Recipe 2.2. Installing from a CD or DVD


You have a CD or DVD of Windows XP, and you want to perform a clean installation of Windows XP on your computer using it.


It's a fairly effortless procedure to install Windows XP onto systems.

  1. Turn the system power on and insert the Windows XP CD into the drive. If you receive a prompt to select from what location to boot, choose the option to boot off the CD. The system will boot a minimal, text-only version of Windows XP into main memory and begin the initial installation procedure.

  2. Select the Clean Install option.

  3. Read the terms of the license agreement. If you accept (which, of course, you have to do in order to continue installation), hit F8 to continue.

  4. Partition your disk, as described in the Discussion section. Figure 2-1 shows the disk partitioning screen.

    Figure 2-1. The disk partitioning screen

  5. Select the file system with which you want the partition formatted and press Enter to start the format. The remainder of this book will assume your Windows XP installation resides on a partition formatted with the NTFS file system. This process can take up to one hour to complete, depending on the size and speed of your drive. If your hard drive is new or you have already formatted it, you can choose the Quick Format option for near-immediate results.

  6. Enter the location where you want the actual Windows XP system files. We recommend accepting the default location, %systemroot%\windows.

  7. Wait for the file copy to finish. If you are downloading the files via a modem, this can take up to five minutes. Once the copy is complete, the system will reboot, and the next portion of the installation will commence in graphical mode.

  8. Choose the regional settings for this computer. You can change the language, locale, and keyboard settings depending on your geographical location. Click Next.

  9. Enter your name and organization, and then click Next.

  10. Choose the unique name of this computer using alphanumeric characters. The name can be up to 15 characters long and should not contain spaces. Click Next.

  11. Generate and enter a password for the administrator account. Be sure to remember this information. If you write it down, store the paper in a secure location, as this password allows for full control of your system.

  12. Adjust the time zone and machine time and date on the next screen. Click Next.

  13. The network components of Windows XP are installed next. This step includes the following processes:

    1. Detecting the network adapter or adapters installed in the machine. This is usually automatic, as Windows XP knows of a lot of network cards and can install drivers without the need for your input.

    2. Confirming the selection of network protocols. On modern networks, you will typically want the Client for Microsoft Networks, File and Print Sharing for Microsoft Networks, and the TCP/IP protocol. The "typical settings," as shown in Figure 2-2, will install these automatically.

      Figure 2-2. The networking options selection screen

    3. Creating or joining an existing workgroup or domain. If you'd like to join a domain, you'll need a domain username and password. For workgroups, just the name will suffice.

  14. Finally, files are copied and settings are finalized. This step can take an additional 20 minutes.

Your installation will be complete once the system restarts.


The installation process is trivial for the vast majority of users. Here are some things to expect and note during the process:

There are some options when it comes to slicing and dicing the disk space on a machine that will run Windows XP. You can, of course, create a new partition on either a nonpartitioned portion of a disk or by deleting an existing partition to make room for a new one. You can also install Windows XP to an existing disk partition if there's enough free disk space.

How much disk space? A general guide is that the partition that Windows XP will reside on ought to be at least 1.5 GB in size, and preferably more. It's also recommended by most computer experts that you keep the system files separate from your individual data files at the very least, keep your personal data on a separate partition, and even better, on a separate disk. Having separate partitions ensures the security of the your personal files if the operating system ever becomes corrupted, whereas having separate disks affords that security as well as increased I/O performance because of less disk seeking.

Along with partitioning comes the choice of file systems. Windows XP supports two: NTFS and FAT32. NTFS is the file system native to Windows NT-based operating systems, and it supports the full range of built-in security features, automatic file compression, and file encryption. FAT32, while a venerable standard that has a place in systems where legacy compatibility is crucial, does not offer the security features of NTFS and therefore should be a last resort. However, you can convert an existing FAT32 system to NTFS at a later time; reversion to a FAT system from NTFS is not possible with Windows XP's built-in disk management tool suite.

Later, in the graphical portion of the installation process, you'll be asked whether you want to create or join an existing workgroup or make this machine a member of an existing domain. The workgroup is a decentralized collection of computers designed to facilitate resource sharing among a handful of computers. There is no common security database, and all user data is stored locally on each computer. A domain is a group of network resources as designed by the network administrator so that their security databases may be centralized and shared. Domains allow for a central logon and easier management of its member clients and servers. To join a new machine to a domain, that domain must already exist and the controller for that domain must be available to the new machine.

One final tip: to speed up the installation process, you might consider copying the entire CD to your local hard drive, thus removing the need for a slow CD drive.

See Also

Recipe 2.9 for creating multiboot installations

Windows XP Cookbook
Windows XP Cookbook (Cookbooks)
ISBN: 0596007256
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 408

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