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Published by on Friday, August 29, 2008 at 5:56:00 PM

Correct Installation of Windows XP

Correct Installation of Windows XP®

I have seen people installing windows XP in a haphazard manner, it is very important to install windows XP clean and in correct manner, so that your system will run properly without any errors. Follow the complete procedure to install XP correctly.

The Preparation

A correct install in Windows XP is a very straightforward process. Just as there are certain things that need to be done to ensure a successful installation, the same care is needed with a correct install. First, check the requirements for Windows XP. XP has many nice features, but they do require a correct requirement check.

The next step is to check the rest of the hardware against the to see if it's supported. It's possible, even likely, that one or more of your items won't be on the list. That doesn't mean you have to replace them or that they won't work with XP, but it does mean you should visit the manufacturer site to check for XP drivers. In some cases the Windows 2000 drivers will work just fine. The point is, make sure you have the drivers downloaded and saved where they will be available during the XP installation. Drivers for RAID and SCSI devices fall into this same category. Make sure they are available at the beginning of the installation process.

If you are upgrading to XP, Microsoft has made available on their website some excellent documentation regarding upgrading to Windows XP. I strongly suggest it be read before a final decision is made.

If you aren't familiar with the differences between FAT32 and NTFS file systems, now is the time to rectify that situation. This will be the most important decision you have to make during the installation process so a bit of knowledge can be very valuable.

Make sure that the installation CD's for every program you use are available as well as the media that qualifies you to be doing a Windows XP installation. Once you wipe the drive there is no magical set of keystrokes that will get your programs and data back, which brings me to the final point for this section. Back up your data,test and verify the backup, and be sure the backup device you used will be available under Windows XP. With the previous tasks completed, it's onward to the actual installation.

The Installation

There are two methods available for installing Windows XP, both requiring the first step of booting your machine. You're in luck if the box is capable of booting from the CD-ROM drive since the Windows XP CD's are bootable. No, XP isn't available on floppies, and even if it was you'd need a two week vacation to do the installation. If the computer doesn't support booting from the CD, you'll need a set of Setup Startup Disks, but here is a final caution before you go this route. Most computers that will be happy running XP have the capability to boot from the CD. It's probably a red flag if you need the startup disks, so take one more look at the minimum and recommended requirements for running Windows XP. If it's still a go, download the file that will create the disk sets for either the Home Edition or the Professional Edition. Make the disk set, boot the computer and insert the XP CD to begin the installation.

For boxes that support booting from the CD, the following steps will get you through the clean install of Windows XP.

Fire up the computer and insert the XP CD.

Watch the monitor for the message that the CD has been auto-detected, followed by the "Press any key to boot CD" message. Don't fall for the old joke about looking for the "Any" key and just hit the spacebar or any other key that's convenient within the five second time span the message will be displayed.

Files will start to load from the CD to begin the installation. Eventually you'll be asked if you want to install Windows XP. No need to type an essay here on why you've made the decision to do the installation. Just hit Enter.

Next is the End User License Agreement or EULA which must be accepted to continue installation. Press F8 to accept, F3 to bail out now. You can read the EULA if you want, but it adds two days to the installation time.

The next screen displays the available partitions where XP can be installed. Select the one you want and tap that Enter key again to move on to the screen where you select a file system.

It's time for that important decision. FAT32 versus NTFS. The preferred choice is NTFS. It allows security features and stability that aren't possible with FAT32. Apply the knowledge you gained during the preparation phase at this point. Make your choice of formatting options and press the F key to start the process. Once the format process completes the installation will continue.

If you are installing from a full version Windows XP CD the installation continues without intervention. If you're using an upgrade version CD this is where Microsoft confirms your eligibility by requesting the media that allows you to use the upgrade version. Insert your media in the drive, let the verification complete and reinsert the XP CD when prompted.

Setup continues and eventually the computer will reboot. Watch the onscreen prompts but do not press a key when the "Press any key to boot CD" message appears.

Installation will continue, prompting you from time to time to supply some additional setup information. Feed the prompts with appropriate responses and eventually another reboot will occur, this time bringing you back into Windows XP, depositing you at the Windows Activation screen.

You can either activate your copy of XP now or delay the activation for up to 30 days and suffer the periodic activation reminders. I suggest you activate now and register at the same time. It's really painless. In any case, activation is required at some point or after 30 days you'll be denied access to the desktop. Registration is entirely optional.

The last step is to enter a username and watch the XP desktop appear, ready for use.

Congratulations. You've just completed a clean install of Windows XP. Look around, explore, play with the settings and start installing applications and transferring your data backup. This is Windows XP.
Published by IzajAhmed Shaikh.
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I am, Mr. IzajAhmed Shaikh, Computer Professional, and Pro. Blogger, who belongs to Shahabad, Karnataka India. My basic Qualifications are B.Sc., and M.C.M. done from University of Pune, formerly known as, Poona University, also like to write articles based on my personal experiences.