Windows XP is one of the most popular operating systems, and although it has been around for quite a few years, many people still use it. If you have an old computer that you want to recover, or if you want to install XP on a new computer, then it shouldn't take long.
Note: Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP, which means that updates for this system are no longer released. So consider installing Windows 7 or Windows 8.
Part 1 of 3: Setting up
Step 1. Your computer must meet (or exceed) the minimum system requirements to run Windows XP
You can find information about the components of your computer in its instruction manual or by using the DirectX diagnostics.
- To run DirectX Diagnostics, open the Run dialog (press WinKey + R), enter DXDIAG and click OK.
- Minimum system requirements
- Processor: 300 MHz (Intel or AMD)
- RAM: 128 MB
- 1.5 GB of free disk space
- Video card: Super VGA (800x600)
- CD / DVD-ROM
- Keyboard and Mouse
- AC adapter (for network connection)
- Sound card and speakers or headphones
Step 2. Find your Windows XP key
It is printed on a sticker on the disc box or on the system unit. A key is a set of 25 characters, divided into 5 groups (5 characters per group). You will need a key to complete the Windows installation.
Step 3. Configure your computer to boot from CD / DVD drive (not hard drive)
This will allow you to boot from the installation disc. You can change the boot order in the BOOT menu in the BIOS.
- Press F9 or DEL several times to enter BIOS while booting the computer. Read this article for details.
- In the BOOT menu, set the CD / DVD-ROM to be the first boot device.
- If you are installing Windows XP from a USB stick, install the USB disk as the first boot device. To do this, be sure to connect the USB flash drive to your computer.
Part 2 of 3: Installation
Step 1. Insert the Windows XP installation disc into the optical drive, then save the changes and exit the BIOS
Your computer will reboot and the “Press any key to boot from CD” message will appear on the screen. Press any key to boot from the installation disc.
The computer will download the files it needs to start the installation; this may take a few minutes. After the download is complete, a welcome window will open
Step 2. The Welcome window will display several options, but if you are installing or reinstalling Windows XP, press Enter to customize your system installation options
Step 3. Read the license agreement and then press F8 to agree to its terms
Step 4. A list of hard disk partitions (or multiple disks) will be displayed
If you are installing Windows XP on a new hard drive, you will see only one partition called Unallocated Space. If you already have a system installed on your disk, then, most likely, several partitions will be displayed.
- Installing Windows XP will erase all data on the selected partition. Therefore, select an empty section or a section with the data you need.
- You can delete partitions with the D key. They will turn into unallocated space. If you delete a partition, you will lose all data stored in it.
Step 5. Create a new partition
Select the unallocated space and press C. A new window will open where you can set the size of the partition to be created. Enter the size in megabytes (MB) and press Enter.
- By default, the size of the created partition will be equal to the size of the entire unallocated space. If you do not plan to create multiple sections, leave everything as default.
- Windows XP itself requires at least 1.5 GB (1536 MB) of free space. Therefore, create a partition that is at least 5 GB (5120 MB) or larger if you plan to install a lot of programs.
- You can create multiple partitions on one disk. This will allow you to store programs and media files in different partitions or install a different operating system. Windows XP can only be installed on one partition.
Step 6. Highlight a new section
After creating the section, you will be returned to the window where you can select the section. The new partition is usually called "C: Partition 1 [Raw]". Select it and press Enter.
Step 7. Select "Format the partition with NTFS file system" and press Enter
NTFS can handle large files and is more secure than FAT. NTFS also supports system-level compression.
- If the partition is larger than 32 GB, then you will not be able to select FAT.
- Do not select the "Quick Format" option, as in this case the hard disk will not be checked for errors or bad sectors. Therefore, format the disk completely. If the disc is damaged, it is best to replace it immediately.
Step 8. The duration of the formatting process depends on the size of the selected partition (the larger the size, the longer it will take)
Step 9. Windows will now start copying files from the installation disc and will ask you to restart your computer when this process is complete
Press Enter when you are prompted to restart your computer, or after 15 seconds the system will do it automatically.
Step 10. When you reboot, you will see a message again prompting you to press a key to boot from CD
Ignore this suggestion and let the computer boot from the hard drive.
Step 11. The Windows logo will appear on the screen, and then the list of steps for installing the system will be displayed on the left half of the screen, and tips for working with the system will be displayed on the right half
The time remaining until the installation is complete will be displayed below the list of steps.
During the installation process, the screen may flicker, black out, or change the size of the image
Step 12. Select the language and regional settings in the appropriate window that will open during the installation of the system
Select the appropriate options and click Next.
Enter your name (if you like). This can be done in the "Owner" window; the name will be used in certain situations, such as when creating documents
Step 13. Enter the key
You will not be able to complete the installation process without a valid product key. Click Next to continue.
Some versions of Windows do not require you to enter a key until the installation process is complete
Step 14. Set the computer name
This name will show the computer on the network. Windows enters a default name, but you can change it if you like. You can also set a password for the administrator account. This is optional, but recommended for shared computers.
Step 15. Select your time zone and set the date and time
Click Next to continue.
Step 16. Set the network parameters
Most users can leave the default network settings or consult a professional (system administrator) for network settings.
- In the next window, most users can select "This computer is not connected to a network or is connected to a network without a domain." Or contact your system administrator for help.
- You can leave the workgroup name by default.
Step 17. Wait for the installation process to complete
This will take a few minutes, after which the computer will restart. After rebooting, you will be taken to the Windows XP desktop. The installation is complete, but there are a few more things to do.
Part 3 of 3: Completion
Step 1. Adjust the display settings
After Windows starts, you will be prompted to customize the screen image. Click OK to start configuration. The screen blinks a few times, and then a message appears asking if you can make out the image on the screen.
Step 2. Set up your internet connection
To do this, select the type of connection and click "Next" to continue.
Step 3. Activate Windows
If you are connected to the Internet, select "Activate Now". The system will connect to the activation server, where your copy of Windows will be automatically authenticated. If you haven't entered your Windows key yet, do so now.
Step 4. Create users
After activating the system, a window will open in which you can create users. Enter your name and the names of the people who will be working on this computer. Click Next to continue.
Step 5. You have now completely completed the Windows installation process
Congratulations! You may need to do the following:
- Update the drivers for the components of your computer.
- Install an antivirus program if you are connected to the internet.
- Enter BIOS to change the primary boot device (from CD / DVD drive to hard drive).
- Remember to set the BIOS to boot priority from CD. Older computers have BIOS options to boot from floppy disk, HDD, and CD-ROM. You need to select CD-ROM as the first boot device.
- If you encounter difficulties during the installation process, Windows Installer will provide detailed information about the error. Find the error on this site and read about how to fix it.
- Installation will take 15 to 40 minutes. It all depends on the speed of your computer. It is better not to leave your computer, since during the installation process you need to configure the network settings, time, and the like.
- Do not try to install Windows on a computer that does not meet the minimum system requirements.
- You can install Windows multiple times on the same partition. In the future, this may lead to system malfunctions. Download Partition Magic 8 to partition your disk.
- Some users install Windows XP from a disc with Service Pack 2 and have problems such as constant reboots or blue screen of death. This is due to the lack of a driver for SATA hard drives. In order to fix this error, you need to write the drivers to the Windows installation disk or copy the necessary drivers to a floppy disk and select them manually during the Windows installation process.
- Remember to activate Windows within 30 days of installation; otherwise, you will not be able to log in.