry my english, cheers from Argentina!!!

  93. @federico: I’m not exactly sure of what you are saying, but if you have erased your recovery partition on the hard drive then you cannot recover that. Just re-install XP or Vista and you will not need it.

  94. Greetings!

    I picked up a P-6313 recently, told by the sales guy at Fry’s that it was XP-compatible. I’m not so sure. I’ve installed the network drivers per the instructions here. I’ve got wired connectivity, but not wireless. I figure maybe the chipsets are different, but can’t tell what chipset’s this one uses. Anybody gotten wireless working on a P-6313 or any suggestions?


  95. @GdB: That information is not correct, XP Home would work fine on the laptop and both cores would be used. XP Home does not support multiple CPUs, it DOES support multiple cores on a single CPU, and they will both show up in the task manager unless you have a problem.
    Source –

    @Bill: Here is Gateway’s list of components for the P-6313
    Here is the Gateway main page for your laptop:
    Try this driver:

  96. I have a Gateway P-6831FX, and installed XP on it the day i got it, used this guied to do it and i didnt have any problems setting it up, Great guide. I do have a question though, can i upgread my driver for my video card {GeForce 8800M GTS } to the current one or is that not possable, i have gone to the nvidia site and downloaded the newest one and it gives me an error saying that there is no compatible hardward for the driver version, i also ran the nvidia scanning tool and it said i had to get it from gateway. I havent really run into any issues with this but it would be nice to know if it is possable, snd how to do it.

  97. @Stumblinforward: Yes, you can upgrade the driver. nvidia’s official drivers do not support it because they want you to go to Gateway for the video driver, when Gateway doesn’t even offer up-to-date video drivers for Vista, it is a bit confusing.
    You can download the latest driver here:
    You need to download the “Driver” and the “Modded INF”
    Their basic instructions are as follows:
    1. Download driver, double click and select extract,
    2. Download modded INF and replace original INF in extracted folder,
    3. Install & reboot.

    Look here if you run into issues installing or are confused about what to do with the INF file:

  98. Hi…I own a FX6860 laptop; but Im having some trouble making the eSATA work under XP sp2, any thoughts ??
    ……Thnx for the whole guide…it’s beautiful…thnx.

  99. Hello once again fellow p6860fx users. For everyone having issues with the unbalanced audio and internal mic and hdmi not working this is for you. first off this is kinda tricky but the way i see it is its better then going back to vista so bear with me and we will have mics and hdmiout in just a short time. ok here we go we need the latest drivers from gateway the 5939’s so go to gateway and download the drivers and extract them to the desktop. now go to DesktopIDT_Audiov5939WDMWinXP
    and select all the files and copy them. then go back one folder and open the vista folder and paste all the xp files into the vista folder overwrite whatever pops up. now open up the file named M4-11DM.INI with notepad or notepad++ and paste this—> HDAUDIOFUNC_01&VEN_111D&DEV_76B0&SUBSYS_107B0692=this
    HDAUDIOFUNC_01&VEN_111D&DEV_76B0&SUBSYS_107B0692=M4-11DM.INI <—-
    onto empty lines with the rest of the entries and save the files then go to device manager and click IDT High Definition Audio Codec and update the drivers by selecting no not this timeinstall from a list or specific locationDont search. I will choose the driver to installHave Disk and then browse to C:Documents and SettingsYOURNAMEDesktopIDT_Audiov5939WDMVistaSthda64.inf and install the driver. when its done you will get an error saying this device cannot start. So now reboot your computer and when its back up and running go to device manager and rollback the driver to 5615 i know this sounds like whats the point but we need the reg entries from vista to get everything working and when we rollback our driver the entries stay in regedit which is what we need to open up. now so go to run and type in regedit and click go when regedit pops up navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlClass{4D36E96C-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}YOUR NUMBER MIGHT BE DIFFERENT THEN MINE SO CLICK THE FOLDER WITH A PLUS SIGN NEXT TO ITSettingspin and here is where the magical stuff happens. the reason why the internal mic doesnt work and hdmiout is because these pin settings are for the 9205 codec and we need the 92HD71B8X codec so heres what i did hopefully this isnt to complicated but it took me about 3 months before i figured all this out as there is no one on the net who is messing with this driver. go back to your vista folder on the desktop and open up the M4-11DM.INI with editor of choice mine is notepad++ as it allows you to fold the unneeded stuff and focus on what you want. If you scan through the file you will see entries for the pin folder starting with pinA and ending with pin27 heres the problem and the solution you need to change all the pin settings in regedit to match the pin settings in the m4-11dm.ini file also you need to do this for the controlset002 folder as well and then reboot your machine and boom you will have everything working as it should of been in vista only better. now the gateway usb 2.0 webcam software sucks as when you try to record sound from it it pixx up like all this strange interference but the messengers use it correctly to bypass the gateway usb software i recommend a program known as blaze media pro which has mass amounts of options you can tweak for video and audio recording or vlc media player which is lighter on options but again gets the job done. also last but not least do not try to use compression on the video or the audio it will not record if you need to compress then do it to the wave or avi files that are recorded for you. this was all done on windows xp professional x64 i have not tried it on 32 bit version but it should work there as well but this is directed at the p6860fx. if your scared about messing with the registry then make a backup before modding the pin settings. also when your done make sure that the digital mic is set to record and not the cd player. by tweaking the idt control panel ok thats about it for hdmiout and internal mic also the speakers are now balanced correctly. i am a 3d model designer and dont have much time to make an installer for all this so maybe tinman or some other genius out there can get this working for the less tech savvy. but this is my contribution to the site take it or leave it for what its worth ok every 1 good luck and merry christmas to all RhinoXeros

