One of Microsoft’s most successful operating systems, windows xp was first released in 2001. It is used by a majority of computer users and continues to have significant market share worldwide.
Using windows xp online can be risky, as malware writers continue to target it. However, there are several ways to make it more secure.
A shimmering blue background enlivens the taskbar and window borders. New icons sport a 3-D shadowed look and tiny animations add interest to the desktop. To reduce screen clutter, Windows XP consolidates the window buttons for multiple applications into a single button for each program.
The Prefetcher feature optimizes the locations of files on disk during idle time, which can lead to a significant reduction in startup times. It also improves performance by performing system cleanup and defragmentation during system idle time.
More than one person may use a Windows XP computer, and the operating system enables them to share files with separate computer accounts that track unique settings, documents, and email. XP can even automatically switch to another user without restarting the computer.
XP supports a wider range of hardware devices by adding support for the Serial ATA (SATA) hard drive interface and eliminating the limit on the size of the paged pool for memory-mapped view frames. This reduces memory footprint, lock contention, and data fragmentation.
The XP setup program begins the installation process by formatting the partition or drive where it will install itself. This can take a while, so grab a coffee or something to eat.
When the partition is formatted, setup copies the XP files to it. This is the longest step, so be patient.
Next, a screen asks you about your home network or workgroup. Choose Yes if you use one of these networking types and select Next.
Windows XP asks you to select your Regional settings. Choose the setting that is native to your country and select Next.
Setup now checks your computer to see if it has the correct drivers for your motherboard, graphics card, sound card, and other hardware. If not, you can select Skip and install them later. After a few minutes, Windows XP finishes installing and loading for the first time. Select Finish to start using it. Depending on the speed of your computer, this can take several minutes.
When Windows XP first starts up, it asks you to insert the product key that came with your copy of the operating system. The product key is printed on the box that XP comes in or written on an orange label on the CD.
Once the installation program loads, it begins to configure your computer. It will want to know whether your computer is connected to a network or is a stand-alone machine. It will also ask you to choose between a custom configuration and the typical settings.
If you choose the Custom option, it will ask for a name and organization to be associated with this installation. It will also ask you to select your language and keyboard style. Finally, it will ask if you wish to enable automatic updates for your computer. It is recommended that you do this.
With the end of Windows XP support, computer users must take extra measures to ensure data and computers remain secure. This can be done by running as a limited user or using privilege management software to restrict access to administrator accounts. It is also important to monitor community chat boards and threat intelligence feeds for information on new vulnerabilities and attacks that may affect XP systems.
Another option is to install the free EMET tool from Microsoft. This tool allows you to “backport” to XP some of the security features from later versions of Windows, including Structured Exception Handler Overwrite Protection and Data Execution Prevention.
Finally, it is recommended that you use WGA Notifications, a utility that checks your copy of Windows for authenticity and prevents you from installing newer versions of Windows until you register your product key with Microsoft. This has been criticized by some as spyware, and it will “phone home” to Microsoft at frequent intervals, sending your system information to Microsoft’s licensing servers.