Windows XP on XO-1, XO-1.5

Ed McNierney edmcnierney at
Tue Jan 27 14:57:51 EST 2015

Windows XP on the XO-1 loads and works just about the same as on any other machine.  Microsoft did the implementation, primarily by replacing Open Firmware with Insyde BIOS, a standard proprietary x86 PC BIOS.  There’s nothing you’d learn from it that you wouldn’t learn from studying XP booting on any other PC.

Windows XP on XO-1.5 was made available in a dual-boot configuration, supporting Sugar and XP.  That work was done by OLPC, mainly by Mitch Bradley and me, and the system booted from Open Firmware.  The Open Firmware work consisted of adding support for required PC BIOS interfaces, and much of the rest of the technical work involved supporting Microsoft’s modifications to allow XP to be booted from removable media (a card in the external SD slot).  Microsoft did not support booting XP from removable media, and at the time the XO-1.5 was the only machine that could do so - as far as I know, that’s still the case.  But there is nothing to learn there other than how Mitch and I implemented Microsoft’s cryptic and often unhelpful suggestions to get it to work.  In particular, XP on the XO-1.5 is locked to a specific SD card signature so no other make and/or model of SD card would boot.  Reasonable effort went into that fairly useless exercise.

And as Paul says, in each case these machines were made available for initial trials by a specific customer and were never generally available or widely produced.

	- Ed

> On Jan 27, 2015, at 2:08 PM, Paul Fox <pgf at> wrote:
> please post messages with descriptive subject lines.
> lucia wrote:
>> Hi:
>> I subscribe to Mike's question.
>> "Don't hate me people, but I am also interested in finding a copy of Windows
>>> XP for XO-1 to try and learn about how it works and loads on the XO.
>>> Thanks,"
> windows for the XO-1 was never publicly available, and was never 
> deployed beyond initial trials by the customer who wanted it.
>> Furthermore, (sorry for the pro's here):  I understand that Sugar GUI sits
>> on top of Linux OS, but if somebody wants to develop something in a Windows
>> 8.1 environment (I'm not a converted to Microsoft  or any other OS), does
>> he/she have to go back to the command line?
> i don't really understand the question, but if you want to know how to
> do sugar development on non-OLPC platforms, you should ask on the
> sugar mailing list:
> paul
> =---------------------
> paul fox, pgf at
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