  100. oh p.s. just looked at comment and noticed an error do not copy

    into the M4-11DM.INI FILE this entry needs to go in to the sthda.ini and sthda64.ini files on empty lines ok c ya round like donuts

  101. I have upgraded to XP just fine. I ordered a new cpu but when i installed it, I just got a black screen and it won’t boot. All the lights are on and I don’t have a clue what’s going on.

  102. Does anyone have the 94.29 bios driver? I for some reason updated the bios to 94.28 and now all i get is the blue screen of daeth and unable to do anything.

  103. Ummmm after reading my last entry i myself became confused so i am just going to try something else for the noobs out there. here is a link —> <— to my sound driver i have currently running on windows xp professional x64. download the sound driver and extract it to your desktop. Inside you will find 2 .reg files and the sound driver folder. now press the ” Windows key + R ” to bring up the run panel and type devmgmt.msc to get to device manager. from here your going to want to click on the IDT High Definition Audio Codec or the unknown device on the hd audio bus if this is your first install of the driver and click the driver tab. Now click the update driver button and then from here select ” no not this time ” ” install from a specific location ” and now browse to the sound driver folder you extracted to your desktop and install the audio driver if it asks for sthda64.sys then simply direct it to the same folder and install your sound driver. Reboot your computer and when windows is up and running press the ” Windows key + R ” and type ” regedit ” and browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlClass{4D36E96C-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318} and check to see which folder has a plus sign next to it. If it is 0015 then you are good to go and can go back to the P6860FXSoundXP folder on your desktop and double click the .reg files to enable your internal mic and hdmiout once you have done this reboot your computer and everything will work as it should. In the case that you have a number other then 0015 in the registry then you will have to open up the .reg files and change all the 0015’s to w/e number has a plus sign next to it. when your done double click the .reg files and reboot the computer. As i said before the gateway webcam str8 suxx so i recommend blaze media pro if you want to record yourself with the webcam or the latest vlc media player. Both programs are great for recording audio and video. Do not use compression of any kind with any program do this afterwards with something like quicktime or tmpgenc. also bring up the IDT control panel and make sure that the recorder of choice is set to the digital mic not the cd player. I have tested this driver with all messengers currently popular and none have any issues with sound or video quality. and last but not least Enjoy this wonderfull machine its not gateways fault that they had to release vista with this they are locked into a contract with microsoft you should thank them for bundling such great components inside the case for 1300$. and also IDT is not worth blaming as they make chips not drivers i know this has been frustrating for all of us and i would like to thank TINMAN for his excellent webpage to be able to downgrade this Beast to what it was meant to do. also for all you tech geeks out there who want to upgrade your processor dont its not worth the 300$. This machine is able to do anything you need running x64 i recently upgraded my ram to 16gbs and (yes the system will see it dont believe the hype) I have only 29 processes running with a total of 276mbs of ram used. also one last thing the people who are all about the raid stuff its unneeded on a laptop you are wasting time fiddling with that stuff. also be sure to get the latest drivers for nvidia 180.70 and also get the update for that driver 180.70.1 as it fixes everything that was wrong with the last drivers. im now hitting 18,468 3dmarks for those wanting to know. ok hopefully someone out there can use this post to good effect and if TINMAN could delete my previous post that would be great ok every 1 merry christmas RhinoXeros

