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Installing Windows XP GUIDE - Starting the Setup


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Installing Windows XP

Starting the Setup

Installing Windows XP is really simple. Setting up Windows XP is made faster than any other previous version. To begin the installation, you must first put the Windows XP CD ROM in your CD Drive. Then you must enter your system’s BIOS setup. The BIOS Setup is the base operating system that only manages hardware settings. Only advanced users should change settings in this setup. Incorrect settings might harm your computer.
To enter the BIOS Setup, usually you must press delete, before the system boots, but that can differ from a mainboard model to another. Also the steps for changing settings in the setup are different, so we recommend consulting the instruction book of your mainboard, before you try to modify these settings. From the BIOS Setup, you must set the booting device order. The CD ROM should be the first one, so you can be able to install Windows XP.

Fig. 1

After you change the settings in the BIOS Setup, and reboot your system, Windows XP Setup will automatically start, and check if your computer meets the minimum system requirements. After this some files needed for starting Windows Setup will be copied. After all of this, you will see a screen like the one represented in Figure 1. Here you can chose between installing Windows XP, and repairing Windows XP, using the installation recovery console. Even if your computer might have a small problem, we recommend installing a fresh copy of Windows. After Windows has been installed on your computer for a long time, it might be possible that it might not work as fast as it used to, or errors might occur very often. This is because the registry settings had been modified a lot by installing too much programs. Windows can also be infected by viruses. Even if you have antivirus software, and your files had been cleaned, we recommend installing a fresh copy of Windows after cleaning all your files.
From the screen like the one represented in Figure 1, press Enter, to continue with the Windows XP installation. Then, the USER LICENSE AGREEMENT will appear. It is like a contract between you and Microsoft Corporation.
All software products have this kind of license.

Fig. 2

If you agree with all the terms and conditions, you must than press the F8 key, so you can continue. If you do not agree with the terms and conditions in the agreement, you must press the Escape key. If you do not agree, you can not continue with setup. After you press the Escape key, setup will automatically close, removing all information that has been added during installation.
After you agree, you will be asked where to install Windows XP. Your hard disk should be partitioned first. If you have a new computer, that does not have an operating system installed, you must first partition and than format your hard drive.


A partition or a drive is an amount of space on your hard drive that you want to use for something. For instance you can make one partition for music, or another partition for documents, and so on. Of course storing only one kind of files on a partition is not obligatory. This was just an example. Think very well before you assign the space for a partition. You can also assign all the space available on your hard disk, thus creating only one partition. Creating only one partition is not recommended. It is better to have two partition, or more if you have more space. The first partition, C:, should be for Windows, and the second one, D:, should be for your documents.
So if anything will happen to Windows, all your documents and files will be safe on D:, so you can quickly format C: and install a new copy of Windows. It’s best for most users if C: has a minimum of 10 Mb. If your hard disk is bigger, you can assign more space for C:. If you know you use more programs, or you use programs that demand more resources, make a bigger partition. Also note that the drive should be at least 10-15% free all the time. A fuller drive will slow down your system’s performance.
Setup will display a screen like in Figure 3 that enables you to select or manage partitions on your hard drive. The steps are really simple, and setup provides detailed information about each step. If you do not have any partitions on your drive, you will see an “Unpartitioned Space” label on the table, or if you do have partitions, you will see them listed with details in the table (Fig. 3).
To create a partition press C and then a screen will appear asking you if you want to use all the space available on the disk drive for the partition. If you select no, you will be asked for the amount of space in bytes for the partition. To create a second, or third, partition, repeat the procedure. After setting the partition’s size, you will be back to the screen represented in Fig. 3. From here you can repeat the procedure again, selecting the “Unpartitioned Space” label, using the arrow keys.
NOTE! Windows XP always reserves 8Mb of unpartitioned space. This is necessary for Windows to store information about your active partitions. So do not worry about this space…

Fig. 3

After creating the partitions, you will have to format them. Formatting a partition means assigning it a certain a file system. This process will erase all data on the drive. A file system is the system that instructs how to store and manage files. Windows 95 used the FAT file system. Than Windows 98 used FAT32, a more powerful and smart file system. Of course Windows 98 can also run in the FAT file system, but Windows 95 can not run on FAT32, because it’s newer system. After FAT32, Windows 2000 and XP came with the new NTFS file system. It manages and stores files easier and better, plus it supports a lot of new features.
Sometimes some aspects of this system can seam slower for some users, because of the systems stores the creation, modification, and last time accessed date and time of files, but this can be fixed with some registry settings. You can also fix this after installing Windows, with the registry tweak provided on the CD that came with this book. Look for NTFS Optimization.reg, on the CD, just open the file and a question box will ask you if you want to add the information to the registry. Click Yes.
Although Windows XP can also work under the FAT32 file system, it is best to select NTFS.
After you select the partition you want to set up Windows on, a screen like the one in Fig. 4 will appear, asking you for what file system you want to format your partition. You can choose between NTFS (quick or normal) or FAT32 (quick or normal). The quick option is to format the partition faster, while the normal option is for formatting the partition slowly, enabling detection of any bad sectors of the hard disk.
It’s best to use the normal option.

