How to install Windows XP: Complete step by step guide

By | February 2, 2011

The most widely used Windows version is Windows XP. Most of us are used to windows XP so windows Vista and Windows 7 look quite a lot more complex, that’s why we stick with XP.

First thing you would need to do before starting to install Windows XP is, if you are installing it from CD, to check if your computer has the CD-ROM in first boot priority. It is not necessary to be the first in the boot, but the thing that is important is to be in boot before your Hard Drive. To check that you will need to go in BIOS SETUP you can enter there, depending on your motherboard, by hitting DEL(Delete) or F12 on your keyboard.

After you enter the BIOS Setup Screen, look for BOOT that’s where you change your Boot Priorities. Every Motherboard has it’s own boot software so your might not look like mine. To change the order of CD-ROM, with your arrow buttons on your keyboard go to the CD-ROM Drive and thank hit on + or - on your keyboard. Some of motherboards have F4 or F5.

BIOS Save and Exit
Before starting your Windows XP Installtion, we need to tell BIOS that the settings changed need to be saved. Find Exit on your screen than use arrow buttons on your keyboard to go there. And on Exit Saving Changes click Enter. There is a Shortcut to do this wherever you are on te setup. Just press the F10 button on your keyboard and a windows will popup asking you are you sure you want to save configuration changes and exit. You hit enter on yes. Now you are ready to start your Windows XP Installation. Enter your Windows XP CD and start your computer.

Press Any key to boot from CDSetup is inspecting your computer's hardware configuration

Notice: If you don’t have any Xp installation in your Hard Drive or if your hard drive is fresh new you will not get the Press any key to boot from CD screen. After you press any of the keyboard keys you screen says Setup is inspecting your computer’s hardware configuration.

Xp installation loading files

Depending on your computer configuration and how fast your computer is … this screen will load files drivers for your computer and it may take 2 minutes or more. Just wait for it to load them.

Xp installation Setup is starting windowsXp installation press enter

After it is done the screen says Setup is starting Windows. After that you see the Welcome to Setup screen. There are 3 options that you can continue with. 1rst by Pressing ENTER to start Windows XP setup. 2nd is by pressing R to start repairing Windows XP and the 3rd is to press F3 to exit Windows Setup. As we want to setup a new Windows Installation we go with the 1rst option. Press Enter on your keyboard.

XP installation Licence Agreement

The next thing you will need to do is Press F8 so windows XP will know that you have read and you are accepting the License Agreement.

Xp installation create partitionXp installation create partition step2

After you press F8 and agree you get the screen where your partitions show. Partitions are parts of your Hard Drive. You can have as many as you like, I prefer having 2. One for Windows OS and the other for stuff I would like to keep safe. If your windows somehow doesn’t work or crashes you will need to format your C drive to get things work again .. or you can repair your Windows, but maybe you would like to start fresh again so I recommend keeping your Documents, pictures, music, anything on your D drive, the second drive. You create a partition by pressing the C button on your keyboard. After pressing C, you get the screen where you will need to specify how much your partition size will be. The size is calculated in MB(MegaBytes). So for 40GB(GigaBytes) of partition you will need 40960 MB.
Notice: As you may or may not know 1GB = 1024 MB.
After you write your desired size hit Enter and the partition will be created. As I mentioned above you can create as many partitions you like. For doing that just hit C every time you want to create a partition.

Xp installation start installing windowsXp installation Format drive

After you have created your partition(s) select the desired partition and press Enter to continue with the setup. You will get to the Next screen asked with what kind of type you want your partition formatted. You can select any but NTFS (New Technology File System) works faster than FAT32 (File Allocation Table). You have 2 options Quick format and Normal format. Quick format is just as it sounds, it is quick. Use it  when you don’t have a lot of time. But I recommend the Normal Format. Then Windows Setup needs to confirm for formatting your partition. To do that you need to press F.

Xp installation setup is formattingXp installation copying files

So now Windows Setup will Format your drive and Copy all the installation files into your hard drive to continue with the Setup. All you need to do is wait for the formatting and copying to finish. Grab a cup of coffee, light a cigarette or do something else. Depending on your computer speed the time of waiting may vary from 3 to 15 minutes.

Xp installation your computer will reboot

This is the last screen you will see on the Text-based Setup of Windows XP. Just Press Enter or wait 15 second for your computer to reboot. After rebooting you will get Press Any key to continue screen this time you dont need to Press any key to boot from CD  … just wait for it to timeout and your Windows Setup will continue.

First Graphic Screen on windows installationXp installation installing devices

The picture on the left shows the first Graphic screen with mouse of the Windows XP setup. And the picture on the right shows Installing devices. Your Screen may flicker while Windows is Installing Devices. It flickers because Windows XP Setup is installing your Graphic card. So be Patient and Wait.

windows xp proffesional setup regional and language options

This is the first window in your Windows Xp Setup. There are 2 things to be considered in this step. You can Customize your Regional And Language Options and Text Services and Input Languages or leave them as they are so you will customize them later when you finish installing Windows XP.

Regional and language optionsText services and input languages

So If you want to customize any of these settings go ahead, like choose your language and choose your location(Region) so the computer will show currencies, time short date long date like it is shown in your region. Also you can add languages, input languages support for your keyboard to type in any language you want. As I said you can do these after the setup finishes but why not set them now so you will not waste time after installation for these things, but waste time  installing the drivers instead.

Xp setup personalize your softwareXp installation your product key

Here you will need to write your Name and Organization. Write anything you want. After that write the Product Key of your Windows XP. The key is consisted from 5 parts. Every part has 5 characters. Write them and click Next.

xp installation computer name XP installation date and time settings

Next write a computer name by your choice and write the administrator password. I recommend you write an administrator password, but you can leave it blank if you want and click next. The next screen is for the Time and Date Settings. Check the timezone. If you don’t know what timezone you are in, go to The World Clock and in the Search for City field write your city and it will show the timezone of your city. It’s pretty easy. Click Next.

Xp installation installing network

The next thing you need to do is to choose the Network Settings for your computer. Usually everyone chooses Typical settings and click next.

Xp installation Network settingsXp installation workgroup or computer domain

Next thing write your workgroup name or domain name if your computer is part of any of those. If not just leave the default and click Next.
Now you wait.

Xp installation copying filesXp installation completing installation

Xp installation installing start menu itemsXp installation registering components

Xp installation saving settingsXp installation removing any temporary files used

After all these processes have finished as shown in the pictures above, you will get a screen with a pop-up windows saying To improve the appearance of your visual elements, Windows will automatically adjust your screen resolution. Click on OK.

Xp setup display settingsMicrosoft Windows Xp Setup please wait

The Screen you get next is Microsoft Windows XP Please wait… screen. As it says, Please wait … just wait a few seconds or minutes depending on your computer speed.
Next you will be asked for a username for your computer if you haven’t written any password for the administrator account.

Xp for the first time logon screen administratorXp logon sceen applying your personal settings

Just enter the password if you have written any for your administrator account and hit Enter on your keyboard. Your computer will apply your personal settings of your user and log on to your username.

Xp started for the first time

Notice: If you have used any cracked version of windows or any unattended Windows Setup, most of the steps mentioned above are skipped and default values are added.

Hope you enjoyed and hope it helped you.

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