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Windows XP - Install Windows XP Operating System

Welcome to this Windows XP tutorial on how to install Microsoft Windows XP operating systems. The install procedure is basically the same for the different versions of Windows XP. We will be showing the OEM install procedure which may feature some steps in a different order to the retail version.

Do you know the differences between OEM and retail versions of software? If not read our guide on software versions which explains differences in Windows versions too.

Thinks To Note
  • Click the images to see a larger version
  • Yellow arrows or circles indicate where to look or click
  • Unless specified otherwise use the 'left' mouse button to click

Windows XP - Install Windows XP Operating System

Before we start the tutorial for installing Windows XP I will make you aware of what you need to be able to accomplish this tutorial.

This tutorial can be used to install Windows XP onto a new computer, an existing computer with a blank hard drive or an exisiting computer with a corrupt Windows XP.

By following this tutorial you will lose any data stored on the computer you use it on. You need to back up any data you require before following the steps through.

Items you need to complete this tutorial:

  • A Windows XP Professional or Home CD
  • A Windows XP product key or what is sometimes refered to as a COA.
  • Patience, and a cup of coffee!

Let's begin

installing windows xp operating system

Switch your computer on and insert your Windows XP CD into the cdrom drive. Depending on how quick your computer boots up, you may miss the signal to boot from CD so if need be switch off or reboot the computer once you have the CD in the drive.

When you see the prompt 'Press any key to boot from CD' press a key on the keyboard.

dos based windows xp installation screen

After a few seconds you will see the DOS based Windows XP screen start to load.

It will stay like this for quite a while and you will see at the bottom of the screen all the drivers that are being loaded.

dos based windows xp installation screen - Welcome

Eventually the welcome to Windows XP setup screen appears.

As you can see from our picture we are installing Windows XP Professional Edition.

You have a couple of options here although there is only one really that you will use. As suggested by the page 'press ENTER'.

dos based windows xp installation screen

This next page is a license agreement that Microsoft include.

You must accept the terms of using the Windows XP software. In a nutshell it wants you to confirm that you will not do anything detrimental to the software.

To accept the terms press the 'F8' key from the top row of your keyboard.

dos based windows xp installation screen

The next screen is all about configuring the hard drive ready for installing the Windows XP. This may look different to your computer lthough the same method applies.

We will delete the current partition and create a new fresh partition.

As suggested 'Press D' key on the keyboard.

dos based windows xp installation screen

In true Microsoft style you are promted again to confirm deletion of the partition.

If you are really really sure press the L key on your keyboard.

dos based windows xp installation screen

You will now be shown the screen as before although you will notice that rather than there being a partition it says 'Unpartitioned space'.

You are now ready to create a new fresh partition.

Press 'Enter' to start the Windows XP installation.

dos based windows xp installation screen

Windows XP setup creates the partition for you and asks how you want to format the new partition.

Using the cursor keys on the keyboard select the 'Format the partition using the NTFS file system (QUICK)' option and press the ENTER key.

dos based windows xp installation screen

Windows XP setup will now start to format your new partition on the hard drive.

dos based windows xp installation screen

Once your partition is formatted Windows XP setup will automatically start copying the installation files to your computer hard drive.

Sit back and take a sip of your coffee, it will take a few minutes.

dos based windows xp installation screen

Eventually you will see a screen appear that tells you that this part of Windows XP setup has completed and your computer is going to restart.

You can hurry the process by 15 seconds by pressing the ENTER key although you may as well wait and it'll do it itself. Click below for Part 2 of setup.

Next tutorial - Install Microsoft Windows XP Part 2

Return to Windows XP Tutorial List