Windows XP Help

Windows XP Installation

1. How do I install Windows XP?

There are two ways to install: a clean or fresh install or an upgrade from an older version of Windows. For a clean installation you need to have a blank hard disk, boot off the XP CD and then follow prompts on screen. To boot from CD, you may need to change the Boot Sequence in the BIOS to make CDROM boot before the Hard disk. If you cannot boot from CD, you can boot from a DOS disk and run i386\winnt.exe to install XP or make some XP Floppy disks.

For an upgrade, you need to boot into Windows first, then insert the XP CD, run Setup.exe (or let it autorun) and select the upgrade option from the menu. It is recommended that you run the Upgrade Advisor (or run the System Check from the XP CD) first to make sure that you uninstall incompatible drivers and software first. Upgrading will keep your current program installations, settings and documents in tack (but do a backup first in case it goes wrong!).

Clean Install of Windows XP
Windows XP Clean Installation - Partitioning and Formatting using Windows XP CD

2. What is not installed by default in XP?

Netbeui protocol is not installed by default as is required if you want to view other computers in My Network Places. This can be found in D:\ValueAdd\MSFT\Net\Netbeui (see text file for installation).
The NTBackup program is also not installed, this can be found in D:\ValueAdd\MSFT\NTBackup.
Additional Support Tools can be installed from D:\Supports\Tools by runing the .msi file.

3. How do I uninstall Windows XP?

If you have upgraded to XP from an earlier OS and not converted to NTFS, you can uninstall Windows XP from the Add/Remove Programs control panel. If it was not an upgrade or you are using NTFS partitions, then you need to delete the partitions first by booting off the XP CD (to boot off the XP CD, go into BIOS and change Boot sequence, and make the CDROM first boot device) and when you get to the Drive Setup screen you can delete existing partitions. If you have a MS DOS or 98 boot disk you can use FDISK to delete Non-Dos partitions, allowing you to re-install Windows XP.

4. Where do I find out if my hardware is compatible?

Visit the manufacturer's website or visit DriverGuide site.

5. How does this activation thing work in XP?

When you install XP you need to Activate Windows for it to work for more than 30 days otherwise Windows will no longer load. You can use each copy of XP on one machine only as it will remember what hardware you have installed it on. If you change 3 or more items or more then you need to reactivate it again. You cannot install the same XP CD on more than one machine, you have to buy a copy for each machine or else Activation will fail and Microsoft will be aware of you trying to 'pirate' Windows XP without paying for it! If you reinstall you may need to activate it again and if its the same hardware it should work fine!
You can activate it over the internet or telephone Microsoft where the computer will generate a long code which must be entered via the phone or told to the operator and they will give a activation code to activate Windows.
The activation file can be backed up, just make a backup of the c:\windows\system32\wpa.dbl and wpa.bak files.

6. Which software will I probably need to upgrade?

Any software that accesses the system at a low level such as Virus Scanners, CD Burning software, Disk utilities such as Norton and probably some drivers need to be updated from earlier 9x, NT or 2000 drivers. A lot of 2000 drivers should work on XP although XP comes with a lot of drivers itself for most common Video, Sound, Printer and USB devices but not all. Always, check manufacturer's website for XP drivers which may have been released since XP was released.
It is a good idea to run the Upgrade Advisor from the XP CD, a magazine cover disk or from Microsoft's website to see which software is incompatible and needs an update.

7. What steps should I take before upgrading from Windows 9x/Me to Windows XP?

First do a backup of all your data, favourites and Email files to Zip, CD etc. Then run the Upgrade Advisor program (available on the XP CD, magazine coverdisks or Microsoft's website) to see what applications or devices will or won`t work under Windows XP. Uninstall any applications that do not work under Windows XP such as old Virus Scanners, Norton programs, CD Writer software etc. Also, so older drivers could also be uninstalled in case they do not work in XP. I also suggest make a list of any devices you have and download any drivers for XP you can find for your PC and then you are ready to install then if XP cannot find drivers for devices you have. You may then install updated applications afterwards and restore data if required.