Fig. 4

If your drive is already formatted, you will also have an option for “Leaving the drive intact – No changes”. You can select to format the drive, if you did save all the important information on another drive on the hard disk, or on other removable media (Floppy, CD, ZIP, etc.). Selecting format will enable you to install a fresh copy of Windows XP on a fresh formatted drive. If you do not format the drive, you will install over other Windows versions you have installed. Installing two operating systems is not really a good idea.
Be sure that before you decide to format, you created all your partitions with the correct sizes you want. You will not be able to make changes, only if you lose all the information available on the drives (deleting the partitions and creating new ones).

Fig. 5

Fig. 6

Fig. 7

After completing all the operations, your computer will reboot. After your computer will restart, do not forget to immediately enter the BIOS Setup and change the device boot order. Usually this is Floppy, HDD, and CD. This means that first the compute will try to boot from floppy, than hard disk, and than CD ROM. You can also change in anyway you wish, but it’s better to leave the CD last, because you might forget CD’s inside the drive, and next time you will start the system will try to boot from CD. The second part of Setup

After you will reboot, setup will automatically start. You will see a screen that looks like the one in Fig. 8:

Fig. 8

This part of the setup recognizes the hardware devices that are installed on your system, and installs the appropriate drivers for them. Just wait until any dialog will appear on the screen.
In this part of setup, it is normal for your screen to go dark for less than 3 seconds and than come back again. This can happen 2 or 3 several times. So if you will encounter this, do not worry! your monitor is OK!
Other settings After your screen has blinked several times, you will have to give setup some information in order to set up Windows the way you want it.
First you must provide setup with Regional and Language options. These determine your location, and the language in which most Non Unicode programs should run. Your location is important for internet settings and providing you with news, weather, and other information on the internet.

Fig. 9

After configuring the Regional and Language options, you will have to provide setup with your personal information (Fig. 10), in order to personalize your copy of Windows XP.
After providing your personal information, you will have to enter your Windows XP Product Key (Fig. 11). It is printed on the back of the case of your Windows XP CD. This 25 character long code is important for identifying your unique copy of Windows XP. Do not use this code, as it is very important. Entering an invalid code will unable you to continue with setup.
Be very careful when entering the product key.

Fig. 10

Fig. 11

Now you must provide setup with a name for your computer and an administrator password.

Fig. 12

If you are on a network, the other users will see you computer named the way you enter it here. Setup creates a default account called ADMINISTRATOR. This account can change important settings, on your computer. So entering a password here would be a very good idea. This will prevent unauthorized users on the network access your computer and modify settings or manage files on your computer. You must enter the password two times, so that setup will be sure you did not mistype it. Do not forget this password, as it is important if you want to repair your computer or change some settings using the ADMINISTRATOR account.
Next you will have to provide the system with the correct date and time (Fig. 13). You also have to select your time zone so that Windows can know how to configure time on your system.

Fig. 13

After completing all these steps, you will have to wait again for setup to detect the network connections or internet connections on your computer.
When setup has finished detecting your network connections, you will see a screen like the one in Fig. 14 (if you have any network adapters on installed on your system).

Fig. 14

You can select Typical settings if you are on a small network or Custom settings if you are on a larger network and need to apply more advanced settings. For more information about the network settings, contact your network administrator. If you are not connected to a network, you must also select typical settings.
If you select typical settings, you will be automatically prompted to enter the name of the workgroup or domain name you belong to on the network. If you are not connected to a network, just leave the default value, workgroup, but if you are on a network put the name your network administrator has assigned you with.

Fig. 15

You can assign workgroups depending on the area the computers are situated in. For instance, if the computers are in building no. 100, you can assign the workgroup name 100, and for the computers in building 325 you can assign the workgroup name 325. Computers in a certain area work better if they are all in the same workgroup, rather than having all different workgroups.
A domain name is for larger networks. Usually you would use a workgroup on your network.
You are almost done! After completing the network settings, Windows will copy other files and configure your system. You only have to wait. Then, setup will restart your computer (Fig. 16).