  104. RhinoXeros thank you so much for the guide you posted, and the reg files you provided. My mic is now working perfectly under XP, I have yet to try the HDMI but I’m confident it will work as well, and merry Christmas to you as well!

  105. Hey guys, I just got my 6860 and i installed xp on it, but I can’t get the modem to install. I’m running the 64 bit version. Any help on getting this resolved? I’ve tried the steps above but they did not work for me. Any help would be appreciated.

  106. Has anyone had any trouble getting spdif optical out to work? The analog works great but I can’t seem to get the digital to light up.

  107. RhinoXeros, your 64-bit driver fix is not on RapidShare anymore. Is it possible to host it somewhere like or

  108. Hey guys, does anyone know how to get the volume to display on the screen with the volume buttons. I know the buttons work, but I can’t tell how loud it is unless I listen to something. If anyone knows of an app to get this to work that would be great.

  109. I have mic on xp working with RhinoXeros method, but i have tested hdmi audio out and it is not working. There is no option to audio hdmi out at the audio options after i plug hdmi cable at my gateway 6860fx. I have made step by step as you mentioned and the 0015 has the plus signal at regedit, but even like this hdmi sound out is not working
    please give me some help i would like to play at my lcd tv using hdmi out sound under xp x64. how to activate the hdmi out sound under xp

  110. Hello All

    I search in the Drivers page of Gateway and they release the xp (x32/x64) official drivers of P6860 FX

    Install It, this driver may be have support for the mic and sound related thinks as well.

    Grettings for Mexico!
    Have a nice holidays.

  111. Hi having a problem with installing the Intel Matrix SATA Mass Storage driver. I left this as the last item to install. When I attempt to run the setup (D20109-001-001) its says I do not have the minimum requirements. Which is strange as I have updated to SP3 and every other driver that was posted on your sight.

    Any help would be great!


  112. Hello, I have a gateway P-7811 Fx, & I was wondering, if the Fingerprint Reader is installed in my laptop but just not enabled?? or is it an upgrade that I would have to pay for?? because when I try to use it it says, you must connect the reader to the usb port. That leades me to believe that it might be installed but not enabled, The charge a hefty premium to enable it.

  113. hey, first of all, im going to downgrade to winxp sp3, hopefully get everything working, i took my time and read eeeeevery post so i dont mess this laptop up.. since i bought it in the us, but now im in argentina (im argentinian btw XD)

    tinman, i have a few questions.. i believe my warranty is about to expire, and im not planing to go the us in the next months (is going to expire in march 2009), so.. i dont care if i lose the warranty πŸ™‚
    but here’s the main question, is there any purpose to keep the 10gbs partition? can i just format it, and install winxp there? then resize it to.. let’s say, 40gbs? why im a asking that? its just because i have the C partition pretty much full… and.. i dont have an extra large HD to back up all my staff, im kinda scared with doing this since i dont know what’s that partition for.. i once had a compaq desktop computer, and it had the same thing, a restore drive, i deleted it, and installed winME and worked fine, never needed that partition… so what would you say? should i format it? in that case.. how could i install winxp on that partition, and how to delete winvista later on?

