Installing Windows XP
From A “Fresh Install” - To A “XP Upgrade”
Always be sure to go to the Microsoft update site and download
the security updates. And any other downloads deemed necessary!
1. Steps for a clean install of Windows XP
2. Steps for
an Windows XP upgrade
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
- First, you're going to
need to change your BIOS boot order to boot from CD-ROM. Once you do
this you'll then be able to boot your computer from the Installation
- After changing the boot
order in 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 install process.
- 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 a
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.
Some recommend using multiple
partitions of 10 to 20GB, 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 its time to format it.
- Choose to format the
partition to either FAT32 or NTFS, (NTFS is 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
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
- Type in your name and
- Enter your product
- 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
- Enter the correct date
- 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
- 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
- Add users that will sign
on to this computer.
- Log in, and
XP found drivers for all of the hardware in test machines,
with the exception of a wireless network adapter that was added.
Update all drivers that had updates available for download. It
takes about 30 minutes to perform this installation. After that, you will
be a few personalized settings away from getting started on your
XPerience. With a little use, the GUI even starts to grow on you.
As with other versions of Windows, you have the option
of performing a clean install or an upgrade from a previous version of
Windows. The upgrade pack will allow you to do both. But, you must have a
copy of the full version of your current operating system if you want to
perform a clean install using an upgrade disk.
A clean install is a nice way of saying that you'll be
erasing the entire contents of your hard drive and starting over from
scratch. We only recommend a clean install if -- for some reason -- the
Formatting a hard drive and starting over isn't a
complicated process once you know how, but it does require extensive
patience and time to follow through from beginning to end.
determining your upgrade eligibility, it's time get down and dirty with
XP. Just like previous releases of Windows, Microsoft is selling XP Home
Edition Upgrade for $99.
This release was designed with the average user in
mind. It doesn't feature some of the more advanced networking options and
remote file-sharing capabilities. Pick up a copy of XP Professional
Upgrade for $199 if you're looking for those features.
Back up all data and settings
The first step along the upgrade path is to back up
all your data, settings, and anything else you can't compute without.
After you've fully backed up
all your important files and settings it's time to begin. Insert your
upgrade disk into your CD-ROM. You'll notice the CD-ROM will
automatically launch the installation menu. For now, minimize the menu.
We're going to look at something else: Read1st.txt.
Read first file The Read1st.txt file is located in the Docs folder of your
XP CD-ROM. Start by locating this file and examining its contents. The
Read1st.txt file will contain last-minute information that didn't make it
into other documentation and a roadmap on which to find other useful XP
Now that you've become close
to XP’s entire read me files it's time maximize the installation menu and
the installation menu. It offers three main options:
- Install Windows XP
- Perform additional
- Check system compatibility
Even though it doesn't
specifically say "Upgrade to XP" anywhere it is there.
Here's a general roadmap for
performing an upgrade to Windows XP:
- Insert the disk. This should
automatically launch the installation menu.
- Next, click the green
arrow or text next to it labeled "Install Windows XP."
will launch the first process titled "Collecting Information"
which quickly identifies if you're eligible for an upgrade.
- Next, you should see a
popup window welcoming you to the Windows setup.
- Make sure the
"Installation Type" pull-down menu reads "Upgrade
- Click the Next button.
- Click the radio button
next to "I accept this agreement."
- Click the Next button.
- Enter your 25-character
- Click the Next button.
- You'll be prompted to
display an upgrade report after the installation. Leave the
recommended setting alone. Choose one of the other two options if
you need to have more complete or no information at all.
- Click the Next button to
proceed to "Dynamic Update."
The dynamic update will go online and download
updated installation files that have been released after your copy of XP was
made. Choose to download files from the Internet only if you have a
broadband connection. Otherwise, just skip this section and choose to
update after your install.
- Choose the dynamic update
option that best suits your needs.
- Click the Next button to
proceed to "Preparing Installation."
After a few minutes you should receive a read-out of
how much time is estimated to complete the installation process. This would
be a good time to take a break if you need to, because you're about to be
bombarded with all the wonderful new features inside XP.
You'll soon witness the
installation beginning to copy all its setup files. When this is
completed your computer will automatically restart itself. You'll then be
prompted to choose an installation of Windows you'd like to start.
Don't worry. You don't have to
choose anything; Windows will automatically proceed with the correct
version within a few seconds.
You should now see the
beautiful XP logo while your computer is booting up. The installation
will finish copying all setup files and then restart itself. After
restarting you'll be into the next phase, "Installing Windows."
You will notice a slight difference in your display
properties. The setup will continue copying installation files and other
components over to your hard drive. If you're paying attention, you'll
notice that your screen may flicker a few times during this process.
That's OK and a good indication that the setup is almost ready for you to
name your computer.
Next, you'll be asked to come
up with a wonderful new name for your computer if the old name doesn't
meet the new standards. Pick a name and then click the Next button to
continue copying all the Network components.
If you've reached this phase you're
done. Congratulations on a successful upgrade to Windows XP. You should
now see the "Tour Windows" screen. Click the Next button at the
bottom to proceed to the activation process.
Windows Product Activation
(WPA) is the last step along the XP upgrade path. We recommend holding
off on the product activation until you've finished installing any other
This will bypass having to
activate your product again after making any changes to your hardware
configuration. Click the Finish button to proceed to setting up your user
The final step is to name your user accounts. Do this
now and then click the Next button to finally see your new desktop.
use Windows XP for a few days and make sure that everything works
properly. Once you're positive that all is well, you can go into Control
Panel and then Add or Remove Programs and remove the option to
revert to your old operating system. This could save a lot of disk space,
but don't do this until you're sure you won't want to go back.
to go from here...
Hopefully, everything went well and you're all set. But remember
that a 9x/Me to XP upgrade isn't the optimal way to move to XP, and if
it's possible, I recommend going the clean install route.