How to Install Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition

Even with the release of Windows 7 and Vista Microsoft Windows XP is still a popular operating system. Users are building computers for the exclusive purpose of installing Windows XP on them because new computers from major manufacturers no longer come with Microsoft Windows XP pre-installed. With some advance preparation Windows XP can be installed on the computer of your choice, allowing you to continue using this popular operating system.

Things you will need:

–Computer capable of running XP
–Microsoft Windows install disc
–Microsoft Windows Product Key
–Windows XP-compatible drivers for all hardware installed on the computer

Step One
Assemble the above items and have them all placed in one spot for convenience. This will prevent you from having to hunt for items during the installation process.

Step Two
Disconnect peripheral hardware like printers and scanners. This will speed the install process and provide less chance of complications.

Step Three
Turn on the computer and insert the Microsoft Windows XP install disc into the optical drive.

Step Four
Press “Ctrl”+”Alt”+”Del” to restart the computer.

Step Five
Press any key on the keyboard when the message appears that reads: “Press any key to boot from CD.” This can be literally any key on the keyboard, from the space bar to one of the letter or function keys.

Step Six
Press “F6” on the next screen if you need to install a SCSI or RAID driver on your computer.This may also be necessary on newer systems if they have a SATA hard drive interface. You will need the appropriate driver stored on a floppy disk to install at this stage. Windows will take a few moments to load some needed files.

Step Seven
Press “Enter” on the “Welcome to Setup” screen to begin the installation process.

Step Eight
Press “F8” to accept the Windows license agreement after reading the legal document. While most just press without reading it is in your best interest legally to read this document fully.

Step Nine
Highlight the bottom partition with your arrow keys when the Partition Manager appears. Depending upon the previous life of your hard drive you may have no partitions listed here or several. If you have several partitions listed here follow the menu choices to delete all of them beginning with the bottom one. If you have no partitions listed here continue to the next step.

Step Ten
Press “C” to create a partition on the hard drive. The number of megabytes listed here by default will be the amount available on the entire hard disk.

Step Eleven
Press “Enter” to accept this choice and create a single large partition on the hard drive.

Step Twelve
Press “Enter” again to select this newly-created partition as the home for your Windows XP install.

Step Thirteen
Press “Enter” to instruct Microsoft to format the newly created partition as NTFS. Windows will now format the newly created partition and begin copying files before rebooting.

Step Fourteen
Allow the computer to reboot without any interference. The graphical installation will begin, showing the benefits of Windows XP while the Setup Wizard continues. A message on the left will appear showing how long (approximately) there is remaining in the installation process. A window will appear next allowing you to configure your Regional and Language options.

Step Fifteen
Click the “Details” button to confirm that the settings are correct before clicking “Next.”

Step Sixteen
Put your name and organization into the boxes and click “Next.” If you don’t have an organization you can leave that field blank or place a period in the field.

Step Seventeen
Insert your Product Key into the available spaces on the next screen. Don’t worry about moving the cursor to the individual boxes; Microsoft advances it automatically. Also note that capitalization is not important here–Microsoft handles that as well.

Step Eighteen
Click “Next” to continue after typing in your Product Key. The next window will give you the option of naming your computer. There will be a name in the window already and if this name is acceptable click “Next;” otherwise change the name to one you like better before clicking the “Next” button. The Date and Time Settings window will appear.

Step Nineteen
Use the drop-down menus to configure the correct settings for your time zone and click “Next.” Setup will continue. The networking settings window will appear next.

Step Twenty
Click “Enter” to configure Windows XP with typical network settings. Setup will work some more as it copies additional files to your computer and continues the installation. Windows will reboot when this stage of the installation is complete.

Step Twenty-One
Click “OK” to allow Windows to automatically adjust your screen resolution if this window appears after the computer reboots.

Step Twenty-Two
Click “OK” on the next screen to tell Windows that you can read the screen with the new resolution. If you do not click “OK” at this point, Windows XP will revert to the previous resolution. A “Welcome to Microsoft Windows” screen will appear to assist you in completing the setup process.

Step Twenty-Three
Click “Next” to continue.

Step Twenty-Four
Click “Skip” to bypass configuring your internet connection at this time. It is easier to complete the install of Windows first before concerning yourself with network settings. There is a chance that Windows did not accurately install drivers for your network card or modem so attempting to configure this here may cause complications for the install process. The next screen to appear will be the Windows Activation screen.

Step Twenty-Five
Place a dot inside the radio button next to “No, remind me every few days,” to instruct Windows XP not to attempt activation at this moment and click “Next.”

Step Twenty-Six
Place your name in the first box on the screen labeled “Who will use this computer?” before clicking “Next.” If you have other people that will be using the computer you can put their names in now as well.

Step Twenty-Seven
Click “Finish” to complete the installation of Windows on the final screen. Windows will load for the first time. If you gave Windows XP several names of computer users in the previous step a window will appear allowing you to choose which user to log on. Click your name with the mouse if this is the case; otherwise allow Windows XP to load the Desktop.

Step Twenty-Eight
Follow the instructions that came with your hardware to install any missing drivers. Reboot your computer after installing each device.

Step Twenty-Nine
Install your peripheral devices like printers and webcams one at a time following the instructions that came with each device. Reboot after installing each for best results.

Step Thirty
Configure your internet settings with the information provided by your ISP.

Step Thirty-One
Install any programs that you wish to use.

Step Thirty-Two
Enjoy your computer!


–If you do not have the drivers for your motherboard, look on the board for the silk-screened print indicating the model name and number of the board. Search for this number using your favorite search engine to locate drivers for your particular system. You can also visit the manufacturer’s website and search for drivers there.

–If your computer will not boot from the optical drive, enter the BIOS and configure the boot settings there to tell the computer to boot from the correct drive.

–If your computer has PS/2 ports for the mouse and keyboard do not attempt to use a mouse and/or keyboard that have a USB interface. Some computers are not able to utilize USB devices during the Windows XP install process. You can begin using these after the install of XP is complete.

–If Windows XP fails to see a hard drive during the install process and you know that there is a functional hard drive installed on the system, verify that the hard drive is an IDE (PATA) hard drive. Windows XP does not come with all of the drivers for newer SATA controllers, so this may be caused by a lack of an appropriate driver.


–Back up all data before beginning this install process. All of the data located on the computer will be lost during the install of Windows XP.