    oh and… really.. THANKS for this guide, i’ve learned a lot from it

    ps: i have this link , i found that out while i was looking for the drivers.. but.. i dont understand, i can do that via software? or is a new kind of touchpads?

    thanks, and.. happy new year πŸ˜€

    and thanks rinoxeros :D, he’s a pro too ^^

  114. @Leonardo: I recall that 10gb partition being the Vista recovery partition, so no, it is not needed. You can delete it, create a new partition on the space, and install XP on there. Before you do that, defragment your other partition – you should do this because later on you will be resizing it to be 30gb smaller if you are making the 10gb into a 40gb partition and anytime you cut space off of one partition it is best to have all of the files defragmented so resizing doesn’t corrupt any of them. That process is safe to do, just take your time, be careful, make sure you’re doing the right things to the right partitions. I personally would try to purchase or borrow an external HDD from someone to backup the files on it.

    From the article it sounds like it is done via software and would be in their latest Synaptics driver, I will have to check it out.

    @Zach: The webcam works out-of-the-box with XP and doesn’t require the installation of any drivers. Bluetooth drivers can be found here:

  115. Dear TinMan! May I to ask you my last question?
    After all operations three “Unknown device” are present with word “ACPI” in their “Properties”… Some ACPI drivers are needed? I need you can help me.

  116. well, rhino

    i now have have a p6860 running on xp64 bit thx to you. i cant thank you enough! i’ve have my gateway for 4 months now, and i have struggled with literally everything. thx to your noob guide, everything is working……….with the exception of my hotkeys(volume works)everything works. it’s like a brand new(faster)laptop.

    hahah you should start a site that accepts donations.

    thanks again

  117. @Jerops: I am not sure, but I think those registry keys only work in Vista as they’re what you get (as a .reg file) from Gateway if you try to download the Vista drivers for it.

  118. JEROPS: The thread shows some mangled registry keys. I could not find the same keys on my Tiny XP install.

    But I did notice what was not clearly pointed out anyway. Only the 1st 3 multimedia keys do not work in XP, the rest do fine with Winamp in XP. The Mute and volume controls work on Windows XP by itself. Here is what I figured out:

    RIGHT ARROW? – Vista – Start Windows Media Center
    MUSIC – Vista – Start Windows Media Center MUSIC
    DVD – Vista – Start Windows Media Center DVD
    PLAY/PAUSE – works in XP
    STOP – works in XP
    RWD – works in XP
    FFWD – works in XP
    Mute – works in XP
    Volume Bar – works in XP

  119. A little more clear (multi-media buttons, left to right):

    RIGHT ARROW? – Vista – Start Windows Media Center
    MUSIC – Vista – Start Windows Media Center MUSIC
    DVD – Vista – Start Windows Media Center DVD
    PLAY/PAUSE – works in XP (app’s with multimedia key support)
    STOP – works in XP (app’s with multimedia key support)
    RWD – works in XP (app’s with multimedia key support)
    FFWD – works in XP (app’s with multimedia key support)
    Mute – works in XP
    Volume Bar – works in XP

  120. I’m trying to get the wireless drivers off the address posted above and it won’t take me to a workable link. I have the p-6831fx, can someone post a workable link or a direct download for it please. thank you

  121. does anyone know where i can get a backlit keyboard for my p6860?

    i typed this using XP 64 bit, by the way


  122. Nvidia released WHQL drivers for windows XP x64 so here they are
    also for people using Photoshop CS4 64bit here’s the reg entry you need to enable it. hit the windows key + r and @ run type regedit. now navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareAdobePhotoshop11.0 and enter a new DWORD value named AllowoldGPUS give it a hex value of 1 and close regedit. open up Photoshop CS4 64bit and click editpreferencesperformance and then enable the gpu. ok hope this helps L8r

