Step 5: Re-install Windows

The good news at this point is that the hard part is done. Now you get to build your new house. Yep, it's time to install a fresh, squeaky clean version of Windows. Hooray! This is a good time to dance around your office chair and make victorious chicken noises.

The beginning of the Windows installation is largely automatic. Sit back and allow the computer to gather information about your system, set things up, and start installing components . You see a status bar at the bottom right reading Setup Will Complete in Approximately xxx Minutes. Keep an eye on this. If it freezes for too long, you might have to press the reset button and start this portion again, but in general, let the re-install process do its thing.

The first time you need to do anything is when the setup program asks you which language and regional settings you'll be using on the computer. The standard choice should be U.S.-based English. If you need to change this, click Customize. If you need to add other input options, click Details. Unless you have any special language requirements, you can just click the Next button.

The next screen asks you to personalize your software with a name and organization. Put in something appropriate and click Next.

The next screen asks you for your installation key, sometimes called a product key . You'll find this on back of your Windows XP CD sleeve or on a sticker found on your computer case (in some instances). Type the installation key in and click Next. The key is not case-sensitive, but it must otherwise be typed exactly as it appears.

Using an Upgrade Version of Windows XP

If you are using a version of Windows XP marked Upgrade to re-install your system, you should have a copy of an older version of Windows on CD on hand. At some point during the installation, the Windows installer asks you to insert the old Windows CD into your computer to validate that you are eligible to use the upgrade. If you don't have this, you won't be able to continue the installation.

You are then asked to choose a name for your computer. By default, a seemingly random near-gibberish name already appears in the box. It's better to choose a name that you will remember. If you connect your computer to a home network, this name is used to identify the computer. You can change this later, by the way. So if you name your computer Liza-Minnelli and later change your mind, it's no big deal.


Because of a weird piece of computer math, there is actually 1024MB in 1GB. So if you make your partition 10GB, be sure to use 10240MB as your partition size .

One thing you might keep in mind here is that some cable Internet companies use your computer name to validate your Internet access. So if you have a cable Internet connection and you do not use a home Internet router, you should name your computer in this process the same name as you had when you first set it up so you don't bung up the Internet reconnection process.

If you can't remember or aren't sure of your computer name, name it whatever you want and if you have trouble connecting to the Internet later, call your Internet service to resolve this issue.

When you have chosen a name, press Next.

Now make sure your date and time settings are correct. Then press Next. The install process goes into automatic mode again for a few minutes as it sets up networking.

The next screen asks you if you want to use typical or custom settings for your networking setup. Choose Typical install and press Next. The setup process configures your network, registers components, and saves your settings.

When this process is complete, your computer restarts. Again, don't press any keys during the reboot process. When it reboots, you see a message noting that Windows is about to automatically adjust your screen resolution. Click OK. Your desktop is automatically resized. If you can see the dialog box at the top, click OK. If not, don't worry. Just wait. It will fix itself. You can re-adjust these display settings later.

The Windows XP installation process is now complete. Have a sandwich, you deserve it. I like peanut butter and jelly .

Activate Like you Have Never Activated Before

Microsoft is getting clever with its anti-piracy measures. The company introduced a new scheme to stop you from buying a copy of its software and installing it on all the computers within a half mile radius of your home, which is what we all used to do.

Now when you install Windows XP, Microsoft makes you activate your copy within 30 days of installation or it stops working. Office XP and Office 2003 also require activation. They get gimped (you can't save or change a document) after 50 launches without activation. Visio 2002 gets choked after 10 launches.

Activation works like this: The system takes an inventory of all the components in the computer and generates a numeric identifier that is like a digital thumbprint. It sends the thumbprint to a Microsoft server on the Internet and this is paired with the license you typed in from the back of the XP CD.

When you install the same CD on another machine, Microsoft checks the new machine's thumbprint against its database and if it the thumbprint doesn't match, the activation is rejected and the software stops working or gets gimped after the grace period.

There's a certain amount of tolerance in the system. You can activate two copies before the axe falls . And if you change a couple of parts in your computer, which changes that thumbprint, the activation process doesn't choke . But if you swap out your motherboard, add new RAM, and add a new video card, you might have a problem. If this is the case, it can be rectified with a call to Microsoft.

Absolute Beginners Guide To. Security, Spam, Spyware & Viruses
Absolute Beginners Guide to Security, Spam, Spyware & Viruses
ISBN: 0789734591
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 168

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