Once you’ve decided to take the plunge and install Windows XP, you can begin your final preparations.
If you’ve made all the plans and done all the thinking described so far in this chapter, you have only a short checklist left to follow:
Update your virus program and scan for viruses. Then, if you’re updating an existing copy of Windows, turn off your virus checker, along with other auto-loading programs like non-Microsoft firewall software and Web ad blockers.
Decompress the data on any Windows 98 drives that are compressed with DriveSpace.
Confirm that your computer’s BIOS—its basic startup circuitry—is compatible with Windows XP. To find out, contact the manufacturer of the computer or the BIOS. Don’t skip this step. You may well need to upgrade your BIOS if the computer was made before mid-2001.
Gather updated, Windows XP–compatible drivers for all of your computer’s components. Graphics and audio adapters are particularly likely to need updates, so be sure to check the manufacturers’ Web sites—and driver-information sites like http://www.windrivers.com and http://www.driverguide.com —and download any new drivers you find there.
Disconnect any gear that’s older than Windows XP itself to prevent it from making the PC freeze during the installation. You’ll have better luck if you reconnect them after Windows XP is in place.
If you’ve gone to all this trouble and preparation, the Windows XP installation process can be surprisingly ...