  123. ok after testing the whql driver release i advise not to install this driver. it out the 8800 into and endless loop and fryed the chip so im waiting on the repair warranty from gateway to fix this issue again do not use the whql drver stick with the modded infs 185.20 i believe is latest ok later days

  124. Ok the mic works I havent tested the hdmi, but the sound is still unbalanced the right speaker is so much lower than the left, btw I’m using the p-6831 fx laptop

  125. hi TinMan, thank for you Sound fix, but not understand how install, I need use the mic , which file run first and which run second thank very much and sorry for my bad english

  126. Thanks – great instruction.
    But I need some HELP.

    I couldn’t download Bluetooth XP drivers – site doesn’t work anymore:

    Broadcom is presently updating this software download site. It is expected to be operational again by the end of April 2009. We apologize for the inconvenience.

    Guys – would you please send me these drivers on email –

    FYI – I have Gateway P-6860FX.

    Thanks in advance.

  127. Does anyone know how to get rid of the sound control panel? not the windows speaker icon, but the one that is installed with the sound card. i can not find a ‘show in task bar’ at all.

  128. Hey guys, I have a P-7811fx. I just ditched Vista and installed XP Pro that was slipstreamed with SP3. I am having a hell of a time with the audio. Can someone please help me out? Thanks so much!

  129. I have the same problem as hidroxicut with the bluetooth drivers. The broadcom exe doesn’t recognize any bluetooth device. Sound is too quiet, the hot keys at the top don’t work, integrated microphone doesn’t work. Please help!!!

  130. ok every 1 today is finally the day i can exude my utmost respect for the gateway corporation. for those of you who have read my previous posts as to how to get the p6860fx running with windows xp 64 bit i will no longer be of service to you. back in january i tried to get the offical nvidia drivers released on nvidia site running on the rig and after about 2 hours of it working it blew the computer up literally so i talked to gateway and was told to send the unit to gateway repair in texas as it was still under warranty well that was 2 and a half months ago after i was told that it would take 7 to 14 business days to repair. it just so turns out that acer has bought gateway and the repair facility is unable to access the parts in storage of the gateway company until everything is sorted out. So as a sign of redemption and quality i have come to know from gateway they have scrapped my p6860fx that was under warranty with windows xp 64 bit installed which goes against tin mans statement that you void your warranty and have sent me the new gateway p7808-u fx which just arrived today and is allowing me to type these words to you yes it has vista and yes i will be working on getting windows xp 64 bit installed on it i will repost later on how to do this for any one who purchases this unit feel free to search for the specs on the p7808-u fx and you will see why i have nothing but love for gateway ok my peoples and peoplettes have a wonderfull day and go gateway πŸ™‚

  131. ok people after fooling around with the p7808-u i have decided to stick with a special version of vista x64 i have stripped down and will no longer be using the xp x64 route. after installing 2 7200 rpm 500gb hdds i got my rating up to 5.9 and its eating vista alive. im sorry for posting here but i feel like the p series laptops have a community and so i am adding my 2 cents to all the forums i can. i am finally happy with vista and am using it for its capabilities that cant be found in xp. i remember when xp came out it had the same issues as vista but after about 5 years it got great despite the reformatting after every 6 months or so to clean up its crap so this is my last post here its been great and thanks every 1 for posting tips and comments and to tinman hell of a site much props to you and i still owe you a beer l8r πŸ™‚

  132. Thank you. My grandson’s pawnshop Gateway P-173xFX 64 bit Vista machine is now happily running XP pro 32 bit. Without this information, I would have been toast.

    Next is to get sound on with Ubuntu 32 bit. It runs great on 64 bit Ubuntu, but rejects some of the extras, like VLM. (It could easily be my inexperience with 64 bit Ubuntu.) But then, maybe with the new distro coming 23 April…

    The object is to dual boot; internet access with Linux, XP for Photoshop and various other Windows only stuff, and 80 NTFS Gig for shared data. (I know, there’s Wine, but it’s not foolproof yet.)

