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Installing the Windows XP Desktop Operating System
3
Desktop server, joining a Windows NT or Active Directory domain,
native file encryption, support for up to two processors, System Restore,
Device Driver Rollback, and Automated System Recovery.
Hardware Requirements and Installation
Issues
Even though Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional
target different types of users, these two operating systems have the same
minimum hardware requirements. Unfortunately, the minimum hardware
specifications as stated by Microsoft do not truly reflect the “horsepower”
needed for Windows XP to perform well in the “real world,” especially when
it comes to using such demanding applications as computer-aided design
programs and multitasking several different programs simultaneously. Most
people find that Windows XP performs fairly well with 256MB of memory,
but that it performs even better with 512MB of RAM or more. The mini-
mum hardware specifications are as follows:
A personal computer with a Pentium-based or Pentium-compatible
processor running at a clock speed of at least 233Mhz
64MB RAM (but Microsoft recommends at least 128MB RAM)
One 1.5GB hard disk drive with at least 650MB of available disk space
Super VGA (or better) video display adapter and monitor capable of
800×600 resolution or higher
CD-ROM or DVD drive
Keyboard input device
Mouse or compatible pointing device
Before installing Windows XP, you should check the BIOS version and sup-
ported features that are part of your computer (see Figure 1.1). Motherboard
manufacturers burn the BIOS instruction code (programming) into the
Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) chip that is built into
each PC’s motherboard. In most cases, you can update the version of the
BIOS stored on the computer by contacting the motherboard or computer
manufacturer. It is best to install the latest BIOS from your hardware vendor
before tackling the XP Professional installation. Features such as Plug and
Play and Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) are important
for the full functionality of Windows XP.

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