What do I have to do to get my computer to boot from the Windows XP 32bit disk after installing 64bit Windows XP?

by on December 10, 2009

Q: I recently installed a 64 bit version of Windows XP Pro. Not being able to get all my programs operating successfully I decided to return to the 32 bit Windows XP Pro, however the computer would now only boot from the 64 bit CD.

Long story short I booted from the 64 bit CD and proceeded to erase the partition hoping I could somehow fool the machine into loading the old 32 bit version by swapping disks during the process. Machine froze and now, uh-oh…Now I am in trouble as it will not boot from either disk and I cannot do anything. Is there some way I can get this thing to boot and format back to the 32 bit system?

6 Responses to “What do I have to do to get my computer to boot from the Windows XP 32bit disk after installing 64bit Windows XP?”

    What happens when you boot from the 32-bit Install CD?


    Okay. got it to re-boot using 64 bit xp and set up a fresh install. Now if I try to boot from 32 bit CD it just by-passes it and goes straight to windows. A 2nd attempt brings up black screen offering safe mode etc. it gets to “boot from CD” but the next step “press any key to boot from CD” doesn’t appear.


    Make sure your 32-bit CD of XP isn’t damaged.

    Get into Windows, pop in the Cd and see if you can at least browse the files on the 32-bit install CD.


    Thanks Mark. Yes I can browse the files on 32 bit CD. It is running well on the 64 bit program I just have to be careful what programs I load as many of them change windows files and that sorta screws things up. If I can get back to 32 bit I will be happier as I can safely load all my programs.

    Picked as best answer

    Check your boot order in your BIOS and make sure that your CD/DVD Drive is at the top of the list. If your still having trouble try putting the 32bit XP disk in another PC and see if the computer will boot from the CD.

    The contents of your harddrive should have no effect on your ability to boot from a CD.

    Is this an official Windows XP disk, or a CD-R?


    Aha! yes it was a CD-R. I have located the original and Doh, it works fine…thank you very much