This video is designed to be used with the A+ Exam Cram 6th Edition. (Written step-by-step follows video)

Windows XP Installation Methods

Following are several types of installation methods for Windows XP:

Local installation from CD-ROM: Attended local installations by CD are the most common. Make sure that the CD-ROM drive is listed first in the BIOS boot order so that you can boot from it. Soon after starting the computer, you usually need to press a key on the keyboard to start the installation from the CD.

Booting from floppy disk and CD-ROM: It is possible that a computer’s BIOS cannot boot to CD or the CD-ROM drive is not bootable. If either of these is the case, you need to boot off the Windows Startup disks that will start the installation, install the CD-ROM drivers, and enable you to continue the installation from CD-ROM. If you install Windows XP, these disks (usually six of them) are available from Note that there are different sets of floppy disks for Windows XP Home and XP Professional and for the specific service pack that is packaged as part of the CD. Make sure to download the correct version. If you install Windows 2000 Professional, the purchased package comes with a CD and four boot disks in the case that the computer’s CD-ROM is not bootable. These disks can also be created by accessing the CD and going to the folder called bootdisk. From here, simply double-click makeboot.exe, and the program will guide you through the process of making the disks. To create disks from the CD on an older version of Windows, use makebt32.exe.
If you can’t find the boot disk that you need, you could search for it on the Internet; for example has an image file for just about every boot disk you can imagine!

Network installation: You can install Windows over the network in a variety of ways. To automate the process, Windows XP can be installed from a server, for example by using the Remote Installation Services (RIS) program, which can be installed on Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 Server. This program works along with Windows XP/2000’s Setup Manager program that creates the automated answer files like unattend.txt. These files are text-based, unlike Windows Vista’s unattend.xml. For more information on how this works, the differences between Vista and XP, and how to combine XP and Vista deployment technologies, see the following link: Like Windows Vista, Windows XP also uses the Sysprep utility to prepare unique systems for installation over the network. It is provided on the CD-ROM at \SUPPORT\TOOLS\ in a cabinet file called DEPLOY.CAB. The most recent version of Sysprep for Windows XP can also be downloaded from the Microsoft website as part of the Windows XP Service Pack 2 Deployment Tools. See the following link for more information:

Disk image: Windows XP (and actually any operating system) can also be installed as a disk image using programs such as Acronis True Image or Norton Ghost. When cloning a disk image, both computers need to be identical or as close to identical as possible.

Installing from a recovery disc: Like Windows Vista, Windows XP computers that have the operating system preinstalled use a recovery disc (CD), hidden partition, or both. This disc and/or partition contains a factory image of Windows. The purpose of this is to give users the ability to return their computer back to the state when it was first received.

Installing Windows XP

After you decide on the version of XP you’d like to use, and have verified compatibility of hardware, it’s time to install. This section covers the steps involved for a clean, local installation of Windows XP Professional off the CD-ROM.

Step 1. Boot the computer from the CD-ROM. When doing so
1. Make sure the CD drive is configured as the first boot device in the system BIOS.
2. Insert the Windows XP CD-ROM into the system’s CD drive. (If the drive won’t open while in the BIOS, insert the disc immediately after saving the BIOS.)
3. Save the BIOS and restart the system.
4. The CD should boot automatically and start the installation if the drive is blank, but if you are prompted to boot from the CD, press any key. There is only a small window of time for this, approximately 5 seconds. This prompt is a protective measure; if you get the prompt, it means that there is data of some sort on the drive. When you press a key, it begins the text portion of the Windows XP installation.

Step 2. (Optional) Install drivers for mass storage devices. Early during the installation process, the bottom of the screen says Press F6 if you need to install a third party SCSI or RAID driver, as shown in the following figure. This displays only for a short time. If you have such drivers, press F6, and you will be prompted to insert the CD-ROM or floppy disk that came with the device. Usually, installations are done to Ultra ATA or SATA hard disks, so pressing F6 is not necessary. A similar prompt at the bottom of the screen is shown next: Press F2 to Run Automated System Recovery (ASR). This is not necessary during an installation but can be used to repair an operating system that has failed.

Step 3. Start the Install and accept the end-user license agreement (EULA). When done loading initial files, XP asks you if you want to install, repair, or quit. Press Enter to install. The next screen requires that you press F8 to agree to the EULA. You will also note that in case you make a mistake, you can press F3 at any time to quit the installation.

Step 4. Partition the drive. If you install to a new hard drive, this screen should show Unpartitioned Space. From here you can create one or more partitions (by pressing C), install to a preexisting partition, or just install to the unpartitioned space, which creates one large partition on the drive automatically, as shown in the following figure. Either way, highlight the partition (or unpartitioned space) that you want to install to and press Enter.

Step 5. Format the drive. At this point you have the option to format the partition as NTFS or FAT. NTFS is recommended and has a maximum partition size of 2TB during installation. (Hard drives are currently getting close to this number!) If you format the partition as FAT, and it is 4GB or less, it will be formatted as FAT16. If it is above 4GB, it will be formatted as FAT32, with a maximum partition size during setup of 32GB. You also have the option for a quick format; choose this option if it is a new drive or was formatted previously. If there were data files on the drive when you started the install, select the full format option. Once you press Enter, Windows automatically formats the partition, copies files to the partition, and reboots into the Graphical User Interface (GUI) portion of the installation. Sit back and relax as Windows works its magic.

Step 6. Set up regional settings. This includes the language, currency, and so on.

Step 7. Enter your name and organization. The name becomes an administrative account username.

Step 8. Enter the Product key.

Step 9. Enter a computer name and password. The computer name should be a unique name on your network and should not be the same as any other unique names (usernames, network names, domain names, and so on). Enter a secure password (more on password security in Chapter 16, “Security”), and type it again to confirm.

Step 10. Enter dialing information. This is only if the computer has a modem installed.

Step 11. Enter the date, time, time zone, and check mark Daylight Savings time if applicable. At this point, XP continues to copy files that might take a minute.

Step 12. Configure networking settings. From here you can select Typical, in which case Windows attempts to auto-configure the network adapter, or Custom, in which you can enter the settings manually.

Step 13. Select workgroup or domain. From here you can join (or create a new) workgroup, or join a domain if you possess the proper credentials and have configured TCP/IP properly in step 12. At this point, Windows continues to copy files and configures the operating system. After several minutes or more it restarts and then auto-configures the video display.

Step 14. Answer final questions. When you hear the dulcet tones of XP, you see a window that says Welcome to Windows. From here Windows checks for Internet connectivity, inquires as to how you want to connect to the Internet, asks you to register (optional), and asks you to define the users that will be accessing the computer by name. (For the primary user, you can use the same name you used in step 7). After this, the Windows desktop should appear.

Step 15. Activation of Windows. You have 30 days to activate Windows over the Internet or by telephone.

If you liked this video and step-by-step procedure, pick up my A+ Exam Cram 6th Edition today.

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