Windows XP comes in four editions which are
- Home: Designed for home users, this edition has limited networking and security capabilities.
- Professional: Most common and can connect to domains, make remote desktop connections, and support two physical CPUs and also comes in 64-bit.
- Media Center: It has enhanced audio and video capability that displays on a TV and can be controlled remotely.
- Tablet PC: It comes with a tablet PC whose screen can swivel and flip over.
Windows XP Professional minimum needs for install are 233MHz processor, 64MB RAM and 1.5GB (2GB partition) of free disk space. But Media Center edition needs 1.6GHz CPU, 256MB RAM, and a hardware-accelerated graphics card for DirectX 9.0.
Following are several types of installation methods for Windows XP:
CD Setup – Most common and CD-ROM should be first boot drive in boot sequence in BIOS.
Automated Setup– Locally or over the network by using Remote Installation Services (RIS) of windows server 2003. It uses automated text-based answer files for each step of installation where input from user is needed.
Network Setup –by using Sysprep utility to prepare systems for installation over the network.
Disk image- Disk image of already installed system is made and it is extracted on other systems by using image programs like Norton Ghost but, both computers need to be identical in hardware
Recovery disc setup – PC manufacturer give recovery CD or pre-install on a hidden partition; to reinstall Windows XP if system is corrupted.
Windows XP Setup Steps
After checking minimum hardware needs, steps for fresh, local CD install of Windows XP Professional is listed.
- Boot PC from the CD-ROM and start the installation, by pressing a key if prompted.
- Install drivers for third party SCSI or RAID devices, if needed by pressing F6 else do nothing. Option to repair OS by pressing F2 also comes which starts Automated System Recovery.
- Start Install and accept software license or end-user license agreement (EULA) by pressing F8.
- Partition the disk drive as per user need. Install to preexisting partition, or to unpartitioned space by highlight the partition to install to and press Enter.
- Format the drive as NTFS or FAT with option for a quick format; choose this option if it is a new drive or was formatted previously but if drive had data files on drive so do full format. Press enter to start formatting.
- Set up regional settings which include settings for language and currency.
- Enter user name and company name.
- Give Windows XP Product key, which comes with the software pack.
- Enter PC name and password. PC name should be unique on network if connected to and remember password entered and type it again to confirm.
- Enter date, time and time zone
- Configure networking settings. If typical settings selected, windows auto-configures the network adapter, or in custom settings, enter the settings manually.
- Select workgroup or domain to join network
- Windows is copying files and configures the OS. After which it restarts and auto-configures video and Windows opens Welcome to Windows screen.
- Activate Windows.
Verify and Troubleshoot Setup
If setup fails, check PC configuration to be as per minimum needs of XP. If hardware qualifies and setup failed so, check log files generated during setup which are present in C:\Windows or %systemroot% folder. They are plain text files. Some important log files are
- log– Records errors during setup.
- txt Records events during setup.
- log Stores all events during GUI-mode setup.