How To Do a Clean Installation of WinXP

The scenario is that you’ve been running Windows 98 and have decided to upgrade to Windows XP because of the positive reports you’ve heard both about its features and, more importantly, its stability.

You’ve decided to go the clean installation route rather than to “upgrade” your current Windows 98 because you’ve heard that this is the surest way to ensure a good result. Furthermore, you plan to do this in the context of setting up a dual-boot system. You can’t afford to be without a working system for even a short period of time and you figure this is the surest course to avoid that possibility. You’ve also had bad experiences as a consequence of reformatting your hard drive in the past, discovering months later that some vital user data had gotten lost as a result!

The following information will be of interest to those who’d prefer to go the upgrade route. The table below will help users determine whether or not their current version of Windows qualifies for the retail upgrade package of Windows XP:

Previous Version Windows XP

Home Edition

Windows XP


Windows 3.1 NO NO
Any Evaluation Version NO NO
Any Server Version NO NO
Windows 95 NO NO
Windows 98/Windows 98 SE YES YES
Windows Me YES YES
Windows NT 3.51 NO NO
Windows NT 4.0 NO YES
Windows 2000 Professional NO YES
Windows XP Home Edition YES
Windows XP Professional NO

You’ve already used the HOW TO INSTALL A SECOND HARD DISK DRIVE tutorial to help you install a new drive onto which you’ll do a clean installation of Windows XP. This tutorial will now take you through the associated steps, covering each of the following:

  • running the Windows XP Upgrade Advisor
  • partitioning your new hard drive
  • formatting the drive
  • installing Windows XP
  • bringing your installation completely up-to-date via the Windows Update facility
  • replacing Window’s default drivers with later versions
  • fine tuning the installation
  • migrating files and settings from your previous Windows environment.

Here’s a reminder of Microsoft’s recommended hardware requirements for Windows XP Home Edition:

  • PC with 300 MHz or higher processor clock speed
  • 128MB of memory
  • 1.5 GB of free hard disk space
  • CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive
  • 3.5in high-density floppy disk drive
  • Video adapter and monitor that support VGA or higher resolution
  • Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device.

When planning your upgrade to the Microsoft Windows XP operating system, one of the first decisions you’re going to have to make is to choose between which edition is most suitable for you. The following links will help you make this decision:

Once you’ve chosen and bought your XP edition, it’s time to move on to the installation.

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