    Again, thanks, TinMan!

  133. Just awesome I would have been screwed with my 173 fx. Vista was just bummin me out. Intel pro wireless is still not working but im geting to that…Thanks so much everyone for the great input…

  134. I’m trying to get my sound card to work but I keep getting a message saying “Device cannot start Code 10”. What can i do to rectify this?

  135. TinMan, thanks for the guide it worked well, I didn’t bother to look through all of the comments, but have you found a fix on the built in mic, I would greatly appriciate your help.

  136. It is much simpler not to buy Gateway or some other laptop which is Vista-only operating system. I have a computer store in Serbia and I don’t sell ANY computer with Vista preinstalled or Vista-only-accepted OS. People like freedom, and with Vista, there is no choice. Die Vista!

    1. Haha, I agree with you. The only thing is that at the time I bought the laptop it was the only one on the market for its price that had the nvidia 8800M GTS in it.

    1. I did not create or use that sound fix, I am simply mirroring it, but I have extracted and re-compressed it as a .zip file for easier use. The .zip is in the same directory as the .rar and contains the same files.

  137. Hello, I have Gateway P-6322 and can downgrade to Window XP Professional successfully, only 2 function keys with no function(i.e. up and down arrow keys). When I power on the P-6322, the screen is very bright. I can only use “fn” + “F8” keys to lower the brightness (only 3 levels). If I press “fn” + “up” or “down” arrows key – no response.

    I remember on Window Vista O/S, both “fn” + “F8” and “fn” + “up/down arrow” can work fine. Pls help.. Thanks.

  138. Hi, I have a P-7811FX and just installed Windows XP Professional with SP3. I followed all your steps for installing the sound drivers. Unfortunately, after I do step 9, I get this: Cannot Install This Hardware. The hardware was not installed because the wizard cannot find the necessary software. Like I said before, I did all the steps correctly but still get this message. Any help would be much appreciated.


  139. This guide saved me from ripping my hair out after two or three hours of personally searching for all the drivers that I needed for XP. I have a P-172S FX and have everything working EXCEPT the wireless card. I downloaded and installed the driver for the Realtek RTL8187B from the site and the wireless card started working, but it did not show the wireless connection within my house. Now I know its working because my Ipod and my netbook can connect to it but I cannot get it to connect through XP. Any one got any ideas?

  140. What a strange thing that happened to me when I tried to install my XP SP2 OEM disk on my Gateway P6831FX. The high definition bus unknown device did NOT show up when I went to device manager. Now granted this is a straight up SP2 OEM disk so it’s quite old but still – did I miss something?

    I have a vague memory of this guide originally having another file that dealt with the high def audio device but it’s only a vague memory and heck, i could be making it up in my head.

    Any thoughts? I really want to try and keep SP2 vs. going to SP3 – I don’t thing for gaming purposes SP3 will be much of a problem. My main thought on going SP2 vs. SP3 is the compatibilities built into Vista and Win7 always say XP SP2 vs. SP3.

  141. Ok haven’t been here in awhile so heres what i can offer to people for the the gateway p-series laptops. I know this is kind of out of topic but its worth it to who ever can use it. I have the gateway p7808-u laptop with quadcores and ended up installing windows 7 beta on it to see how it did. Windows 7 is awsome hands down the best operating system ever released by microsoft i also have a mac book pro running snow leopard and windows 7 smashes it as far as i am concerned. windows 7 is everything vista should have been and more its faster then xp ever was and i can honestly say i have had not one issue whatsoever running 64bit ultimate windows 7 all the drivers work great and you shouldnt be running xp on the p series laptops. they were designed for vista and the direct x 10 capabilities but vista straight up sucks so go get the windows 7 Release Candidate from its free to download and install and all you need is a hotmail account to get a serial number ok hope this helps peace!!!

