Recently I removed Windows Vista and installed Windows XP on the Toshiba A215-S7428. The Windows XP installation is complete and functioning properly. Due to the driver incompatibilities, this process was much more annoying than I thought it ever could be.
To get this to work, you have to pretty much forget the Toshiba site. It is mostly unhelpful and will send you over the edge. Instead, one must dig down deep into the operating system. One must manually edit driver inf files. One must deal with trying to find a driver for "Unknown System Device".
Fortunately, some unnamed kind soul has done all the hard work for you. I have been asked by unnamed kind soul to say the following:
I recently purchased a Toshiba Satellite A215-S7428. This well-equipped notebook computer comes with Windows Vista Home Premium. I planned to remove Vista Home Premium and replace it with the venerable and less annoying Windows XP. Let this post serve as a warning to others with similar ideas.
Removing Vista was easy enough. Installing Windows XP was easy enough. Finding and installing drivers has been the bane of my existence.
Update: This has been solved. See: XP Drivers for Toshiba A215 - S7428
Predictably, the Toshiba site was no help. I understand they shipped the computer with Vista Home Premium, and likely feel their support obligations only extend to OEM configurations. However, I lost confidence in Toshiba when I read the following on their Detailed Specs for the Toshiba Satellite A215-S7428: "This product specification is variable and subject to change prior to product launch."
If anyone sees Toshiba, please remind them the product Toshiba Satellite A215-S7428 has launched.
A few of the problems I am currently working through:
Realtek allegedly provided the WLAN component. The driver listed at The Realtek WLAN RTL8187B Support Section is not recognized by Windows XP as a valid driver. RTL8187B is listed by the Windows XP device Manager.
The Display Driver listed by the Detailed Specs for the Toshiba Satellite A215-S7428 is ATI Radeon X1200M. This is not even an option at the ATI driver download site. I tried the Radeon X1200 driver (in the Windows XP > Professional/Home > Integrated/Motherboard > Radeon X1200 but the install aborted when it found no compatible hardware. I guess the 'M' in ATI Radeon X1200M makes a HUGE difference.
As a consolation prize, there is no driver listed for the ATI Radeon X1200M in the Windows Vista section either.
Network and Display adapters are KEY. I haven't even tried to figure out what Base System Device is, or PCI Device....
I've swapped OS versions in the past and do not recall these types of issues. If I am overlooking something, please point it out to me. Meanwhile, I issue a word of caution for those who plan to purchase the Toshiba Satellite A215-S7428.
While this notebook comes well equipped on the hardware side, it is severely lacking for those who wish to swap Operating Systems. Think twice if you choose to go this route. There are plenty of computers that will still ship with Windows XP. Choose one of those.
Update: In case you missed the inline announcement, this has been solved. See: XP Drivers for Toshiba A215 - S7428