Alright, you are going to install Microsoft's new
operating system, Windows XP. The GUI, (graphical user interface),
is pretty, the commercials are cool (not a good reason to switch
operating systems), and if you're running Windows 9x/Me and you
want more stability and some slick new features, then XP might be
a good choice for you.
Make sure you are ready for the switch over
- Make a list of the hardware in your system
and the software you use. If you're unsure and already have
Internet access on the system, go to
Belarc Advisor, and get an online listing of your systems
specifications. If this is a newly built system, then you should
have a list of your hardware.
- Check the manufacturer's website to find out
if there are drivers for your hardware. Pay close attention to
printers, scanners, pen tablets, and so on, and for software
compatibility. For newly built systems, you should have driver
disks that came with the hardware. You probably won't need them,
but if you do, Windows 2000 drivers will usually work.
- Back up any existing data, (always a good
policy even if you are not changing out operating systems).
These steps are for a clean install of XP. If you
intend to upgrade, please read the Guide we provide for that
purpose. Okay... let's get started.
- First, you're going to need to change your
CMOS settings of the BIOS for the boot order to boot from
CD-ROM. Once you do this you'll then be able to boot your
computer from the Installation CD. If your system will not
boot from the CD, very rare... use the boot disk we
provide in the download area to activate your CD Rom drive.
- After changing the boot order in the CMOS
settings of the BIOS, save the changes, and then reboot your
computer. Make sure your Installation CD is in your CD-ROM. If
it is you'll be prompted to press your space bar to directly
boot from CD-ROM emulation. Press your space bar as soon as you
see this message.
- Wait a few minutes while the installation
begins to copy the preliminary setup files to your computer.
After this completes you'll be ready to start directing the
- You will be asked if you want to perform a
new installation, repair an existing installation, or quit. In
this case, you will be performing a new install. Press the
correct key to perform a new installation.
- Read the terms of the end user license
agreement, and press F8 to agree.
- The next phase of the installation is real
similar to that of Windows 2000. So, if you're familiar with the
Windows 2000 installation process this should be very easy.
Basically, you need to decide which partition of your hard drive
you will install Windows XP on. You will have the opportunity to
create and/or delete partitions or just allocate the available
disk space to one partition. However, try to keep your
partitions within reasonable size.
- We recommend using multiple partitions of
4-8GB, preferably on more than one hard drive. This will help
you back up your data and optimize system performance later on
down the road. Once you have figured out which partition XP will
be installed on it's time to format it.
- Choose to format the partition to either
FAT32 or NTFS (recommended for single OS install). You'll also
see two additional choices to perform a quick format of each
option. Stick with doing a full format of either option instead.
After you've determined which option is right for you, press the
correct key to format the partition.
- This would be a good time to take a break and
come back in a few minutes. The setup program will automatically
start copying files after the partition is formatted.
- From this point on, you're going to see each
and every file name that's being copied over to your hard drive
appear in the lower left corner. As the file names go from A to
Z, the installation completion percentage will increase.
- Choose the region and language.
- Type in your name and organization.
- Enter your product license key.
- Name the computer, and enter an Admin
password. Don't forget to write down your Administrator
password. After the installation is complete it would be
extremely wise to create a password restore disk in the event
you forget your Administrator password someday.
- Enter the correct date and time.
- Choose your network settings. Leave on
automatic if you use a dhcp server to assign IP addresses. If
you have static IP address for broadband access, enter the
settings that your ISP has provided you.
- Choose workgroup or domain name.
- Register this copy of Windows XP if you've
installed all the current hardware on your machine. Otherwise,
wait until you've finished installing any additional hardware so
you don't have to activate your copy of XP again.
- Add users that will sign on to this computer.
- Log in, and update drivers.
XP found drivers for all of the hardware in our
test machines, with the exception of a older network adapter that
was added. Update all drivers that had updates available for
It takes about 30 minutes to perform this
installation. After that, you will be a few personalized settings
away from getting started on your XP experience. With a little
use, the GUI even starts to grow on you.
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