  142. RhinoXeros – that may be true in somemany regards. I too am a big fan of Windows 7. Being an avid gamer (which is an understatement) there are some of my older games that do not like Windows 7. Dungeon Siege comes immediately to mind, the Legends of Aranna flavor. Diablo also runs funny, rainbow effects. But the newer games are beautiful on Win7.

  143. RhinoXeros – I have been to many websites looking for a way to get HDMI audio to work but to no avail. I figured if there is anyone to ask it would be you since you have given the P6860FX OS flexibility.
    Microsoft Windows XP 32-bit
    Home Edition
    Version 2002
    Service Pack 2

    I did what you wrote a while ago and I have FN+F4 HMDI working and internal mic but I dont have any audio with my HDMI out. Is there a way to get it working or am I just wasting my time?

  144. Thank you so much for this feed! A friend asked me to install xp on this machine since knows little to nothing about computers but knows he likes xp much much better then vista! But dont most of us? Any how I spent alot of time trying to track down these drivers threw gateways’s support website and other places thinking it would be fairly easy considering this notebook is a year or two old, I figured hey this will be a breeze I’m positive tons of other people have already done this so it wont be a prob! But what do ya know it was a total pain! I did find the ethernet, chipset, and wireless on my own faily easily but the video and modem and a few other items I wasnt even sure what they were becuase the were listed as unknown devices were there and since the hd was already formated when I recieved there were no back up drivers to start with :~( so I made do but I found your feed here and am so greatfull for the wealth of hard work you have done to save me time and effort! Thank you so much for that!
    Scott Brimmer
    pc tech

  145. @ josmol: funny about the Diablo. I have a similar problem with diablo II every few minutes and alt/tabbing and remaximizing temporarily fixes it. Everything turns pink, yellow, black and sea green (and usually at the worst time, bad for hardcore mode). My biggest gaming fear will be getting Rune Gold/Viking warlord to work on Windows7 64 when i install that as i can barely get it to work right on XP 32 running it in compatibility mode for 95 or 98
    P6860 FX XP 32 SP2

  146. This blog is the bomb!!!! I can’t thank you enough. Took me about fifty searches to finally get to this sight and god i’m glad I did. couldn’t get any audio, and you damn geniuses fixed it. I’m a physician, but you guys are scary smart!!!!! God bless you guys, you made my year!!!!

  147. I have installed XP on my 6860FX and everything here works fine for me, and everything works on my computer now EXCEPT the integrated microphone. Anyone have any idea how I can fix it?

  148. I have tried everything. I got everythig working on my:
    Model: Gateway P-6831FX
    Serial Number: P2481ΓΏ610ΓΏ01685
    System name: GATEFX

    There are 3 unknown devices still listed and the device IDs are:


    Im running Windows XP SP2. Ay help would be so appreciated

  149. Great guide. Used this on my P-6860FX and everything works perfectly. Thanks TinMan. I’ve had my FX for about a year and hate Vista. I managed to set my laptop up to dual boot Windows 7 & XP with EasyBCD. The trick is to partition up your HDD and install XP first then install 7. One you get on 7 you can run EasyBCD and setup the bootloader. Works like a charm.

  150. Fix for Sigmatel “Cannot Install This Hardware” error (see comment by Mitch May 26, 2009 at 8:24 pm):

    After step 5 do not go on to step 6, but rather run the setup.exe file in the folder where the driver is extracted to. After setup.exe is finished the audio is already working, but restart to finish the installation.

    This worked for me on my P-172X FX. Note that you DO need to copy the 2 files in the previous steps of this guide, otherwise XP still won’t recognize the hardware.

    Furthermore, the self-extracting zip file did not unzip for me, so I manually unzipped it using 7-zip ( (freeware)). Keep in mind that the path to the location of the driver files changes to wherever you unzipped the files to, so you need to replace that with the location that is mentioned in this guide, but that is only logical of course.

    @Tinman: A big thank you for creating this guide! This allows me to downgrade from that horrible Vista. The sound not working was the only problem I had with this laptop.


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