Ever since 2001, Windows XP has been a favorite OS by millions of people. Born out of Windows NT and came with multiple flavors of XP, users were charmed with its fresh new look and ease of use.

Note: for VM using Virtual PC 2007 click here to view necessary information for installing Windows XP Professional X86.


  • Home Edition
  • Professional
  • Tablet PC
  • Media Center Edition
    • Media Center Edition (Freestyle 2002)
    • Media Center Edition (Harmony 2004)
    • Media Center Edition (EHarmony 2005)
  • Professional X64 Edition

With these many distributions of the OS, people could pick and choose between the features and determine exactly what the need.

Installing Windows XP

Today we'll be installing Windows XP Professional X86 (32-bit edition) from scratch. Before we install we need to prepare our Hard Disk Drive (HDD) for installing XP.

Step 1

Find your Windows Product Key. If you have lost your product key or are not sure if it is correct then you should download a free product key finder that is compatible with your current installation of Windows XP. http://www.winkeyfinder.com/ this website, however, only applies if you are moving your installation from one computer to another computer.

Create the necessary partitions and/or back up all of the important files that you need for this new installation. If you intend on wiping your HDD then using http://www.diskwipe.org/ software that is available for free is a great tool to wipe an HDD with. You'll need to mount this progam on a CD and boot from the CD and when it prompts you type the following: WIPE 0

Once you've done what you need to do in order to prepare your HDD for installing XP, pop the CD/DVD in and turn off the computer off and back on to boot from the CD/DVD. The first thing you'll see is the following:

The next thing you'll see is the beginning of the Windows Installer with a bright blue background:

Once all of the necessary items are loaded for the Installer to commence you'll see the follwing:

Press Enter to setup XP.

Step 2

The first thing you'll be asked to do it to accept the EULA or the End-User License Agreement, press F8 to accept the EULA otherwise the OS will NOT install.

Step 3 1

Select the Hard Drive or the HDD Partition that you wish XP to be installed on and then press enter.

Step 4 2

The next step is important to installing your OS. If you don't want to use the Wipe utility you can do what's called a high-level format which wipes the HDD.

NTFS Quick v. NTFS

NTFS Quick only wipes out the Master Boot Record (MBR) and the parition tables you have assigned to that drive. The deletion of files, however, does not occur. NTFS normal disk format not only wipes the MBR and the parition table, but is also wipes out ALL of the files that are in the drive. Once this is done it cannot be undone and you will not be able to retrieve any files from the HDD. This is also called a high-level format.

If you used the Wipe utility then you can use the NTFS Quick setting and if you did not but you want to wipe the drive then you can use the NTFS format to wipe the drive.

Select the option you wish to use and then press enter. You will see the following:

Once this is done you'll see the following:

This portion of the setup is just analyzing your HDD to make sure the format went well and goes by relatively quickly.

Step 5

Once the formatting process is finished and it has checked to make sure everything has gone correctly, you will see this:

This is merely loading all of the necessary files that are needed to begin and complete the XP setup. After it gathers all of the necessary files you will see that the files are being configures and then the system will reboot.

Setting up Windows XP

Now that all of the core files have loaded for the setup to commence, we can actually begin installing and configuring our installation of the OS.

At first, it appears as if the XP installation had finished when, in reality, it's just the tip of the iceberg unfortunately.

Step 1

Windows will first analyze your system and prompt you which language you are using and how you would like your keyboard setup.

Step 2 3

Next we'll need to type the name of the PC that we wish to use.

Step 3

Enter in your 25 number product key and then continue. If you are unsure of your product key and you might have lost it then there is the software mentioned at the beginning of this tutorial.

Step 4

Once the product key has successfully been entered we now will configure the admin user and time settings. We have an option from UTC - 12 to UTC + 12. Here in Pacific Time Zone we're UTC - 8.

Step 5

This is where the fun begins. Be prepared to spend time doing something else while the OS installs. This is really just preparing the OS for installation.

Step 6

For setting up the network, it is advised to setup all of the typical settings (which is basically everything) since it is all you'll need to have a fully functional computer.

Step 7

Wait. Nothing more, nothing less. The only thing we do now is wait. Here are multiple screen shots of the installers progress:

Finalizing the Install

From what may seem like an eternity, Windows reboots itself this time and we start to configure the OS to our liking before we actually are able to use XP.

Step 1

Automatic Updates are essential for any Windows Operating System. This allows Windows to search and download updates and even install them without you having to approve of such updates. These updates include security patches, OS patches, service packs, updates in key software such as hardware drivers, manufacture software, Microsoft Office, and Internet Explorer updates.

Step 2

Setting up the network is important but not vital. If you are unsure if your PC is on a network or if it directly connects to the internet then select no for the answer and continue with the configuration. You can always change these settings in control panel later on.

Step 3

Activating Windows is an important process to get done with. You will, however, need an internet connection in order to activate windows. If you do not have an active internet connection then you should find some way to activate the OS.

Registering with Microsoft is relatively unimportant. You can choose to register or to not register.

Step 4

This step in configuration allows us to create our admin user and up to four additional users of the computer. XP was the first Operating System that allows multiple users and it passed Apple's OSX 10.0 initial release codename cheetah with great popularity and more features.

Step 5

Once this is all done you'll get the following screen:

and then the OS will finish booting and presto!

Virtual Machine Reference Material for Virtual PC 2007
1 The hard drive that we see here will be the amount of space that we allocated to the VM in step 8 of the Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 software. 2 The format of the HDD doesn't mean anything because there is nothing on the virtual drive. It is completely blank. It has not yet gone through a high-level format like the host computers HDD has. You can select either option. 3 An interesting phenomenon happens here if the names of the host computer and the virtual machine are the same. You must name the VM something other than what the hosts name is. e.g. Host: Dennis-PC and VM: Dennis-PC. This is not allowed.
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