8. What is the difference between XP Pro and XP Home?

XP Pro is for people upgrading from Windows 2000 Pro, XP Home is for people upgrading from Windows 98/98SE/Me. XP Pro is designed for the Work place which uses corporate networks to servers such as Windows NT, 2000 or Novell Servers. XP Pro has support for joining domains such as NT and Active Directory and supports Novell NDS Clients. It also supports Remote Desktop and Web Services (IIS) and advanced features such as Security and Permissions tabs and Users and Groups in the Computer Management console (XP Home has a User Accounts control panel).
See the Windows XP Editions page for more information.

There are three additional versions of XP: 64 bit Edition, Tablet PC Edition and Media Center editions which only come with specific types of computers.

9. How do I migrate files from my old system to my new system?

XP comes with a Files and Settings Transfer Wizard (which may be run direct from the XP CD) which will allow you to backup all your data files and settings to disk when you have done the installation of XP allow you to reimport them to your new system afterwards. DO NOT use MSBackup supplied with Windows 9x and that will not work under XP. Use the Wizard or a third party backup program such as Veritas Backup or Dantz Retrospec Express.

10. Where are My Documents stored in Windows XP?

In Windows 9x, they were placed in C:\My Documents, now XP Home is based on Windows 2000 and includes security and multiple users and have been moved to C:\Documents and Settings\My Documents. Other folders like these are also moved to your home directory as well such as Cookies, History, Temp Internet Files and other files.
When you login you get a new directory called C:\Documents and Settings\Username which is where your new documents are stored.

11. How do I create a slipstreamed Windows XP SP3 CD?

You can create it using a Windows XP CD and the Network install version of SP3 and then use these instructions.

12. How do I convert from FAT32 to NTFS?

You can use the Convert C: /FS:NTFS command to convert C: drive to NTFS. It is not possible to convert from NTFS to FAT32 (unless you own Partition Manager). You will need to delete and recreate a FAT32 partition to do this. Using the Convert command will keep existing data (but always do a backup before attempting it!).

13. How do I format disks in Windows XP?

Normally, to format disks you can set up partitions and format them in Disk Management tool (diskmgmt.msc). But, you cannot format the boot drive with XP installed e.g. C: as Windows is using that. You need to boot off another disk to allow you to format C:. For example, you can boot off the XP CD and use the disk setup screen to partition or format drives, without Windows loaded.

14. How can I read stuff written in Japanese, Chinese or Korean languages?

You need to install the East Asian files from your XP CD via the Regional and Language Options control panel via Start, Settings, Control Panel.

15. I have a xxx language version of Windows XP. How can I convert it to English or other language?

You cannot, each version of Windows XP is localised to the country you purchased it from. You can change some language options via the Regional and Language Options but to convert everything, you need to buy the correct language version of Windows XP.

16. Where can I get additional licences of Windows XP?

If you want Windows XP on a second computer, you need to buy a second copy, such as eBay.

17. Windows XP installed itself to a different drive other than C:, how can it change it?

You cannot change it when XP is installed as it will have made all the registry settings point to the drive you installed it from. You need to reinstall it again to the correct drive ie. C: and remove the old installation.

18. When I boot up into Windows XP, the menu shows two or more entries for XP, how do I get rid of the second one?

The boot.ini file stored details of Operating Systems to boot from and if XP is installed more than once, then an extra entry is shown. Load MSConfig and click on the Boot.ini tab and click Check All Boot Paths and it should remove the invalid entry.

19. Can I copy the I386 folder to my Hard Disk and point XP to it?

Yes, just copy the i386 folder from the Windows XP CD to a location of your choice, then load Regedit and locate HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup and change the SourcePath to the location you desire
e.g. C:\InstallXP\ with the i386 folder inside it. (By default the SourcePath will point to your CD drive).

