The following guide covers the process of installing Windows XP.

Getting Started

The first step is to start up your PC (herein referred to as “booting” or “booting up”).

Here you will need to watch your screen.  You have to enter your BIOS setup.  It varies from PC to PC which combo of buttons will get you into the setup.  Some it’s F2, while others it’s the Delete key.

Hit the key needed and enter your BIOS Setup.  You want to check the boot configuration.  From there you want to make sure that the order for the boot devices is set to CD, then HDD (Hard Drive).

AMI BIOS Boot Device Select

Booting from the CD

Now insert your Windows XP CD.  Restart your system.  Now you will let the system pass the POST (Power on Self Test) and let it continue to boot.  After the POST it will search the installed devices for a bootable application.  It should recognize the XP CD as being the first bootable device since it is in the CD Tray already.  You will see something flash on the screen that says “Hit any key to boot from CD”, here just press a key to get started with the XP Install.

Press any key to boot from CD

Now after you press a key the XP install will start up.  It will load the drivers needed to get this process going.  After it loads all the needed info it will take you to the next screen.

Starting Windows XP Setup

Here you have a few options.  Option 1 is to install XP by hitting Enter. This is the option you want.  The others will be discussed at another point in time. They are more for XP repairs rather than install.  Since you are installing not repairing you don’t need to worry about those options.

Welcome to XP Setup

After you hit enter it should scan to see if you have Windows XP already installed.  From here it will show you your HDD and ask you what to do next.  I always recommend partitioning your HDD so you can separate your files.  XP only needs about 10GB of space for install and installation of files.  So if you wish to create a partition hit C.  If not just choose the RAW space to install.

Partitioning your Disks

Some extra clarification on this section. If you are formatting a drive already you do not have to partition it. You also do not have to create a partition. Also if you currently have a partition setup that you are formatting and not creating you will not have the RAW format drive to select. You will just select the drive you wish to install to.

If you wish to delete all partitions you do so by hitting the “D” key. This will give you a new prompt to verify tha tyou wish to do so. Here it will tell you to hit the “L” key to delete the partition. From there you can either create a partition just for the Operating System or you can use the whole drive. To create a new partition by hitting the “C” button to create. But Windows oesnt see drives in GB. It is seen in MB. So you have to remember that 1024MB = 1GB. So if you want a 20GB partition it would be 20480MB to create a 20GB partition. Then just click enter to create the partition of the size you want. This is where it will be in RAW format as stated above.

Disk Partitioning

From here you will have to choose to format the partition.  It will give 4 or 5 options.  Option 1 is to Quick Format with the FAT32 file system.  Option 2 is to Quick Format with the NTFS file system.  Option 3 is to Full Format with the FAT32 file system.  Option 4 will be to Full Format with the NTFS file system.  Sometimes Option 5 is available which is to leave the partition alone.

Format Drives

I always recommend to Full Format with the NTFS file system.  This is the best option which will lead to least amount of errors.  This will take some time depending on the size of the partition/HDD you are formatting.  So go have a coffee or something to eat for a bit.

Setup Begins

After it format it will start to load the files needed for the XP install.  This will also take a few minutes depending on your system.  After it loads the needed files it will reboot.  Let the system reboot but do not choose to boot from the CD.  Let the system keep loading.  This will force the system to continue the XP install.  This is where it will ask some questions.

First it will want your product key – written on the packaging of your Windows XP, usually on an orange label. It will ask you about your network setup.  It will ask you to choose your region and time zone.  It will ask you if you wish to set an administrator password.  This option is all up to the user.  If you wish to set a password this will stop other users from accessing the Safe Mode Administrator account if they don’t know the password.  Then it will ask you if you wish to rename the PC name that XP will recognize it as.

Enter Product Key

You can just choose the default settings for almost everything and the install should go just fine.  After it loads all the devices and that it will reset again.  From there don’t boot from CD and let XP load again.  This will start XP up for the first time.  Here it will give you some more options.

To create users, and then after that it will load to the desktop which has a guided tour of Windows XP right there.  To get more familiar with XP take the tour so to get to know your newly loaded OS (Operating System) a bit more.

Add Windows XP Users

Setup Complete

That’s it. You have fully installed Windows XP.  Congratulations!

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