Install or Upgrade?

After you've made the decision to install XP, you're faced with two installation options: installing or upgrading.

Clean Install

When performing a clean install, you place a brand new copy of XP into the destination partition, completely wiping out any versions of Windows (or any other files and folders, for that matter) currently residing there. This slash-and-burn technique is one of the choices you make from the Setup dialog boxes, and it can be selected when starting XP Setup from within previous Windows versions. If installing XP on a new computer or new primary hard drive for an old computer, you will of course perform a clean install.

The easiest way to perform a clean install is to boot the Windows installation CD. You may need to adjust the BIOS settings of the computer first, but most computers that meet the minimum hardware requirements for Windows XP can be set to boot from the CD. Because a clean install starts with a freshly formatted partition and thus wipes out any data on that partition, you need to make sure that a backup exists if you want to avoid losing old data.

Upgrade Over an Existing Windows Version

You can update to XP from nearly any currently running version of Windows, including 98, Me, NT 4 (Service Pack 6 or higher must be installed), and 2000 Professional. There are exceptions: you can't upgrade from Windows 95 or 3.1 (although the hardware on such computers is not likely to support XP anyway).

The advantage of upgrading is that all your current configuration settings are kept intact. You have a new OS, but you retain the old Desktop, Start Menu contents, My Documents contents, Internet Explorer Favorites, and so onyour environment doesn't change. To perform an upgrade, just insert the Windows CD and choose Upgrade in the Setup drop-down menu shown in Figure 2-2.

Figure 2-2. Clean install or upgrade?

And, just so there's no confusion, you can still choose XP for your OS if you're running a Pentium II with Windows 95, for example. You will just have to perform a clean install, resulting in either a multiboot configuration or a clean slate of Windows XP.

All three installation options are available with the various methods of performing an attended installation. One of the more common methods is to insert the XP CD-ROM from your current operating system.

Multiboot Systems

Should you choose XP Home or XP Professional? Yes. With multiboot, you can use both operating systems on the same machine and simply choose between them at startup time. The requirement here is that you place each OS installation in its own partition. (Actually, it's not technically a requirement; you can have them in the same partition, but Microsoft strongly discourages this kind of maverick behavior.)

When configuring multiboot, it's generally best to install the most powerful operating system last. For example, if you're installing Windows Server 2003 and XP Professional, install XP Pro first. If configuring an XP Home/XP Pro system, install XP Home first.

The major drawback to using a multiboot system is that you must install applications on both operating systems. For example, if you had an XP Home/XP Pro system and wanted to use Microsoft Word on both operating systems, you couldn't just install Word on the XP Home installation. The data doesn't need to be duplicatedyou could still have just a single folder with all your Word documentsbut the applications must be recorded in each operating system's Registry. The OSs can share data, but they cannot share Registries.

Spring Into Windows XP Service Pack 2
Spring Into Windows XP Service Pack 2
ISBN: 013167983X
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 275
Authors: Brian Culp © 2008-2017.
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