20. I do not have a Windows XP install disk or a Restore Disk, can I make one?

Certainly, if you have the files on your Hard disk, then you could copy them to a CDR disk. All you need is the I386 folder with the install files in it and if provided the Setup.exe, Readme.htm and Autorun.inf files. (There are approx. 5090 files and 8 subdirectories in i386 with a two executables: winnt.exe and winnt32.exe).
Sometimes the files are visible on C:, or sometimes stored on a hidden partition. See the manufacturer's website for any info on many CDs from these locations.
If you do not have the install files, then you can make an Image of C: drive using Norton Ghost or DriveImage or failing that buy a Retail copy of Windows XP (make sure you buy the Full version unless you have a older Version of Windows to hand for the upgrade version).
You can also create a special repair disk via Start, Accessories, Backup, and select the Automated Recovery Wizard to create a recovery CD.

21. Can I use Remote Desktop in XP Home as in XP Pro?

No, XP Home comes with Remote Assistance which is different from Remote Desktop. You need to install a third party program such as Ultra VNC to do remote desktop control.

22. How can I tell which version of XP I have installed?

Open the Properties of My Computer or open the System Control Panel. It will state you will have either Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional or Windows XP 64 bit Edition. The 64 bit edition will only work on Itanium based PCs, most people have Pentium or Athlon based PCs (32 bit). Please note that Athlon 64s still use the 32bit edition of Windows at present.

23. How do I move a Hard disk form my old computer to a different computer?

If moving a hard disk from one computer to another, then to make changes to the hardware drivers, then a Repair Install from the XP CD will allow you to modify the XP installation to redetect new hardware. This does not work in all cases. If moving to new hardware, uninstall all unncessary drivers via Device Manager first including graphics card, sound card, LAN cards, motherboard drivers and hard disk controllers before moving to new hardware. Also, see SysPrep info below.

24. How do I deploy XP to multiple computers with one image?

If deploying an XP image to multiple computers then use Sysprep utility (see on XP CD) to modify the XP setup before installing it on other computers (see 'How to Use Sysprep.exe to Automate Windows XP Deployment [Q302577]' for more information). You can use Ghost or Drive Image to create your image once syspreped for deployment.

25. I have lost my Product Code. Can I read it from my Windows XP installation?

The Product Code is usually written on the back of the packaging with your XP CD on on the CD case. You can read it from Windows XP with a utility called ProduKey.

26. Some accessories have not been installed. I cannot find option in Add/Remove Windows Components. How can I install them?

You can install them via the program's INF file located in C:\Windows\Inf. For example, use write.inf to install WordPad, multimed.inf to install Sound Volume, Sound Recorder utilities, Pinball.inf to install the Pinball game, communic.inf to install HyperTerminal, mssmgs.inf for Windows Messenger, ie.inf for Internet Explorer, msoe50.inf for Outlook Express and mplayer2.inf for Media Player, shell.inf for Disk Cleanup etc. To install it, right click the INF file and select Install and you may need the Windows XP CD to copy files from it.

27. My hard disk is not recognised when installing Windows XP?

You need to provide a hard disk controller driver by pressing F6 when Windows XP setup starts and insert the disk with the correct files on it. If the PC has a SATA (Serial ATA) controller then it may be possible to switch to IDE emulation mode in the BIOS so that Windows XP will recognise the hard disk. If you do not have a floppy drive, then you need to slipstream the drivers on to a custom Windows XP CD.

28. When does support for Windows XP officially end?

Windows XP SP3 support will end April 8 2014. See this lifecyle fact sheet.

After April 2014, a number of things will no longer work:
a) Access to may be unavailable. Try updating to Microsoft Update via the update site, when prompted.
b) It will not be possible to activate Windows XP via online or phone (see item 5).
c) Windows Genuine Advantage Validation service that affects some software e.g. WMP 11, Security Essentials will not validate during install.
d) Access to secure web sites using TLS 1.2 or later will not work with IE. Install a newer alternative browser installed e.g Firefox.