Fig. 16

After your system will restart, you will just have o enter some information about who will use the computer, internet settings, and you will be asked if you want to register Windows XP. Then you will be able to see your Windows Desktop (Fig 17).

Fig. 17

The Windows Desktop

The Windows Desktop (Fig. 17) is the main screen that you see when you start Windows.

Fig 17

The Windows Desktop is like your personal desktop, where you put your favorite files and stuff. You can personalize it the way you want, so that it can fit your needs and represent your style. Some people like their Windows Desktop to be tidy, while others just leave the Windows default style. Some people have shortcuts to documents and other paper work on their desktop, while others have their desktop filled with shortcuts to games. So you can personalize your Windows desktop to represent yourself and your style!
Now we will concentrate over the components of the Windows Desktop:


Icons (Fig. 18) are small pictures that represent files and/or folders on your hard disk. When you double click an icon with your mouse it will open the file of folder that it represents. Icons can be dragged and moved around the desktop, so that you can arrange them the way you want. You can drag icons over other folders, thus moving them to the selected folder.
Different types of files have different type of icons. Pictures have other icons than text documents, and so on. Windows XP also includes a new feature that allows you to give a folder a unique icon.
The My Computer icon (Fig. 19) is the way to a window that displays hard drives, other devices installed on your computer like scanners, cameras, etc and documents.

Fig. 18

The My Documents icon represents the My Documents Folder which stores

our documents. You can put you pictures, videos, music and other files here.
The Recycle Bean icon represents the Recycle Bean, a system folder that stores files you want to remove from your computer. Windows stores these files here, because you might want to restore them. After you delete files from the Recycle Bean you can not get them back.

Changing folder icons

To change a folder icon, you must first right click the folder, and then select proprieties (Fig. 20).
Then, a propriety window will pop up (Fig. 21).

Fig 19

Fig 20

A list of default icons will appear (Fig 21). You will chose one you like from the list and then click OK. You can also choose another icon on your disk, by clicking browse, and giving the path to it.
Then, from the propriety Window, you will click Apply, or OK to apply the settings.

Fig. 21

The taskbar

On the foot of your Windows desktop, you will notice a long bar. This is the Windows Taskbar (Fig 22).

Fig. 22

Programs, files, or folders you open, will appear on the taskbar. For example, on the taskbar represented in fig. 22, Windows Media Player and the “tutorial” folder are opened. Windows can also be minimized, which means that they are running in background. To display a window that is running in background, you can just click it from the taskbar.
Windows is a multitasking operating system, which means that more applications can be run in the same time. In MS DOS, you could only run one application at a time.
Multitasking is a really great advantage, because you can easily switch between applications and transfer data from one application to another. So the taskbar can also help you to easily switch between applications. If you want a window to run in background just click minimize. The window will not be closed, and you can always bring it back on the screen, by clicking it on the taskbar.

The Quick Launch

Near the Start Button on the taskbar, we can see the Quick Launch (Fig. 23). It is a small place for applications you use most frequently.

The Windows default applications for the Quick launch are: the “Show Desktop” application (it is used to show the Windows Desktop); Windows

Fig 23

Explorer (Internet Browser). You can always add and remove icons from the Quick Launch.

The System Tray

The System Tray (Fig. 24) is the right place of the taskbar, where you can see the clock, and also see active or inactive connections, or some applications that are running. In the system tray represented in fig. 24, there are 2 active network connections. From the system tray you can configure other options for the connections

Fig. 24

or applications.
In Windows XP, inactive items can also be hidden (if this feature is enabled), and you can see them by clicking the round button on the left side of the system tray.

The language bar

The language bar (Fig. 25, 26) is used for switching between the languages that are installed on the system. You can use the hotkeys defined for switching languages, or click on the icon and select a language from the ones available (Fig. 26).

Fig. 25

Fig. 26

You can also use the language bar to select and manage other language options that are installed on your computer.
You can add and remove languages available on the language bar from Control Panel -> Regional and Language Options.

