How to Install Windows XP

Built on the foundation of Windows NT and prior to the release of Windows 2000, windows xp was designed to prioritize the needs of both home and business users. It introduced a new type of digital rights management called Windows Product Activation that was used to prevent software piracy.

When the Setup program loads, you will see a screen asking how you want to protect your PC. Select the “Help protect my PC by activating automatic updates now” option and press next.


Microsoft has ended support for windows xp, so many people are looking to upgrade their hardware or switch to another operating system. However, you may be surprised to learn that a lot of newer systems still run XP well. For example, if you have the latest version of Windows 7 with service pack 1 you can run XP mode without using hardware virtualization.

XP is the successor to Windows 2000 and was designed with improved stability, security, and performance. It supports a wide variety of hardware devices and features an intuitive user interface. It also introduces error reporting to help Microsoft fix problems in applications and the operating system.

XP comes in Home Edition for consumers, XP Professional for business users with added administrative options, and XP Media Center Edition for entertainment PCs and digital video recorders. The Media Center edition also includes a feature to allow you to use your tablet as an input device.


The XP installation process is a little different than the previous versions of Windows. The first time you boot from your XP CD you will be prompted to press any key to start the install process. This is a little confusing but just use the space bar and let XP start up.

When XP is ready it will ask you some basic information about yourself and the computer. It will also give you a chance to set up user accounts. You will want to create a account for yourself and at least one other person that will be using the computer. These accounts will be given Administrative rights.

Next the XP installer will scan your hard drive and display a list of partitions and their file systems. If your hard drive is empty, you can choose to install XP onto the first partition (C:Windows). If you are installing XP on an existing system, you will be offered the opportunity to repartition your hard disk.


Windows XP is the first consumer version of Microsoft’s NT codebase to prioritize users’ needs over systems security. It introduced a number of innovations such as automated system recovery, password reset disks, and a desktop cleanup wizard that moves unused applications and files to a separate folder. It also included a software error reporting tool that automatically sends application or system crash data to Microsoft, helping to resolve bugs faster than previously possible.

When you are installing a new copy of Windows XP, it will ask if you want to help protect your computer by activating automatic updates now. It is important to select this option, as it will help to avoid some of the most common problems with Windows XP that may be caused by missing updates. After selecting this option, the installation process will begin. This will take a few minutes, and after it is completed, the Windows XP setup screen will appear.


When Setup first boots, it displays a welcome screen and spends several minutes performing an extensive auto-detection sequence of your computer’s hardware. If this takes too long, it might help to temporarily remove any extraneous drives and cards from the computer (see Chapter 6 for more troubleshooting tips).

After completing the hardware detection process, Setup displays the Windows XP Licensing Agreement page. Read the license agreement carefully and press F8 if you agree to its terms.

Setup then asks you to select a language and keyboard layout. It also wants to know your name and organization, and the administrator password you wish to use for this installation of Windows XP. After you make these choices, Setup begins the actual install process. This may take a few minutes or even hours, depending on the size of your partition and the speed of your computer. The setup program formats the selected partition and copies the Windows files from the CD to this partition.