How to Install Windows XP

Windows XP is the first consumer version of Microsoft’s NT codebase. It succeeded both the NT-based Windows 2000 Professional and the 9x-based Windows ME.

Select the language and keyboard style that you want to use (as shown in the second picture). Then wait while the Setup program copies files.

System Requirements

In addition to a keyboard and mouse, you’ll need a CD-ROM drive or DVD drive to install windows xp. You also need to have at least a 233-megahertz (MHz) processor, 64 megabytes of random-access memory, 1.5 gigabytes of hard drive space and a Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher-resolution video adapter and monitor.

Windows XP supports various programming languages, including C++, Visual Basic, Java, and Python. In addition, it supports the DirectX series of application programming interfaces designed for multimedia and gaming.

Users with older PCs can still run Windows XP, and some choose to do so because of cost savings or a nostalgia for the operating system’s design. Older versions of XP are also used in embedded systems and specialized devices, and can offer stability and reliability where newer OSes may be unstable. XP is also compatible with most USB devices. However, a faster hard drive and more RAM will greatly improve performance.


When you boot up the computer with the XP CD, the setup program inspects your hardware configuration. If the mass storage device drivers are not available, the program prompts you to install them.

The setup program then displays a list of partitions on the hard drive and their file systems. If you have unpartitioned space on one of the drives, highlight it and press C to create a new partition for XP. Then you can specify the size of the partition, in megabytes (MB).

After a short time, Windows XP starts to copy files and finish installing devices. The screen may flicker or turn on and off, but this is normal. Once the process is finished, you are ready to use your computer. The next step is to set up user accounts. You can do this from the Control Panel or with a separate tool. You must provide a password and choose an icon for each user account.


When the text-based phase of Setup has finished, the installer prompts the user to insert the XP installation media and to enter the product key. Then it begins preparing the disk for Windows XP by formatting it to use the NTFS file system. This can take some time, so you might want to grab a cup of coffee or something to eat while it’s working.

The next screen asks the user to choose a workgroup or domain. Nearly all users installing XP on personal computers can select No, this computer is not on a network, or Yes, make this computer a member of the following domain. In corporate environments, check with your systems administrator if you’re not sure which choice to make.

The final setup window allows the user to choose a region and language for the system. It also asks if the user would like to register with Microsoft and offers to do so for free.


Security is the main concern for any XP user. Since XP was developed in the previous century, threats have evolved significantly. Internet Explorer, the default browser of XP, is an outdated and unguarded attack gateway. It should be replaced by other, more secure browsers such as Firefox and Chrome.

In addition, the IPSEC protocol should be used to control network access. This allows for more granular control than built in firewalls and prevents connectivity with hosts known to host malware. SafeDNS is a good option for networked XP systems as it filters access to about 50,000 hosts that are known to host malicious software.

Those systems that cannot be upgraded should be isolated from the network and kept updated with third-party threat intelligence feeds and community chat boards. These measures will mitigate risk but will not eliminate it. The best solution is to move on from XP and upgrade to a more modern operating system.