Configuring the taskbar

To configure the Windows taskbar, right click it and select Proprieties. A window like in Fig 27 will appear. From the taskbar tab you can configure the following options:

• Lock the taskbar – will delimit the Quick launch and other bars from the main taskbar;
• Auto-hide taskbar – will hide the taskbar. To display the taskbar it is just necessary to put the mouse over the place it is located (hidden). After the mouse leaves the certain area, the taskbar will disappear.
• Keep the taskbar on top of other Windows – it will always display the taskbar on the screen. It does not matter what windows are open, the taskbar will always be displayed on the screen. If this option is disabled, the taskbar can be only seen when you see the Windows Desktop. If other Windows are opened, and they are maximized, you will not be able to see the taskbar, only if you minimize all the windows, and thus returning to the desktop.

Fig. 27

• Group similar taskbar buttons – enables the new option in Windows XP. Sometimes your taskbar might be full of icons. To manage the opened windows better, this new option groups the similar taskbar icons into a single one. If you have 10 Internet Explorer windows open, they will all be grouped into a single taskbar icon. When you want to chose a certain internet explorer window from the group, you will just click on the main taskbar icon, and then a list with all the windows in the group will be shown. Just click the one you want to display!
• Show Quick Launch – It will show or hide the Quick Launch (Fig. 23).
• Show the clock – shows or hides the clock from the right side of the taskbar.
• Hide inactive icons – it enables or disables a new feature made available in Windows XP; hiding the icons from the System Tray (Fig. 25) when they become inactive. For instance, if you have an opened program that has an icon in the System Tray, the icon will be hidden when the program is inactive. To display the hidden icons you just have to click the round button on the left side of the System Tray.
You can also customize the hiding and showing of the icons in the system tray, but only if the “Hide inactive icons” setting is enabled. When you click the Customize button, a window like the one represented in Fig. 28 will appear.

You can choose an item that is or was in the System Tray, and apply the following options to it:
• Hide when inactive – hides the icon when it is not active (default);
• Always hide – hides the icon no matter if it is active or inactive;
• Always show – always shows the icon, no matter if it is active or inactive.

Fig. 28

The Start Menu

The Start Menu (Fig. 29) is like a quick menu from where you access all your programs (that you use more recently). To access the start menu click the start button on the left side of the taskbar or press the Windows Logo Key on your keyboard.

Windows XP has a new and simplified start menu designed to fit your needs and preferences. The Windows XP Start Menu has two columns: The first one is for programs you recently use, and the other is for shortcuts to places on your computer, like: My Computer, My Documents, My Pictures, etc.
On the bottom of the first column, there is a menu called “All Programs”. This menu shows all the programs that are installed on your computer. The classic Windows Start Menu only contained a menu similar to the All Programs menu.

Now we will explain each components of the Start menu, one by one:

Fig. 29

The Turn Off and Log Off Buttons

The Turn Off Button on the bottom of the Start Menu will display options for shutting down the computer or other features that are available on the system. The Log Off Button will display options about Logging of or switching users.The Log Off Button will display options about Logging of or switching users.

Fig. 30

The Run Button
The Run Button on the second column of the Start Menu will display a Window from which you can type a path to o file or a program on your computer, on the network or internet. After this the selected file or program will be automatically opened.
• Typing “C:Games” will open the folder Games located on the C: drive;
• Typing “write” will open Word Pad;
• Typing “cmd” or “cmd.exe” will open the Command Prompt or the Windows Console.
• Typing Computer1 will explore the computer named Computer1 on the network;
• Typing will explore the computer with IP on the network;
• Typing will automatically open the web site on the internet.
The Search Button

The Search Button on the Start Menu will open a window (Fig. 31) from where you can search files or folders on you hard disk(s) or also on the internet.
You can also choose from advanced search options, like searching only pictures, music, or video. You can also specify the approximate size of the file and the approximate date when it has been created.

Fig. 31

The Help and Support Center Button

The Help and Support Center Button (Fig. 32) on the Start menu opens Windows Help, from where you can find articles and tips about working with Windows.
You can search articles that refer to your problems or misunderstandings, or you can select articles by browsing trough the categories and menus.

Fig. 31

Other buttons on the Start Menu

• Printers and Faxes button – displays all printers and faxes installed on the computer and enables configuring these devices.
• Control Panel button – opens the Control Panel, from which you can configure and change settings, manage hardware and software resources on your computer.
• My Computer, My Documents, My Pictures, My Music, and My Videos Buttons – open the specified folders they represent. Example: If you click the My Documents button, it will open my Documents.

Customizing the Start Menu

Just right click the taskbar and select proprieties. The same window you seen in Fig. 28 will show up. This time, select the Start Menu Tab, from the top of the page. From here you can configure options, like showing or hiding items on the taskbar, disabling highlighting of newly installed programs, disable listing the most recently used programs list, and also chose the Windows classic start menu layout.

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